About RIBiLT - Director's message

School of Education and Languages About RIBiLT   About RIBiLT - Director's message  
With the support from RGC, we are making RIBiLT a possibility. It is established to facilitate academic staff to develop research ideas and practices on language education in Hong Kong.
 
One may ask, “There are so many language departments over Hong Kong, why us?” We have only about 20 academic colleagues in the whole school and this is exactly the uniqueness of us; with both Chinese and English education colleagues housed under one roof. For us, language education issues are not just dialogues among Chinese language education colleagues or English language colleagues; it is also a dialogue between these two groups of colleagues. Such synergy has given us the unique opportunity to study bilingual education in Hong Kong as a total language education experience for the students.
 
We are very much aware of the fact that students in Hong Kong are spending so much time learning Chinese and English together. This should be our research problem. Given the strength of E&L, the institute will facilitate academic staff to generate research ideas and produce publications conducive to the development and education in a bilingual community. We see bilingual learning and teaching not just as learning of Chinese and English, but students exposing to a total language context, in which both Chinese and English are being used. It is in this context that we consider that a research program addressing the total bilingual context of students’ learning would be helpful for us to find the way to improve bilingual communication competence of the students. We are not only paying attention to the English standards of the students, but also the general public. We are also concerned with the issues for Chinese and speaking of Putonghua. In the colonial period of Hong Kong, we paid high price in learning English. Today, being a city in China, we need to find ways to preserve not only the standard of English, but also the standard of Chinese and Putonghua.
 
With the support of funding from RGC, we would be able to invite senior and experienced academics to be our Distinguished Professors to help construct our research program. There will be seminars, workshops, offered by our colleagues as well as visitors. We hope the research institute can become the hub for colleagues working in Chinese language education as well as English language education. We also want this to become the hub for academics talking to teachers, as well as for academics talking to the government officials.
 
Further, this should not be just a concern for colleagues in English and Chinese language education, we shall be mobilizing colleagues working in the area of IT education, school administration, as well as curriculum studies to contribute their research and professional work to the study and improvement of bilingual learning and teaching for the benefits of our students in Hong Kong.