HONG KONG TEACHERS’ ENGLISH ORAL INPUT IN KINDERGARTEN CLASSROOMS
Oral input has long been recognised as a key factor influencing second language acquisition in early childhood. Children rely heavily on oral input to learn new words and develop phonological awareness of a language. However, in the context of English teaching in Hong Kong kindergartens — which feature diversity in language use in the classroom — little work has been done on the oral input given to children. This study examined the English oral input of teachers in Hong Kong kindergarten classrooms. It investigated the amount and features of teachers’ English oral input, and how the input affected the conditions for English language learning. Classroom observations were conducted monthly for three months with one native speaking (NS) and two non-native speaking (NNS) kindergarten teachers together with a total of 44 Chinese-speaking children. The research used the Oral Input Quality Observation Scheme developed for systematically collecting oral input and output data from the teachers and children respectively. The results show that the learning activities did not seem to be hindered by the different pronunciations of the NS and NNS teachers. However, the NS teacher tended to use a broader variety of vocabulary and a richer amount of English than the NNS teachers. Both the NS and NNS teachers demonstrated limitations in pedagogical skills in teaching the children English pronunciation. The implications of the results are discussed in relation to the context of English teaching in Hong Kong kindergartens.
Burmeister P (2006) Immersion und Sprachunterricht im Vergleich. In: Pienemann M, Kessler J-U, and Roos E (eds.) Englischerwerb in der Grundschule. Paderborn: Schöningh, pp. 197–216.
Butler Y (2007) Factors associated with the notion that native speakers are the ideal language teachers: An examination of elementary school teachers in Japan. JALT Journal 29(1): 7–39.
Canh LV and Renandya WA (2017) Teachers’ English proficiency and classroom language use: A conversation analysis study. RELC Journal 48(1): 67–81.
Chau NL, Li H and Lau YL (2013) Development and validation of the Early Childhood Classroom Observation Scale. Hong Kong Journal of Early Childhood 12(2): 53–75.
Chow BWY, McBride-Chang C and Burgess S (2005) Phonological processing skills and early reading abilities in Hong Kong Chinese kindergarteners learning to read English as a second language. Journal of educational psychology 97(1): 81–87.
Coniam D, Falvey P and Xiao Y (2017) An investigation of the impact on Hong Kong’s English language teaching profession of the language proficiency assessment for teachers of English (LPATE). SEAMEO Regional Language Centre Journal 48(1): 115–133.
DeTemple JM (2001) Parents and children reading books together. In: Dickinson DK and Tabors PO (eds.) Beginning literacy with language: Young children learning at home and school. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes, pp. 31–52.
Education Bureau (2012) Performance Indicators (Pre-primary Institutions). Available at: http://www.edb.gov.hk/en/sch-admin/sch-quality-assurance/performance-indicators/performance-indicators-pre-primary-institutions/index.html (accessed 21 March 2018)
Education Bureau (2017a) Free Quality Kindergarten Education Scheme Guidance Notes on Subsidy Disbursement (2017/18 School Year). Available at: http://www.edb.gov.hk/attachment/en/edu-system/preprimary-kindergarten/free-quality-kg-edu/Guidance_Notes_on_Disbursement_of_Subsidy_2017_e.pdf (accessed 21 March 2018)
Education Bureau (2017b) The Kindergarten Education Curriculum (Draft) (2017). Available at: http://www.edb.gov.hk/attachment/en/curriculum-development/major-level-of-edu/preprimary/KGECG-En-Draft-2017.pdf (accessed 21 March 2018)
Education Department and Social Welfare Department (2001) Performance Indicators (Pre-primary Institutions) (Domain on learning and teaching) (2nd ed.). Hong Kong: Hong Kong Education Department and Social Welfare Department.
Farrell TS and Richards JC (2007) Teachers’ language proficiency. In: Farrell TS (ed.) Reflective language teaching: From research to practice. London: Continuum, pp. 55–66.
Fischer G (2013) Professional expectations and shattered dreams: A proficiency dilemma. The Modern Language Journal 97(2): 545–548.
Flege JE (2009) Give input a chance! In: Piske T and Young-Scholten M (eds.) Input matters in SLA. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, pp. 175–190.
Gao X and Ma Q (2011) Vocabulary learning and teaching beliefs of pre-service and in-service teachers in Hong Kong and mainland China. Language Awareness 20(4): 327–342.
Kirkpatrick A (2007a) Setting attainable and appropriate English language targets in multilingual settings: A case for Hong Kong. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 17(3): 376–391.
Kirkpatrick A (2007b) World Englishes: Implications for international communication and English language teaching. Cambridge.
Krashen S (1981) Second language acquisition and second language learning. Oxford: Pergamon.
Krashen S (1985) The Input Hypothesis: Issues and implications. Harlow: Longman.
Lai-Reeve, S., Wong B, T.M and Li, K.C. (2018) The professional development needs of Hong Kong kindergarten English teachers: A case study of English oral language input in kindergarten classrooms. The Federation for Self-financing Tertiary Education Conference: Striving for Quality Education, Hong Kong.
Lenneberg E (1964) The capacity for language acquisition. In: Katz J and Fodor J (eds.) The structure of language. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, pp. 579–603.
Ling LY (2003) What makes a good kindergarten teacher? A pilot interview study in Hong Kong. Early Child Development and Care 173(1): 19–31.
Lyster R (2007) Learning and teaching languages through content: A counterbalanced approach. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Masters G (2009) A shared challenge: Improving literacy, numeracy and science learning in Queensland primary schools. Australian Council for Educational Research. Available at: http://education.qld.gov.au/mastersreview/pdfs/final-report-masters.pdf (accessed 21 March 2018)
McBride-Chang C and Treiman R (2003) Hong Kong Chinese kindergartners learn to read English analytically. Psychological Science 14(2): 138–143.
McGee L and Morrow L (2005) Teaching literacy in kindergarten (Tools for teaching literacy). New York: Guilford Press.
Moon J (2005) Teaching English to young learners: The challenges and the benefits. In English. British Council, pp. 30–34.
Ng ML (2013) Pedagogical conditions for the teaching and learning of English as a foreign language in Hong Kong kindergartens. English Teaching and Learning 37(3): 1–35.
Ng ML and Rao N (2013) Teaching English in Hong Kong kindergartens: A survey of practices. International Journal of Literacies, 19(3): 25–47.
NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (2005) Pathways to reading: The role of oral language in the transition to reading. Developmental Psychology 41(2): 428–442.
OED (n.d.) Pronunciation model: Hong Kong English. In: Oxford English dictionary. Oxford University Press. Available at: https://public.oed.com/the-oed-today/rewriting-the-oed/pronunciation-model-hong-kong-english/ (accessed 21 March 2018)
Parker F and Riley K (2009) Linguistics for non-linguistics: A primer with exercises (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Phillipson R (1992) Linguistic imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Piske T, MacKay IR and Flege JE (2001) Factors affecting degree of foreign accent in an L2: A review. Journal of phonetics 29(2): 191–215.
Richards JC (2015) Key issues in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Swain M (1985) Communicative competence: Some roles of comprehensible input and comprehensible output in interlanguage development. In: Gass S and Madden C (eds.) Input in Second Language Acquisition. Rowley: Newbury House, pp. 235–253.
Siraj, I. & Taggart, B. (2013). EPPSE project: Findings on students’ development at age 14 [IOE Research Briefing N°65]. Institute of Education, University of London, London.
Snow CE (1999) Facilitating language development promotes literacy learning. In: Eldering L and Leseman PPM (eds.) Effective early education: Cross-cultural perspectives. New York: Falmer Press, pp. 141–161.
Tang E (2011) Non-native teacher talk as lexical input in the foreign language classroom. Journal of Language Teaching and Research 2(1): 45–54.
Tsang A (2017) EFL/ESL teachers’ general language proficiency and learners’ engagement. RELC Journal 48(1): 99–113.
Tsui ABM, Coniam D, Sengupta S and Wu KY (1994) Computer-mediated communication and teacher education: The case of TELENEX. In: Bird N, Falvey P, Tsui ABM and McNeill A (eds.) Language and learning. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Government Printer, pp. 352–369.
Wilson GB, Macdonald RAR, Byrne C, Ewing S and Sheridan M (2008) Dread and passion: Primary and secondary teachers’ views on teaching the arts. Curriculum Journal 19: 37–53.
Wong B, T.M., Lai-Reeve, S., and Li, K.C. (2018) Observing oral input for second language development: A case study of English pronunciation in Hong Kong kindergarten education. The Fourth International Conference on Linguistics and Language Studies, Hong Kong.
Weitz M, Pahl S, Flyman Mattsson A, Buyl A and Kalbe E (2010) The Input Quality Observation Scheme (IQOS): The nature of L2 input and its influence on L2 development in bilingual preschools. In: Kersten K, Rohde A, Schelletter C, Steinlen AK (eds.) Bilingual Preschools, Volume I: Learning and development, pp. 5–44.
Yeung SS, Siegel LS and Chan CK (2013) Effects of a phonological awareness program on English reading and spelling among Hong Kong Chinese ESL children. Reading and writing 26(5): 681–704.
Yopp HK (1992) Developing phonemic awareness in young children. The Reading Teacher 45(9): 696–703.
- There are currently no refbacks.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Prof. Dr. İsmail Hakkı Mirici
Editor in Chief
Near East University
Ataturk Faculty of Education
Near East Boulevard, 99138
Mersin 10 - Turkey