Hong Kong should clarify the legal status of simplified Chinese and Mandarin, and work closer with Guangdong province on Mandarin teaching, according to a report on the language situation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
The special administrative region’s government is advised to incorporate Mandarin teaching into its examination and evaluation system as a policy to promote coherent language teaching in primary and secondary schools, according to the report.
Proactively promoting standard spoken and written Chinese language, creating a harmonious language environment and enhancing (people’s) language and national identity is an important task in the language and character development cause of the Greater Bay Area.
Guo Xi, Visiting professor of Guangzhou University
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The report, published on Wednesday, is the first of its kind. Eighty-four suggestions were put forward in the report, which was compiled by Guangzhou University.
“Proactively promoting standard spoken and written Chinese language, creating a harmonious language environment and enhancing (people’s) language and national identity is an important task in the language and character development cause of the Greater Bay Area,” Guo Xi, visiting professor of Guangzhou University and consultant to the report, said.
The building of an international language environment and a reserve pool of multilingual talent are vital for the Greater Bay Area to develop into a world-class city cluster, he said.
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Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao should increase coordinated planning in language talent cultivation, according to the report. While Hong Kong and Macao should give better play to their roles in promoting cooperation and exchanges between the country and English-speaking and Portuguese-speaking countries respectively, Guangzhou and Shenzhen should make greater efforts on nurturing and reserving multilingual talent targeting Belt and Road countries, according to the report.
In response to the report, the Education Bureau said there are lessons for Hong Kong’s primary and secondary school students to learn Mandarin. Also, various extracurricular activities are being carried out to create an environment for students to enhance their language proficiency.
The bureau is promoting student exchange programs on the mainland and partnerships between Hong Kong and mainland schools to increase their interest and enhance their learning efficiency, it said.