Education Journal


1996.第24卷第2期(Vol. 24 No. 2).pp. 57–80



A Study of Chinese Language Teachers' Proficiency in Putonghua

張國松、何偉傑(Kwok-Chung CHEUNG & Wai-Kit HO)





In July 1994 the Working Group on Language Proficiency of the Education Commission issued a report. Its members proposed to put Putonghua within the subject of Chinese language and to formalize it as one of the selective examination subjects for the Hong Kong Certificate of Examination. This proposal aimed at assimilating Putonghua into the regular Chinese language course. Later in July 1995, the Governor, in his annual policy speech, mentioned the importance of the teaching of Putonghua. The Curriculum Development Council of the Education Department has been compiling a new syllabus on Putonghua for different levels of students. In view of all these developments, what is the expectation of teachers on their own proficiency in Putonghua? This question is the focus of this research. The researchers aim at analyzing the structure of the Chinese language teacher's proficiency in Putonghua from the perspective of required skills in the teaching and learning of a language.

The research is conducted by a questionnaire survey. The questionnaire includes a list of fifty-two items of required skills. The list is used to study four major aspects of teacherss abilities in Putonghua, namely their articulation, listening ability, phonetic notation and recitation. Subjects are asked to assess the importance of these skills for a Chinese language teacher. The results of the research reveal that, first, Chinese language teachers in primary and secondary schools had different expectations on their proficiency in Putonghua; and second, teachers of different age and of different teaching experiences tended to have different opinions on the contents of learning programmes that should be provided for Chinese language teachers. Based on these findings, the researchers put forward some proposals to assist in the formulation of a training programme for teachers.