Educational Research Journal



Should We Start Teaching English at Primary Four? An Examination of Neurolinguistic and Sociolinguistic Perspectives on English Language Teaching

1995.第10卷第1期(Vol. 10 No. 1).pp. 31–35
 

Should We Start Teaching English at Primary Four? An Examination of Neurolinguistic and Sociolinguistic Perspectives on English Language Teaching

Eva Fung-Kuen LAI

Abstract

This paper reviews the theoretical background for the alternative approach in English language teaching proposed in the Education Commission Report of the Working Group on Language Proficiency. First, the theoretical constructs of Cummins' Common Underlying Proficiency (CUP) model are examined. Two studies designed to test the CUP model are reported and findings are discussed with reference to the Hong Kong situation. Second, the Critical Period Hypothesis is described. Though there is no support for this hypothesis, the elements of time-on-task and cognitive maturity are brought up and weighted in the local context. Third, the sociolinguistic perspective of English teaching is investigated through two surveys, one with junior secondary students as subjects and the other with English teachers as subjects. Having considered all the research findings relating to age for English to be taught as a foreign language, it is suggested that English teaching be started early rather than late in Hong Kong. To improve on the current situation, the English teaching practice should be examined and an effective and enjoyable curriculum should be designed for the primary children.

摘要

這篇文章主要是介紹「語文能力工作小組報告書」提出小四才開始教授英語的理論基礎,文中介紹加拿大雙語教育家甘明志的語言能力轉移學說,也介紹有效啟蒙英語年齡的推理。文章接着介紹兩個以中英雙語學員為研究對象的理據,又介紹兩個英語學習態度的調查報告。最後,根據理論與本地研究數據,文章提出英語學習宜早不宜遲,但英語教學法則有待改善,才能使小學生有效地學習有趣的英語。