1994．第9卷第1期（Vol. 9 No. 1）．pp. 1523
Words that Matter in Science: A Study of Hong Kong Students’ Comprehension of Non-technical Words in Science
P. K. TAO（杜秉祺）
This paper reports on an investigation into Hong Kong students' comprehension of 45 non-technical words commonly used in science. A total of 4644 Secondary 4, 5 and 6 students in a randomized sample of 46 schools, stratified by school type and area, participated in the study. The results showed that many students did not correctly comprehend a large proportion of the words, confused them with words that were phonetically or graphologically simnilar and even took them for their antonyms. Such poor performance raises doubts as to whether the majority of Hong Kong students have attained a 'threshold level' of competence in English to benefit from learning science in English.