Teaching and Learning of Chinese Language: Principles and Strategies to cater for learning diversity


  • Shek Kam Tse


Majority of non-Chinese speaking young students (NCS) are studied in mainstream kindergartens. They are of ethnic groups, for instance, Pakistani, Indian, and Nepalese who are new immigrants or offspring of immigrants in the past. The Equal Opportunities Commission encourages the inclusion of NCS that study together with Chinese speaking students, for the sake of social inclusion in the long run. In recent years, the Education Bureau has allocated more resources in supporting NCS for early adaption to the local education system. However, its effect had yet to take effect. It is believed that managing individual learning differences is one of the major challenges.

The Chinese proficiency of NCS is generally lag behind of those with Chinese as mother tongue. Therefore, problems and complications arise as a result of the two groups of students studying in the same environment. Even among NCS, there are new immigrants and those born in Hong Kong, and they are dissimilar. While there are obvious cultural differences between ethnic minorities and local Hong Kong students, teachers are faced with challenges in handling these disparities. NCS learn Chinese in Hong Kong is not an easy task.

Regarding all these above, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust in collaboration with three Universities and two social welfare institutions, initiated the “C-for-Chinese” project. It supported NCS learning Chinese, as well as facilitated early social inclusion. The project developed differentiated school-based curriculum, differentiated teaching and learning materials, differentiated pedagogies and assessment, and varied support measures to kindergartens. It is able to alleviate the problem, and bridging the learning differences. This paper detailed research theories and design, data collection, research findings, and analysis of successful cases. The findings of this research could be applied in different settings internationally and be globally referenced.


Key words: Learning diversity, Differentiated pedagogy, NCS preschoolers, Learning Chinese as a second language, Effective Teaching.