Date
17 August 2017
In all, 6,759 day school students, scored a 3 in English but 2 or below in Chinese in this year's university entrance exams. Photo: HKEJ
In all, 6,759 day school students, scored a 3 in English but 2 or below in Chinese in this year's university entrance exams. Photo: HKEJ

Students stumble at Chinese language barrier

Chinese proved to be a stumbling block for many students taking this year’s Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exams, with 10.6 percent making the English grade while failing to meet minimum university entry requirements for Chinese.

Chinese language teachers said more students have been missing the mark in Chinese than English in recent years and schools should help students get a better grounding in Chinese.

Students have to score at least a 3 in both English and Chinese and 2 in mathematics and liberal studies to get into university. A score of 3 typically reflects adequate knowledge and understanding of the curriculum and the ability to apply the concepts and skills appropriately in different familiar situations.

In all, 6,759 day school students, scored a 3 in English but 2 or below in Chinese. That share was up from 8.6 percent last year, according to data from the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority.

Ming Pao quoted Man Kiu College Chinese language teacher Choy Tsz-pui as saying that the ratio of students getting at least a 3 in Chinese this year dropped even though the paper was easier than last year. Choy said it could take about six years for the pass rate to climb again because the students might not have gained a good foundation in middle school.

Chinese University vice president Hau Kit-tai said universities might need to lower the entry barrier if the number of students falls but demand for graduates rises, the report said.

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