Location of Repository

Stakeholder experiences of a dual-language school: a case study of a private international school in Hong Kong

By Timothy John Fryer


Many international schools around the world aim to produce ‘internationally minded’\ud students by providing English language international education. However, a problem often arises as they also aim to incorporate the language and culture of the host country in the life of the school. Such dual aims are complex to achieve and this study explores the effectiveness of their implementation at a dual-language, private international school in Hong Kong. The case Secondary school aims to provide a dual-language education in English and Mandarin and develop global citizens who appreciate both Chinese and Anglo-Western cultural traditions. However, it is questionable whether the dual-language,\ud dual-culture goals are achievable, and the research focuses on the perceptions of students, parents, senior leaders and teachers of the relative success of the school in achieving its goals. The Main Research Question asks, “What do the three main stakeholder groups (students, parents, senior leaders/teachers) expect and experience from the dual-language approach and the international education ethos at the Mandarin International School in Hong Kong?” The study employs a qualitative research approach within the interpretive\ud paradigm, using inductive methods to analyse data collected through semi-structured interviews conducted with eight members of each stakeholder group, selected through maximum variation sampling. \ud \ud All groups agreed that the case Secondary school was not dual-language, but an English\ud medium school with compulsory Mandarin and only the teachers/leaders perceived that the\ud dominance of English served the long-term goals of the students. The dual-language\ud commitment enriches the school, according to the parents and teachers/leaders, but the\ud students converse mainly in English and Cantonese, the vernacular of Hong Kong. The\ud parents were unhappy that Mandarin was not a lingua franca of the students and it is clear that Cantonese and the associated local culture further complicate the dual-language, dualculture dynamic

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/3963

Suggested articles



  1. (2003). A historical perspective in defining
  2. (2004). Applying the concept of ‘best practice’ to international schools, doi
  3. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory, doi
  4. (2000). Being International: student and teacher perceptions from an international school, doi
  5. (2006). Beyond Linguistic Purism in Language-in-education Policy and Practice: Exploring Bilingual Pedagogies in a Hong Kong Science Classroom, doi
  6. (2004). Bilingualism in East Asia, doi
  7. (2006). Bilingualism in International Baccalaureate programmes, with particular reference to international schools, doi
  8. (1991). Bilingualism: Exploring Language and Culture,
  9. (2007). Book Reviews: Bilingual Minds: Emotional Experience, Expression and Representation, doi
  10. (1988). Case Study research in Education: A Qualitative Approach,
  11. (2006). Civic service through schools: an international perspective, doi
  12. (2007). Competing identities, common issues: Teaching (in) doi
  13. (2000). Confucianism: A short introduction, Oxford: One world publications. doi
  14. (2007). Defining Internationalism through Standards,
  15. (1999). Designing qualitative research, doi
  16. (2000). Designing the learning-centred school: A cross-cultural perspective, doi
  17. (2005). Developing in Two Languages: Korean Children in America, doi
  18. (1993). Doing your research project, doi
  19. (2004). Dual language development and disorders: a handbook on bilingualism and second language learning, doi
  20. (2001). Dual Language Education, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters
  21. (2007). Editorial: ‘Five years on’, doi
  22. (2003). Education in the market place: Hong Kong’s International schools and their mode of operation, Hong Kong: doi
  23. (1996). Educational research: an introduction, White Plains: doi
  24. (1996). Effective School Management,
  25. (2004). Exploring Multilingualism in cultural contexts: towards a Notion of Multilinguality,
  26. (1993). Field Relations and the Problem of Authenticity in Researching Participants’ doi
  27. (2004). Four approaches to curriculum offered in International Schools,
  28. (2003). From international to intercultural, redefining the international school for a globalised world, doi
  29. (1996). Grounded theory: theoretical background,
  30. (2007). How well-prepared do international school teachers believe themselves to be for teaching in culturally diverse classrooms? doi
  31. (1994). Increasing the Generalizability of Qualitative Research, doi
  32. (2006). Intercultural education: theory and practice, doi
  33. (2006). Interculturalism as a paradigm for thinking about diversity, doi
  34. (2006). International education and cultural heritage: alliance or antagonism? doi
  35. (2004). International education and IB programmes - worldwide expansion and potential cultural dissonance, doi
  36. (1998). Introduction to Social Research Quantitative & Qualitative Approaches, doi
  37. (1998). Investigating national and organizational cultures in the context of the international school,
  38. (1996). Issues in bilingualism and biculturalism: a Hong Kong case study, doi
  39. (2004). Multi-lingual, but not making it in international schools, doi
  40. (2003). Multilingualism and Cosmopolitanism, doi
  41. (2004). Multilingualism in the English-speaking World: Pedigree of Nations, doi
  42. (2007). National identity, patriotism and studying politics in schools: a case study in Hong Kong, doi
  43. (1996). One Country, Two Systems, Three Languages, doi
  44. (2004). Perceptions of Being International: Differences between British Adolescents Living Abroad and those at Home,
  45. (1994). Qualitative Research and Psychological Theorizing, doi
  46. (2002). Qualitative Researching, doi
  47. (1992). Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement, doi
  48. (1993). Real world research: a resource for social scientists and practitioner researchers, doi
  49. (2005). Sociolinguistics: the study of speakers’ choices, doi
  50. (1994). Some Aspects of Multilingualism and Their Educational Implications, doi
  51. (2006). Student types, school types and their combined influence on the development of intercultural understanding, doi
  52. (1996). The background to language change in Hong Kong, doi
  53. (1967). The discovery of Grounded Theory: strategies for qualitative research, doi
  54. (2007). The intercultural sensitivity of secondary teachers in Hong Kong: a comparative study with implications for professional development, doi
  55. (2003). The International Baccalaureate: a case study on why students choose to do the IB,
  56. (2003). The Native Speaker: Myth and Reality, doi
  57. (2003). The Politics of Bilingualism: a reproduction analysis of the policy of mother tongue education in Hong Kong after doi
  58. (2003). The reification of International Education,
  59. (2000). The Research Interview,
  60. (1999). The significance of site-based practitioner research doi
  61. (1993). Understanding Organizations, doi
  62. (2003). What should international education be? From emergent theory to practice,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.