information for global expats

Language Schools for Expats in Hong Kong

Submitted: July 2013

Thanks to 150 years of colonial British rule, it is possible to go about one’s daily life in Hong Kong through use of English only, which is predominantly the choice of expats from Western countries. Yet it is no surprise that there are numerous language schools which cater to persons who want to learn English or Cantonese, both of which are widely used by natives. For those with a desire to learn languages outside of these options, many language schools are also at your disposal.

It is difficult to give a definite range in terms of cost for a course of studies in a Hong Kong language school as they vary greatly depending on the number of lessons, level of the pupil and in some cases location. Most language schools also help students to find accommodation while here, with some even going as far as meeting you at the airport . In selecting a language school either for yourself or your family, you should be sure to ask about their teaching quality standards e.g. whether their teachers are NET qualified. NET (Native-speaking English Teacher) is the primary qualification for English language teachers in the public sector . Though most language schools are privately owned, being NET qualified speaks volume to the person’s ability to impart knowledge. A similar rule should be applied if one is considering learning Cantonese. Languages schools are not easily ranked as not all their students go on to write international English exams. However, you should ask the school to put you in touch with past or current students who would be able to testify to the strength of the school. Most language school incorporate some form of site-seeing into their teaching programmes which allows students to get an insight into Hong Kong’s culture and history. You should also enquire as to whether your prospective school offers such activities.

Additionally, you might find this blog (Hong Kong Language Schools - Which One's Best?) useful in determining which language school best suits you: https://www.squidoo.com/the-best-hong-kong-language-schools#module118571451

However, do not wait until you get to Hong Kong to improve your English or Cantonese. There is a wealth of free resources on the Internet to aid you on the journey. Particularly useful is the BBC Learning English website - https://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/. After all, if you are reading this article without the assistance of Google translate, it is fair to say you are well on your way to mastering English language.

If you are in Hong Kong and wish to learn a foreign language (a language other than English or Cantonese), there are a number of schools which offer such tuition. Language Schools in Hong Kong tend to focus on a wide range of languages rather than just those spoken by the natives, so you are guaranteed to find an institution which can cater to this desire. Some public universities have a ‘school of modern languages and culture’ with one such being The University of Hong Kong (https://www.smlc.hku.hk/). Other universities may have a similar department, varying in the languages and the levels at which they are offered.



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