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Routledge_Primary School English-Language Education in Asia

Primary School English-Language Education in Asia

From policy to practice

In Asia, English is no longer a foreign language but a key resource for education, government, business and the general public. Whereas thirty years ago, British and American experts believed that the best way to improve the quality of English teaching was to cancel any programs below the secondary level, Asian nations as well as European are now introducing English in primary school. But there are major obstacles to overcome: the training of enough local teachers or the hiring of English speakers, the preparation of suitable teaching materials, the development of useful tests, and the design of workable curriculums. The chapters in this book, written by leading English-teaching professionals in seven Asian countries and originally delivered at the 2010 annual conference of Asia TEFL which took place in Hanoi, Vietnam, describe and analyze national policies and how they are implemented. The coverage is wide: China with its huge number of students learning English, Japan working to make the transition from elementary to secondary school seamless, Singapore continuing to use English as medium of instruction for its multilingual population, Korea developing English education policies to recognize the increased role of English alongside the national language, India building on its colonial past to make English an economic resource, Vietnam fitting English into a program of national rebuilding, and Taiwan spreading its English teaching outside the national capital. This is not a report of the views of outside experts, but of local experiences understood by local scholars of international standing. Policy makers, educators, researchers and scholars will be able to gain valuable insights from Asian experts.

Mr Ho Swee Huat

Mr Ho Swee Huat is the Founder and Managing Director of Abacus Assets Advisors Pte Ltd. Before starting the company, he had an established career in the banking industry, with 20 years of experience in Singapore, Hong Kong and New York.

He was an Independent Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of CapitaCommercial Trust Management LTD from 2004 to 2013.

He is the current Chairman of Autism Association (Singapore) which he co-founded with a group of parents in 1992. He is also Vice-Chairman of Eden School, a special school for children with autism.

Mr Ho holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Liberal Arts degree in Economics from Hamilton College, USA.

He has been a member of the Board of the Foundation since its incorporation.