Over the last decade, the number of ethnic minority residents in Hong Kong has increased significantly. Apart from facing cultural differences, they also have to rise to the challenges due to language barrier. To help them integrate into the community, enhancing their capacity in the use of Chinese language is highly essential.
SCOLAR has launched successive projects to cater for the needs of non-Chinese speakers. Since the 2012/13 school year, SCOLAR has launched the District-based Project on Supporting Non-Chinese Speaking (NCS) Children in Learning Chinese to encourage NCS children to start learning Chinese language at an early stage and to arouse their interests in doing so. Furthermore, the Vocational Chinese Language Programme for NCS School Leavers was launched in the 2015/16 school year. Post-secondary institutions/training organisations were invited to organise vocational Chinese Language courses for NCS school leavers. The courses aimed at enhancing NCS school leavers' capability in listening, speaking, reading and writing in Chinese and helping them obtain qualifications recognised by Hong Kong Qualification Framework so as to enhance their employability.
Meanwhile, "Project for Developing Chinese Learning and Teaching Materials for Non-Chinese Speakers in Hong Kong" was launched to enhance teachers' effectiveness in teaching non-Chinese speakers Chinese language as well as to provide them with self-learning tools for learning Chinese language. The recent Chinese language learning and teaching materials developed for non-Chinese speakers include "Learning Chinese with the News" App and Chinese Cultural Readings for NCS Students: Historical Personage.
The Education Bureau has launched the Professional Enhancement Grant Scheme for Chinese Language Teachers (Teaching Chinese as a Second Language), funded under the Language Fund, since the 2014/15 school year on a pilot basis. The Scheme aims at encouraging serving Chinese language teachers, through the provision of grant, to pursue structured part-time programmes on teaching Chinese to NCS students so as to equip them with the necessary pedagogical knowledge and skills as well as inter-cultural understanding in teaching Chinese to NCS students.