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Speak American English in Hong Kong

December 2013, 31
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American English in Hong Kong
After the first opium war of 1839-1842 Hong Kong became a colony of the British empire. Today Hong Kong is often described as “east meets west” when discussion the culture of the city. The education system also followed, all be it loosely the education system of the United Kingdom. But now there seems to be a growing number of children in Hong Kong who are learning how to speak English like an American instead of a British accent, which use to be the way. Parents believe that now it is more relevant that the English should be like American. Seventeen years ago just before Britain gave Hong Kong back to china Kowloons was established, it is a language school in Hong Kong, and now many rich mainlanders are travelling to Hong Kong to be educated, this is why there is now a demand to learn English the American way.

When the school first opened only forty students were learning there, but today, seventeen years later the school is at full capacity. Three hundred and fifty students now learn at this language institution. Just a short distance away from the school is also a “American English workshop” this has also gone from strength to strength in recent years, the trend to follow the American language. When it first opened twenty students a week attended and now only twelve months on, a hundred and eighty students attend weekly.

Today in Hong Kong there are lots of centres that are now specifically training the students that enrol there in American English, the tutoring that the centres offer are different to the government run schools. At these schools the pronunciation of the English taught depends on the accent of the English tutor who is teaching. The parents of the children who are pushing for their children to learn American English believe that the American English will lead to better jobs for them in the future, better prospects in western countries for their children if they learn American English as a pose to British English. Other reasons are that if they want to send their children to a college in the united states of America then learning American English will be more beneficial for them in the long run. Residents of Hong Kong and china who are wanting their children to be taught American English is also down to the popularity of the American culture and the businesses that are also entering Hong Kong via the immigration system that Hong Kong have set up in such a streamlined and efficient way.

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