EARTH/HKLNA - A List Announcement

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Aug 9 16:16:48 UTC 2004

Dear List Member,

Twelve years on the ground in East Asia has taught me that the world's
universal English language (UEL) requirement is failing in its mission.

In the simplest of terms there are too many people learning English to
provide adequate training, and there is insufficient real demand to
help sustain what has been learned after they have been trained.

Moreover, there are too few people learning the languages of
non-English speaking peoples to provide a sufficiently strong
foundation for good cross-cultural communication and understanding. As
a result the overall quality of the English language has suffered, East
Asian and other languages of the world have been neglected, and
understanding between peoples of Asia and the West has been impaired.

The obvious solution to this problem is to remove the artificial demand
for English language created by Asian national governments and the
language's global proponents. Unfortunately, those who are in the best
position to remove this excess demand and consequent oversupply of poor
quality English are the least inclined to do so.

In order to start the ball rolling I have created the Hong Kong
Language Needs Assessment (HKLNA) Project. Before the project can get
off the ground, however, it must receive support from reputable people
within the world community. To this end I would like to bring to your
attention two, upcoming, Hong Kong events.


The 18th International Language in Education Conference
Paper abstract deadline: September 30, 2004

With regard to this event I am seeking to organize a colloquium that
would include public policy makers and researchers concerned about the
wasteful application of UEL requirements across East Asia and the world
as a whole. Proponents of the UEL requirment that could constructively
address specific problems introduced by the HKLNA-Project would also be
welcome. Please see the below URL for more information.

Hong Kong Language Needs Assessment Project

2005 Pacific Rim Conference
Western Economic Association International
Hong Kong Economics Association
Paper abstract deadline: September 15, 2004
Panel deadline: August 15, 2004

With regard to the second event I am seeking to organize a panel
session that would address problems of the economics of education,
culture, and/or language, as they apply to globalism and regionalism in
the world today. Papers that address problems similar to those found at
either of the following two URLs would be especially welcome

Hong Kong Language Needs Assessment Project

English or languish - A severe case of market distortion

Hong Kong’s Bottom Line

Please pass this email along to others whom you think would be
interested in either of the above two conferences. Let us not miss this
golden opportunity to make multidisciplinary studies count where the
world is in so much need of help.


R. A. Stegemann
HKLNA-Project Director
EARTH - East Asian Research and Translation in Hong Kong
Tel/Fax: 852 2630 0349

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