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Q & A

 

Q and A

Purpose of Language Proficiency Requirement (LPR)

Q1.
Why do we need LPR?
A1.
An effective language teacher should be proficient in the use of the language, knowledgeable about the language structure and subject content, and effective in the use of language for pedagogical purposes. The LPR provides an objective reference against which to gauge a teacher''s proficiency in the language he/she teaches. It is designed with gradations covering different levels of proficiency (from Levels 1 to 5). Level 3 represents the basic requirement.

Exemption

Q2.
Who can apply for exemption?
A2.
Teachers and prospective teachers with appropriate qualifications can apply for exemption from the LPR.
Q3.
If my qualifications are already included in the List of Qualifications Recognized for Exemption, do I still need to apply for exemption?
A3.
You will still need to go through the procedure to confirm eligibility.
Q4.
What is the procedure for applying for exemption?
A4.
There will be two calls for application for exemption every school year. Eligible teachers may forward their applications to the Education Bureau (EDB) directly or through school principals. The application must be accompanied by copies of all relevant documents including certificates and transcripts certified by the principal of the school in which the applicant is teaching. If all the necessary supporting documents are submitted with their applications, applicants will be informed of the results in about three months' time.
Q5.
If the qualifications are not included on the List of Qualifications Recognized for Exemption, how will the EDB decide on whether exemption would be granted to them?
A5.
A Vetting Committee on Exemption is set up to advise the Secretary for Education on whether qualifications not included in the List of Qualifications Recognized for Exemption, e.g. overseas degrees or degrees previously conferred by local tertiary institutes, should be considered for exemption.
Q6.
How long will the processing of application for exemption take? When should teachers forward their application for exemption?
A6.
The time required to determine an applicant's exemption status largely depends on the adequacy of documents submitted and the complexity of the case. Provided that applicants submit all the necessary supporting documents with the applications, they will be informed of the results individually in about three months. Each year there will be two calls for application for exemption, one at each school term.

Language Proficiency Assessment for Teachers (LPAT)

Q7.
Are teachers required to attain the language proficiency in all the papers in one and the same assessment?
A7.
It is not necessary for them to pass all papers in one sitting. In other words, they may attain the LPR in all papers in more than one sitting.
Q8.
When will the language proficiency assessment be held?
A8.
The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) will conduct the LPAT once annually. A separate circular memorandum will be issued to inform schools of the detail in due course.

New Teachers

Q9.
What are the arrangements for the new English/Putonghua teachers?
A9.
Newly appointed/deployed English/Putonghua teachers in the current school year, who are holding a permanent post in local public sector schools or private primary/secondary day schools offering a full curriculum and are not fully exempted from the LPR, should at least have met the LPR of all the papers except the paper on Classroom Language Assessment (CLA) prior to teaching the language subject. They will have to meet the LPR in CLA within the first year of their taking up the duties.

Other Issues

Q10.
By what criteria is a teacher deemed to have met the LPR?
A10.
A teacher is deemed to have met the Putonghua/English language proficiency requirement if he/she has met the following criteria:

Criteria for reaching LPR for English Teachers
The teacher has attained at least Level 3 in ALL the five papers in the LPR for English Teachers. Specifically, the teacher has to attain '3' or above in Reading and Listening. For Writing, Speaking and CLA, the teacher has to attain, in one sitting for each paper, '3' or above in all scales (see Note).

Note: Since the final result for a scale in the Writing, Speaking and CLA papers is the average of the levels awarded by two assessors, it is possible that a '2.5' will be awarded on a scale. For the purpose of attaining LPR, the teacher is considered to have attained the basic level in the paper concerned if s/he has achieved a '2.5' on one scale and a '3' or above in all other scales.

Criteria for reaching LPR for Putonghua Teachers
The teacher has attained at least Level 3 in ALL the four papers in the LPR for Putonghua Teachers. Specifically, the teacher has to attain '3' or above in Listening and Recognition, Pinyin, and Speaking. For CLA, the teacher has to attain, in one sitting, '3' or above in all scales (see Note).

Note: Since the final result for a scale in the CLA paper is the average of the levels awarded by two assessors, it is possible that a '2.5' will be awarded on a scale. For the purpose of attaining LPR, the teacher is considered to have attained the basic level in the paper concerned if s/he has achieved a '2.5' on one scale and a '3' or above in all other scales.

Q11.
By what criteria is a teacher deemed to have reached an overall Proficiency at Level 4 or above for English/Putonghua LPR
A11.
A teacher is deemed to have reached an overall Proficiency at Level 4 or above in English/Putonghua LPR if he/she has met the following TWO criteria:

Overall Proficiency at Level 4 or above in English LPR
The teacher has attained at least Level 3 in ALL the five papers in the LPR for English Teachers.  For Reading and Listening, the teacher has to attain '3' or above.  For Writing, Speaking and CLA, the teacher has to attain, in one sitting for each paper, '3' or above in all the scales of the respective papers; AND
The teacher has attained Level 4 or above in at least three papers. For Writing, Speaking and CLA, Level 4 or above is deemed to have been attained if more than half of the scales of the respective papers are scored, in one sitting for each paper, at '4' or above (i.e. having attained Level 4 or above in three or more scales in Writing and CLA and four or more scales in Speaking).

Overall Proficiency at Level 4 or above in Putonghua LPR
The teacher has attained at least Level 3 in ALL the four papers in the LPR for Putonghua teachers.  For Listening and Recognition, Pinyin, and Speaking, the teacher has to attain '3' or above.  For CLA, the teacher has to attain, in one sitting, '3' or above in all the scales of the paper; AND
The teacher has attained Level 4 or above in at least three papers.  For CLA, Level 4 or above is deemed to have been attained if more than half of the scales of the respective paper are scored, in one sitting, at '4' or above (i.e. having attained Level 4 or above in at least three scales in the paper).

Q12.
Does failing to meet the LPR affect a teacher's registration status?
A12.
No, failing to meet the LPR will not affect a teacher's registration status.

 

Last revision date: 24 March 2014
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