Are the English textbooks for Hong Kong students’ responsible for poor DSE results?
While it is true that speaking skills are not easily improved by completing exercises written in textbooks, Hong Kong is actually a good environment for the student of English. There is free to air English language TV and radio, as well as inexpensive access to other forms of English (such as Netflix) and there are a large number of English speakers in the city.
Given that this is the case, a student who wants to be exposed to English is authentic settings has a lot of choice. The fact that so many students still do so badly at the DSE exams, including the speaking exams, cannot be blamed on the quality of the textbooks. Schools really need to encourage students to make good use of Hong Kong’s rich English environment and this should be the goal of all English faculties in local schools.
This approach would see a much better result when it comes to DSE grades than trying to revamp textbooks which don’t really provide the right context for appreciating English as a living language.