The Symposium draws together scholars, researchers and educators to exchange recent findings in the field of Childhood Bilingualism and Heritage Language Acquisition.

Established in 2008, the Childhood Bilingualism Research Centre (CBRC) has nurtured generations of students and researchers as undergraduate, MA, MPhil and PhD students and postdoctoral fellows who have worked on topics in child bilingual and multilingual development, second language acquisition and more recently heritage language acquisition. This will be a special occasion to look at the highlights of CBRC's growth and development over the years and celebrate its 10th Anniversary.

The first day of the symposium (Friday 14 Dec) will be held on CUHK-Shatin campus and the second day of the symposium (Saturday 15 Dec) at the Shenzhen Research Institute (SZRI). On 15 December, an outreach panel on language development and bilingualism in early childhood is organized where invited speakers will address issues of general interest to parents, educators and the public such as how to nurture bilingual children.

Prof. Maria Polinsky, University of Maryland, and Prof. Lee Cher Leng, National University of Singapore will give keynote speeches at the symposium.

University of Maryland

LEE Cher Leng
National University of Singapore


Angel CHAN
Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Xiangjun DENG
Shenzhen University

Elaine LAU
Chinese University of Hong Kong

Pauline LEE
Chinese University of Hong Kong

University of Hong Kong

Ziyin MAI
Chinese University of Hong Kong

Peggy MOK
Chinese University of Hong Kong

Richard WONG
Education University of Hong Kong

Virginia YIP
Chinese University of Hong Kong

Yanhui ZHANG
University of Nottingham Ningbo China


Day 1

14 December 2018 (Friday)
RM220, Fung King Hey Building,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

9:30am - 9:45am

Opening remarks:
Prof. Virginia Yip and Prof. Stephen Matthews, CBRC Directors  

9:45am - 10:30am

Keynote speaker: 
Prof. Maria Polinsky, University of Maryland
Title: Heritage Languages and Heritage Linguistics: Present and Future

10:30am - 11:00am  Coffee break
11:00am - 11:30am Invited speaker:  
Prof. Peggy Mok
Title: The acquisition of prosody by Cantonese-English bilingual children
11:30am - 12:00pm

Invited speaker:  
Prof. Angel Chan
Title: Assessing the Speech and Language Abilities of South Asian Bilingual Minority Children in Hong Kong

12:00pm - 12:45pm   Sharing session:
Current and former CBRC members
1:00pm - 2:00pm     Lunch
2:30pm - 5:00pm     Business meeting
6:00pm Conference dinner (by invitation)


Day 2

15 December 2018 (Saturday)
Yueli Lecture Theatre (约礼讲室), RM319, The Chinese University of Hong Kong,
Shenzhen Research Institute, Shenzhen

10:00am - 10:15am  Opening remarks:
Prof. Virginia Yip
10:15am - 11:00am

Keynote speaker:
Prof. Lee Cher Leng, National University of Singapore
Title: Grandmother’s Tongue: Decline or revival of Teochew dialect in Singapore?

11:00am - 11:30am Invited speaker: 
Prof. Stephen Matthews, University of Hong Kong
Title: From childhood bilingualism to trilingualism
11:30am – 12:00pm Invited speaker: 
Prof. Richard Wong, Education University of Hong Kong
Title: What can we learn from Hong Kong kindergarten children's speech errors in English?
12:15pm - 2:00pm Lunch
2:30pm - 5:00pm Symposium Panel on Language Development and Bilingualism in Early Childhood

Invited speakers: 
Deng Xiangjun (Shenzhen University),
Elaine Lau (CUHK),
Pauline Lee (CUHK),
Ziyin Mai (CUHK)
Richard Wong (EdUHK), 
Virginia Yip (CUHK),
Zhang Yanhui (University of Nottingham Ningbo China)  

6:00pm Conference dinner (by invitation)


Registration is free but is required. Please send your name and contact information to the  Childhood Bilingualism Research Centre (email: and let us know whether you will join the event on 14 and/or 15 December. The program will be posted soon.

Online Registration


Day 1 - 14 December, 2018:  

Campus map of the Chinese University of Hong Kong: print version
The University provides regular free school bus services from the MTR station to the main campus throughout the day.

Day 2 - 15 December, 2018:

Childhood Bilingualism Research Centre
Email: cbrc at cuhk dot edu dot hk
Tel: (852) 3943-1995

Organizing Committee:

Virginia Yip (CUHK, Committee Chair)
Ziyin Mai (CUHK)
Elaine Lau (CUHK)
Stephen Matthews (HKU)


The symposium is organized by CBRC and co-organized by University of Cambridge-CUHK Joint Laboratory for Bilingualism, CUHK-Peking University-University System of Taiwan Joint Research Centre for Language and Complexity, Bilingualism and Language Disorders Laboratory (SZRI) and Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages, CUHK. The symposium is co-sponsored by the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development (SIE) Fund.