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Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between physics achievement and language of instruction in a situation where instruction was in the second language of both students and teachers. One hundred and seventy-six grade ten physics students (first language was Chinese) were selected from four classes of two secondary schools in Hong Kong. For three months (with four lessons per week), two classes of students learned the content material (light and sound) in Chinese and two classes learned the material in English. Group differences were controlled by using individual aptitude scores as covariates in the analysis. There were no differences in achievement, students' motivation, and effort spent in physics in that controlled teaching period. This was probably because the Anglo-Chinese group was sufficiently proficient in English so they did not encounter additional difficulty in learning physics when compared with the Chinese group.