English as Anomaly: The ‘Unofficial’ Language of Macao S.A.R., China.
With the return of Macau to Chinese sovereignty after four hundred years as a Portuguese administered entity, the territory was designated a Special Administrative Region of China with a high degree of autonomy enshrined in the Basic Law. With regard to culture and social affairs, the Macau SAR is authorized in Article 121 to formulate policies on education including policies regarding the educational system and its administration, the language of instruction, the allocation of funds, the examination system, the recognition of educational qualifications and the system of academic awards so as to promote educational development. Article 122 states that: “educational institutions of all kinds in Macao may continue to operate. All educational institutions in the Macao Special Administrative Region shall enjoy their autonomy and teaching and academic freedom in accordance with law. Educational institutions of all kinds may continue to recruit staff and use teaching materials from outside the Macao Special Administrative Region. Students shall enjoy freedom of choice of educational institutions and freedom to pursue their education outside the Macao Special Administrative Region.” The authors of this paper will highlight the presence of the English language in Macau by its anomalous intrusion into the economic, cultural, and social affairs of the ‘special’ status of the territory. This will be further extrapolated on here with reference to the status of Portuguese in Macau and the case of the Macanese creole.