English is an important language in Hong Kong, an international city located on the southern coast of the People's Republic of China that, for over 150 years to 1997, was a British colony. This paper describes and analyses changes in teaching methodologies in the English language curriculum formally proposed for Hong Kong junior secondary schools from 1975 to the present day, to study how the curriculum developments reflect interrelated social, political, economic, and cultural factors of the period and the ideology in educational circles that was pre-eminent at the time. It finds that, while the rhetoric of the curriculum has changed in accordance with shifts in socio-economic conditions, the curriculum content and pedagogical approaches implemented in the classrooms have proved more constant across time. The paper suggests some explanations for the resultant curricula tensions.[Copyright © Lulu Press Inc.].