This qualitative study investigates the language ideology of a groups of Chinese language teachers working in Hong Kong’s secondary schools when they teach ethnic minority students. Drawing on interview data, this study reports on how these teachers’ language ideologies are in accordance/discordance with dominant discourse, and in what ways their ideologies impact their teaching approach and attitudes towards the students’ heritage language and culture. Key findings indicate that instead of promoting homogeneity as a prerequisite for success, the teachers hold a pluralistic language ideology and outline the potential for ethnic minority students to become linguistic and cultural brokers between the heritage communities and mainstream society. An inconsistence was found between the teachers’ positive language attitude towards heritage language and their self-distancing from the heritage language learning and use in school contexts. The findings implied that teacher education courses could enable teachers, as active agents, to re-negotiate the separate language ideology of the language policy at the macro level, deconstruct it in classroom settings and develop knowledge and beliefs to challenge and resist the ideologies that sustain the marginalisation of heritage language and culture. Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.