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local or international?? hurry!!

  1. #25
    Vivian is offline Registered User
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    So, at Singapore school, they teach kids simplified Chinese? but i'm teaching my daughter traditional Chinese, because i think it's good for her to learn the characters she can easily find in her daily life first, then teach her simplified Chinese later when she reachs four or five.

    Another issue about language, which some parents have mentioned before, is the age limit for a kid to learn a foreign lauguage. say, do you think after three years old, or older, he or she can learn a new foreign lauguage and speak it very well?

  2. #26
    hart is offline Registered User
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    Unhappy A big struggle - local or international

    We wanted to send our girl to international school but have also applied for St. Catherine’s (a local kindy in Kowloon Tong) as back up. Now my husband wants to send her to St. Catherine’s in Sept (K1) so that she can learn Chinese. His argument is, our girl is fluent in English (she speaks English because we speak English to her) and if she goes to an international kindy now, she will never learn Chinese. He believes that after the 2 or 3 years, we can still apply for an international primary school (haven’t decided which one). I doubt whether it is possible.

    While I heard that the English standard at St. Cat’s is high but when compared with international kindies, there should be a gap. Although my girl speaks English now, it is likely that once she starts school and when her classmates all speak Cantonese, she’ll prefer Cantonese and lose the English? Or will she be able to speak fluent Cantonese in addition to English? It’s hard to say. Let’s say she can maintain her spoken English, but what about her reading and writing skills? I’m not sure if she’d be ready for an international primary then. During the interview for international Primary, is the child’s reading and writing skills also tested?

    If my girl didn’t learn Chinese in an international kindy, will she still be considered for international primary that offers Chinese like Phoenix?

    Any parents here whose children went to local kindies and got admitted to international primary please share your experience. Any views are appreciated.

  3. #27
    shaz is offline Banned
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    I wish i could answer that question for you. From my own experience kids can lose one of their languages quite easily. Like we were in UK for 3 weeks and my ds had almost lost his Chinese. He spent his first K1 in local kinddie and after i came back from my uk trip i decided to change to an international one. His English is fluent now and his canto. is so so. When he was in canto. school his canto. was v. good and english was so so and he has a british mother - how can that be??? anyway, i tell you st. catherines is not that good in terms of its facilties - v. old and there and too many kids at that kinddie, i wonder how the kids get any attention there. moving on, i know that the international schools and local english speaking ones do require a very good command in english as part of the interview and in most instances their scroing is based on it. dont know if reading/writing is tested. most int'l schools offer simple madarin lessons or other languages if pref such as french. i am stuck myself as to where to send my ds to primary, i mean we have all the int'l ones but they are 2 expensive and increase even more in secondary, as my ds is an english speaker i have limited options but to maybe try those other local style schools such as PLK which are taught in english offering canto. lessons too.

    i have a friend who's child did her 1st 2 years in international and then went to a local kinnie in her last k3 year and by then she didn't seem to have too much of a problem, so i dont know. its a real headache and i wish at times i was just in uk so i wouldn't have to worry about this whole school system here.

  4. #28
    Roger is offline Registered User
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    My son picked his Cantonese back up after 8 months in the UK and is now fluent in all 3. However, if he hadn't gone to the local kindy, he wouldn't have learnt it, even though he is a HK citizen. Hart, are you both expats or are you mixed or both Chinese? If one of the latter 2, why don't one of you speak English and the other Chinese? That way the little one maintains both languages. I would recommend sticking to the local system if you intend staying here for any length of time as a knowledge of Chinese is really important now that China is becoming a more powerful country. In addition, native English speakers tend to end up monolingual due to the eagerness of others to learn their language, leaving them at a disadvantage.
    As for local schools, I am told the Christian & Missionary Alliance one behind Landmark North is very good, and has good English standards as well. However, we native speaker families will always have to give the kids some extra English if we use the local system.

  5. #29
    shaz is offline Banned
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    I get where your coming from Roger BUT there is no way my son could attend the local stream as i can't help him with the heaps of homework - my hubby is to busy to help too as its a full time job the homework.

  6. #30
    kmazurk is offline Registered User
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    pre-school choices

    I am writing a story about pre-schools -- the pros and cons and would like to interview people who currently have children in them, and have something to say about early childhood education in Hong Kong, and the interview process children must go through to get into some primary schools. If you are interested in talking to a journalist, please contact me at 2831-2529.

  7. #31
    howowow is offline Registered User
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    We felt it was important to set the tone at home right from the day dot - So I've been speaking to Sophie, our 5-mth-old, in English while my wife has been using Cantonese. On top of that, my grandma and my parents, who live next door, speak to the poor thing in Hakka! Parenting is new to both of us, but it's early days and we hope to go on as we started. (However, I've started being self-conscious and worrying about what Sophie will think when she hears me speak Cantonese, e.g., to her Mum, but not to her! Has anyone had this worry, and how did it pan out for you?)

    Anyway, I'm a BBC with Cantonese and Hakka as my 2nd and 3rd languages. My wife was born in China but moved to HK when she was young, so Cantonese, Putonghua and English are her 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

    Apparently, most children are able to assimilate up to five languages easily, so I won't worry about Sophie maybe losing one or two of them over the years - they can pick up fluency in any language up till age 8 or 9 (however, from personal experience, I suspect this does not apply to reading and writing Chinese). http://www.bilingualbabies.org/modul...hp?cat_id=2#q2

    As for schooling, in today's HK it has to be the less-stressful option despite the costs - To me, it doesn't matter what language Sophie uses as long as she has an education which allows her to grow happily.
    Last edited by howowow; 02-19-2005 at 01:58 AM.

  8. #32
    Roger is offline Registered User
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    I am white British with a Mandarin speaking wife. Our son speaks to me in English and his mum in Mandarin. He also speaks Cantonese at kindergarten and is learning to read and write in both languages. He has no problem with the fact that I speak Mandarin to my wife, but objects strongly if either of us speak to him in the "opposite" language or in Cantonese. I don't think you'll have a problem.

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