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English is not very good

  1. #1
    andymom is offline Registered User
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    Unhappy English is not very good

    I'm overseas chinese, hubby's Chinese. Since I can't speak Chinese, we communicate in English. To our 16 months son, I speak in English and hubby speaks to him in Mandarin. Problem is, our English is not very good since English is our second and third language. Not only our vocabularies are limited, our grammar is not good too.
    I want to put my son to an international school (bc I will not be able to help him with his homeworks if he goes to a local school).
    Do you think I have to send my son to an English class before he goes to kindergarten? Or will his English be good once he goes to an international school?
    Now he talks mostly in English with some words in Mandarin (he can talks more than 500 words, already talks in short sentences, knows some colours&shapes, and his books are all in English).

  2. #2
    jools is offline Registered User
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    Hi andymom,
    If your post is anything to go by, your English is just fine. I'm a primary school teacher, who has taught lots of children for whom English was an additional language. The best time to learn languages is when you are a child and therefore surrounding your child with English speakers will enable him to learn the language.

    I used to teach in the East End of London and I rememeber a little boy coming to us directly from China, with no English at all. He spoke Mandarin, whilst the other Chinese children we had in the class spoke Cantonese. So he was completely on his own. He left us after a year, as his father's job was relocated. He was speaking English clearly and also reading and writing to a good standard for his age. In his situation he had to learn the language to get his needs met.

    It's a personal opinion but I wouldn't send him for extra English classes, once he is immmersed in English at the International School he should be fine. He is only sixteen months old and as I said a child's capacity for learning languages is enormous.

    Hope that helps.

    Jools

  3. #3
    shaz is offline Banned
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    i agree with what jools says on this one.

  4. #4
    andymom is offline Registered User
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    Thanks!!!

    It's just that sometimes I feel that my English is not good. I can teach my son daily conversation, but I'm at lost at grammar and have a limited vocabularies. While reading to my son, actually I learn a lot of vocabularies from his books, too. But I'm still afraid that his pronunciation is not good.

    Thanks for your input. I'll try to teach him as much as I can before he goes to kindergarten next year.

  5. #5
    HKfornow is offline Registered User
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    Andymom,
    I'm in a pretty similar situation as you, except my big weakness is my Mandarin, which I'm trying to teach my son. He is 22 months old, and while he understands most of what I say, he has not felt the need to speak much as of yet either in English or Mandarin. I figure since English will be spoken in school, plus if he starts watching Barney & Sesame Street, etc., I'm not pushing the English at all.

    I think your son's vocabulary of over 500 words is pretty awesome!! So, I think you've got nothing to worry about.

  6. #6
    janeyhk is offline Registered User
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    Try Paragon in Causeway Bay. It provides great preparation for kids at all levels and has students from both local an international schools.

  7. #7
    andymom is offline Registered User
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    I tried to make him watch Sesame Street, but he could last only for a couple of minutes. So, after 2 days I stopped trying.
    It's a good thing that we read for him since he was a baby, so he likes to read and gets some of his vocabularies from them. And he likes to listen to children songs when he eats, hopefully he'll learn the correct way to pronounce the words thru them.

  8. #8
    hart is offline Registered User
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    andymom,

    I think it's good that your son doesn't like watching TV as he's only 16 months old. My daughter used to love books but since I introduced baby videos to her, she was addicted to them and gradually lost interest in books. It took me quite a while to rekindle her interest in reading and now she's doing ok. While every child is different, I'd say you'd better wait till he's a bit older to introduce TV to him. And don't worry, your son will pick up a lot from you, his books and kindergarten. Kids have their ways to learn and you may be surprised how fast they can pick up the language.

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