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International or Local

  1. #25
    Vrindavan is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    >> after a year in an international school, the child should be near native speaker level. after a few years, they should be at a native speaker level. How else do you think they cope with the school work?

    i would be less optimistic on that. Unless there are at least a few native English speaking kids in the class.
    But so far majority of international school students in HK are not native English speakers.

    Yes it is possible for the kids to reach (near) native level, but it will takes much longer period based on this fact.

    >> Even if the international schools/ESF introduce Mandarin classes,

    they have Mandarin class all the time, what i mean is they are going to increase Mandarin/Chinese lessons significantly. The school hours are fixed, so time devoted to other subjects including English must be reduced.

    There are already many private English schools cater for this market, placing more weight on Chinese.
    Do you think international school need to do what the private schools are doing right now ?
    i don't think so.

    >> at what ages a child becomes proficient in speaking, reading and writing Chinese?

    P6 at least

  2. #26
    bbc mom is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    New Territories
    Thanks Carang and Vrindavan.

    Realistically we are resigned to the fact that our son may never become fluent in cantonese unless of course we remain in HK much longer. Even if he could attend weekend chinese classes in the UK, it’s going to be an uphill struggle, plus he’ll have enough on his plate learning french and german at school! I’m beginning to think we were too ambitious in the first place, and perhaps we should focus more on his day-to-day conversational cantonese instead.

  3. #27
    Blee is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Hong Kong
    bbc mom - I really think being in Hong Kong is a great chance for your baby to learn Chinese so make the best use of this time. Even if it is only 2 years, it doesn't hurt to let your baby learn some while he is here. Who knows you may end up staying here much longer or your baby may come back to Asia when he is older... it is better to have some foundation now and then later decide whether he needs to learn more or forget about it.

  4. #28
    run4fun is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Here is another option for those parents who haven't made up their mind on local or international.

    Many students at KCS are actually attending two schools. Some of my sons' classmate went to "CIS", "ESF", "Starters" or others for half day and send thier kids to KCS for half day. (I am not sure if this is suitable for eveyone as this could exhaust the kids.) But this allow you to have a better feel and it allows you to delay making your "FINAL DECISION" for several years.

    Before I made my final decision of attending the lcoal, I must admit that I did just the same, sent my son to 2 schools -Starters in the morning and KCS in the afternoon. To avoid making a hasty decision and regret later, I wanted to have a feel of both, and I wanted to see how well my son adapted in each of the environments.

    Since there were practically no homework during K1 and K2 and he had so much energy, the plan worked out very well. He had tons of fun. This also helps him to maintains his level of English. Anyway, at the end of his K2, I made my decision (based on the reason I have mentioned in the previous message), I stopped sending him to two schools in K3. Instead I switched him from half-day to full-day at KCS to prepare him for the whole day school in P1.

    The majority of the students in my son's class moves on to P1. I think around 20% of the kids left - some went to ESF, CIS, panese School, other local school like St. Joseph and I think one of the parents told me that her girl will be going to St. Paul.

    Hope the additional info helps. =) I agree it's no easy decision.
    Last edited by run4fun; 09-23-2006 at 02:33 AM.

  5. #29
    Blee is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Hong Kong

    Do the babies get confused?

    Hi moms out there, I have a question.

    I am the "English" person in the household. So when I teach my baby new words using some flashcards, I teach him in English. Such as "a cat", "a frog", one, two, three etc...

    But then our helper speaks Cantonese and when she plays with him with the same flashcards, she uses Cantonese. She also counts in Chinese with him.

    Will the baby be confused if I teach him "cat" and she teaches him "mao" (Cat in Chinese)?

  6. #30
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    no, he will say "cat' to you and "mao" to her...but at first he may get them mixed up. don't worry and keep it up!

  7. #31
    miaka is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Chai Wan
    dear mommies,

    first i want to say thank you for all the information everyone has contributed. i'm so glad to see this question raised. all of your replies have been very informative and helpful. i agree that learning chinese (canto or mand.) is much easier at a young age and fluency in eng. is much easier to pick up at a later age. however, my situation is a lil complex and hope to get some opinions.

    we are planning to send my step son to the states for high school and myself and the bb will accompany him for about 2-3 years while my husband remains in hk to work. by then bb will be pre-school/kindergarten age and probably attend kindergarten in the states. but i really want her to learn chinese as i believe it will be useful to her later in life and it will help her establish a good relationship w/ her hk relatives. so i want to bring her back to hk for primary school (at the very least)

    but after watching my step son go thru the local route of brute memorization and the pressures of exams, i'm hesitant to put the bb thru the same rigors. are there any "in between" options? i noticed that victoria in'l has a eng/canto bilingual route .... does anyone know if the students will become native or near native in canto?

    another debate that i'm having is regarding PTH. since bb will have the exposure to canto at home, living in hk and relatives, should the chinese focus be more on PTH instead while canto is secondary?

    any opinions/thoughts would be greatly appreciated. =)

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