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International or Local

  1. #1
    mrs momo is offline Registered User
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    Question International or Local

    I can’t read and write any Chinese but my conversational Cantonese is very fluent. Should I enrol my baby in a local or international school? If I do decide on local, I will be sending my baby to Victoria for nursery and for international I will be choosing Woodlands. My husband is 100% HK Chinese so his English is only average. I converse mainly in English to my baby but when I am with my husband or his family, I would use both. I know it is very early to plan now but we are going to move because of schooling so I want to make the right choice. I have been told there is no turning back once I make my decision. My friends have advised me to choose local schools and save the money for tuition instead.

    I want to be able to assist my baby in his homework. I do not mind the strict rigor of local schools and I do want my baby to learn Chinese but the thought of not being able to assist him in his daily schooling makes me feel hopeless. We have no intentions of leaving HK as we have a business here. What to do?

  2. #2
    csy
    csy is offline Registered User
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    hey Mrs. Momo,

    It depends if your child wants to stay in HK, China or other countries after college.
    But now the scenario is learning how to read, speak and write chinese are definitely an advantage. even my nephew who grew up in US has been travelling a lot to China for work.
    My son is now studying in international school, but I am planning to hire a chinese teacher for him so that he can learn more chinese.

    Hope this will help in your decision! (My son used to study at Victoria too!!)



    csy

  3. #3
    spsmok is offline Registered User
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    Hi Mrs Momo,

    I have a somewhat similar situation here. My husband is not good in English and he really wants our daughter to go to international school so she'd have good English.

    I can read, write and speak Chinese, but I don't feel my Chinese is good enough to teach my daughter, or help her with school work. So I'll insist that she goes to a local school where she could learn from her teacher and classmates. There are so many places where you can learn English outside a proper school I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    Chinese is so difficult to learn, that I found myself lucky to learn it as a child. If you don't have certain level of Chinese, you wouldn't even be able to look up a word in a dictionary. And there are only 26 letters in the alphabet.

    I think if I keep track of my daughter's progress, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. CSY definitely has her point about learning Chinese nowadays, and especially if you're not planning to leave HK in a short time.

    Sandy

  4. #4
    HKfornow is offline Registered User
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    Mrs Momo, My son is in Victoria as well, and I think if you speak to some other locals, they would consider Victoria to be more International than local. Victoria is a bi-lingual school, so you have your choice of English/Cantonese or English/Putonghua. So your son in effect is getting his English reinforced as well as his chinese.

    I don't agree that there is no going back, that is too much pressure to put on you right now. I don't foresee any problems of your child getting into an international school since Victoria will be IB school soon anyway. I agree with the comments of the importance of Chinese in the future. I honestly believe it is much easier to learn english from different mediums (books, audio, TV, DVD, computer, etc.) than to learn Chinese.

  5. #5
    mrs momo is offline Registered User
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    Hi All, thankyou for your replies. I do agree that English is much easier to learn than Chinese. My Mandarin is still so hopeless that I feel like a complete idiot when I am travelling with my husband to Taiwan and China. I guess I will take the local route :):):) mmm... the money that I will save seems fairly attractive too. I guess we will just get tutoring in kindergarten and pray that everything will workout.

    Schooling is such a hassel in HK. I saw a little kid getting off a school bus tonight at 6, I wonder what time he finished. He goes to Victoria because I saw the sign on the bus and recognised his unitform. I would hate for my kid to sit on the school bus for more than an hr after school if he were being dropped off at the last stops. Now my next problem is moving to where, so we can get into a good local school. I have been told where you live will be taken into consideration for getting a place at a good school. Does that mean the school will judge your social status or they just prefer kids who stay nearby?

  6. #6
    Kiwi Family is offline Registered User
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    A quick question.... what about if we are both western and speak only very basic cantonese.
    Our son is 2 and learns to speak basic cantonese also. We would really like him to learn chinese but is it ok to send him to a local preschool, will he be welcomed?

  7. #7
    miaka is offline Registered User
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    how do you find out information about local pre schools and nurseries?

  8. #8
    kellyst is offline Registered User
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    Hi Kiwi Family,

    both my husband and i are fluent in both Cantonese and English. and we also feel the importance of chinese education when she's young, although i despise the rigor of local schools, so i'm very torn.

    i'm only starting to look into this (daughter is 1y.o.), so i speak as someone who was schooled here, not as an experienced parent. i think any of the basic bilingual schools (like Victoria) would welcome you. as bilingual schools (which are most kindergartens nowadays anyways) have a mixture of both English and Chinese. While having the opportunity for you to communicate in English with the school, also has a chance for your son to learn Chinese. but it might be more difficult for you as he gets older, when the Chinese gets more complicated and he needs more help from you. maybe you can then get a tutor or outside help at that point ;-) i think it's great that you're trying to expose your son to learn this while he is young.

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