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why my boy is not speaking in English?

  1. #1
    2010btt is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Hong Kong

    why my boy is not speaking in English?

    I think I need your help! My boy is too scared/shy with strangers. I hardly see he speaks with other adults. He never speaks in English although he can do.

    My boy is 3.5 year old (native Cantonese / goes to international school). He seems okay at home as I can see he often pretents to be a teacher and speaks in English (repeats what his school teacher did that day - He made full sentence and accents like English native). He often enjoys singing and dancing too at home. The problem is that he is too scared to talk to other people. He becomes frozen in front of any people other than family. Especially, when he saw a westerner (esp. in a new class like weekend activities), he cries at the gate of the door and never allows me to leave him. What's wrong? What makes him scared people (esp. westerners). He goes to the international school now and has good friends there but he mostly speaks Cantonese rather than English with friends. He is very happy playing with them. He understands and speaks English very well at home and he likes to speak English. He enjoys watching English catoon rather than Cantonese. Why he doesn't speak in English outside home? Is he still not confident in English or is it the matter of personality? His school teacher told me that he seldom speaks in English with the teacher too (answering just nod his head). He is perfectly okay at home. A bit worry that he will not speak out in any interview in the future. Can anyone give me any advice? Anyone has similar experience? Can you please share with me? fyi - I also brought him to many playgroup / gathering since he was 15 months. don't know why????

    Last edited by 2010btt; 01-13-2010 at 05:54 PM.

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    he's shy. it will take time to gain the confidence to speak to strangers.

    my son, a native English speaker is very shy, too. that's just his personality.

    my daughter is not usually shy but there are occasions that she becomes so.

    don't push too hard and just encourage him to speak.

    eg. yesterday at the dr office, the doctor gave my little girl (will be 3 yrs in 3 weeks) a little bag of vitamins/candies. she wouldn't say "thank you" so i took them and told her that she could have them after she said it. she said thank you very quietly and we moved on. i didn't make a big deal of it.

  3. #3
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    South District

    agree with carang...don't force it, expressive language is much more difficult than receptive language, it will just take it him time to gain confidence in expressing himself.

    as for the interview, i am sure they are looking for more than just being able to express yourself properly, a general understanding of the conversation (through gestures and action), politeness, being able to share, working well on your own, etc. are other things I'm sure they would look for too.

  4. #4
    Neha is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mid Levels, Hong Kong

    If u want u can check the communications class at kids gallery.

  5. #5
    lottieclee is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hong Kong

    2010btt... when you say you speak english at home, you are guys native english speakers? Like no accent, sounds like foreigners?

    Sometimes, children do not respond in a language other than their mother tongue at a young age because of the accent. We don't know why. My son, 3 y.o., although mainly english, has exposures to Mandarin, Spanish and cantonese. We used a different approach in teaching him languages. However, he refuses to speak cantonese. When I ask him why. He said it's difficult.

    This tells me the child prefers to use the language that he is comfortable with and get a grasp on.

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