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'local' int'l vs. 'true' int'l

  1. #1
    miaka is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Chai Wan

    'local' int'l vs. 'true' int'l

    it has been a long time since i've been on this forum. we plan to return to hk summer or fall of 2011. by then my children will be 3 & 4. i'd really like to shop around and visit preschools and primary schools rather than make a decision based on websites. would it be too late to apply if i take this route?

    also, i would like my children to be bilingual or even trilingual (eng/canto/mandarin) as i'm american and my husband is local. however, i absolutely fear the hk local system bc my step son (16) had gone to a local int'l school and his language skills are poor in all 3 subjects. i fear the old school teacher centered teaching methods. does anyone have any thoughts they can share? have there been any changes in the last few years? are the prestegious int'l schools my only hope?

    i would like my children to learn academically and also become independant thinkers who are imaginative and won't be afraid to think outside the box. the people products i've encountered in hk are drone-ish and definitely not what i want for my children.

  2. #2
    slamdunk is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Applications for preschools and kindies generally are made roughly in the autumn of the year before they start. i.e you can apply later this year for your kids to start around Sep 2011. You may have time to visit/attend open days if you're visiting before you move back but probably best to find out the admission policies/timing including age cut off if your children are born in the latter few months of the year as this can affect year of entry.

    We have the same concerns as you do re. language proficiency - we are an English first Cantonese (far) second speaking family and hope for bi/tri-lingualism too for our kids. I think the language of the extended family and social network the children are exposed to (while in HK) will also affect language use and 'choice' and proficiency.

    Our 3 y/o daughter is attending kindy at Victoria (Belchers) - which gives an enquiry based learning environment and in the 'tri-lingual stream'. Her main homeroom teacher speaks Cantonese, the 2nd homeroom teacher is a native english speaker (an Englishwoman) who is with the class (around 20 kids) all the time taking turns doing class or smaller group activities and they have a daily short session of mandarin sing song etc.

    So far we've been really pleased with our daughter's progress in Cantonese & Mandarin (as that's where our home life/family and social is lacking) and as we are still undecided about primary schools (not much time left to decide for some of the international ones now!), Victoria has provided a great middle ground for us (and many other parents) while we decide. Her classmates are mostly local and some with parents who speak English to their kids.

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