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Any experience with chinese medium??

  1. #1
    Lisainhk is offline Registered User
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    Any experience with chinese medium??

    Has anyone had experience putting their child straight into chinese-medium school straight up? Is it possible even though the parents don't speak Cantonese? I'm looking at the possibilities for my 10 month old. I've heard the waiting lists are massive. But I recently heard that it is possible for a foreign non-chinese speaking child to start at Chinese Medium as they soak up the language quickly. Any mums with experience in this? Or do I have to send him to ESF or an international school?

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    jvn
    jvn is offline Registered User
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    You see, I read the title and thought you were after a psychic - I'm no help at all ;-)

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    Lisainhk is offline Registered User
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    HAHA!!! Sorry about that!!! Maybe I should change it!!! haha!

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    Lisainhk is offline Registered User
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    Actually have no idea how to change it. Uh-oh!

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    carang is offline Registered User
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    my son currently goes to a chinese kindie. in september, his sister will join him. my kids are mixed, but in my son's class there are 5 or 6 western kids. the teachers said that the first year, the kids just basically sit and listen. the second year they begin to speak and by the third year, they can hold a conversation in cantonese.

    although my kids are mixed, we ONLY speak english at home (no matter how much i nag dear ol' hubby, he keeps forgetting to speak his own mother-tongue!)...yesterday, my son talked to his mama (paternal grandma) for 5 minutes on the phone, all in chinese... i couldn't understand it all, but he had no troubles at all!!! i was shocked!

    we have decided to put the kids into a chinese primary to start with and see how it goes. if it gets too difficult, we'll take them out and go for an english school. i have met some other western parents (whose kids first went to the same kindergarten) that have decided on the same local school that we want... kids seem to enjoy school, parents don't have many complaints...

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    My son is 2 1/2 and he has been in Cantonese nursery school since he was 2. My husband is local HK Chinese and I am non-Chinese American. At home we speak English and my husband speaks some Cantonese with my son. I speak simple Cantonese (as in: change your diaper, go to sleep, eat...very simple phrases). My son spends about 2 days a week with his paternal grandparents where he picks up most of his Cantonese. I think his Cantonese is more fluent than his English at this point, however.

    Anyway, we decided to put him in Cantonese nursery school because we found a good local one we liked and the price can't even compare to the foreign or English medium schools.

    For kindergarten, our son will go to a local Cantonese school which also has English and Mandarin taught in the classroom. There are a few foreign kids enrolled in this school.

    I think when it comes to nursery and kindergarten, why not experiment and let your child get a true immersion exposure to a foreign language and then by the time the child is ready to enter primary school you can decide whether an English-medium classroom or Cantonese-medium would be better.

    You've really got nothing to lose but probably a whole lot of $$$ to save.

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    Lisainhk is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for that ladies! Invaluable insight. I guess I worry that because we don't speak cantonese at home (but I fully intend to learn... have fully intended to learn for the past year... oops) he will be really confused and it won't be a good experience for him at all. I am certainly looking to save money. International schools here just do not come close to fitting with our budget. I guess it's worth a shot from what you have both said. If it doesn't work out, then he can go to ESF later on. Do I need to start looking at chinese schools now then?? He is 10 months.

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    flobash is offline Registered User
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    Lisainhk,

    I am so glad i have found this thread, I'm not sure why i didn't look earlier.

    My son is 9 months old (and, i have to say, absolutely gorgeous) and i have been wracking my brain with this situation since before he was born.

    My husband and I plan to stay in HK forever, i think it is absolutely essential that my son learns Cantonese so that he really feels like HK is his home and he gets the most our of Hong Kong and learns to love it, as any person loves their own country. I am recruitment, and constantly come across expat candidates who were raised in HK and do not speak cantonese, they are at such a disadvantage and it just seems crazy to me that they haven't been given the chance to learn the language of their home country.

    Neither my husband or myself speak cantonese, although i have been learning for a while so we really need to put a lot of effort into this i think. Originally we intended to get a cantonese speaking helper, we had no luck with this at all, i'm not sure why, but we simply couldnt' find anyone - has anyone else done this successfully?

    I would like to get him into a cantonese speaking kindergarton but he is so young, do you think this is the right path ? or are there cantonese speaking playgroups that anyone could recommend so we could ease him into things? i work full time but own the company so can certainly go to a few sessions with him, but my helper would need to attend the bulk, are helpers/parents allowed to stay with them at kindergarton?

    I am generally quite good at sorting out problems but really don't know where to begin with this one - i would really love to hear some more experiences, what age you got your child into cantonese speaking kindy, any suggestions of the best ones etc - i would really appreciate it.

    Lisainhk - i notice your last post was Jan - what did you end up doing ?

    thanks you so much

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