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CDNIS students speak mostly Cantonese amongst themselves?

  1. #9
    littleho is offline Registered User
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    Dear HappyV and howardcoombs,

    Thanks for sharing your experience and info on different international schools.

    While I do not know how good the Mandarin standard of students in the Mandarin class, the merit of CDNIS Mandarin program is that it caters for students with diverse Mandarin backgrounds/abilities by streaming them into different classes.

    While duration of exposure to Mandarin language is important, commitment of the school, quality of exposure and the degree of rigour is even more important. One example is KCIS (Kiangsu & Chekiang International School), students are exposed less hours per week than students in some of the highly acclaimed biligual schools. You will be surprised that KCIS students have much higher Mandarin standards.
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  2. #10
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    howardcoombs, I already told you that the CDNIS IB Diploma level average was 6.9/7. Perhaps you could share the CIS/ISF results?

    In the high school, the students get 400 minutes of Mandarin every two weeks, which works out to 50 minutes a day.

    I'm not sidestepping - show me a school that offers the IB; that offers Mandarin as Language B; and that has achieved such an outstanding result in their first year of graduating a new matriculation diploma. CIS has been running the IB for a lot longer - granted. They offer a bilingual diploma - which CDNIS will also do from the 2013 graduating class. But, to my knowledge (and I am prepared to be corrected), the CDNIS Mandarin Language B results for May 2010 were better than those for CIS.

    I do not have information on ISF.

    I should also point out that in regards to Primary Mandarin programs, 'a couple of hours a week' was probably something like 30 minutes a day. CDNIS makes no claim to be a bilingual school - but they do produce students who are bi and tri lingual.

    They must be doing something right to get such good results.
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  3. #11
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    HappyV,

    I'm not disputing the test results nor am I disputing that CDNIS are doing things right. They have a fantastic reputation as a top school and its well deserved.

    What I'm disputing is your over the top comment, regarding Mandarin that "The program is easily the equal of any in Hong Kong". Cherry picking a single years results and comparing that to a single other school result does not make for fair and reasonable comparison. Now that you've admitted you have no results from ISF (not even sure they publish it) makes your claim even more suspicious.

    Sorry, I dont have the results for ISF, CIS, SIS nor any other schools test results. I do not pay much attention to them when looking and evaluating various schools.

    For the record, I have 3 children. 1 is at KCS, 1 at KCIS and 1 at ISF. I did look very seriously at CDNIS as I'm a Canadian from Ontario but their relatively low Mandarin hours caused me to look elsewhere.

    HC

  4. #12
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    I don't think it's an over the top comment. Find me a school that has consistently gained better results in an equally demanding curriculum - then we can have a debate about what is the best number of teaching hours - suffice to say that more is not always better. Any good teacher or student can tell you that.

    I didn't say CDNIS' program was superior - I said it was easily equal to. I am sure that KCIS has a different approach - in fact, I know they do. I have seen examples of students' work in English - the teaching style certainly goes for the time honoured approach of 'more is better' - but there are other ways to learn and teach than can be equally effective.

    Yew Chung certainly has a different approach to most other International Schools in HK. You couldn't pay me to speak to a child the way I have heard YC staff speak to their charges. Draconian doesn't even begin to describe it.

    SIS does not have a track record in any matriculation, given that they are only now setting up their two year IB diploma program.

    Different schools suit different children - I would imagine that's one reason why yours attend different schools. CIS is a great school; CDNIS is a great school; HKIS/GSIS/KCS/KCIS/ESF/DBS/DGS - all have their merits.
    Last edited by HappyV; 06-09-2011 at 09:40 PM.
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  5. #13
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyV View Post
    I don't think it's an over the top comment. Find me a school that has consistently gained better results in an equally demanding curriculum - then we can have a debate about what is the best number of teaching hours - suffice to say that more is not always better. Any good teacher or student can tell you that.

    I didn't say CDNIS' program was superior - I said it was easily equal to. I am sure that KCIS has a different approach - in fact, I know they do. I have seen examples of students' work in English - the teaching style certainly goes for the time honoured approach of 'more is better' - but there are other ways to learn and teach than can be equally effective.
    We were discussing Mandarin specifically. Why are you branching off into KCIS and their English teaching methods???
    We were discussing Mandarin specifically. Why are you asking me about "...that has consistently gained better results in an equally demanding curriculum"
    Lets stay focused please :-)

    I'm a person who has been fluent in 5 different languages and a father of 3 tri-lingual kids. When it comes to learning a language, I say more is better. It seems that we are not going to agree on that fundamental issue. Meh!

    Lastly, you keep going back to IB. Why do you keep harping on IB, IB results, lack of IB at SIS, IB scores at CIS etc
    Its a method, its a yardstick, its the current edu-fashion.
    IB says nothing about how well someone speaks, how well they pronounce, how well they articulate and their overall fluency in a given language. Its think its useless to look at IB scores when it comes language. With my kids, I look at how comfortable they are in speaking, reading, listening, humor, slang, metaphors, getting up and speaking in public, inflections and pronunciations etc etc.

    I'm sorry, I still dont buy your main assertion that CDNIS Mandarin program is easily the equal of any in Hong Kong. Its a great school. It has lovely teachers and an excellent facilities; that does not currently extend to their Mandarin. It doesnt come close to at least 1/2 dozen schools in Hong Kong that have Mandarin as a top priority. Maybe 2013-2014, but certainly not today.

    HC

  6. #14
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    It's hardly branching off - you are calling the program limited based on language tuition at other schools. And I think it is entirely relevant to look not only at the number of hours, but also at teaching style and learning philosophy. I would remind you that it was you who mentioned SIS, KCIS, Yew Chung etc

    "IB says nothing about how well someone speaks, how well they pronounce, how well they articulate and their overall fluency in a given language. Its think its useless to look at IB scores when it comes language. With my kids, I look at how comfortable they are in speaking, reading, listening, humor, slang, metaphors, getting up and speaking in public, inflections and pronunciations etc etc."

    You just shown that you are ignorant when it comes to how language functionality and fluency is assessed in pretty much every curricula around the world, including the IB. For your information, IB Language B students are assessed on pretty much all the criteria that you mentioned, in both oral, aural and written tasks. A student's IB score is reflective of all the criteria you mentioned.

    You are obviously happy with the education you children are getting. Why does it bother you so much that a school can gain exceptional international standing in what is univerally acknowledged to be a demanding, thorough, intense university preparation curriculum, by doing things differently than your children's schools?

    I am also fluent in several languages, and I also have expertise in the research that studies best teaching practice for language acquisition. I reassert my previous statement that 'more is not always better', and that the assessment of the success of a language program should not be based solely on the number of hours of teaching instruction, but also on how student inquiry and learning is supported throughout the curriculum.
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  7. #15
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyV View Post
    You are obviously happy with the education you children are getting. Why does it bother you so much that a school can gain exceptional international standing in what is univerally acknowledged to be a demanding, thorough, intense university preparation curriculum, by doing things differently than your children's schools?
    There are many schools that fit the description that you are giving and I have no affiliation with any of them and certainly am not bothered by that. Yes, I'm happy with my choices.

    What does bother me is a wild claim that places CDNIS and its Mandarin programme in the same league with other top Mandarin schools in town. We are going to have to agree to disagree.

    HC

  8. #16
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    I think this is the case.

    If any parents have questions about CDNIS I am happy to provide more information via PM.
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