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kellett, French International , SIs, CDNIS, etc.

  1. #17
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    As someone who has taught in North American, UK and IB curricula I can tell you that the IB is far more demanding than the other two at matriculation standard. It is far more demanding in breadth, as well as in depth.

    I didn't plug CDNIS here - you're putting words in my mouth. ESF students who take Mandarin at IB level (not ab initio) are definitely fluent (ie. able to communicate easily with other Mandarin speakers through speaking, writing and listening). Ditto for several other 'non-immersion' schools (including many local schools).

  2. #18
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyV View Post
    As someone who has taught in North American, UK and IB curricula I can tell you that the IB is far more demanding than the other two at matriculation standard. It is far more demanding in breadth, as well as in depth.
    On paper, certainly.
    In practice, it depends entirely on the school as well as its teachers and how they implement the standard in practice.

    ESF students who take Mandarin at IB level (not ab initio) are definitely fluent (ie. able to communicate easily with other Mandarin speakers through speaking, writing and listening). Ditto for several other 'non-immersion' schools (including many local schools).
    Bovine Excrement!
    On paper, certainly - thats what the literature tells you.
    In practice the results are quite different.

    A suggestion for parents looking for Mandarin at various schools: Visit the schools in question and while visiting go and find a senior student, ask them quietly without their teacher being able to hear them if they are fluent in Mandarin and how they got to be fluent.
    Did they become fluent from this school? Did they become fluent before arriving? Are they fluent because of their parents teaching them?
    My personal experience has been : If you are not already fluent when entering one of these fine English schools (eg :ESF, Kellet, CDNIS etc etc) you are not going to come out fluent. The programmes, while looking good on paper are not strong enough and rigorous enough to teach another language effectively.

    Lastly here is a link to a student's view on it:
    CDNIS students speak mostly Cantonese amongst themselves?

  3. #19
    Honkyblues is offline Registered User
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    To Howard: I find it difficult to believe that Kellett teaches "miles and yards" rather than the metric system. Given that the UK is now metric and has been since 1972, I doubt that the mathematics of miles and yards, inches and feet, are more than touched upon. Still, don't let facts get in the way of your usual opinionated "what I say is gospel" posts.

  4. #20
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    You can read about UK metric system here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperia...United_Kingdom
    UK has not converted fully to metric, ever. Feel free to visit any UK city and you will see all signs in miles.
    http://www.bwmaonline.com/Transport%...DfT%20memo.htm

    Kellett is a very good school which follows the UK curriculum strictly. They still teach miles and yards over there and Kellett follows suit here.
    If you doubt what I'm saying then find a Kellett student and flip thru their math book and you will see who is reciting the gospel and who is telling fairy tales.
    Last edited by howardcoombs; 11-09-2011 at 09:05 AM.

  5. #21
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    HC - it's not just an 'on paper' distinction. The breadth and depth of knowledge and skills that the students must be able to utilise (not just remember) for IB assessment far exceeds that of the Uk A levels, or the average North American curriculum.

    As for the comment about ESF students, again, I will say that in my direct experience of teaching, there are certainly students who go in speaking no Mandarin and come out fluent. I am sure that they have extra tutoring to accomplish this, but as you have said yourself, children often receive this extra language tutoring, even in an immersion school.

    Clearly, you have decided for yourself that the only schools that do a good job on language are the ones that your children attend, and certainly they are good schools, but other schools do it differently, and I would argue, just as well.

    For many reasons, immersion is not for everyone, as you yourself acknowledge. That does not mean that a student who does not attend an immersion school cannot come out at matriculation with fluency.

    As for Kellett, I don't know which units they use, but I would argue that the skills of being able to measure, compare distance/time etc are just as (if not more) important than the unit being used.

  6. #22
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyV View Post
    As for the comment about ESF students, again, I will say that in my direct experience of teaching, there are certainly students who go in speaking no Mandarin and come out fluent. I am sure that they have extra tutoring to accomplish this, but as you have said yourself, children often receive this extra language tutoring, even in an immersion school.
    Yes, I would admit that there may be few, very few that come out fluent but the vast majority of the students wont.
    Parents who are sending their kids to such schools should know that upfront and not have high expectations.

    Clearly, you have decided for yourself that the only schools that do a good job on language are the ones that your children attend, and certainly they are good schools, but other schools do it differently, and I would argue, just as well.
    I argue that they dont do as well :-) Lets agree to disagree...

    For many reasons, immersion is not for everyone, as you yourself acknowledge. That does not mean that a student who does not attend an immersion school cannot come out at matriculation with fluency.
    A student who goes into an immersion school is pretty much guaranteed to come out fluent. The likelihood of a non-immersion student coming out fluent is small.
    As for Kellett, I don't know which units they use, but I would argue that the skills of being able to measure, compare distance/time etc are just as (if not more) important than the unit being used.
    Of course you are correct; it does not matter what units are being used. The only point I was trying to make with the units is that they use the same books that are in use in UK and naturally these books use UK based units (pounds/pence, miles/yards/feet, stones etc).

  7. #23
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    It also depends on whether Mandarin is a subject that the student is required to take right through until matriculation. Many curricula ( UK, Australian, US, Canada etc) do not require a second language as a 'final subject'. Even IB schols offer the option to take a language 'ab initio' for the diploma program.

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