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Is internation kindergarten really necessary?

  1. #17
    carang's Avatar
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    i was talking P6 (primary 6) or grade 6

  2. #18
    penguinsix is offline Registered User
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    Thanks. I have some friends with a grade 5 coming in a few month so that's good to know.

  3. #19
    carang's Avatar
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    it's not always the case, but i DO think it has something to do with the parents being at "that time in their life" when it's easier to take up employment overseas. i know many parents would think twice with slightly older kids, especially as they get closer to secondary school. so fewer people are newbies arriving with older kids, but on the flip side, those who are already here and have their kids in secondary school may be reluctant to leave for the same reasons.

  4. #20
    HappyV is offline Registered User
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    There are long waiting lists at every ESF/International school, and yes, places are in more demand at Reception/P1.

    Two things to keep in mind -
    1. When you hear that school X has 400 children on the waiting list, odds are that each of those children is on a dozen other waiting lists around town. So once a child gets a place, it frees up a waiting list place at several other schools.
    2. Senior secondary (from Grades 9/Year 10 up) also tend to have places available - in my experience, many international (and local) schools lose at least a double digit percentage of these students every year - mostly because the parents want them to study a different curriculum or in a different country, or even so they get Home Status for university fees.

  5. #21
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    I was talking about Grade 6+ (~10 years and older); getting into those grades are not that difficult while P1 is the big challenge.

    Specifically for the OP and others who were curious, this works well for what we did and for anyone wishing to follow.
    We did Cantonese kindie followed by Mandarin primary and then transition into a mostly English school at around 10 years old. Still have an 8 year old in KCS doing Mandarin immersion while the older 2 kids are now doing mostly English.

  6. #22
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    My son's kindergarten (a very traditional local Chinese kindergarten) has quite a number of western/ non-Chinese kids too. I have learnt that they speaks Chinese just like the other Chinese kids do.
    My understanding is that young kids, especially kindergarten kids are amazingly good in picking up almost any languages in a much faster pace than we can imagine, so long as you give them the language environment.

  7. #23
    smglobal is offline Registered User
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    Let's also be honest about this whole 'bilingual/trilingual' thing. Different people have different levels of what they consider fluency in a language. If your kid is Chinese looking, speaking whatever Cantonese he would get in kindergarten immersion only and then back to the US, no one is going to take him for a native speaker unless that is supplemented with something else at some point. If not reinforced, he could also lose whatever language abilities he has or they could be reduced to a pretty elementary level. Would that be enough to do things like talk to grandparents about school, what's for dinner, take a taxi, etc? Sure. But, and take Mandarin now as an example, would learning immersion level Mandarin just for primary school prepare one for doing business with native speakers? No, very unlikely.

    So, it is definitely easiest to INTRODUCE a language and get a very basic level of fluency at a young age. But be realistic about what that means as your child gets older and is taken from an immersion environment and what it means in terms of conversational fluency vs. professional fluency. Also, if your kid is non-Asian looking, standards are a lot lower for fluency. I know white people at work who can say 'nihao' and get people fawning over their Chinese speaking skills, whereas BBCs or even HKers speak passable conversational Mandarin but get told their level of fluency is insufficient in a professional setting.

  8. #24
    maxmom0901 is offline Registered User
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    Thanks. We are thinking of City Kids. They have an opening in the afternoon.

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