Forums  •  Classifieds  •  Events  •  Directory

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Like Tree3Likes

Full time helper - effect on child's acquisition of English?

  1. #1
    ElizaD is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    5

    Full time helper - effect on child's acquisition of English?

    I wondered if anyone could share their thoughts as to whether having a child cared for by a helper full time, from the age that they start to talk up to when they go to school, has affected the child's acquisition of English? I'm worried that having a non-native speaker as primary carer will confuse the child as to what is correct and what is not, or slow the process down.

    Would be very interested in your experience to help me make some big decisions about going back to work.

  2. #2
    m_c
    m_c is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    77
    If this is a concern for you then you should probably ensure that you employ a helper with a high level of English.

  3. #3
    elle is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    hk south side
    Posts
    386
    If you are worried, make sure to employ a helper who speaks excellent English (there are many). You will also need to speak to your child a lot yourself, read to him/her, etc. A toddler doesn't speak English correctly anyway, so as long as you and his/ her school are consistently correcting grammer I can't imagine any long term issues with language acquistion. Of all the things I have heard friends/ colleages/ acquaintences in HK moan about relating to their helpers and children, this has never been one of them.
    southside852 likes this.

  4. #4
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Happy Valley
    Posts
    552
    Quote Originally Posted by m_c View Post
    If this is a concern for you then you should probably ensure that you employ a helper with a high level of English.
    If someone is *that* concerned, they should not be living in a city where the vast majority of the population speaks a non-English language as their mother tongue. The child is going to get exposed to foreign languages in all kinds of places all day long.

    Of all the things to worry about in Hong Kong, this is the first I've heard of this particular one...

  5. #5
    evgreen is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Tai Tam
    Posts
    302
    I think this is a totally normal concern. Your child's English is certainly affected by exposure. My sister was mostly raised by our helper and her English acquisition wasn't perfect but it soon smoothed out with proper schooling and lots of reading - nothing that isn't reversible. A child's mind is very pliable.

  6. #6
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    6,259
    it really didn't make much difference to my kids' language development. we had our helper from a week before my first was born until he was almost 6. there were a few things that they said differently, such as "drawer" but that was about it.

    if you and your husband still speak english with your child, then really, having 1 person around who speaks english as a second language won't be that big a deal.

  7. #7
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    North Point
    Posts
    1,751
    I know many people who were children of immigrants - the parents English language skills are often inferior to many of the domestic helpers who work over here, but the children universally have native or near-native English language skills due to being raised in an English speaking environment (depending on how old they were when they migrated). When I was in Australia, I taught some Philippino kids who moved to Australia when they were between 3-10 years old (there were 5 siblings). None of them spoke any English upon arrival, but after a few years, they were doing great - particularly the younger kids. If they can thrive then how much more so can our kids who are mostly in English speaking environments (schools, playgroups etc), even if one of the three main adult influences in their lives does have "non-native English". There may be minor issues, but I'm sure they would be easily corrected.
    carang likes this.

  8. #8
    ElizaD is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    5
    Many thanks to all for your interesting and helpful responses. With the notable exception of HowardCoombs:

    Quote Originally Posted by howardcoombs View Post
    If someone is *that* concerned, they should not be living in a city where the vast majority of the population speaks a non-English language as their mother tongue. The child is going to get exposed to foreign languages in all kinds of places all day long.

    Of all the things to worry about in Hong Kong, this is the first I've heard of this particular one...
    Of course I am delighted that my child (like me) will become accustomed to hearing Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Indonesian and a plethora of other foreign languages - rather offensive of you to suggest otherwise. My concern was about sustained exposure to incorrect English at a crucial developmental stage. But it seems that this is nothing to worry about.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11-28-2012, 03:42 PM
  2. Need full time helper
    By Iansg in forum Helper Forums
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-06-2012, 02:31 PM
  3. Gluten insensitivity and effect on unborn child
    By Newbie2 in forum Hong Kong Pregnancy Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-29-2010, 12:53 AM
  4. Looking for full time helper
    By yuukalim0404 in forum Helper Forums
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-09-2009, 12:33 PM
  5. Part time vs full time helper
    By Frenchy in forum Helper Forums
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 03-24-2009, 01:35 PM
Scroll to top