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English + Cantonese preschool for 3.5 year old in HK?

  1. #9
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    i think you are over-worrying about it, why not do this:

    1) find one or two kindies that you like and ask about thier application policies (so at least you know the deadlines/waiting lists etc)
    2) if you have to apply really early for them, then do it. it's done and if you need it, you'll have done it. if you don't need it, you've only lost the application fees.
    3) find a few playgroups/activities around for kids 1-3 years of age in english and mandarin for your little one until the time comes that you leave or you decide to stay.

    ps> lots of hubbies don't "get it".... yours is not the only one! bear with what makes YOU feel comfortable and what makes YOU happy if he's not concerned about it. GOOD LUCK!

    Last edited by carang; 01-31-2011 at 10:55 AM.

  2. #10
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    About learning three languages--I don't think at 3.5 you have to worry one way or another. Language learning at that age is not a chore and if the child is enrolled in a decent school it's mostly about learning through play anyway.

    My son is 3-years, 2 months-old and is in a local Cantonese Medium of Instructinon kindergarten. My husband is local Chinese so he speaks Cantonese and my son also speaks Cantonese with his grandparents. He speaks English with my husband and I.

    He goes 1/2-days to kindergarten (about 3 hours/day) in which time he has lessons in Cantonese, English and Mandarin. I went to a parent-teacher conference this past weekend and the teacher said that my son is fluent in English and Cantonese and is messermized by Mandarin. The Mandarin teacher at their kindergarten is fabulous and makes the class really interesting.

    I think that it's silly to think that children are being "forced" to learn Mandarin and that they won't use it. Maybe they won't immidiately use the language (i.e. at home) but Mandarin is a language of ever-growing importance worldwide. In the United States there are many primary schools that are starting to offer Mandarin courses (this was a recent CBS News story) and the waitlists for these schools are very long. Even in Hong Kong, I use Mandarin a lot (it tends to be easier for English-speakers to learn than Cantonese because there are fewer tones and the pronunciations are similar to English). As I don't speak Cantonese well, I often use Mandarin at restaurants and in taxis. I also like to travel to Mainland China and it is invaluable to be able to speak Mandarin acrosst he border.

    Here in Hong Kong students are extremely interested in learning Mandarin. I studied Mandarin in university and teach primary school and my students love to speak with me in Mandarin (not so much in English, though).

    So, you'll find that Cantonese is not even as practical world-wide as Mandarin will soon be. And what does it hurt to expose your child to many different languages--especially when at this age they literally can absorb languages like a sponge without any effort? Maybe later, even if you move away from Hong Kong, your child will remember his language learning experience and that can give him better confidence for picking up languages later on.

    My take is let your child be exposed to as many new languages as possible because it won't hurt anything at all.

    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  3. #11
    1stimemum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    bel air

    hi all, thanks for the good advice. I have been down with a terrible flu, gotten from the little one and i feel so bad for him as I can only imagine how much worse he must feel!

    anyway, I spoke to hubby and yes voiced my unhappiness- primarily more that he is so dismissive and yes I am not good with uncertainty.... we have decided to apply for a few kindergartens here and in sg (double application forms and fees, what fun) and just cross our fingers that things work out.

    its been so nice to have different perspectives, i wish i was better at dealing with uncertainty but this has actually been a blessing as I know now what it is I really what for my son. Previously i just assumed certain things (husband's job being the key ) but have come to realise that I am my child's advocate and i better decide whats impt to us.

    anyway, still nursing this damm flu that just wont go away and catching up on the posts here!

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