Chin Kindergarten for non chin speaking

Posted by rebelman 13 yrs ago
Hi I am going to send my kid (non chinese speaking ) to a local chinese speaking kindergarten soon, reason is 2 ways, one is he needs to learn chinese and i think this is a good way, immerse him in it. 2nd reason is cost, with three kids i cant send them to ESF schools etc, so this seems the only viable option for kidnie now.

one worry though will he feel totally abandoned once he isa left there because he dont understand a word of whats being said? what would u think of it?

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Gabbie 13 yrs ago
I know a lot of non chinese speaking parents sending their kids to local kindergartens so they can learn how to speak Cantonese or Mandarin. Their kids don't have any problems at all and they even learn the language very fast.

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axptguy38 13 yrs ago
Your typical 2-5 year old will pick up a language in weeks if given enough exposure. Young kids don't really see languages as languages the way we do. They are learning at least one language anyway so the brain is wired for it. If someone they interact with speaks a different language they just learn those words for that interaction without thinking twice about it.

For example our older daughter didn't speak a word of English when we got here. In about 1½ months she was as fluent as she is in Swedish just by talking with the helper and at preschool.

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aemom 13 yrs ago
Both of our children have attended a local kindergarten and have enjoyed their experiences there. Over time, they learned to understand and speak Cantonese but not as quickly as mentioned in the post above. Kindergarten teachers tend to talk at kids rather than with them as would be the case in one-to-one conversations with a helper. There often is no extra help for a child who doesn't understand. Will your child be the only one who doesn't speak Cantonese at home?

You can help with the transition to Cantonese by playing Cantonese-language video programmes at home. My kids loved Maisie Mouse and would listen to her in Cantonese. You also could find a tutor to play with your child and teach basic words.

The biggest problem with local schools (any level) is that the student handbook and the multitude of notices which are sent home are all written in Chinese. You'll need someone to translate them if you don't already read Chinese.

My kids look Chinese, but a friend's child who is Caucasian did have some trouble with other kids botherng her because she looked different from them.

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SuzieW 13 yrs ago
We are a French couple, we only speak English and French at home and we decided to send our daugther to Chinese Kindergarten in Sept. last year for the same 2 reasons as Rebelman, exposure to Cantonese and school fees. We are now in February and she starts to speak more and more Cantonese, sings some songs, repeats whatever she overhears in Cantonese on the radio... In December the teacher was already telling us that she understands basically everything but not talking much, so in our case it wasn't as fast as 1 month...

But the most important is that even when she just started she really enjoyed it, although obviously she couldn't understand a word of what teacher/children were saying. Like any 'local' kids, it took her a week to adjust and after that she just really loved it.

She is only going in the morning this year (she is in pre-nursery), she is also born in Jan. so was 2.9 year-old when she started in Sept., and we choose the school where the teacher was really comfortable about having a 'western' student. She is caucasian, blue eyes and blond hair and everyone at school, children, other parents, teachers are really nice to her.

We have just started to arrange for a student to come home 2 times/week to play with her in Cantonese, to show her how Cantonese can be used not only at school.

Our son is almost 2 and will definitely join the same school next year, although probably in January only since he will be only 2.5 year-old in Sept. and that might be a bit young. On the other hand, he is more exposed to Cantonese already than his sister thanks to the Cantonese-speaking student coming every week, and he knows the school and the teacher already as he always goes and picks his sister up at school.

Haven't tried the TV yet because our kids don't really watch TV at all, but I've heard it is good to get them familiar with Cantonese.

If you want to discuss school etc. please feel free to contact me.

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rebelman 13 yrs ago
Quote"Haven't tried the TV yet because our kids don't really watch TV at all, but I've heard it is good to get them familiar with Cantonese."

OMG suziew how do you do that?

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sampaguita 11 yrs ago
Hi.... can anyone tell me which Chinese Speaking Kindergarten school is best for non-chinese speaking children.

Appreciate your help in this... Many Thanks

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Team NZ 11 yrs ago

I would highly recommend Sun Island Kindergarten, they have 2 days english and three days Cantonese + Mandarin. A great blend.

Our son was at another local school which was great to start but then after 2 weeks there were simply too many children (most of them just 3 yrs old) and only one teacher, he became bored and therefore began acting out, not much learning could be done as all time was spent organising the kids.

My recommendation is check the child:teacher ratio, ask to see the class room (when the kids are in it) or if all else fails, "casually" hang around at drop off time or pickup time and ask friendly parents on their thoughts of the particular school you are considering.

Our son thoroughly loved Sun Island and after 1 1/2 years (nearly 5 yrs old when he left) was able to converse easily with locals, read and write basic chinese, write 1-100, english alphabet capital and lower case.Not to mention he loved going to school. We thought this was great!

I found Sun Island to have great resources, alot of energy and good communication. Personally we also liked their methods of teaching and enthusiasm, this does of course depend on the teacher/child relationship.

Best of luck. Remember trust your instincts, if you get it wrong first time, its not the end of the world to change, (we did after just 12 weeks).

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