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Students from ethnic minority backgrounds are being left behind when it comes to learning Chinese

  1. #81

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    Just like merchantms said - integration is easier in the EU. I have seen friends in the UK whose kids were in Kindergarten with tamil refugees from Sri Lanka and those kids didnt speak a word of English when they started school. A friend in Netherlands sent his kid to the local kindy and the kid learnt dutch for the first time at the kindy. The parents are from different continents and speak mom/dad's mother tongue and english at home. Kid learnt dutch in local kindy with dutch friends.
    And learning Spanish is not the same as Chinese/Jap/Korean as alphabets make is easier for anyone with english knowledge to learn spanish. I did learn basic spanish a long time ago and didnt finish only because I was lazy and not because spanish is difficult.
    A little bit of empathy always helps.


  2. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeftTC
    Just like merchantms said - integration is easier in the EU.
    Nonsense. It is easier because the state has policies of integration rather than segregation.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeftTC
    I have seen friends in the UK whose kids were in Kindergarten with tamil refugees from Sri Lanka and those kids didnt speak a word of English when they started school. A friend in Netherlands sent his kid to the local kindy and the kid learnt dutch for the first time at the kindy. The parents are from different continents and speak mom/dad's mother tongue and english at home. Kid learnt dutch in local kindy with dutch friends.
    Examples of integration.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeftTC
    And learning Spanish is not the same as Chinese/Jap/Korean as alphabets make is easier for anyone with english knowledge to learn spanish.
    So shouldn't more effort be put in rather than just giving up and having multi-generational poverty.
    Bob Loblaw likes this.

  3. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by East_coast
    Nonsense. It is easier because the state has policies of integration rather than segregation.



    Examples of integration.



    So shouldn't more effort be put in rather than just giving up and having multi-generational poverty.
    Yes, but dont see that happening. I am not an expert but from the limited time I have spent in HK, my view is that HK is a brutal place even for locals - the poverty % is mind boggling for a tiny rich place.

  4. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeftTC
    Yes, but dont see that happening. I am not an expert but from the limited time I have spent in HK, my view is that HK is a brutal place even for locals - the poverty % is mind boggling for a tiny rich place.
    If you were to ask most of society if helping ethnic minorities integrate and add more value to society was a good idea most would say yes.

    If you ask HK Gov. They have the money allocated but refuse to spent it.

    Ever more so Hong Kong is developed society led by an developing world government.

  5. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by East_coast
    Nonsense. It is easier because the state has policies of integration rather than segregation.



    These are complicated issues.
    I mean, there are some simple solutions - I'd like to see schools try to set up more programs for non-native Chinese speakers to make it through the local school system. Teaching kids a language is a great use of resources. But there are other issues surrounding this which I do think are more complicated.

    Some of the things I see interfering:

    -re. state policies of integration: HK doesn't really have its own "state," it's got this puppet state apparatus which acts on behalf of Beijing. Beijing doesn't want to promote Cantonese.
    -those state policies of integration are a double-edged sword - they can easily bleed off into assimilation and attempted erasure of other cultures. Not an HK problem right now AFAIK but it means the "hey let's just use whatever Beijing is doing in Tibet" approach is probably not a solution.
    -I mentioned this in an earlier post: the existing infrastructure for teaching Cantonese as a second language is minimal.
    -So, yes, you could work to teach non-Chinese kids in HK to speak Mandarin, but then you miss out on a lot of the advantages of teaching a language to kids, like using it at playgrounds, in stores, etc.
    -HKers, in my experience, are oddly resistant to teaching Cantonese to foreigners, for reasons I don't quite understand. My pet theory is that it's a sort of defense mechanism - they've convinced themselves that Cantonese is too hard for foreigners to learn, as a way of explaining that so few people have learned it. (Which isn't true. People learn the languages of power, no matter how hard they are to learn, and ignore the languages of the powerless, no matter how easy they are to learn. Non-natives rarely learn Cantonese because it's a language of the relatively powerless but local speakers, for understandable reasons, don't want to admit that. Again, this is a pet theory).
    -HK schools are much too hard for the HK kids already. It's stupid, IMO - 8-year-olds don't benefit from all that homework - but it means that a kid who has to catch up with their classmates is facing a real uphill climb.

  6. #86

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    Shutting this down for a bit ... might or might not reopen.

    Have a GeoExpat related problem - please create a support ticket.

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