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Education & Employment

Hong Kong: 65 percent of parents believe foreign English teachers offer better education


A survey of 300 households in Hong Kong showed that 65 percent of parents believe a foreign teacher of English can offer better education than a local teacher.

In response, early childhood education experts have issued statements reminding parents and institutions to check the qualifications of foreign educators during the hiring process.

Experts also warn against hiring “travelling” foreign teachers who have no certification or experience.

The survey also revealed that 59 percent of respondents believe having an English-speaking domestic helper at home improves their child’s English language level.

Educators have stated there is no evidence supporting claims that foreign domestic helpers improve English levels, although a child’s confidence in the language might be boosted if the helper interacts frequently with the child during the critical learning stage of 3-6 years old.

3 percent of Hong Kong’s population are foreign domestic helpers employed to help with child care and household chores.

The majority come from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand. Many speak English, are highly educated, and hold post-secondary degrees.

On average, children in Hong Kong learn three or four different languages, with Cantonese being the main language spoken at home.

Although English is a subject taught in all schools, most parents hire a part-time tutor to supplement materials taught in class.

Sansan Ching Teh-chi, Director of the Hong Kong Council of Early Childhood Education and Services, warns against enrolling children in too many language subjects, stating that doing so can weaken a child’s ability to communicate effectively in any of the languages.

Ching instead suggests that biliteracy or trilingualism is sufficient for elementary education.

Meanwhile In China
 

About Victoria Sung

Victoria holds a Masters degree in Media, Culture, and Communications from New York University. Hailing from Canada, raised in Hong Kong, and educated in the US, she hopes to use her degree to foster cross-cultural communication. Chief editor of meanwhileinchinanews.com.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Hong Kong: 65 percent of parents believe foreign English teachers offer better education

  1. English language is doing the rounds. There are a few English teaching centers near our housing complex and I see 3 to 4 year olds deposited by maids, parents or grandparents for the classes in the evenings when they should be playing.

    Like

    Posted by travtrails | October 19, 2012, 9:56 pm

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