“Help non-Chinese children learn the language earlier”

The head of an organization that supports non-Chinese children in language learning says it’s time for the government to introduce a kindergarten-based program for second-language learners.

Maggie Holmes, co-founder of Chinese as an Additional Language in Hong Kong, said that with nearly 13,000 students from non-Chinese speaking families now in kindergartens, additional support is needed and stressed the need to start learning at an early age. age.

“We urgently need a curriculum for teaching Chinese as a second language that starts in kindergarten and goes through the whole school system,” she told RTHK’s #Hashtag Hong Kong program, broadcast Sunday.

“This program should be supported by progressive teaching materials…manuals, flashcards, audio-visual tools, etc.”

Holmes said there was still no “systematic support structure” for children from non-Chinese-speaking families in Chinese-language schools, while English-language schools had no Chinese curriculum as a as a second language in place.

“And we need good content,” Holmes added. “Target vocabulary and grammatical points should be explained in English. Romanization should be used. The intended learning outcomes should be clearly expressed. Assessments should be created that reflect the child’s learning experience.

“Teachers should not make these materials themselves.

“They are busy and rarely trained in teaching Chinese as a second language.”

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