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Old 06-03-2018, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Hong Kong


More than a decade ago, I was reading articles that lamented this very issue in Hong Kong and it seems that little has changed. I'm wondering if Cantonese romanization systems such as Yale, Jyutping, Meyer-Wempe, or Chao-Barnett are even used to educate Cantonese to foreigners. If so then why does this issue still exist even in 2018? Can anyone else comprehend this baffling issue?
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:10 PM
 
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The article is about preschool children. Young children don't read or write. It's about oral language.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
The article is about preschool children. Young children don't read or write. It's about oral language.
Huh are you sure you are reading the right article I linked? I reopened my link and read the same article and sure enough it is talking about ethnic minority students in primary and secondary schools, not preschool. They even interviewed a grown up student telling her own experiences through the primary and secondary levels. Where are you getting that information from?
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Though primarily used to help with reading, Romanization systems can also help with speaking. In secondary school, I remember using Hanyu Pinyin extensively in Mandarin lessons to help with speech for instance and I am not a native Mandarin speaker.
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Old 06-04-2018, 01:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
Huh are you sure you are reading the right article I linked? I reopened my link and read the same article and sure enough it is talking about ethnic minority students in primary and secondary schools, not preschool. They even interviewed a grown up student telling her own experiences through the primary and secondary levels. Where are you getting that information from?
My point is spoken Cantonese is not really taught in any school. You have to master it before attending school, or choose an English school. There is no other way.

In China (and Hong Kong) schools teach Chinese characters since the first year otherwise the students can't reach literacy by high school. They also need to learn math, via Chinese.
No time for baby Chinese.
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Old 06-04-2018, 01:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
Though primarily used to help with reading, Romanization systems can also help with speaking. In secondary school, I remember using Hanyu Pinyin extensively in Mandarin lessons to help with speech for instance and I am not a native Mandarin speaker.
In China, pinyin is only used to introduce new characters, so students know how to pronounce them. Native speakers do not rely on it to learn to talk.

Chinese schools in Hong Kong cannot offer Chinese as a foreign language, because the vast majority of students are Chinese.
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
In China, pinyin is only used to introduce new characters, so students know how to pronounce them. Native speakers do not rely on it to learn to talk.

Chinese schools in Hong Kong cannot offer Chinese as a foreign language, because the vast majority of students are Chinese.
Yes and how about foreign students? We are not talking about China (pardon me, I know HK is part of China but I mean Mainland China) or native Chinese speakers here. The article was talking about non-native speakers of Cantonese Chinese. Even if the foreigners and especially Westerners were learning Mandarin, they would need some help with pronunciation by learning Pinyin. Believe me, I studied four years of Mandarin in an American high school and took Cantonese lessons using the Yale System while studying abroad in Hong Kong years ago. Romanization is very helpful for foreigners unfamiliar with the tonal systems of Chinese languages.

While I was in Hong Kong, media sources like the SCMP and interaction with locals educated me about the drawbacks of local education in Hong Kong. You are absolutely right that local Cantonese schools do not offer Cantonese as a foreign language because most students are already Cantonese. And so for a foreigner, you'd either have to attend English schools which are likely more competitive to get into or private/international schools which are expensive and not affordable to everyone or try to sink or swim in a local school. The article I linked says it all, not every foreigner or ethnic minority attends private or international schools and those that do not often struggle. My question is, how come in the decade and a half since I first discovered this has Hong Kong's education bureau still failed to resolve this issue. What are they doing differently to improve this situation? Are they trying hard enough? They spent a large sum of money on this issue already which lends believe that they do have concern and so why is this still an issue?
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Earth
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everyone in china should just speak english. it makes easier for the rest of the world. i don't have time to memorize 500 characters
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
Yes and how about foreign students? We are not talking about China (pardon me, I know HK is part of China but I mean Mainland China) or native Chinese speakers here. The article was talking about non-native speakers of Cantonese Chinese. Even if the foreigners and especially Westerners were learning Mandarin, they would need some help with pronunciation by learning Pinyin. Believe me, I studied four years of Mandarin in an American high school and took Cantonese lessons using the Yale System while studying abroad in Hong Kong years ago. Romanization is very helpful for foreigners unfamiliar with the tonal systems of Chinese languages.

While I was in Hong Kong, media sources like the SCMP and interaction with locals educated me about the drawbacks of local education in Hong Kong. You are absolutely right that local Cantonese schools do not offer Cantonese as a foreign language because most students are already Cantonese. And so for a foreigner, you'd either have to attend English schools which are likely more competitive to get into or private/international schools which are expensive and not affordable to everyone or try to sink or swim in a local school. The article I linked says it all, not every foreigner or ethnic minority attends private or international schools and those that do not often struggle. My question is, how come in the decade and a half since I first discovered this has Hong Kong's education bureau still failed to resolve this issue. What are they doing differently to improve this situation? Are they trying hard enough? They spent a large sum of money on this issue already which lends believe that they do have concern and so why is this still an issue?

You don't see my point. I believe it is NOT the schools' responsibility to help these kids learn badic Cantonese. It is impossible.

In America all public schools use English to teach. You can't force the schools to teach baby English just because there are two new immigrants in school. It's the parents' responsibility, and the schools can offer some help.
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
In America all public schools use English to teach. You can't force the schools to teach baby English just because there are two new immigrants in school. It's the parents' responsibility, and the schools can offer some help.
In America nearly every school district does have programs for students who cannot speak English. It doesn't matter who's "responsibility" it is, every citizen benefits from children being educated and if the child cannot understand the language of instruction, then that is the first thing they must learn.
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