CALHK was very happy to meet with students from The Education University of Hong Kong’s Dept. of Early Childhood Education.
The students are training to work as Kindergarten teaching assistants, most are from ethnic minority groups and they keenly understand the challenges faced by CAL students in local Kindergartens.
Students told us they believe many of the problems faced by CAL students at kindergarten stem from a lack of effective communication between teacher and child, and between schools and families.
As teaching assistants from ethnic minority groups, many students speak fluent English, Chinese and a South Asian language. They can help bridge the language and cultural gaps between families in the ethnic minority community and Chinese Medium of Instruction kindergartens.
We also discussed strategies to help children from non-Chinese speaking families integrate into a Chinese speaking classroom and encouraged the EdUHK students to speak to the kindergarten children in Chinese as much as possible.
We suggested ways to support the children's families with the sharing of Chinese language learning resources and tools, such as Chinese-English dictionaries, Chinese character copy-sheets and the wonderful digi-pens, which can be used to read aloud the Chinese on worksheets and even storybooks.
Many thanks to Lecturer Angela Cheung for giving us this opportunity to talk to her students and best wishes to all the students for their studies and future careers in early childhood education.