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Thread: Abroad Returning Students

  1. #1
    NEKO FEVER! ChuChuRocket!'s Avatar
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    Default Abroad Returning Students

    So I have these two elementary school kids grades 4 and 6. They spent almost their entire life living in Australia and returned to Japan about a year ago. As would be expected their english is at the same level as any Australian kid their age. I ran into the two of them and their mother this evening at the grocery store where their mother expressed her concerns that the kids were losing their english. Something that had crossed my mind a few times.

    So to get to the point, I'm going to make a list of things they can do to help improve their english and then give it to the kid's parents. I was wondering if anyone wants to throw in their ideas to the small list I've made below.

    Buy them lots of English books to read.
    English movie and TV shows to watch.
    Buy some English versions of video games.
    Set aside 'English only' times at home.
    Find some foreigner kids to play with.
    Set up an English tutor.

  2. #2
    Resident ewok wicket's Avatar
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    English boardgames - Scrabble, monopoly etc.
    Have them keep in touch with their friends back in Australia by recording audio or video messages and writing letters or making a monthly newsletter to send back to their school/friends in Australia.
    Obviously their English will deteriorate, but should they ever go back to an English-speaking country it will be amazing how quickly they pick it up again.
    "Like anyone with a sliver of honesty in them I believe what I find I believe when I wake up each morning."
    Stephen Fry, The stars' tennis balls

  3. #3
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    My family with through something kind of similar. We moved to Brazil from Canada when my brother was 8 or so. He is 16 now and speaks both English and Portuguese fluently. English was the language spoken at home, plus my brother played English video games and watched movies in English. Though he did go to an international school.

  4. #4
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    Hire Stephen Fry as a teacher
    "Well, normal procedure Lieutenant is to jump 200 feet into the air and scatter yourself over a wide area"

    Cpt Blackadder on what to do if you trod on a mine.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Forgetting their English is very possible at that age unless the kids are really into keeping up with it or their mother successfully manages to make them continue with it.

    My family moved from Puerto Rico to mainland US when I was in 4th grade. At the time I was fully bilingual in Spanish and English. My mother had preemptively bought Spanish textbooks for my age level and even gave me after school lessons. I regret it now, but I think it was partially being that age and also being in a completely different culture, both in terms of area and school life, that I kept protesting and my mother eventually gave in. By the end of the first academic year, we had a kid from Peru join my class who spoke no English and I, when I was asked to help him out, shockingly discovered that I'd forgotten a lot of my Spanish. :cry: It took me a long time to recover what I'd lost.

    Long story short: The kids should not feel like studying English is a constant chore. It should be part of their regular life, but enjoyable. I think the ideas you came up with are pretty good.

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