Looking for English-speaking preschoolers in Jiayi County

My wife and three-year old daughter live in northern Jiayi County, in the town of Dalin (very close to the southern border of Yunlin County). I live with them on the weekends, but I live in Miaoli County on weekdays because of my job.

My problem is that since my daughter spends much more time with my wife (who is Taiwanese) than with me (who is American), she speaks fluent Chinese but only a little English.

I think a good way for my daughter to learn English quickly would be for her to play with children who speak English fluently. But the problem is that we live in a very rural area, and it’s been five years since I saw another foreigner in my town. And he didn’t have any kids, anyway.

If there are any Forumosers with English-speaking preschool children who live in Jiayi County or Yunlin County, please send me a PM. Anywhere as far south as Jiayi City or as far north as Dou-Liou or Huwei would be okay.

Mark, this may be weird, but go to the Caves bookstore in Chaiyi and ask them for the addresses of some bilingual kindies/preschools in the area. Caves supplies them with books so they would know, well, more than I do.

Good luck.

It’s easy to find “bilingual” nursery schools and kindergartens, but I’m sure that all of the students will be Taiwanese chlidren whose Chinese ability is 1000 times better than their English ability, so if they play with my daughter, then they will be speaking Chinese, not English.

What I am really looking for is children the same age as my daughter who can’t speak much Chinese. Then when they play together, my daughter will have to speak English with them in order to communicate.

I don’t think any Taiwanese child would fit in this category, unless they grew up overseas and just moved to Taiwan. So what I’m really looking for is children who have at least one parent who is a foreigner and speak English at home. But that’s very hard to find because most foreigners in Taiwan live in the big cities. But I don’t want to have to take my daughter all the way to Taizhong or Tainan just to let her play with her friends and practice speaking English.

I think that would be hard, not to be negative, but as an example a couple of weeks ago we went on a camping trip (Neiwan) there were about 15 kids who could all speak english, but when playing together, most of the time they’d speak Chinese. I mean the kids here obviously live in a Chinese enviroment rather than an English one, so speaking Chinese is more natural to them.
The chances for you to find a non speaking chinese kid in your area are second to none.
I live in Taipei and when I take my 7 year old in the park or anywhere with other expat kids they mostly speak Chinese.
Your situation is very difficult and I can understand your frustration in trying to get your daughter to speak more English.
What I would do is:

  1. get your wife to start speaking more english than chinese wwith your daughter.
  2. rent or buy some cartoons on DVD and watch them in English.
  3. get some english story books and read stories to her.
  4. create your own english enviroment at home.
    Your daughter is 3 years old so she would pick up rather fast, as kids do at this age, so I wouldn’t be worried too much.

Good Luck. :wink:

Also, I think lots of twoworld kids in Taiwan have a lagtime imbedded for speaking the foreign language. At about the same age. my son began to worry me, as he spoken little if any english. But now, he’s completely fluent in both.

Igor’s a got a point, find some english programming, or website for kids, watch them together and talk about them.

Hi Mark,

I live in Miaoli City and I also have a three year old daughter. I have exactly the same problem in that there are no other kids her her age who speak English, nor are there any Bilingual schools which have fultime foreign English teachers. She goes to a Chinese Kindergarten and therefore speaks Chinese fluently. However, since neither my husband nor I can speak Chinese, she only ever speaks English at home, and of course she speaks English to all our foreigner friends. She speaks English to foreigners and Chinese to Chinese people. She wont speak Chinese to foreigners who are practising their Chinese on her. I do find however, that even Chinese people who can speak English, will automatically speak Chinese to her. Anyway, the reason for this post is actually that since we don’t live too far away from each other, why don’t we get our little girls together? Weekends are the only times that are good for us since we all at school during the week. Please feel free to pm me.



Thanks for the post! I would love to meet you and let our daughters play together. The only problem is that my daughter is usually with my wife in Jiayi County, although I guess my wife wouldn’t mind if I occasionally brought her up to Miaoli County with me.

Anyway, I’ll send you a PM.