Moving to Taoyuan with an 11-year-old

We plan to move to Taoyuan before school starts in Sept for our 11 years old. She speaks and writes in English and Mandarin.

Any suggestions where to live and a decent local school?

Thank you.

1 Like

Hi! No advice, but I’m one step ahead in the planning… I’m moving to Taoyuan this summer also, with my 11 and 8 year olds. They’ll be attending Happy Elementary School – which I heard was bilingual but I can’t really tell you much more about it at this point. Hopefully someone else can chime in!

1 Like

If your children can speak and write Mandarin I’d avoid bilingual schools. High school will be a killer.

Thank you folks for your time.

1 Like

This sounds like a really scary cram school in worn down building in a back alley. It could be a very legitimate school, but the name scares me. I have never heard of it, though, so I will add that this is only my opinion of the name.

I will chime in about bilingual schools, since I always rant about them on this forum: Taiwan’s definition of “bilingual” school is “a school with some English instruction in PE, art, and music”. It usually involves throwing a white person in the room who may or may not have any idea how to teach, while calling the local teachers who may or may know any English but do all the teaching “assistants”. If it is a public school (I’ve been to about 11 “bilingual” schools around Taiwan and 2 in Kinmen), no academic classes are taught at bilingual schools and the students are barely at level in their English ability (compared to what the government-issued textbooks expect of them).

So be very careful about the use of the word “bilingual”. Find out what the classrooms look like. Look at the textbooks, especially the English ones. Make sure any supplementary English text makes sense and isn’t teaching crap like “x” is for “x-mas”.
Ask to speak to the principal in English. If they can’t speak English, walk away. You can’t run a bilingual school if you can’t speak one of the target languages. If the principal’s English sucks, there’s a good chance that focus is on the $$$$$ and not the English proficiency.

If you can, go in person and sit in on a class. Decide for yourself if you think the environment is good for your kids.

But if your kid already speaks both languages fluently, I’d send them to a local school. They’re more likely to get to know local friends and learn Chinese naturally. Plus, if you want to stick around for a few more years, they’re going to need the intense, mind-numbing academic environment that is the Taiwanese school system.

4 Likes

just on this part. It is a municipal school (快樂國小) with English Village program.

2 Likes

Interesting. I’d never have thought they’d name an elementary school that.

To add on to that: English Villages are horrid disasters. Any school claiming to be “bilingual” because they have an English Village is a liar. They probably have one more than the standard (one) English class per week and a full time “English immersion” program where different schools in the area come for two or three days at a time.

Thank you very much for your advice Tando. We will go for the local school.

1 Like

Thank you for sharing.

1 Like

There seems to be a public school in Taoyuan called Happy Elementary School:

Is that the same school as the one that has been mentioned in this thread?

So far on the board I don’t think I’ve found a lot of information about Taoyuan that would be directly helpful to newly-arrived persons, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the information isn’t in there somewhere. I’m pasting these links in case they can be of help (I can’t guarantee the accuracy of their contents):

From 2017:

From 2011:

(The bracketed words and link were added by me.)

From 2011:

From 2009:

From 2009:

(The bracketed words and link were added by me.)

From 2002:

1 Like

I’m going to add this here, because if you’re unfamiliar with the English Villages in Taiwan, my above post sounds like a blanket statement of negativity. It is, but it’s not unfounded (scroll down to post 14 and down):

That’s the school that I worked at. Years ago it certainly wasn’t a bilingual school. I can’t say of it is now or not. It’s a nice school in a nice area of Taiyuan. Good luck :blush:

Thank you for your time.

1 Like