Sat, Sep 24, 2005 - Page 2 News List

MOE concerned about children's language abilities

CNA , TAIPEI

An average of 8.2 percent of elementary schoolchildren born to Southeast Asian mothers are slow in speech and language development, according to the results of a Ministry of Education survey that was recently released.

The ministry report said sluggish language development among children born to Southeast Asian mothers may be related to their mothers' own linguistic problems.

According to the survey, 10.1 percent of first and second graders whose mothers are from Southeast Asia are slow in language development, but the ratio drops to 6.7 percent among third and fourth graders and further slides to 5.5 percent among fifth and sixth graders.

The figures indicate that education can help mixed-race children in language learning and development, the report said.

The survey also found that 24.13 percent of mixed-race children whose mothers can hardly speak Mandarin or Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese) are slow language learners, while only 4.8 percent of mixed-race children with mothers able fluently speak a local language have difficulties in language development.

The report also said that 54 percent of mixed-race children perform well in language and literary study, while the ratio of those who perform well in mathematics, social studies, nature and technological studies are relatively low.

The survey was conducted from June 10 to 25 and evaluated the children's performances during the last school year, with 7,159 elementary students at 281 private and public schools nationwide surveyed.

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