Keen to speak another language? Perhaps you’ve always harboured a passion for speaking French; or maybe you’d just like to chat in the local language at your neighbourhood market in Hong Kong. Many parents might also hope that their child can develop the invaluable skill of a second or even third language, whether it’s to help them navigate their school’s curriculum, or for the many career benefits it can bestow. We take an inside look at the Hong Kong Institute of Languages (HKIL), where kids – the whole family, in fact! – can achieve all kinds of language-learning goals!
The Hong Kong Institute of Languages (HKIL) has been teaching languages to children, teens, adults, corporations and schools for over 35 years. Seven languages are offered: English, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese. Founders and teachers Christian and Dominique Chasset are well known in the community for playing a leading role in the education field.
We posed some Expat Living readers’ questions to the HKIL team, focusing in particular on its specialised children’s branch, which is dedicated to teaching languages to children from three to 12 years.
How will my child learn at the institute?
We offer a fun and engaging way to improve children’s language skills through stimulating learning activities. These activities focus on giving them positive reinforcement to boost confidence; at the same time, they strengthen the ability to communicate in a new foreign language.
Classes are delivered entirely face to face in dedicated facilities designed to optimise children’s learning. We offer a full range of courses in different languages for all ages and levels, and for every need; all are taught by qualified and experienced native teachers. The classes are available weekdays after school or for the whole day on Saturday.
HKIL provides flexible learning modes of small group classes and tailor-made private lessons. Online or homebased courses are also available, and students are free to switch their learning modes at any time. Small group classes are organised by age and level to ensure a homogenous class dynamic to provide optimal linguistic progress. For teenagers, the Institute offers exam preparation courses including IB, I/GCSE, GCE AL, CEE, IELTS, SAT and more.
Tailor-made courses for the whole family are also available, so you can share the joy of learning a new language together!
What’s a specific example of an HKIL course for kids?
We have a French Language Foundation course specifically designed for ages four to six, or seven to 12 years. It teaches basic French and enhances the learning process by introducing French culture – festivals, cuisine, iconic places, famous artists and more. It’s fun and engaging, and it brings the French language to life. At the end of the course, students can progress to Beginner 2 Level, which assists with applications to primary schools that teach French as an optional language class.
Do you hold language camps during any of the school holiday periods?
Yes, we provide dedicated language immersion camps over Christmas and Easter, and also over the summer holidays. Children can enhance their existing language skills, or gain exposure to a new language. The camps are culturally enriching, activity-based, educational, and a lot of fun. They’ll really help your child enjoy learning the language! The emphasis is on the spoken language to encourage children to express themselves and become actively involved in the lessons.
Tell us a bit more about your offerings for mums and dads.
Along with our programmes for children and teens, we have adult courses across every proficiency level. We also have a corporate training arm called HKIL Training Solutions, which provides language training to professionals to develop their language potential and compete in today’s multilingual global market.
In all, HKIL has helped thousands of students and adults learn a new language – be it to prepare for language examinations, broaden their horizons, brush up on their current level of a second or third language, or simply enhance their personal lives!
This article first appeared in the City Guide 2021/22 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.