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Old 18.08.2020, 10:39
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TheSaint TheSaint is offline
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Welcome to the forum!

We have a baby who we are going to teach mandarin to. Mum is a native speaker. I (white British) can't speak a word. We were planning to have our kids go to either the Basel or the Zurich school, as well as getting exposure at home.

I think the one thing I would recommend is to make friends with Chinese families who will do playdates etc. in mandarin. My wife's made lots of friends from within the Chinese community here, and the hope is that that will help the baby pick up Chinese more easily (we speak English at home).

You may well find someone in the Chinese community who is willing to give lessons. Of the Chinese people we know, there's quite a few stay at home mums who might be willing to pitch in for a few franks (presuming they are allowed to legally work).
Thank you for your response.

In our case making friends with some other Mandarin speaking families is definitely an option. We actually employ this approach here in London, but as far as I can see it is working great as a complementary strategy.

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An au pair won't work in this situation. They're mainly here to learn a Swiss language and about Swiss life/culture. This is why hosts must speak a Swiss language.

https://perfectway.ch/en/for-families/employ-au-pairs
That is something I totally did not take into account. Thanks @Medea Fleecestealer for pointing it out. Link is useful too.

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A friend of ours lived in China for a while and their daughter kept her Mandarin when they returned to Zurich, with two strategies:


- weekly online classes with her teacher from China
- summer holidays spend living with the teacher in China.



Both were much cheaper options than paying for local classes in Switzerland, plus 'cheap' childcare for the summer holidays every year.
Thank you. This is an excellent and efficient technique.

Last edited by MusicChick; 18.08.2020 at 11:58. Reason: merging consecutive posts
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