From Shanghai with Love ScandAsia.dk
Stenhus Kostskole Stenhus Kostskole is an academic boarding school aiming to give the students elementary knowledge and skills which can contribute to develop every student’s capabilities and talent in the best possible way. Stenhus Kostskole offers among other things: • Chinese from 5th grade • German from 6th grade • Turbo classes from 9th grade • IT as an integral part of the different subjects by using the internet • An international 10th grade including two study tours • Single rooms with net connection • Ski tour, canoe tour, adventure tour, Stenhus-Games etc. • Admission of students to attend Stenhus Gymnasium Please visit our website: www.stenhus.dk www.stenhus-kostskole.dk www.stenhus-gym.dk
Stenhus Kostskole, Stenhusvej 20, 4300 Holbæk + 45 5943 0269 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming Events Nordic Chamber Golf Tournament 2012 Where: Tian An Golf Club, Beijing When: Saturday 12 May 2012
Your FREE ScandAsia Magazine in China ScandAsia is the only magazine that covers all the Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish residents in China. We also publish a ScandAsia magazine in Thailand, Singapore and the rest of South East Asia.
Please sign up for your own FREE copy: www.scandasia.com Publisher : Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. 211 Soi Prasert Manukit 29 Prasert Manukit Road Chorakae Bua, Lad Prao Bangkok 10230, Thailand Tel. +66 2 943 7166-8, Fax: +66 2 943 7169 E-mail: email@example.com
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China, the Danish Chamber of Commerce in China, Finnish Business Council and Norwegian Business Forum are proud to invite you to yet another Nordic Chamber Golf tournament. The tournament is open to all nationals from Nordic countries and for all people working in member companies of the Nordic chamber’s and their guests. For further information, please go to www.swedishchamber.com.cn sign up is no later than Thursday 10 May.
Central Denmark Days in Shanghai
Shanghai and Central Denmark Region (Region Midtjylland) are having three days: 15-17 of May with different kind of events. The events are to promote, develop and celebrate the cooperation between Shanghai and this region in Denmark. The events and activities will cover business related knowledge cooperation, strengthening the relationships to Shanghai government, rehab and health care. For more information contact Rikke Hjuler Mikkelsen, Chief Representative at Central Denmark Shanghai Office – firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Daily news and features here: www.scandasia.com
Swedish Green Business Seminar in Hong Kong
Inside Chinese Media
Where: Hong Kong When: 23-25 May 2012
When: Thursday 24 May 2012 Time: 18:30 to 20:45 Location: The Longemont Shanghai, No. 1116.west Yan’ an road
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong invites Swedish companies within the areas; clean-tech, new energy, clean vehicles to a Green Business seminar in Hong Kong between the 23 – 25 of May, 2012. The seminar is arranged in collaboration with the Consulate General of Sweden, the Sino-Swedish Environmental Technology Cooperation - Government Offices of Sweden, the Swedish Trade Council, the Hong Kong Science Park and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Contact SwedCham via email@example.com
Danish Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai invites members and non-members to join them for an interesting evening inside Chinese media. Award winning journalist and editor, Mr. George Chen and Author and Associate professor at Fudan University Shanghai, and Mr. Hong Bing will be the two prominent speakers of the evening. For registration, please sign up through firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dccc-shanghai.com
ScandAsia News Brief DanCham in Beijing Held 16th Charity Gala Ball
he Danish Chamber of Commerce in China - Beijing pulled off yet another successful Gala Ball at the Sofitel Wanda, Saturday 25 February. This was the 16th Grand Charity Gala Ball and it turned out to be a great evening with almost 300 attendees. When the guests arrived they were greeted with a glass of champagne and canapés, after which they took the time to look at the many interesting auction items – all while the MC for the evening, the famous Danish entertainer Finn Nørbygaard, mingled with the guests. After a short while everyone was greeted in the Great Ball room of Sofitel Wanda with an opening speech from DCCC’s MC, and the first dinner course of the day. The chairman of DCCC, Humphrey Lau spoke about last year’s charity project 2011 in Malipo County, Yunnan, with pictures showing the positive transformation of a new school building being constructed. The proceeds of this year’s Gala Ball go to the project ‘Coming Home’ in Zhenzhou – Henan Province, via the non-profit organization, Morning Tears. The organization takes care of children whose parents are imprisoned or children who have been abused or neglected or not been registered at birth and thus had no rights. The children live together in homes of 8 children with 1-2 caregivers. All the homes are linked with a “child assistance center”. The child assistance center is the base for intake of new children providing psychological and medical assistance as well as coordinating the training of the caregivers and social workers. Currently “Coming Home” houses and helps 42 children. This year’s proceeds will go directly to the construction of a new home for 16 children in Henan. A lot of the proceeds derived from the live - and silent auction and Chinese lottery, which most definitely made the evening more entertaining and charitable due to all the interesting items donated by our kind sponsors.
The 16th Grand Charity Gala Ball turned out to be a great evening with almost 300 attendees.
Shortly after the Live Auction the very famous Danish band and huge success ‘Alphabeat’ played live on the large stage and all the guests started dancing and cheering.
Construction of the new building is showing progress.
SVT World – ditt fönster mot Norden! SVT:s utlandskanal SVT World sänder idag till Europa, Asien, Australien, Afrika och Nordamerika – dygnet runt och året om!
Du får nyheter och fakta. Musik, sport och natur. Barn- och nöjesprogram. Drama, debatter och kultur – dygnet runt och året om! Programfrågor: svt.se/svtworld För abonnemang kontakta: ConNova TVX +46 (0)141 - 20 39 10 email@example.com www.connova.se April 2012 • ScandAsia.China 5
ScandAsia News Brief
Danish Chamber in Hong Kong Held AGM
round 40 members attended the Annual General Meeting of Danish Chamber of Commerce of Hong Kong at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club on Thursday 15 March. The following members were elected to the Board of Directors: Frank Jensen, Chairman (Modern Terminals); Tavs Vagnby Jensen, Vice-Chairman (International Design House); Anders Schultz Tygesen, Treasurer (Consultant); Poul Sondergaard, Secretary (A-Tex Asia Ltd); Carsten Primdal, Committee Member (BSD Consulting); David Skov, Committee Member (Maersk Hong Kong); Glenn Frommer, Committee Member (MTR Corporation); Karina Trebbien, Committee Member (Carl Hansen and Son); Lisa Lindenskov, Committee Member (The Design Mission); Torben Gettermann, Honorary Member of the Board (Royal Danish Consulate Hong Kong.
Danish Chamber in Beijing Held AGM
anish Chamber of Commerce in Beijing China held its annual General Meeting on Friday 9 March at the Westin Hotel Chaoyang. Approximately 36 members attended the Annual General Meeting. After the meeting, the newly elected board established itself as follows: Chairman - Humphrey Lau, Grundfos; Vice Chairman - Jens Eskelund, Maersk; Treasurer - Jens Olsen, Nordex; Secretary - Ricco Larsen, NNIT. Other board members are Christian Olsen – Velux; Eric Messerschmidt - Danish Culture Institute; Jens Purup Krogh - Access People; Lene Brendstrup - DP Clenatech; Tom Behrens Soerensen - Fast China Consulting; Ricco Larsen; Jens Henne Hansen – Chinasoft; Alexander Schultz - Bech-Bruun; Thomas Møller Andersen - CC Jensen. The keynote speaker was Mr. Edward Tse from Booz & Co. Mr. Tse gave an insightful speech about current issues concerning Chinese State-owned enterprises(SOE) based on his expericenceas an independent board member for two large Chinese SOEs.
Frank Jensen, Chairman of Danish Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong gave a warm thank you to Gunilla Rödström who after over 3 years of good services has decided to move on.
DCCC Shanghai Elected a New Board
Board members present at the AGM.
6 ScandAsia.China • April 2012
he Danish Chamber of Commerce of Shanghai held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 15 March. Approximately 41 joined the proceedings at the Longemont Hotel in Shanghai. Of particular interest was as usual the election of the new Board of Directors. After the meeting, the newly elected board established itself as follows: Chairman – Christian Overgaard, Danfoss; Vice Chairman – Simon Lichtenberg, Trayton Group; Treasurer – Keith Svendsen, Maersk Line; Secretary – Lotte Norgreen, Vikinor; Representation from the Danish Consulate General: Susanne Hyldelund; Representation from YP: Janus Grimnitz, Prime Cargo. Other board members are: Barbara Scheel Agersnap, Innovation Center Denmark; Emil Hauch Jensen, Nilorn Shanghai; Jacob Sonnenberg, Apple Retail; Maria Stilov, Marcus P.; Morten Frank, Rowico International; Peter Trampe, ISS Facility Services; Rasmus Riisgaard Mortensen, Huber; Steen Brodsgaard Lund, Germanisher Lloyd; Steffen SchiottzChristensen, NTS Logistics Management Company.
The 49th Young Professionals Cocktail Party
he 49th Young Professionals Cocktail Party on Wednesday 15 February in Hong Kong attracted more than 400 eager party goers. The venue was the elegant Privé Club, the perfect sanctuary for Hong Kong’s cream of the crop, located amid Central’s Lan Kwai Fong and Soho. This time the event was co-organized by the Swedish, Danish and Japanese Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong. The event was also a charity event to the benefit of the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children. The main sponsor of the evening was “Tree Island Singapore Pte Ltd”. The sponsors were thanked by Ms. Sarah Olsson the YP Chairman of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, Ms. Kim Christiane Larsen, the representative of the Danish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Mr. Masakazu Yagyu, Secretary General of the Hong Kong Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
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April 2012 • ScandAsia.China 7
When I looked at wedding dress designs in China there was really nothing I liked. So at Lova Weddings we design elegant and simple dresses without lots of pearls and other embellishments. That is one of the reasons for our success.
8 ScandAsia.China â€˘ April 2012
Shanghai with Love N Swedish Lovisa Tedestedt has become famous for her “Lova Weddings” designer dresses in Shanghai – which you may now also buy in Sweden. By Dennis Krog
anchang Road in Shanghai is known for its many unique small privately owned boutiques. This is where you find the ‘Lova Weddings’ boutique, owned by 39 year old Swede, Lovisa Tedestedt. The boutique is located on the third floor of Nanchang Road number 205. Leading up to the showroom is a narrow wooden staircase with clear marks on the middle of each step. By the end of the stairs, a square room is lit up by a large iron window and along the walls, wedding- and evening gowns are reaching out from the racks. In front of the window a sofa and a silk chair marks the place from where Lovisa Tedestedt welcomes her customers. This is where she tries to fulfill the dream of the bride to wear the most beautiful wedding dress while Lovisa Tedestedt is living out her own dream.
“Actually, when we came here at the end of 2007, I was going to slow down my working life a bit, but the house-wife life wasn’t my calling – nail salons and massage parlors get old quickly, so why not live my dream?” says Lovisa Tedestedt, who moved to Shanghai with her husband Magnus and their two kids, as Magnus got relocated with his work within the telecom industry. The Swedish family moved to Shanghai after several years in the United States with their six months old daughter Emmy and son Max who was three years old.
Time to live my dream Lovisa Tedestedt originaly has a textile and design degree, but for many years she worked in the IT-industry in the United States. In Shanghai, even thought being the mother of two small children, she quickly found out that she had more time on her hands compared
to her busy life in the United States. “I loved coming to China with kids. In the US both my husband and I worked intensely. Here it is possible to get so much help that you end up having more time with your kids since you have maids for much of the household duties,” says Tedestedt. In Shanghai, Lovisa first started working in the sales industry she knew so well from her many years in America, but her heart wasn’t in it. “I had the feeling that I could do this job in my sleep. I had ‘been there done that’ and had felt the taste of success and money, but it was time to do something new. I was simply at that point in my life,” says Lovisa Tedestedt. Her dream was working with weddings, because even thought Lovisa was - and is - a business woman, she has always had a soft spot for weddings, and that soft
April 2012 • ScandAsia.China 9
spot lead to a partnership with fellow Swede, Anna Ahlqvist, and in 2009 the dream came through with the opening of Lova Weddings. “When I looked at wedding dress designs in China there was really nothing I liked. So at Lova Weddings we design elegant and simple dresses without lots of pearls and other embellishments. That is one of the reasons for our success,” says Tedestedt, who starts laughing when asked if the company was a success from the beginning. Difficult first year The beginning for Lova Weddings was not without bumps and curves. For starters the two partners were trying to find the exact profile for their company. They started doing business online, but quickly learned that a showroom was needed, but that was not the only hurdle that needed passing for two Swedes doing business in China. “The first year was such a learning curve. The Chinese language is a big challenge, but also the way we think compared to the Chinese. Even today when we fill out orders to our suppliers we have to be so
10 ScandAsia.China • April 2012
precise, otherwise the chance of error is great. We have quite high standards and we only accept the best from our working partners” The high standards and the policy of not compromising with quality is the trademark of Lova Weddings as well as the simple lines that are very much inspired by Scandinavian design, but besides the difficulties with working in China, there was the challenge of designing the dresses. “I just made so many mistakes in the beginning. Looking back, the first gown I made would probably not carry a Lova label today, and we said that we were always going to keep that first dress to remember where we came from. I keep it in my Lova Museum,” says Lovisa Tedestedt while laughing. But with the beginning difficulties out of the way, the business started blooming, and even though Lovisa and her partner had to split up, as Anna Ahlqvist was relocated to the United States in 2011, Lovisa kept designing dresses and building up her name in the industry. Now in 2012, Lova Weddings designs are on the racks in two brid-
When we relocated from the US, I had “been there done that” in the IT business. I had felt the taste of success and money. It was time to do something new. I was simply at that point in my life.
al boutiques in Sweden, Miss China wears and endorse Lova designs everywhere, and Lovisa Tedestedt has made it to the front covers of several magazines. The order books are filling up.
Success of a business woman Asked to suggest the main reason for her success, Lovisa Tedestedt points to the fact that she found a niche business. Apart from that she believes it is her dedication to using only the best quality and keeping the price at an average of 15.000 SEK (2.200 USD). Besides making beautiful dresses Lovisa Tedestedt has been very good at promoting and marketing her business. One example of the smart marketing is the work Lovisa Tedestedt does with charities. From the beginning Lova Weddings have donated a small amount to a charity for every weeding dress carrying the Lova Weddings name. By doing so Lovisa Tedestedt has received a lot of media attention, and the Swede is not denying the business aspect of having a social profile.
“I am surprised that more Nordic companies, especially smaller ones, aren’t involved in supporting charity causes and realizing the opportunities that come along with doing so. The social profile has a double effect; I feel good about the support we provide, and at the same time it’s an interesting side of our business for media to write about. Let’s face it, magazines like to write about it,” says Lovisa Tedestedt. The Lovisa Tedestedt way of doing business is very much inspired by her many years in the United States and it is clear that besides her very obvious talent for designing wedding dresses, her business talent is at least at the same high level as her work with a needle and thread. With her 39 years Lovisa Tedestedt plans on staying in the business for many years to come. “Everyday I wake up thinking of ways to expand my business even further. My goal is to build a global brand.” Lovisa Tedestedt says.
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April 2012 • ScandAsia.China 11
Entrepreneur in Chi H A couple of years after Finnish Mika Heikinheimo was awarded software entrepreneur of the year by the Software Entrepreneurs Association in Finland, he decided to embark on a challenging adventure to China. Full of ideas and with high expectations he has since built one of the biggest software companies in the world. Then he moved back to Finland. By Alexandra Leyton Espinoza
12 ScandAsia.China • April 2012
eikinheimo started his first company Flander, an IT sourcing company in 1997, and built that up to a company employing over 160 people. Heikinheimo enjoyed on average 80 percent growth during that period. With high demand for more cost effective solutions and lower margins the software industry in China and India became increasingly challenging. But which market to develop the business, China or India? “We needed to grow, to decrease costs and find a base in Asia,” Heikinheimo says. “Eventually we saw that China was the place where we were able to find both mobile companies like Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson and big networking companies. Everyone was here,” he says. “We actually sent a European mid-level manager to China two years earlier, as an experiment but that didn’t work. The company didn’t grow at all, logistically the distance between the operations in Europe and China played a big role. So I decided to move to China with my family in 2007”. Heikinheimo made China a core to his company’s growth strategy, with the number of software professionals in its Beijing office jumping from five to 120 employees in one year. “I started to hire people aggressively, it was all about volume. To have five people, as we did in the beginning was far from the critical mass we needed to succeed. We wanted to be specialized and have a significant number of employees to be able to outsource.” “I can say the hardest and most difficult part of that process was the volume of applications we received. In Scandinavia you post a job online, have a dozen of applicants and you might interview three of them. In China those numbers are multiplied by ten, still at the end you realize only a couple are fit to work for an international company,” he says. “Sometimes it felt like you had to fight for everything, to get the right legal documents, receipts of transactions, it goes down to determination.” For the company to expand
further the privately-held Finnish mobile software firm had to make an important decision. To either stay at the same number of people or grow by merging Flander with Symbio Group, a Chinese-American company. It finally agreed to acquire Symbio Group by expanding its offering and creating one of the largest outsourced product developments in the world. As a part of the deal, Flander changed its name to Symbio. “It wasn’t the first merger or acquisition we had completed. Of course we had to relinquish power but we still kept over half of the shares. We had modern premises, however logistically it made sense to move our operations into one facility on the other side of the city. We lost some people, at the same time, our colleagues who had been with company since the start ended up with pretty good positions,” he says.
The move back home Then, after only three years in China, Heikinheimo decided to move back home. According to him he had reached his goal with Flander and wanted to do something else. “I had been working with Flander for ten years. When I came to China my goal was to make it big enough for the Chinese market. I was happy to hand over the company to new and fierce young talents, keep a position as a board member and start something new.“ “I didn’t really know what to do from the beginning, if it was either to invest in a company or start something from scratch.” The idea landed in BeiZ, a game studio that concentrates on developing educational games for children. “I have children of my own and didn’t find anything in the market that was fun and challenging enough for children between the ages of four to eight,” he says. Like many other start ups, the first two years are the toughest, the company has just about survived. Heikinheimo is expecting the coming years to be about evolving the business, China, this time, isn’t in his agenda anytime soon. “We have representatives in China, but I don’t believe the mar-
ina and Finland ket is ready for us yet. It’s definitely an interesting market but our product doesn’t fit. Chinese people are not used to paying for mobile content. Because of hacked versions and piracy, why will they pay several hundreds of Chinese yuan if they can get the same games for just a couple of bucks in the local market. However, companies like Apple and Nintendo are getting better at preventing piracy,” he says. One of Heikinheimo’s latest innovations is Lolas Alphabet Train, a kids English learning game featuring a Chinese panda which has had much success. “It’s challenging in the way that our customers can’t read and we have to create something that keeps them interested and they also learn from, “he says. “We have got good feedback so far and its interesting from a business perspective also.” Even if his Chinese experience was short lived, he recalls his visit with sweet memories. “I must admit I didn’t study Chinese enough to interact into the Chinese culture. Still, my experiences in China were good and I still visit the country several times a year,“ he says.
It’s challenging in the way that our customers can’t read and we have to create something that keeps them interested and they also learn from.
April 2012 • ScandAsia.China 13
The Boarding Option There are boarding options in the Southeast Asia region that provide both a world-class education and the ‘traditional’ residential boarding option – all right here on your doorstep!
here are many reasons to attend a boarding school. In the old days, there was often no other school in the region that could meet the educational needs of the child. This is sometimes still the case, but more often there are other reasons in play. Parents may want to provide a stable school environment as their child nears the end of their schooling. Maybe they expect that they may have to relocate – again – during those final years and want to protect the child against yet another break-up. Sometimes, choosing a boarding school also means that the child can take subjects that may lead to their preferred university course or career. At the same time, the boarding school experience of living away from home will be an excellent preparation for university that will also develop the child's inde-
pendence and English language skills. Or it may simply be that the parents wish to give their child the rich and varied experiences that only a boarding school provides.
Benefits of boarding Whatever the reason behind the decision, there are some key benefits your child will gain from boarding; particularly during high or secondary school. Boarding provides a boost in self confidence for students and helps develop their independence and self management skills while still providing a safety net of schoolorganised routines and schedules. There are studies that suggest boarding provides an added edge in academic performance, since the routines in a boarding house provide for a structured study roster and tend to result in greater time spent on homework, revision and study during these vital final years.
14 ScandAsia.China • April 2012
What is boarding? The ‘traditional’ boarding experience is a residential boarding school, where students live together in a school-run boarding facility with shared or single bedrooms and shared living spaces. There are house parents to provide supervision, assist students, help resolve issues and answer queries – be they academic or personal. The routines of a boarding house ensure students have a balance between academic and leisure pursuits, resulting in dedicated time towards homework and other pursuits such as sport, music or community service. Meals, housekeeping and study support are usually included and the boarding houses are usually located either within the school grounds, or very close to the day school.
‘D-I-Y’ boarding There is boarding and there is
boarding. A number of schools now accept students as day pupils while they board in a student hostel or an appointed guardian’s home. This can be successful if your (older) child is going to be a weekly boarder (meaning they will come home every weekend) or they are very independent and self motivated, and are likely to make friends easily. However, this option does not always offer the level of support needed by young people in a country or city not their own.
Sending them ‘home’ Another option, traditionally the choice of expats and other families who think their child will be going to university abroad, has always been to ‘send them home’ to finish their schooling in the country they are likely to attend university in. However, given the long-term nature of some expatriate relocations nowa-
may miss some opportunities available at the school.
The Asia-based options
days, this may not be the child’s ‘home’ country, regardless of what it says on their passport! Undoubtedly, going to board in the UK, Europe, Australia or America can prepare a student for attend-
ing university in those countries. However, especially if the child is younger, this option can be fraught with culture-shock and homesickness, in that the student can sometimes take a long while to adjust and
Many parents know that there are numerous international schools across the region offering excellent education options for students of all ages that now accept boarders enrolled on a school-sanctioned, hostel-based arrangement (the D-IY option mentioned above). What many parents do not realise is that there are boarding options in the Southeast Asia region that provide both a world-class education and the ‘traditional’ residential boarding option – all on their doorstep! One such school is the UWC South East Asia in Singapore, which offers boarding to students in Grade 7 and above. The boarding house on its Dover Campus is home to nearly 200 students from over 40 nationalities, and the East Campus will house about 120 students from around the world by 2015. It is an IB World School, and one of the largest IB Diploma schools in the world. The Asia-based boarding option provides not only a ‘closer-to-family’ option; it also opens a wealth of opportunity in terms of travel and
cultural / global awareness. Many students in these schools – be they day or boarding pupils – have experienced the transition of moving to a new country and culture to start school. The international school community is naturally geared to understanding and providing support for boarders as they adjust to living away from home, possibly for the first time. Being closer to family also means more frequent visits; this is especially important for younger boarders (and their parents!)
The final decision In the end, only you and your child can decide which option and which school is going to be right for your child. Families need to invest some time in making sure that the school they have selected is going to be a good fit, by visiting the school if at all possible, taking a tour and making sure it will support your child socially, emotionally and culturally as well as academically. The rewards of making the right decision stand to resonate far beyond the school gates.
Sometimes it is all about you. Applying for a place at UWC South East Asia is one of those times. We are looking for families who are as committed to our mission and values as we are. For students who will embrace the opportunities provided by our learning programme. No never-ending wait list. No concerns about date of application. Simply apply and let us get to know you. Please contact admissions on +65 6775 5344. www.uwcsea.edu.sg UWCSEA Dover is registered by the CPE CPE Registration No. 197000825H Registration Period 18 July 2011–17 July 2017 UWCSEA East is registered by the CPE CPE Registration No. 200801795N Registration Period 10 March 2010–9 March 2017 039ADV-1112
April 2012 • ScandAsia.China 15
The Secret to Good Grades – It’s in a Book By Michael Hirsch, Secondary School Principal at KIS
he following is an example of an SAT math question. It is one of 44 multiple choice questions that students will need to take, in addition to another 10 free response questions. A special lottery is to be held to select the student who will live in the only deluxe room in a dormitory. There are 100 seniors, 100 juniors, and 200 sophomores who applied. Each senior’s name is placed in the lottery 3 times; each junior’s name, 2 times; and each sophomore’s name, 1 time. What is the probability that a senior’s name will be chosen? Students will have 70 minutes to answer the above and all the other 54 questions, meaning that they will have a little over one minute to read and comprehend the question, and then to make the necessary calculations. Let’s take another example, in this case of an IB Standard Level Maths question: 75 metal spherical cannon balls, each of diameter 10 cm, were excavated from a Napoleonic War battlefield. (a) Calculate the total volume of all 75 metal cannon balls excavated. [3 marks] The cannon balls are to be melted down to form a sculpture in the shape of a cone. The base radius of the cone is 20 cm.
(b) Calculate the height of the cone, assuming that no metal is wasted. [3 marks] This question is worth a total of 6 marks. The test has a total of 90 marks, and students have 90 minutes to complete the exam.
What are we testing? Are these examples of math tests, or reading tests? Perhaps they’re both. Test takers must decode and comprehend the questions. There is vocabulary that is key to getting the questions right (cone, base radius, diameter, spherical, probability, etc.) and there are other words that are not crucial for getting the question correct that can be sources of distraction (Napoleonic, excavated, sculpture, assuming, deluxe, dormitory, senior, junior, sophomore, etc.) There are plenty of students who will get these questions wrong who understand geometry and probability, some of whom are native English speakers, because of their reading skills. These students could not decode the question, or could not decode it quickly enough. Remember, in each exam students have only about a minute for each mark / question – not only is it important to be able to understand what you read, but it is important to be able to do so quickly.
Reading the challenge A student’s ability to read is probably the factor that is most correlated with both their academic success in school, and their success on
16 ScandAsia.China • April 2012
exams like those they take for their IB Diplomas, or exams that they take for college admissions. At KIS International School students are encouraged to read through a variety of activities, such as book week, mother tongue language day, “Drop Everything and Read”, quiet reading time, buddy reading and other strategies. Thailand is not generally thought of as a country of readers – people are more likely to be using their iPad or phone for playing Angry Birds than to be reading a newspaper or book on the Sky Train or while relaxing at a Starbucks. Thailand ranked 53rd on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for International Student Assessment reading exam. This result placed us behind countries like Romania, Mexico, Uruguay, and Serbia, not just economic powerhouses like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Finland.
Books – not money So, what can we do about it? We can read. We can encourage our children to read. We can buy our children books for their birthday, for Christmas, or even as a reward for having done well on their report card. The research on this is conclusive. Researchers from the University of Nevada, UCLA, and the Australian National University published a report in the journal, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility looking at the effect of the size of family libraries on educational attainment in 27 different countries.
Controlling for parent education and wealth the study found that children who lived in homes with more than 500 books went significantly farther in school. In China having a library of over 500 books equated to the child on average earning an additional 6.6 years of education, while the international average was over 3 years. There is actually a stronger correlation between family library size and a student’s academic success than there is between family wealth or parent education and student academic success. If you want your child to be successful, don’t by them an iPad, buy them a book - or at least buy them digital books or magazines for their iPad!
Set time for reading Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers suggests that to truly master a set of complex skills we must spend 10,000 hours on it. Most students start to develop literacy skills at around 3 years old. If we want to have our students be master readers by the age of 16 when they start their IB Diplomas, that would mean that they would need to average reading a little bit over 2 hours a day, 365 days a year, for those 13 years. This may sound like a lot, but how many days has your child spent over 2 hours watching TV or movies, or over 2 hours playing video games? If you want your child to have an advantage for their education and future, set aside daily time for reading – every little bit helps.
KIS International School
IS International School is a full IB World School. The school was founded in 1998 and offers an international curriculum of high academic standards which challenges students to become responsible and effective world citizens. The campus is green and spacious, and it’s located inside a gated housing estate near near AsokeRatchadapisek and not far from Ekamai Road. Despite being close to the city center, the area is so peaceful that the school was visited several times this year by an owl! The school has all that kids need to learn: laboratories, libraries, an arts centre, an auditorium, tennis courts, games pitches and a rooftop swimming pool. International Schools in Bangkok offer several different types of curricula. KIS offers the well-respected International Baccalaureate programmes starting with the Primary Years Programme for ages 3-11, the Middle Years Programme for ages 11-16 and the pre-university IB Diploma Programme for ages 16-18. These programmes are well-balanced and instil students with a positive attitude to learning, while engaging them with a world perspective in the humanities, languages, mathematics, the arts, technology and the sciences. After school the students partake in a wide range of extra-curricular activities. A recent survey at KIS highlighted that parents, teachers and students respect each other and that the programme is suitably challenging. Parents
and students rated teachers as being knowledgeable and good teachers. The atmosphere at KIS is one of the school’s great strengths. Students and parents quickly feel at home and develop a sense of pride in their school. KIS’s smaller size means there is individual attention for each student and openness to creative and progressive ideas. Tony and Sue lived in Bangkok and their son attended KIS. Unfortunately due to work, they had to relocate back to Europe. Their son missed KIS so much that the family decided to move back to Bangkok. “KIS is the only school that our son has attended where he genuinely looks forward to going to school each day. This is partly because of the friends he has there but mainly it is because he thoroughly enjoys the whole school experience at KIS. The teachers have that great skill that makes learning fun and couple that with the superb facilities, impressive buildings and the caring and fun nature of the staff it is easy to see why we moved halfway around the world just so our son could be educated at KIS.”
April 2012 • ScandAsia.China 17
Practical Wine Tips • Best wines for spicy foods Living in Sourth East Asia, a frequently asked questions is what are the best wines to go with spicy food. In general, spicy, salty and smoky foods and ingredients cry out for wines that don’t add more heat or lots of other flavors. So don’t serve high alcohol wines that translate to heat in your mouth, like California Chardonnay and Cabernet. These wines are also a no-no because they also have lots of competing oaky, caramel flavors. Great food wines for spicy, salty, smoky dishes have refreshing acidity that acts like a firefighter to cool your mouth. They should have gobs of fruit flavor, which translates to a touch of sweetness in your mouth, which softens those spicy, salty, smoky flavors. Ideal white wines include Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Chablis; red wines include Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Beaujolais Villages and Chinon.
• Three steps to make a cheap bottle of red wine taste three times as good Play “TAG” which stands for Temperature, Aeration and Glassware. 1. FEEL THE BOTTLE. If the red is slightly cool to the touch, serve it. If it’s warm, meaning ambient room temperature (70-75 degrees), ask for an ice bucket and give the wine a dip for five to 10 minutes so it gets slightly cool like the temperature of a wine cellar. 2. HAVE THE WINE AERATED IN A DECANTER (or glass pitcher at a more casual restaurant) before serving it. 3. ASK FOR BIG RED WINE GLASSES The big bowl lets you swirl and limber up the wine so it tastes better. Wine glasses are the gift that keeps on giving. So gift yourself first! • The fastest way to chill your wine Add a third of a cup of salt to an ice bucket to make salt water which cools your wine 50% faster than tap water. Great for the holidays and parties when you have thirstier guests than anticipated. • Best wines for Sunday brunch The refreshing prickle of bubbles and mouthwatering acidity of Champagne and sparkling wines cut right through egg dishes and cream sauces (like the Hollandaise on your Eggs Benedict). Next best choices are high acid whites like Sauvignon Blanc or Chablis whose good acidity can also scour your tongue and cleanse it of the egg yolks and Hollandaise sauce. Why? So you can really taste the next bite of food!
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• How to avoid red wine headaches 1. Histamines are naturally present on grape skins and are present in higher concentration on red grapes than white grapes. So take an anti-histamine 30 minutes beforehand. 2. If histamines don’t bother you and you still get a headache it could be the tannins (preservatives) in red wine. So give up Cabernet and Merlot and drink wines with less tannin like Pinot Noir, Rioja, Chianti, Beaujolais-Village, Barbera, St Nicholas and Dolcetto.
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