Chinese enrichment classes are one of the most popular enrichment courses for children in Singapore.
This is not surprising as many parents are concerned about their children's proficiency in Chinese given that English tends to be more widely used at home in Singapore.
And with the growing importance of China and along with it the Chinese language, many non-native speaking parents are also seeing the benefits of getting their kids to learn the Chinese language.
We've shortlisted some of the best Chinese enrichment classes for kids in pre-school and primary school.
So whether it's to introduce your child to mandarin, build a strong foundation for Primary School, or to prepare for the PSLE exams, we'll help you find the right language school!
"It just works!" is one of the common refrains from parents who swear by Berries.
Indeed, it's one of the most popular Chinese enrichment classes in Singapore, having been established for more than 25 years and with 20 branches island-wide.
Berries' proven approach is based on combining social interaction with holistic learning for a fun and multi-sensory learning experience that keeps kids engaged and ensures they are learning the material.
You'll want to register early as being recognized for having one of the best Chinese enrichment classes for kids also means there's a waiting list for many of its locations, particularly for the weekend slots.
Berries offers enrichment classes for both pre-school as well as primary school level students.
The nursery to kindergarten enrichment classes focus on building a solid foundation and aim to foster a love for learning mandarin.
A variety of activities such as conversational practice, thematic nursery rhymes, craftwork, storytelling, and games are used to get children interested to learn Chinese.
The Primary school programmes cover reading, writing, and oral comprehension skills taught in line with Singapore's Ministry of Education's (MOE) primary level curriculum.
Weekly take home exercises and mock assessments reinforce learning and prepare students to do well in exams.
Berries' learning tools, such as composition handbooks, themed materials, and exercises, are among the things that they are highly acclaimed for.
These are specially designed in-house by their curriculum team and tested constantly.
Handcrafted materials and creative designs of the learning materials capture the attention of students and facilitate multi sensory learning.
Preschool children will also enjoy the reader pens which are used along with talking cards and books to enhance word recognition.
Location: 20 locations across Singapore
Youle is known for their playgroup and preschool programs for kids from 1-6 years old.
Its signature program, Mandarin Alive! is a parent accompanied class that is designed to introduce Mandarin Chinese to toddlers from 1-3 years old.
With kids in this age group having very limited attention spans, the emphasis here is very much on providing a fun and enjoyable learning environment.
And Youle's enthusiastic and passionate teachers do a great job of keeping the kids engaged throughout with a variety of fun activities such as storytelling, games, music, dance, and craft activities.
The small class size of 6-8 kids also promotes interaction while ensuring that every child is receiving adequate attention from the teachers.
All of these make Mandarin Alive! one of the best Chinese playgroup programmes in Singapore.
Parents really enjoy the classes too as they get to bond with their kids through the fun activities!
Another popular program at Youle is the Speech and Drama Program for 3-6 years old.
In this class, students build confidence in expressing themselves in Mandarin through activities such as role-playing, poetry recitals, craftwork, music-&-movement, debates, and presentations.
Children are taught through group activities, which encourages interaction and teamwork.
By learning how to work with others to achieve team objectives, your child will also gain important social skills that will serve them well in school and in life.
Through regular performances by the students, parents will also be able to see first hand how much their childrens' confidence in Mandarin has improved.
Established in 2018, HaHa Chinese focuses on inspiring early Mandarin Chinese language skills through thematic learning programs and a fun and interactive learning environment.
Toddlers from as young as 15 months can participate in its playgroup programmes where they'll learn through play in the theme based mandarin enrichment programme.
Children in the Nursery and Kindergarten enrichment classes will have more opportunities to build on their vocabulary and comprehension.
Teachers in these classes use stories and group discussions to encourage kids to have conversations and express their ideas.
HaHa Chinese's Elementary Level classes are for children from 6-12 years old and are geared more towards students who are attending international schools and those would like some exposure to Mandarin Chinese as a third language.
Location: 228A River Valley Road, Level 2, Singapore 238268
Established in 1989, Tien Hsia is one of the longest running Chinese enrichment schools in Singapore with enrichment classes ranging from preschool all the way to Secondary school level.
It also runs holiday enrichment courses such as 5-day fun mandarin workshops and programmes to enhance preparation for the PSLE exam.
Tien Hsia keeps its classes separate for every level (e.g. Kindergarten 1, Kindergarten 2, Primary 1), so you won't have students from different levels mixing together, even in the preschool classes.
Through a teaching methodology that combines theory with practice, Tien Hsia encourages children to engage in interactive activities with classmates and teachers. This is in addition to the traditional classroom assignments such as reading and writing.
Its methods does seem to produce results, judging by its ability to regularly produce students who score the top marks (A*, A) for Chinese in the PSLE exams.
The Preschool programmes are designed to prepare kids for Chinese at the Primary school level.
Teachers make learning more fun and engaging by using interesting teaching aids and incorporating stories, games, songs, dance, and movement.
Hanyu Pinyin is also gradually introduced into lessons so that students are well prepared when they enter Primary School.
The Primary level programmes aim to supplement the local school syllabus and focus on improving students' command of both spoken and written Chinese.
The curriculum is updated constantly in order to keep abreast of new MOE syllabus and guidelines.
Separate programmes for Higher Chinese students are also available.
Location: 11 locations islandwide
Started in 1992, Hua Language Centre offers Chinese enrichment classes from pre-school playgroups for kids as young as 1.5 years old, to secondary school level programs.
Its curriculum is overseen by co-founder Mr Chew Wee Kai, who previously held the role of Specialist Inspector for the Chinese Language at the Ministry of Education.
At MOE, he was also involved in setting Chinese exam papers and was the chief marker for some Chinese exam papers.
Mr Chew is also an active member of the Chinese literary community in Singapore and is a columnist for Lianhe Zaobao and Shin Min Daily News. In addition, he is a member of the Singapore Promote Mandarin Council.
It's this expertise with the Singapore Chinese syllabus combined with intricate understanding of Chinese linguistics that enables Hua Language Centre to develop their own curriculum which takes into account brain science and child psychology, making learning fun yet still effective for its students.
You certainly can't argue with their results with 90% of their Primary Six students scoring A or A* in their PSLE Chinese exams!
The playgroup programmes are parent-accompanied, and are a good way for children to be exposed to mandarin at an early age.
It's also a great parent-child bonding activity!
The preschool programmes offered include:
Every term starts with a new theme, with songs and teaching materials created in house to ensure that kids are kept engaged in the theme.
The Singapore Chinese syllabus is closely followed in the Primary School Programmes.
While Hua Language Centre is serious about results, it's goal is also to keep students motivated by making learning Chinese interesting.
The Chinese as a Foreign Language programme is a theme based program where children learn the Chinese language as well as Chinese culture through age-appropriate activities and role-play.
Hua Language Centre is experienced in teaching non-Chinese students mandarin, having been appointed by MOE Language Centre to run immersion mandarin courses for French exchange students in Singapore.
Started in 2007, Wang Learning Centre offers courses from preschool through to secondary school level.
It's a popular choice for parents of Primary School kids, particularly those that are looking for a Chinese enrichment class with a more intensive curriculum.
And the results speak for themselves as Wang Learning Centre produces hundreds of students that score A* and A for the PSLE exams every year.
For primary school students, the school offers three courses:
Chinese language knowledge and comprehension: Based on MOE's Primary School Chinese textbooks, students are taught close passage, dialogue completion, and comprehension practices to improve their reading and writing, as well as answering techniques for exams.
The aim is also to increase the students' vocabulary so that they are able to respond to questions more effectively.
Speaking, Listening, Essay Writing and Idioms: This course focuses on speaking, listening, and essay writing with comprehension as a supplementary component.
Students are taught useful words and sentences that they can incorporate in their writing.
They are also taught how to express themselves effectively and to use a framework based approach to writing so they never run out of writing ideas.
One- Stop Comprehensive Intensive Course: Wang Learning Centre's most popular Primary school course that integrates comprehension, speaking, listening, and composition.
With home based learning becoming more common, a growing number of parents are realizing that online classes can be an effective way for their children to learn as well.
Not only will you save time (no more having to shuttle your children around from one education centre to the next!), the fees for online classes are usually also much lower than in-person classes.
One of the leading schools for learning Chinese online, LingoAce offers Chinese enrichment classes for students aged 4-15.
There are a variety or programmes on offer, from those based on the Singapore or Mainland China syllabus to international programs that cater to students learning Chinese as a second language.
You can also choose classes geared towards specific areas such as writing, oral communication, vocabulary reinforcement, or Primary One preparation.
What LingoAce does very well is to keep students engaged as the teachers are able to use interactive tools such as illustrations, animations, and gamification to capture the attention of students and to keep learning fun.
Classes are also kept small at a maximum of 4 students so that teachers can ensure that every child receives enough attention.
One to one sessions are available as well.
For parents, the online platform makes it a breeze for you to schedule and reschedule classes.
You'll also be able to keep track of your child's progress easily. You can review the materials that have been taught and can even playback the recorded video of the lessons.
While not as well known as the other schools on this list, Connected Learning has nevertheless been earning good reviews from parents for its online Chinese enrichment classes.
It offers classes for students from Primary One to Secondary Four, with the syllabus in accordance to Singapore's MOE Syllabus, and geared towards preparing students for the PSLE and 'O' Level exams.
Classes are conducted from Monday to Saturday and are capped at a maximum of four students.
Lessons cover areas that students are required to be proficient in, such as oral, composition, comprehension, listening comprehension, vocabulary, sentence construction and tenses.
Connected Learning's team of 15 full-time tutors all have degrees or diplomas in either Chinese language or education related fields.
They are also experienced educators with management teachers having between 10-15 years experience in teaching with even the most junior teachers having at least 2 years of teaching experience.
Moreover, they are also experienced in conducting lessons online, with each teacher having online teaching experience of 2-7 years.
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