Here’s a guide to the best language schools in Singapore, whether you’re hoping to increase your little one’s exposure to one of Singapore’s official languages, or you’d like to learn for yourself!
Besides their absolutely gorgeous indoor-outdoor learning space at Loewen by Dempsey Hill, Little Mandarins takes a fun, play-based approach with its five core principles: Play, Grow, Make, Care and Share. Led by passionate, native Mandarin speakers, learning is hands-on and interactive. There’s a real focus on Mandarin as a communication tool, not an examination subject!
Ages: 18 months (accompanied) to adult
Specialising in kiddos as young as 6 months up to 6 years, YouLe’s action-packed classes incorporate innovative pedagogical practices to bring Mandarin alive and build confidence in expression. Under the watchful eye of their passionate and lively teachers (many of them preschool and early education experts) kiddos develop a true mastery of the language while also nurturing a love for learning. Other pluses include small class size to ensure plenty of personal attention.
Age range: 6 months (accompanied) to 6 years
Offering classes for both adults and kiddos from the age of 3, this très chic studio in the East employs only native French speakers and offers both small group classes and personalised one-to-one instruction. French Studio also offers Mother Tongue classes for children from French-speaking countries, and is MOE-certified for students looking to opt out of other Mother Tongue options at local primary and secondary schools. What’s more, they’ve got a sister school, Spanish Studio!
Age range: 3 to adult
Give your child the skills, concepts, techniques and knowledge on how to ace their English language! GCS helps students prepare academically and emotionally to face challenges ahead by adopting an integrated, holistic approach to teaching and learning. The highly qualified academic board and teachers were formally Principals of Mee Toh School, St’ Nicholas Girls School, Dunman Secondary School, Woodgrove Primary School, and more, so you know your kiddos will be in good hands, mama!
Golden Compass, 20A Temple Street, Singapore 058571, Tel: (+65) 6220 6228 / 9336 1660
One of the pioneer language centres in Singapore (they were actually established in 1992!) and registered with the MOE, Hua Language Centre teaches little ones from 18 months up to 16 years old. It’s a fave among parents who have gone for Chinese classes at Hua themselves and then sent their own kiddos because of the interesting and effective curriculum. Their no-franchise policy ensures all teachers are trained and genuinely care for their pupils, and it shows – they’ve got a stellar track record of more than 90% of their Primary 6 students achieving A / A* in their PSLE Chinese exam for over 20 consecutive years.
Age range: 18 months to 16 years old
101 Thomson Road, United Square #03-25/26, Singapore 307591, Tel: (+65) 6255 5060, [email protected]
1 Seletar Road, Greenwich V #02-09, Singapore 807011, Tel: (+65) 6555 5780, [email protected]
1 Woodlands Square, Causeway Point #05-03, Singapore 738099, Tel: (+65) 6894 7183, [email protected]
Does your little one need some extra help fine-tuning his or her English skills (either written or spoken word)? Jan & Elly has over 20 years’ experience making reading fun and easy, with an age-appropriate curriculum developed by English and psychology experts, and heaps of fun and creative activities like singing and arts & crafts. All teachers are English-speaking degree holders, and the class size is kept to a 1:10 ratio. Jan & Elly is a proud partner in the government’s “Speak Good English Movement” and also works with the Dyslexia Association of Singapore.
Age range: 4 to 12 years
Jan & Elly, Seletar Hills (1 Seletar Road, #02-10 Greenwich V, Singapore 807011), Bukit Timah (432 Upper Bukit Timah Road, The Rail Mall, Singapore 678058) and Serangoon Gardens (11A Kensington Park Road, Singapore 557263), www.jan-elly.com
With bespoke and engaging one-to-one classes, The Language Boutique specialises in both Mandarin and English tuition (they can help with Maths and Science, too!). The preferred tuition provider of many of the international schools in Singapore, their lesson times and locations are completely flexible, and teachers are all native speakers who can create fun and interactive lessons for kiddos age 3 to 18. They also recently launched small group classes and camps over school holidays!
Ages: 3 to 18 years
Started in 1993 and having grown to 19 locations all over the island, Berries is a popular Mandarin centre catering to children in nursery through primary school. It’s got an MOE-approved syllabus and believes in learning through social interaction, instilment of values and curriculum understanding.
Ages: 3 to 12
Yang Language School follows the Bloom’s Taxonomy method of learning, which includes a six-step process: Acquire, Understand, Apply, Analyse, Evaluate and Create. This comprehensive framework aims to help the students navigate the art of learning Chinese successfully. Did we mention Yang Language School’s convenient location? With facilities right at Turf City in the Grandstand, you can drop your little one off while you run errands at the supermarket, or bring your other kids for other enrichment. Everybody wins!
Ages: Nursery 1 to Primary age
Yang Language School, 200 Turf Club Road, The Grandstand, #04-05 (Take Lift4 next to Giant) Singapore 287994, Tel: (+65) 6463 0060 or email: [email protected], www.facebook.com/YangLanguageSchool, www.yanglanguage.com.sg
Catering to young children in particular – with parent-accompanied classes starting from just 6 months – the Bibinogs curriculum is inspired by Multiple Intelligences Theory. Each class incorporates various “intelligences”, including movement, music, linguistic, math and more. Both enrichment and a full preschool option are available.
Ages: 6 months to 7 years
Bibinogs, Playschool (UE Square Mall, 81 Clemenceau Ave #02-11, Singapore 239917), Kids Academy (Serene Centre, #02-05/06, 10 Jalan Serene, Singapore 258748) and Preschool K.A (King’s Arcade, 559 Bukit Timah Road #B1-01, Singapore 269695), (+65) 6466 8015, [email protected], www.bibinogs.com
With both holidays camps and regular weekly classes, this is a popular choice for families fresh in from Japan that want to keep up their language skills (or fams that have a move to Japan on the horizon). With fun games, visual aids, and songs, kiddos learn to read and write Hiragana and Katakana.
Ages: 5 to 12
Pyaess, 14 Robinson Road #04-01 Far East Finance Building, Singapore 048545, (+65) 6327 1377, www.pyaess.edu.sg
Young or old, it’s never too late to improve your English! Starting from age 2 (including the super popular Learning Time with Shaun & Timmy), British Council classes aim to boost both literacy and social skills. Speech and drama classes are also available for older kids.
Ages: 2 to adult
Mandarin specialist EduGrove aims to provide a fun alternative to more traditional classes emphasising rote memorisation; its playgroups and classes are interactive and creative, with an eye toward building confidence in both oral and written skills.
Ages: 1 to adult
Having been around since 1949, AF is one of Singapore’s longest-standing language schools, and offers a wide range of classes, camps and activities for both children and adults looking to learn French (everything from storytime to French cinema nights!).
Ages: 1 to adult
Alliance Française de Singapour, 1 Sarkies Road, Singapore 258130, (+65) 6737 8422, www.alliancefrancaise.org.sg
VivaLing is the world’s first online language academy, giving children as young as 3 personalised, 1-on-1 attention from native speakers with strong teaching backgrounds, all from the comfort of their own home! Instruction in both Mandarin and English is available, both adhering to MOE curriculum standards.
Ages: 3 to 12