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The Sassy Mama Guide to Chinese Classes, Playgroups and Schools in Singapore

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One of the most useful gifts you can give a child is the ability to speak more than one language, and here in Singapore it’s so easy to expose your little linguist to 2, 3 or even more foreign languages! With heaps of fun ways for kids to learn Chinese, we’ve rounded up the best in Mandarin classes, playgroups and even a childcare centre or two, to help your little ones on their way to fluency. Sign them up now, mama!

 

Enrichment Classes 

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The bee’s knees of Mandarin enrichment centres, Berries World of Learning is one of the most popular language schools in Singapore! With a fun-filled multi-sensory approach to teaching Chinese, littlies from 3 years old age learn through hands-on, creative projects and plenty of social interaction. Just be warned mama… the wait list is looooooooooong!

Beijing Language School is another great option, with enrichment classes for P1-6 kids as well as nursery and kindergarten classes. With a strong word of mouth following, kiddies build their Chinese vocabulary, word recognition, sentence structure and comprehension skills through games, exercises, revisions, and even mock examinations for the big kids (you tiger mama!). They follow the local school syllabus to fully prepare their students for the demands of the national curriculum.

A well-rounded Chinese education, EduPlus Language Centre covers everything from language and oral comprehension to thinking and listening skills (yes please!). Kiddos are also taught writing composition, problem solving and critical thinking skills to build proficiency in the Mandarin language. Classes start from 4 years of age.

Han Language Centre focuses on oral language, comprehension, and writing skills for students who already have a strong Chinese foundation. Suitable for Primary 1 to Secondary 4 students, Han expands vocabulary and understanding, while supporting local school Chinese learning.

With an impressive track record, Hua Language Centre provides Chinese enrichment classes that complement the MOE syllabus. Little ones 2+ can join their preschool programme and learn the basics of Mandarin through games, stories, music, and other oral and writing activities, while bigger kids (up to secondary level) can hone their skills and learn important study techniques to prepare them for their Chinese language exams.

Hosted mainly by native Mandarin teachers, Jian Education Centre has Chinese classes for specific school levels, with teaching materials based on the local school syllabus. Perfect for primary and secondary school students, they also hold regular holiday camps.

Native Chinese speakers engage children in fun and creative lessons at Julia Gabriel. With a range of EduDramaEarly ReadersCreative Writing and Chinese Cultural Arts classes in Mandarin for kids from 3 to 12 years, littlies will be speaking, reading and writing in Chinese in no time!

Adopting a pro-active teaching method, Molin Tuitorial Centre‘s age-appropriate Chinese language classes teach little ones how to speak and express themselves in Mandarin, before moving onto reading and writing Chinese characters. For kids from nursery to secondary level, they also teach traditional Chinese values as part of their curriculum!

Small class sizes and a Chinese-only environment greet little linguists at Tien Hsia Language School where minis from 3 years of age can learn Mandarin in a structured learning environment – teachers even incorporate nursery rhymes into the curriculum! For older ones, the MOE-approved curriculum supplements school learning by improving written and spoken Chinese.

With a range of courses for kids from 1 year of age, Yuquan Language School teaches children how to recognize Chinese characters before learning how to write them. Taught be native language teachers, this highly publicized approach helps kids master the language quicker.

 

Chinese Immersion Schools

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Bibinogs offers a play-based Mandarin immersion preschool, with tiny class sizes and a friendly environment. Adult accompanied and drop-off programmes start from 6 months of age.

The only international school in Singapore to offer a Mandarin immersion programme within an IB framework, the Chinese International School is a good choice for families who want a bilingual education for their little linguists. Enrollments start from 3 years of age for their preschool programme.

Offering little kids a stimulating and fun environment, EtonHouse Zhong Hua Pre-School’s 100% Chinese Immersion Programme is a lovely way for kiddos 1.5 to 6 years to learn Mandarin the fun way! With an inquiry-based curriculum, children are taught solely in Mandarin in the nursery years before progressing to a bilingual environment once they reach kindergarten.

With laughter, engagement and active participation at the heart of their approach, LEAP Schoolhouse offers a popular bilingual preschool programme for little learners 8 months to 6 years, with alternate days of English and Chinese instruction.

Newton Kindergarten is a small church-based preschool with a full Mandarin immersion programme. Taking wee ones from playgroup to kindergarten, students complete their preschool education in a predominantly Chinese speaking environment, with an emphasis on interactive learning activities.

A Mandarin based kindergarten (70% of the teaching is in Chinese) that takes munchkins from pre-nursery to kindergarten, Two by Two School House also offers a parent-accompanied playgroup for babies from 18 months to 3 years. Their play-based, child-initiated approach merges project work with arts and fitness and is a ton of fun for littlies.

 

Mandarin Playgroups

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Chengzhu Mandarin Centre is a great place for parents to get involved with parent-accompanied PlayNest and PlayClub Mandarin classes for babes from 18 months of age. Wee ones are introduced to Chinese through song, speech, drama, art and craft and other interactive experiences. Their Pre and Primary school programmes offer a well-rounded Mandarin education that gets little ones ready for the demands of primary school Chinese.

Little Mandarins’ Mums and Tots classes teach toddlers from 20 months old Mandarin through music, movement, speech and drama activities in a fun (and totally relaxed) environment – just the way we like it! They also have programmes for the older ones (4 to 10 years) with Chinese classes that teach listening and comprehension skills, vocabulary and character recognition, as well as character writing and conversation in the older classes.

As part of White Lodge Preschool, Global Language Academy has a fun-filled Mandarin playgroup for the smallest learners (18 months to 3 years) that immerses kids in Chinese and teaches them through sensory engagement. Classes for big kids 3 to 10 years, teaches the foundation skills needed to master the Mandarin language as well as meet the MOE requirements for Primary One.

 

Child Care

Touted as being one of Singapore’s best kept secrets, The Children’s Place offers little ones a bilingual childcare programme within a creative and active learning space. The fact that it’s conveniently tucked away near Phoenix Park is just a bonus mama!

With a predominantly Mandarin programme for tinies, Joy Little is one of Singapore’s only Mandarin immersion childcare centers. Taking enrollments from 18 months to 6 years, kids are taught communication, word recognition, Chinese culture and calligraphy is a fun preschool-type environment.

 

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All images courtesy of shutterstock

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