In Singapore, enrolling your children for Chinese tuition is probably the best known way to improve their command of the language. However, there are various alternatives which I would like to share with you today.
Did you know that the Chinese speaking population on earth amounts to a huge 1.39 billion? With China’s economy expanding at a rapid rate, Chinese has become more and more important in Singapore.
Read here for insight into the lucrative Chinese Tuition market.
Home tuition in Singapore aside, learning Chinese is a lot easier than you think. You do have to put in the necessary effort for fast results, but thankfully, there are loads of resources online that can help get you started.
Forget everything you’ve been told about learning Chinese. Learning from outdated textbooks in a stuffy classroom will only confuse your child in the long run.
Today, it’s all about social media, games and choosing the right Chinese tutor. By the end of this page, you’re going to find out how to improve your Chinese and what you should be looking for in a tutor. Sounds pretty good, right? Let’s get started!
Immerse yourself in a Chinese-speaking environment
Want to know one of the best ways to brush up on your child’s Chinese skills? Travel to a Chinese-speaking community in your nearest big city and immerse your child in the traditions and culture. Get your child to order a meal in Chinese (don’t worry, if he/she get stuck, you can teach he/she or ask for some help). The key here is to absorb your child in the local population so he/she can pick up on pronunciation.
Your child need to realize that his/her language skills might not be much to begin with, but practice makes perfect. Soon your child will master basic vocabulary before moving onto grammar. Refer to a language book or English-to-Chinese dictionary and learn the basics: Numbers, animals, the alphabet and everyday words.
Once your child start learning the foundations of this language, you’ll notice patterns in the way words and phrases are constructed. And although these rules aren’t always consistent, they will provide you with a fundamental understanding of the language.
Watch Chinese Drama
China is a country that has a long history, with its food and traditions known around the world. In recent years, China has also become a major cultural exporter, with its TV shows, movies, and music being consumed by people in the West. Why not learn Chinese by exploring the country’s fascinating culture, including the most popular films and songs from the country? You’ll be able to find a genre that you like and take it from there.
One of the best ways to learn the language is to watch Chinese movies and TV series (very good dramas in Channel 8). This allows your child to cross-reference words, understand pronunciation and pick up new phrases. Getting into this habit could seriously improve your child’s Chinese language skills.
Read Chinese comics!
Yes this is one of the very effective way to improve Chinese. Get your kids some Chinese comics. Let them try and understand the narrative. They will probably be bewildered at the start, especially there are words and phrases that they have never heard of but once they immerse themselves in these stories, you’ll be able to match the language with what’s going on in the pictures. Well, make sure those comics are funny and good. Here is a list of Chinese comics you can get for your kids.
Play Chinese games
This is probably parent’s worst nightmare – games.
Let’s face it, your child is sooner or later going to be addicted to gaming. However if you’re able to guide them to the right games to improve their Chinese, isn’t it a win-win for both of you?
Chinese games – whether they are board games or video games – can be another great way to learn the language. Get a English-to-Chinese dictionary ready for them, this will help them grapple with hard-to-understand concepts and phrases. There are loads of Chinese games that they can play, which are not only fun but will help your child brush up on language skills.
Need some extra help? Why not play with a Chinese language speaker and exchange vocabulary as you go. The key to learning a new language is to try and practice phrases and words as much as they can, especially at the beginning. Don’t worry too much about pronouncing them right at the start; this should be something that will improve as they become more confident.
Instead of learning a language from a textbook or a website, games can be a fun and engaging way to master Chinese and should definitely be something your children love.
Pick the right Chinese tutor in Singapore
This one’s really important. Many parents look for Chinese tuition Singapore when their children need extra help in Chinese. Remember, not all Chinese tutors are created equal and picking the wrong one could seriously hinder your language learning skills. It’s important to choose a tutor that has the right experience and is able to convey complicated concepts like sentence structure and verbs in a quick and simple way that your child understands.
Nobody is able to learn a language without communicating with other Chinese language speakers. That’s why your child should exchange information with the Chinese tutor so he/she can learn this language in a quicker time frame.
Many parents have the misconception than a China-Chinese tutor will be able to teach very well since it is their native language. However your child will never be able fully understand what the Chinese tutor is talking about. And in the end you realise you spent so much money and your child’s Chinese hasn’t improved.
What you should do is get a tutor that understands your child’s education and doesn’t have a huge age gap. This way the tutor is able to bond with your child and interacts better. Undergraduate tutors will be a better choice!
Your tutor should teach your child about the basics of the language in a fun way, using real-world examples and a mixture of different learning styles. Try and stay away from a tutor who places too much emphasis on textbook training, this will bored your child out.
Check Out: 40 Interesting Study Tips
The latest technology has revolutionized the way you can learn Chinese, providing you with more flexibility than ever before. Why not download language-learning apps onto your smartphone or tablet? Not only will these allow your child to learn Chinese from an expert but your child will be able to test his/her knowledge.
Oh yes, another very fun way is to change the language settings on your child’s phone to Chinese. Communicate via SMS using Chinese can be fun too!
Another way to use technology to improve your child language learning is to make online Chinese friends. This is a great way to meet new people and exchange dialogue in Chinese.
Another way is to subscribe to this interesting service, Chinese word of the day. Get surprised everyday with a new Chinese word.
Prepare your own Chinese food at home
If your child can cook, i got good news for you! A quick and simple way to learn Chinese is to cook more Chinese food using recipes that are written in the language. This is a fantastic way to find out about the most popular words and phrases used for Chinese food and can make it easier for your child if he/she wants to order food in a Chinese restaurant in the future.
Why not get them to prepare their favorite dishes at home and invite friends and family around to try! Remember, as always, they should refer to the Chinese dictionary if there are any important concepts that they don’t know, especially when your child need to get measurements and cooking times right!
You can bring your child in search for ingredients for the recipes. Head to your nearest Chinese food store and make sure your child speak only to the staff in Chinese when paying for the items. You’ll be able to find authentic Chinese ingredients that you can’t always source in your nearest mall or supermarket.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can always get your child to try order Chinese products and ingredients online and have them delivered directly to your door.
Spend time in China
Probably the easiest way to learn Chinese is to actually visit China. While this won’t be an option for everyone, your child will be able to meet new people and practice the language skills he/she have already learned in a real-world setting with the local population.
China’s biggest cities like Shanghai and Beijing have large groups of English speakers and many of the Chinese population speak the language too, making it a great way to exchange ideas and immerse your child in the local traditions and customs.
Many people find that learning Chinese is tough, especially when it comes to pronunciation and characters. However, spending time in China can be excellent if you want to broaden your horizons, expand your child’s mind and learn a new culture. Who knows, you and your child could come back speaking much better Chinese than when you left – something that could be beneficial if your child wants to speak the language to further his/her career in the future.
Further reading: [Ultimate Resource] Everything you need to pass Chinese Exams
Got a method I don’t know about? Let me know!