This is a comprehensive guide to Singapore’s best Chinese tuition providers. Here, we have compiled a list of reputable Chinese tutors, along with descriptions of their services, specialities and students’ reviews.
In 1966, the Singapore government introduced the bilingual education policy. This made the study of mother tongue language (MTL) compulsory in all Ministry of Education (MOE) schools. Today, a majority of students take Chinese language as their mother tongue in school - it is an examinable subject from primary school to the end of secondary school, and beyond for those who elect to take it at the A level examinations.
At the primary school level, all students take Normal Chinese. Then, at Primary 3, some schools begin to offer Higher Chinese to those who are especially adept at the language. By Primary 5, all schools offer Higher Chinese as an option.
Though this policy is not new to Singaporean students, in recent years the number of families speaking Chinese at home has dwindled; recent studies report that only 29.9% of residents speak Mandarin at home, down from the previous figure of 35.6%. This lack of daily practice and immersion, among other factors, explain why Singaporean students today tend to struggle with the language.
For many chinese-speaking students, receiving additional help in the form of tuition is the only way to ensure they are up to speed on what is being taught in school. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best Chinese tuition centres in Singapore, to act as a guide for parents looking for tutelage for their children.
1. Class size and structure
In Singapore, Chinese tuition classes are conducted in a variety of sizes. The most suitable class structure for each child varies depending on their learning styles and needs.
Group tuition tends to be the most cost-effective option as tutors are able to work with more students at once. However, having more students in the class means that each child may get less individual attention.
Those who prefer more intimate interaction and greater opportunities for personal help may benefit from smaller class sizes. The caveat is that these classes tend to be more expensive.
Online tuition classes are a great option for those who prefer to learn in the comfort of their own home. These classes offer added flexibility as no time is needed to travel to and from the tuition centre.
Home tuition is the best option for those who value one-on-one teaching and convenience. With home tutoring, the tutor comes right to your doorstep, and offers a personalised curriculum tailored to the needs of your child.
2. Type of curriculum taught
In addition to ensuring that a prospective tutor teaches according to the MOE syllabus, it is also important to select a tutor that offers the type of curriculum that your child is studying. While most tutors teach both Normal and Higher Chinese, some only offer one or the other.
Perhaps what is most important to Singaporean parents, price can often be the deciding factor when choosing a tutor. Classes with smaller students tend to be more expensive, while larger classes tend to be cheaper.
4. Type and quantity of additional materials provided
Before enrolling with a tutor, make sure to ask about the type and quantity of supplementary materials provided. If possible, have a look through past samples - opt for tutors who prepare their own materials as opposed to those who simply use assessment books.
5. Level of support available beyond class hours
As we all know, learning doesn’t end once lesson time is over. If your child needs help after hours, it’s best to engage a tutor who remains available to answer questions and provide additional support.
6. Temperament of tutor
Different students respond to different teaching styles. Some of the more playful students may benefit from a firmer approach, while others may respond well to teachers with bubbly personalities.
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