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The Rise of Chinese Tuition in Singapore

Learning Chinese for Academic and Business needs

Singapore is a land of dreams.
A lot of people all across the world come to Singapore to work and provide a better lifestyle to their families. Singapore’s population consists of about 40% of foreigners including PRs and people residing in the country to make a living. With the influx of so many people coming from different countries and being a business hub, English has become the most spoken language here in Singapore not only in the workplace but also in schools and homes. While English is considered the global language and it is essential for everyone to learn to communicate with people from all around the world, it is also necessary to know one’s mother tongue. In fact, one should not only learn their mother tongue but learn as many languages as possible.

In Singapore, English is taught as the first language and students need to learn their mother tongue as the second language which could be either Chinese, Malay or Tamil. This helps the students stay connected to their roots as well as be prepared for global or regional opportunities in the future. With about 50% of the population in Singapore belonging to the Chinese ethnic group, Chinese is the next most spoken language in Singapore.

Chinese is considered one of the most difficult and complex languages to learn. Speaking the language doesn’t mean it would help you learn reading or writing it. It consists of over 100,000 characters but to read a newspaper an individual needs to know only about 3000-4000 of these characters. Apart from the characters, there are four tones of pronunciation which means each word can be pronounced in four different ways, and each pronunciation has a different meaning. All this could be quite intimidating for someone who is learning the language and would require professional help to understand and practice it. Hence, there has been a rise in Chinese tuition in Singapore.


Here in Singapore, Chinese is learned in schools, colleges, as well as business professionals learn the basic business level Chinese. To gain more proficiency and master the language there is a high dependency on Chinese tuition. Below are the different levels of Chinese learners:

Mother Tongue Language (MTL): Chinese is one of the second languages taught in schools from the Primary onwards under the Mother Tongue Language Policy by the Ministry of Education. Students need to score really well in their Primary School Leaving Exam (PSLE) to get admission to elite schools for their secondary level. And after their secondary schooling is completed they need good scores in GCE 'O' Level exam. This will determine their admission to premium to pre-university education institutes. And after the GCE ‘A’ Level examination they move to the university. At all these levels they need to make sure they score well in Chinese as well.

Higher Mother Tongue (HMT): Some of the eligible students opt to take up an additional and optional examinable subject to get more in-depth and gain a higher proficiency in their respective mother tongues. These students then get an option to opt-out of mother tongue classes in pre-university if they have cleared their HMT exams at Secondary level. The level of the language taught is more difficult and helps students to develop their Chinese language skills further.

Business Level: Singapore is a business hub and is considered a link between the rest of the world and Asia for smooth operations as Singapore has both English and Chinese speaking population. China is one of the biggest manufactures in the world and is a major economic power. To build your ties with the Chinese companies its very important to understand and communicate with them in Chinese. Companies all around are hiring individuals who can communicate well in Chinese. To leverage this competitive advantage that Singapore has, people here are making an effort to learn at least business level Chinese.


Chinese tuition have a big presence in Singapore. Apart from schools and colleges, students rely on tuition to get a better hold of the subject. These tuition agencies provide both private 1 on 1 tuition as well as group tuition at the tuition centers.

Private Chinese tuition allow the teachers to plan the lessons based on the learner's level and need. They are more personalized in terms of the speed of teaching, the lesson planning as well as offer flexible timing as per the individual’s schedule. They do work out to be more expensive as compared to group tuition but are more effective.

Group Chinese tuition, on the other hand, are good for the students to practice conversation skills. They can converse amongst themselves in Chinese as well as with the teacher. It also helps to bring out the competitive spirit which in turn helps the students to make more effort in learning the language. One of the major drawbacks of group Chinese tuition is that classes are scheduled at fixed time slots and can not be changed as per an individual’s schedule. Also as the teacher-student ratio is more individual attention could be a miss.


Practice Conversation Skills: Practice makes a man perfect. It's very difficult to master Chinese if you don’t speak it often. With Chinese tuition, individuals get a chance to practice their Chinese conversation skills and are also corrected immediately if they make any mistakes.

Holistic Learning: During the Chinese tuition class, the students are not only taught how to speak but also read and write Chinese. This ensures holistic learning and prepares the students for any future prospects that demand the Chinese language.

Innovative Teaching Techniques: In schools and colleges the Chinese curriculum and process of teaching are generally set with every limited scope of alterations. Experienced Chinese tutors would make the curriculum as per the student’s needs. They have some unique and innovative teaching techniques to make sure the learning sticks with the learners and alter as per an individual’s requirements. They make sure it helps the students connect with the language rather than being just a subject that they have to learn.

Boost Confidence: As Chinese is a difficult language to master, a lot of students have a mind-block about the same which makes it even more difficult to pick up the language. With that, it builds a lot of pressure on the student. Chinese tuition would help the students boost their confidence as it makes learning simpler and more individual attention is given.

With 4 out of 5 students going for tuition in Singapore and the majority of them for Chinese tuition, it surely indicates that it is a necessity for students to master this complex language. Chinese tuition in Singapore are at a rise as students who are weak in Chinese language want to get better at it and the others want to stay ahead of the competition. Even foreigners are seeking help to learn the language as it will help them get more employment opportunities not only in Singapore but all over the world.

If you are looking for good Chinese tutors in Singapore, look no further. We at Tutor City have a team of experienced Chinese tutors who can help you master the language with ease. Contact us today to discuss your requirements and know more about what we offer.

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.