Bi­il­li­in­guall Ki­ids

Count­less stud­ies have shown that learn­ing a lan­guage at a young age sets chil­dren on the path to be­com­ing bilin­gual (or even tri- or mul­ti­lin­gual) in the fu­ture. It’s also well known that the way in which lan­guage is taught is cru­cial to suc­cess. We aske

Expat Living (Singapore) - - Life & Family -

What do you feel is the best learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment for kids?

To­days’ chil­dren grow up in an in­creas­ingly com­pet­i­tive and dig­i­tal en­vi­ron­ment. Learn­ing is most ef­fec­tive if they are com­fort­able and re­laxed in their sur­round­ings while en­gaged in fun, in­ter­est­ing and stim­u­lat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Chil­dren thrive when they re­ceive pos­i­tive en­cour­age­ment. When they ex­pe­ri­ence suc­cess, no mat­ter how small, they are mo­ti­vated to achieve more. This builds con­fi­dence and en­cour­ages stu­dents to use their lan­guage skills. A close and per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with sup­port­ive, at­ten­tive and re­spon­sive teach­ers is also es­sen­tial.

What are the ben­e­fits of learn­ing a lan­guage from a young age?

Stud­ies have shown that younger chil­dren are bet­ter at mim­ick­ing new sounds and at adopt­ing pro­nun­ci­a­tion and new tones. Start­ing early also takes away the in­tim­i­da­tion fac­tor of learn­ing a new lan­guage!

What is the Lit­tle Man­darin teach­ing method?

We be­lieve in ed­u­ca­tion, not just teach­ing. We take learn­ing through fun se­ri­ously, be­cause our goal is to se­ri­ously help chil­dren to progress in their mas­ter of the lan­guage. Ev­ery mo­ment in class is a learn­ing op­por­tu­nity!

Tell us about the cur­ricu­lum.

Our cus­tom-made cur­ricu­lum is an amal­ga­ma­tion of the best in Eastern and Western teach­ing styles. From the Western ap­proach we be­lieve in in­ter­ac­tive, hands-on, dy­namic and fun learn­ing, while the Eastern in­flu­ence di­rects us to­wards pur­pose­ful and re­sult-ori­ented learn­ing. Our teach­ers are highly in­volved in the devel­op­ment of the cur­ricu­lum; we draw on their ex­pe­ri­ence to cre­ate les­son plans that are stim­u­lat­ing and well re­ceived by stu­dents.

What are some of the ac­tiv­i­ties that make learn­ing fun?

Lots and lots of games. Arts and crafts, songs, danc­ing and car­toons all boost chil­dren’s lan­guage and vo­cab­u­lary devel­op­ment. Learn­ing is not con­fined to the class­room. We use ac­tive and hands-on learn­ing meth­ods to ex­cite and stim­u­late the stu­dents’ senses. For ex­am­ple, in an ac­tiv­ity in our out­door area, stu­dents plant a seed, mon­i­tor and watch the growth of the plant and at the same time learn the vo­cab­u­lary as­so­ci­ated with plants.

What’s New?

Kick­ing off in 2017 is the Im­mer­sion Drop-off Pro­gramme. The two-and-a-half-hour pro­gramme for chil­dren aged two and three years is de­signed to help them take their first steps to­wards be­com­ing con­fi­dent Man­darin speak­ers. Held Mon­day to Fri­day from 10am to 12.30pm, the flex­i­ble pro­gramme al­lows chil­dren to dis­cover Man­darin in a hands-on learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment, with pas­sion­ate, na­tive-speak­ing teach­ers.

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