Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):
1. Why should my child learn Mandarin?
Learning Mandarin, just like any foreign languages, can help your children open up many more doors in their future studies or work opportunities. There is a famous quote from Nelson Mandela that says: “If you can talk to a man he understands, that goes to his head. If you can talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” No translator can help to do a better job than knowing than language yourself.
Mandarin is becoming increasingly important in Asia and one of the most popular languages spoken in the world, where 1 in every 6 people can speak Putonghua. It is definitely a wise choice to choose Mandarin should you consider introducing a new language for your children.
2. When is a good age to start a foreign language?
The earlier the child is exposed to a foreign language, the better as studies shows that the critical age for learning a new language are before the age of 6. The earlier you start, the more time you can let your child familiarize and learn to love this new tongue. On the contrary, it will get more and more difficult to introduce a new language after they have settled in with just one (usually at around 2-3 years old) as they become too comfortable with it they become reluctant to let anymore come in. We have many parents calling in expressing such concerns, and our best advice is it’s never too late to start, but they will need to make sure that it is taught in a fun and interactive environment, otherwise they may only be more reluctant to learn.
Our classes begin at 1.5 years old walking – where at this age they are susceptible to any new languages and sounds. Even though they cannot verbally communicate yet, their listening skills are fully developed to respond to all new languages.
3. Will my child get confused with too many languages at once?
This is a great question that we get asked all the time. The short answer is no they won’t.
There are families where parents speak one language, grandparents speaks another, while their caretakers speaking a third. You will be amazed how adaptive children are communicating in all 3 languages (sometimes they even can act as translators). As long as they have a clear signal of which language the “opponent” speaks they are capable to handle multiple languages. All our students know that at Mini Mandarins we can only speak Mandarin, and it becomes a clear signal to them that they must learn to communicate only in Mandarin.
4. How can I improve my child’s fluency in mandarin?
The golden rule of mastering a new language: speak, speak and speak more! You can’t simply study your way to speaking a foreign language- you must practice speaking frequently in Mandarin.
We, at Mini Mandarins, will give you plenty of opportunity to speak and converse in Mandarin in a fun and interactive environment. We will also give you some tools that you can supplement their learning at home too.
5. My child has been learning Mandarin at school for a period of time now, but why s/he never speak with me when I ask him to?
It is perfectly normal that your child prefers not to speak Mandarin with you (even if you know or do not know the language) for the following reasons:
- They are not yet confident to communicate in the language, as they are still in the “absorbing” stage to learn more vocabulary and skills to how to link these vocabularies up into sentences.
- They know that you can also speak in another language which he is more “comfortable” to speak in
Mini Mandarins provide a Mandarin-speaking environment to teach and encourage children to speak confidently. We will also provide parents with periodic progress report – through this many parents are amazed to hear how much Mandarin their child can actually speak!
6. What are your class sizes/ratio?
Our small class size is up to 6 students with 1 teacher.
7. Are your teachers native speakers?
Yes, our teachers are all highly qualified native speakers with distinction levels in the Chinese Proficiency Test. (國家語委普通話水平測試)
8. How long are your classes?
Our classes run for one hour long. Special camps runs typically runs for 1.5 hour long. And private classes are for either 1 or 2 hour long.
9. How many different programs does Mini Mandarins have?
Our programs are designed according to proficiency level. Each student is placed in one of these programs according to their knowledge in Chinese/Mandarin:
Mini Tots (Parent / caregiver accompanied)
Reading & Writing Series:
Mini Scholars Prep
Mini Scholars Junior
Mini Scholars Advanced
10. Can we book birthday parties at Mini Mandarins?
Yes! Our basic birthday party packages starts at $3000 for 10 kids. Our package includes full use of our Mini Metro play center and we transform our classrooms into a party room for your celebration.
· We can arrange make-up classes for children who miss their regular class. Parent must inform us by e-mail ([email protected]) or phone (Tel: 2320-1128), with stated reasons PRIOR to start of class to arrange for a make-up class. Classes missed with no notice will not be made up later.
· Make up classes cannot be carried over for more than two (2) weeks, and must be at another time other than the student’s usual scheduled lesson time.
· After confirmation of make-up classes it cannot be rescheduled. Failure to attend the rescheduled make-up class will result in a forfeiture of the make-up class.
· No refund, or credit will apply for any unattended lessons.
· Our centre will only be closed upon Black Rain warning or a Typhoon 8 signal being hoisted and classes will be cancelled. If the signal is lowered after 8am, all morning classes will be cancelled. If the signal is lowered after 1:30pm, all afternoon classes will be cancelled. In the event of Red Rain warning and Typhoon 3 signal being hoisted, all classes will run as usual.
· There will be no refunds on cancelled class due to enforced closures. A make up class can be arranged within two (2) weeks of the cancelled class. Failure to attend the make up class will result in a forfeiture of the make up class. Parents are advised to exercise their discretion on whether to send their children to the centre under adverse weather conditions.
Mini Mandarins is closed on all public holidays. There will be no class on public holidays. If one of the classes is unavailable due to a public holiday, this class may be made up anytime during the same month. Please refer to our Make Up Class Policies.
SOCKS & GENERAL HYGIENE POLICY
Children, parents and guardians must remove their shoes and wear socks at all times inside the premise.
During classes, parents may take photographs, videos and recordings but only allowed to focus on their own children, and not on the others students in the class. Any media used must not cause a distraction to teachers and other students and may not be used for commercial or financial gain. Must respect the proprietary nature of all the classes taught at Mini Mandarins and not infringe on copyright, registration marks and trademarks.
PHOTOS & MEDIA
We reserve the right to use photos, videos and sound recordings of all students taken within our Center for teachers’ training, curriculum or promotional purposes, unless otherwise informed by you in writing. Please inform our centre via email to [email protected]
Mini Mandarins is not responsible for any loss, damage or injury to students or their guests as a result of participating in our classes. If there is any inconsistency or ambiguity between the English version and the Chinese version, the English version shall prevail. These terms and conditions are subject to change at any time without prior written notice from Mini Mandarins.