Many parents are aware of the benefits of getting their children started on learning Chinese during the early years. However, this can prove to be a real challenge when both parents either primarily speak English at home or do not have a strong foundation in Chinese themselves. In addition, parents are also concerned about their child’s progression to primary school as Chinese is one of the examinable subjects.
To bridge the gaps in their child’s learning of the Chinese language, parents then embark on the search for the right preschool for their child.
In Singapore, most preschool curricula are structured to include Chinese lessons at least once a day. While this is a great start to expose preschoolers to the language, some of them will see it a secondary lesson that is less important compared to the rest of the lessons that are conducted in English.
For parents who are looking to give their child a greater immersion and exposure to Chinese learning and speaking environment, enrolling in a Chinese Preschool will be a more realistic option to consider.
Understanding the gap in the preschool market, some preschools in Singapore have started offering Chinese immersion programmes to offer a deeper focus on the Chinese language and better serve the needs of parents.
One popular choice of parents is MindChamps Chinese PreSchool. Established in early 2016 with the first centre in Tampines Central, MindChamps Chinese PreSchool offers a unique curriculum based on decades of research to help preschoolers from 18 months to 6 years old develop a lasting love and interest in learning Chinese during their formative years.
What makes MindChamps Chinese PreSchool different?
Early childhood experts have shared that for children to pick up a second language, we need to immerse them in an environment where they play, listen, interact and learn through stories, songs and activities in that language.
As Chinese is deeply integrated into the curriculum, preschoolers at MindChamps Chinese PreSchool are exposed to the language by listening, speaking and learning Chinese as part of their daily life – rather than a “second language”. Learning Chinese in such an immersive environment makes it natural and fun, thus creating a positive association with the language for children.
At MindChamps Chinese PreSchool, the lessons and enrichment programmes for the younger children in Playgroup and Nursery 1 levels are conducted in Chinese to build a strong foundation during the early years.
As they progress to Nursery 2 onwards, the use of English increases while the teaching and learning of Chinese is maintained. A well-balanced environment such as this helps to prepare children for primary school, where English is the main language of instruction.
Learning Chinese through its culture
At MindChamps Chinese PreSchool, children go through the Chinese Culture Appreciation Programme on a weekly basis which provides a fully immersive learning experience and to help them develop deeper love for the language . This helps them to better understand the roots of the language through cultural elements such as:
- Chinese calligraphy and painting
- Chinese tea appreciation
- Clay sculpting
- Chinese opera
- Chinese chess