There are so many reasons why you might be looking into giving your child Chinese lessons. After all, Chinese is one of the fastest-growing languages in the world. It makes sense that you want to give your child all the opportunities that come with knowing the language.
But here’s the hard part.
When it comes to your child’s education, you want the best of what’s on offer. There are a lot of children’s Chinese tutoring options available. And quite honestly, it can feel overwhelming when looking for a perfect fit.
That’s why we’ve decided to help you narrow down ways to find a great children’s tutor for learning Chinese. Let’s dive in:
The big choice when looking into Chinese lessons for kids
The first decision you’ll have to make for your child’s Chinese-learning journey is whether they’ll be attending lessons in-person or online. Both have their benefits! So you should know how to find the best of each form.
The classic - face-to-face Chinese tutors
In-person lessons offer children a way to connect to their Chinese tutors. Being in a space together can encourage students to stay alert during lessons. If a teacher is around to hold the child’s attention, the child is more likely to retain what they’ve learned.
It can also be a great way to keep children motivated, as a good teacher will prepare interactive learning material.
If you’ve decided that in-person is the way to go, you should find out the following about any potential tutor:
What is your child’s Chinese ability level? Your child needs a tutor who can cater to their Chinese proficiency level. If your child does not know any Chinese at all, they should be learning things like basic phonetics and vocabulary. On the other hand, if you are a ‘华裔’ - or ethnic Chinese - family who use Chinese at home a little, or with granny, their lessons could be more focused on informal language, cultural topics or exam preparation. Tutors are often specialised based on the proficiency level they are expected to deal with. Look for a tutor that suits your child’s level of fluency.
Has your Chinese tutor got experience with children? Some tutors may have a wealth of experience in teaching adults. But Chinese for kids is a totally different situation and requires different skills to pull off. Make sure your potential teacher is great with kids.
Do they speak native-level Chinese? It’s possible that you can’t speak any Chinese at all. In that case, you might not be able to assess whether your tutor is fluent or not. They should have some sort of official evaluation that you can refer to.
Are they bilingual? The tutor should also be able to speak your home language. Lots of content will be taught in Chinese. But your home language will still be important when making certain concepts land.
Is your tutor qualified for the job? It’s important to ask about your tutor’s educational background. Whether it’s an education degree from a respectable university or a TEFL certification, you’ll want to know. From there you can decide whether you feel that your child is in capable hands.
The alternative - online Chinese lessons
The internet has changed the way that we (and our kids) learn. Online lessons allow children to learn at a pace that is comfortable for them. That’s because there’s no pressure from a class to move on before the material is fully understood.
Another benefit of online learning is schedule flexibility. Unfortunately, life can get in the way of the lift club. Changes in plans can make it tough to consistently get your kids to in-person lessons on time.
With online lessons, cancellations aren’t a problem and you won’t get a fee for not showing up on time. So if you’re going the online route, your child can change their Chinese tutoring time to fit in that last-minute tennis lesson!
If you’re doing online-based lessons this is what you need to consider:
What is your child’s Chinese ability level? (Again) This is also important in an online context. But generally speaking, apps will cater to different levels of language proficiency. Just make sure that the course you select makes sense for your child’s needs.
Are the lessons age-appropriate? There are lots of apps and websites that offer online lessons. A particular course might seem appealing, but make sure you’re getting a course that makes sense for your child’s age. Some apps that are great for adults won’t be as good for kids. Children’s language learning apps should have features catered to their age group.
What features are available? You want a range of activities that will help your child to learn Chinese. Variety is the spice of life. Games, videos with correct pronunciations, and a combination of learning and speaking activities are ideal.
Should you try interactive Chinese lessons for kids on apps like Lingumi?
We understand that in-person tutoring has fantastic benefits. But face-to-face lessons can be expensive and high pressure. That’s why at Lingumi we’ve created interactive lessons that are enabled by AI, but are created by a teacher. Our lessons are highly engaging and are available at any time.
Our new Chinese course is available for kids aged 4-7 who are learning Chinese for the first time. These are some of the features that we’re excited for you to see:
30 lessons including level 1 and 2 vocabulary items as well as 24 key language goals
10 different kinds of playful educational activities
Videos and songs that reinforce learned vocabulary
In-person benefits with Harvard-qualified Teacher Yan (the absolute best bilingual Chinese tutor for kids we could find)