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Chinese tutors for kids - Local vs Chinese (mainlanders)

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Mumto3
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Re: group vs one-on-one

Postby Mumto3 » Mon, 27 May 2013 12:55 pm

buyan wrote:Not sure about the place at Dempsey Hill, but in our experience, if you can get one-on-one with a good tutor for the same or less, often in the convenience of your own home, why wouldn't you? In a group you would have less control and the children in the group all need to be at the same level. Finding the right tutor is important though, and at least your child would be taught to their own individual level.


Hi,

I am looking for a Mandarin Tutor for private lessons for my son and daughter (4yrs and 10 yrs). We would prefer a native Chinese who is good at interacting with young children for play-based learning.

Can you PM me if you have contacts. Thanks!

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Re: Chinese tutors for kids - Local vs Chinese (mainlanders)

Postby MrChinaBoleh » Tue, 26 May 2015 11:53 am

Was skimming thru and this thread does look like some explanation needed on the perception of "poor" local Mandarin.

First, Singapore is not part of China and it would be ridiculous to assume that locals have to speak like Chinese Mainlanders. Just like the Americans and the Brits, they speak English with different accents too.

From Chinese mainlander's perspective, they would consider their Mandarin to be de-facto standard, and Singapore's Mandarin version is admittedly non-Standard, but ditto for Taiwanese Mandarin as well, but foreigners are still flocking to Taiwan to learn Chinese. From a standard point of view, Singapore Mandarin fares behind both Taiwan and China, this is because of a few reasons. One of them is that early Chinese migrants to Singapore were from Southern China, and the Southern dialects are vastly different even amongst each other, not to mention its differences when compared to Northern dialects which by and large are quite similar, and the Standard Mandarin in China is based on the phonology of Beijing dialect, which is one of the Northern dialects. To facilitate a common language amongst the different Chinese dialect groups in Singapore, Chinese is adopted as the "common language" but you have some of the non-standard grammar and vocabulary from Southern dialects that crept into local Mandarin. For locals, our unique Mandarin is synonymous with our local identity but unfortunately our local Mandarin might not be understood by Chinese mainlander.

But for local tutor, if they are trained in Standard Mandarin and is experienced in teaching, they are just as good as Mainlander or Taiwanese teacher. In fact, they would probably understand your difficulty in learning Mandarin as a foreign language since most of them are conversant with English and Mandarin. The other fact to know is that (based on my years of teaching experiences), if you are learning Mandarin during your latter years, perfecting tones are extremely difficult, and it is likely you speak like Singaporeans as well.

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Re: Chinese tutors for kids - Local vs Chinese (mainlanders)

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 26 May 2015 1:25 pm

Tic...toc...tic...toc...

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Sensei Michael
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Re: Chinese tutors for kids - Local vs Chinese (mainlanders)

Postby Sensei Michael » Wed, 07 Dec 2016 2:09 pm

MrChinaBoleh wrote:First, Singapore is not part of China and it would be ridiculous to assume that locals have to speak like Chinese Mainlanders. Just like the Americans and the Brits, they speak English with different accents too.


Forums should have a "Like" button or something! Well said! :D
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Re: Chinese tutors for kids - Local vs Chinese (mainlanders)

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 11 Dec 2016 12:04 am

Well said, but not not necessarily correct. My family is totally non-Chinese, e.g., I'm Caucasian and my wife is Tamil Singaporean. I elected to have my children take Mandarin as their second language (Instant war with the MOE of the day). As my daughter was my first, I used a Shanghai Tutor who taught her for her first three years (2nd year of Kindergarten and P1 & P2. She was taught without the benefit of hanyu pinyin and learned well enough, without being in a "Chinese" household that she managed to pass her Mandarin throughout her O levels (and she only had the grounding in mainland style to start with and it was enough of a grounding on learning the language without the crutches of Hanyu Pinyin that she carried on with her. That and the subconscious implant that taking the subject was entirely her idea. (That's another story) My local relatives thought I was a sadist but my children have thanked me 1000 times if they thanked me once.

For the record, I had to go to war with the MOE to enable my daughter to take Mandarin as her 2nd language in the first place as they tried to make her take Tamil. Their rules allowed me to beat them with their own stick (this was in the late 1980's) "If you take your mother tongue at 1st language level you have your choice of your second language." "Your race is determined by your father's race" Therefore you Mother Tongue is your Father's Race (Singlish or what????) Father's race make your language your Father tongue!) But in 1987 I don't think they had ever run up against a Caucasian Father putting his child into the local system, let alone wanting his children to take Mandarin. It was funny in a way. But I had my way and of course, as my son was 5 years younger he followed his sister as I had already set the precedence.

Michael, I do agree with you, however, that to have them already in school taking Mandarin and later bringing in a PRC tutor is not going to give the results that they hope for. But for a brand new student just starting, learning the language China style makes it easier over the long haul if you learn the basics say for the first 3 or 4 years (including K1 & K2 if the tutor has experience in teaching children that young.)

My daughter didn't go to a slouch of a local school either as it still maintained one of the higher Chinese scores during that time frame (CHIJ - Toa Payoh) She was the only non-Chinese in her class in P1 & P2 and was the best student during those two years. Granted her Mandarin grades suffered during secondary school, but she still passed her Mandarin O levels without any tutor from P3 onwards.

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Re: Chinese tutors for kids - Local vs Chinese (mainlanders)

Postby Sensei Michael » Mon, 12 Dec 2016 9:46 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
For the record, I had to go to war with the MOE to enable my daughter to take Mandarin as her 2nd language in the first place as they tried to make her take Tamil.


One of my Malay friends, whose kids studied Chinese in Kindergarten, and whose family speaks ENGLISH at home (both husband and wife speak only passable Malay) also tried to go to war with MOE. MOE refused to budge, and her poor kids have to study Malay instead. Quite crazy, if you were to ask me.

Michael, I do agree with you, however, that to have them already in school taking Mandarin and later bringing in a PRC tutor is not going to give the results that they hope for. But for a brand new student just starting, learning the language China style makes it easier over the long haul if you learn the basics say for the first 3 or 4 years (including K1 & K2 if the tutor has experience in teaching children that young.)


I suspect I am not quite qualified to comment more, seeing that my first two kids studied Chinese under Chinese teachers as they were growing up in China!
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