Having sat in with Ash during one of his class sessions at Chengzhu Mandarin Centre, it was Ayd's turn next the week after.
Ayd attends the Language Learners (华语提高班) class at Chengzhu, which is tailored for N1 to K2 children. And since the audience is younger than primary school-going children, the programme focuses on engaging activities such as drama, storytelling, music and movement, art and craft, and writing practice.
This definitely made the class session much more enjoyable and fun, and I could tell the kids were clearly having a whale of a time judging by the squeals of laughter. And the best part is, I think they didn't realise they were picking up new Mandarin words at the same time!
Effective language learning means developing competency in the four components - speaking, listening, reading and writing - but more importantly, the teachers can and do make a huge difference as well.
For one, the Teacher-Student ratio at Chengzhu is kept low, with one main teacher and one assistant teacher to 7 students for Ayd's class. This definitely made it easier for the students to get the attention they require, as well as help in the event they needed it.
Gone are the days when Mandarin classes meant being seated down on a chair and furiously burying one's head in worksheets. Now, teaching of new Chinese characters and even idioms are explored through drama and role-playing exercises.
And towards the end of the lesson, the teachings are reinforced by the use of placards. These are also communicated to all parents, as prior to class dismissal the teachers would emerge from the classroom to give the waiting parents a debrief on what transpired during class including the list of Chinese words that were taught in class.
No wonder Ayd always has a huge grin whenever he finishes his class.
Check out Chengzhu's Mandarin Holiday Programmes here: http://www.chengzhu.net/cz_dec2012_Hday.pdf
Chengzhu Mandarin Centre
35 Rochester Drive,
#03-01 Rochester Mall,
Tel: (65) 6737 5348 | Fax: (65) 6737 2136