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Enrichment: Berries Chinese Class

Where to send your children for Chinese enrichment classes in Singapore

· review,recommendation,kids enrichment,preschool,toddler activities

I did well in school for the subject of Chinese. Yet ever since I stopped taking it as an academic subject after completing my GCE 'O' Levels, my grasp of the language, especially the written aspect of it, kept going downhill. The truth is there is a lot of beauty in the language, with each Chinese character seemingly having a story behind it, especially so for those characters which are made up of several parts. I'm also very intrigued by how Chinese idioms can use so few words yet portray meaning of great depth. But honestly, it is certainly not an easy language to master. As our society progresses with English as our first language despite being an Asian country, many young people are speaking less of their own Mother Tongue, resulting in a communication gap with the older generation.

I studied both English and Chinese as first languages in school but I'm largely conversing in English, even to my children. My mum speaks Mandarin and she's practically the only person who speaks to my children in their Mother Tongue. Naturally, the children don't pick up the Chinese language as fast as they do for English. The boys learn phonics in school and it's definitely much easier to sound out English words once you break them down to their syllables. But for recognising Chinese characters, if you don't put them to memory, it's almost impossible to sound them out. It doesn't always work by splitting up the parts in the character and trying to sound one out.

So in my bid to build a better foundation in Chinese for my oldest child in these two years before he attends Primary school, I signed him up for Berries class. I made an enquiry for the class in September 2017 and was put on a waiting list, only to be offered a place in early February 2018. My 5yo attended the trial class, knowing that he gets to decide whether or not to continue the lessons. After the trial session, I asked him if he had fun, and he said yes. Then he said, "Mummy, next time can I put my bottle and jacket in the big bag that all my friends have?" So I asked if he wanted to come again the following week, and he said yes. In fact my Son was so excited about having the bag that the following week when I had to make payment for the term, he insisted on getting his big Berries bag before heading to class.

Here are the reasons why I signed my Son up for Berries Class

  •  Lessons are rather affordable at about $40 per session. Each session is 1 hr 45 min. That means we are paying an hourly rate of less than $23, which is cheaper than hiring a private home tutor
  • Classrooms are brightly decorated and well-kept. Place is very clean, and they also ensure a high standard of hygiene.
  • Teachers are mostly Chinese or Taiwanese which means the students are learning the language from native speakers.
  • The maximum intake per class is 12. Teacher-student ratio is kept at 1:6, according to MOE guidelines. This ensures sufficient attention to each child and still providing enough social interaction among the children.
  • Term fees include a pen reader, a textbook, a workbook and weekly flashcards. The pen reader allows the child to revise the text at home on his own, by simply tapping the pen nib on each page and it will read the words aloud. This is especially helpful for parents who don't have time to revise with their children or are not familiar with the language themselves.
  • Term fees include $35 per lesson, $35 one-time registration fee, $46.80 for the pen reader and course materials. Prices stated before GST. One calendar year is split into 3 terms, each term with about 14-16 lessons. 
  • Lessons are conducted in a fun and engaging manner, with singing and craftwork incorporated. 

Learning ought to be fun and interesting, especially for young minds. The sad truth is that our local education system can be very regimental and stressful. I would very much prefer that my Son learn the Chinese language in an environment that is fun and engaging, so that in the future when lessons seem less enjoyable and more stressful, he would be much less fearful because he had already developed an interest in the language and built a stable foundation.

For more information, please check out

Berries World

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