When I first got in touch with them in early 2011, the people from the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce Institute of Business (SCCIOB) were a bit apprehensive about being featured on Yago.
I can’t really blame them. At that time, Yago was a brand new site with just a few language schools on them.
Two years down the road, we now have courses from 56 language schools in our directory. And hundreds of student reviews. And SCCIOB has decided to join Yago!
The great advantage that SCCIOB’s business Mandarin courses qualify for as much as 70% government subsidy.
Here are a couple of examples of how it could work out:
It’s really hard to understand that the language courses at NUS Extension are now done away with.
The official reason is to “align with the strategic direction” of the University. But what’s so strategic about closing down something that is successful that people are lining up for to join? What’s so difficult about at least finding a way to keep the teachers and students together, even if it’s not inside the NUS?
But enough complaining. If you were hoping to join a Korean, Mandarin or English course at NUS Extension, you will have to figure out an alternative now.
Here are the options that I can see. I don’t know everything, please feel free to comment if you have additional information.
NUS Extension Korean: alternatives
Maybe you have just landed in Singapore and are looking to settle down. Perhaps you are a born and bred Singaporean. Whatever the case may be, your decision of where to learn Mandarin in Singapore will depend on many factors.
In this post, I’ll cover some of the most important considerations. While that may not give you a complete answer, it’ll be a good place to start, to make sure the course you find is really the best match for you.
How much time do you have? What is your schedule?
When I arrived in Singapore in 2006, I came to live with my then girlfriend, now wife. I had no job offer, and as a recent graduate, it took me some time to secure a job.
There are many reasons why you might want to learn Chinese online.
Saving money is probably a motivation for some of you. There are lots of free resources available online. And even if you don’t go for “everything free”, a subscription to a learning website is likely a lot cheaper than attending live courses.
Convenience is an important motivation too. There are online language schools that offer lessons through Skype and comparable platforms. They’re not necessarily cheaper than joining a class in Singapore, but you get to choose when the lessons are, and what to focus on.
And for some it’s just about learning faster. Learning online or off is not an either/or choice. You can perfectly listen to a podcast when you’re travelling to work and still take classes. If your class is a bit slow, you can supplement your learning.
Here are three different approaches to learning chinese online.
1. Live online Chinese lessons.
Star Wars? No, it’s a wuxia movie.
What is wuxia? A quick and dirty way to explain it is to compare it to Star Wars. Some people say Star Wars is wuxia in outer space, and they have a point. If you took the story of Star Wars, set it in the Chinese empire, replaced the Jedi with xiákè, replaced the light sabres with Chinese swords, replaced ‘the Force’ with Taoism/Chinese medicine/Chinese martial arts/etc., then the result would be indistinguishable from wuxia.
Actually, you don’t even need to replace the light sabres. The weapon this guy from the movie The Buddha Palm is holding sure looks like a light sabre to me.
Wuxia has been a big, BIG help with my study of Chinese.
/ Tags: books
, language learning
, learning methods
There is no such thing as one ‘Chinese language’, in fact, Chinese is a collective noun for several dialects or regionalects, with Mandarin being the official standard language in China.
So what about Mandarin?
What do Chinese characters consist of? How are they ‘built’? And how to write them?
Some time in 2004, I picked up a copy from Teach Yourself at a Popular bookstore. The book and audio CD were my first introduction to Mandarin.
So you can imagine how delighted I was when Pansing, Singapore’s distributor for Teach Yourself, contacted me.
They have kindly provided a free copy of Teach Yourself Complete Mandarin Chinese which is for Yago to give away!
Would you like to get the book? All you need to do is like our Facebook page (which you can do in the widget below). You can also increase your chances by tweeting about the giveaway or following Yago on Twitter.
So charge ahead! And who knows you’ll be holding the box with a full-color book and 2 CD’s in your hands next week!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Christmas tree in my Parents’ house
First off, best wishes for 2013! May you dream big, and take new steps to realize your dream this year. If you dream large, you may not realize it all this year. But I hope you’ll make great progress this year!
Sorry for the lack of posts on this blog recently. I have spent Christmas with my parents in the Netherlands. I had Internet access, but wanted to spend more time with family. And now I’m back in Singapore and picking up the regular schedule.
Being “unwired” for a while was great and really inspired me to double up my efforts for Yago and this blog. I realized again how important it is to speak other peoples’ languages.
Here are a few examples.
1. I’m sure people in South America understand English?
Of course, there are more modern ways of learning Chinese
Is there a secret formula for learning Chinese? I think what comes closest to a guaranteed path to success is focusing on the actions you take on a day-to-day basis.
Find a mix of activities that you can sustain long term. In the best period of my (part-time) Chinese learning, I spent an average of at least an hour a day on classes and homework. Every week. For two years.
Should I tell you exactly how I did it? I don’t think that would be very helpful, because what worked to keep me going and engaged, might not work for you.
So you’ll have to figure out your own secret formula. Language learning activities are the “ingredients” to any secret recipe. Here are four ways to learn Chinese in Singapore, and four that will work anywhere, for you to experiment with!
, Language schools
, Learning methods
, Self Learning
/ Tags: Chinese
, language learning
, learn chinese online
, learning chinese
, learning methods
I wrote a guest post for Hutong School‘s blog. Here’s an excerpt:
Do all Singaporeans speak Chinese?
I was once in a police station to update my residential address. As the young Singaporean Indian officer was helping me to get that done, an older Chinese man entered the police station and addressed the police officer in Mandarin. The officer’s response was: “I don’t speak Mandarin. Malay can?”. And they proceeded in Malay.
To read on, continue on the Hutong School Blog!