With Malaysia being a melting pot of races, cultures, and languages, most locals typically speak a minimum of two languages. Taking the opportunity to master a new language not only opens up a world of opportunity, it can also enhance one’s ability to connect with others on many levels. If you’re a parent in Kuala Lumpur looking to give the little one that extra edge, we’ve rounded up the best Mandarin language schools to consider for your kids in KL, or maybe even for you!
Bao Bei Reading Wonderland is a well-established chain of Mandarin language learning centers that cater to children from 3-10 years. A popular choice among parents who are preparing their young ones for placement in Chinese vernacular schools, there are more than 20 branches located around Malaysia, with most centers concentrated within the Klang Valley, Penang, and Kedah. Bao Bei offers fun, interactive classes for right brain development, and helps cultivate interest in reading and recognizing Chinese characters at an early age.
Bao Bei Reading Wonderland, various locations, +603 6273 3661, www.baobei.com.my
Brain Bees offers Mandarin programs in a blended learning environment that leverages on using technology. With classes available for children from 3.5-10.5 years, they learn the language through multimedia flashcards, interactive games, and fun readings. Their program is designed to coach young children to learn Mandarin in an enjoyable manner and master early reading skills. At the same time, the program helps develop a longer attention span, enhanced observational, imaginative and critical thinking skills, and also fosters effective long-term memory and higher levels of concentration.
Although no physical classes are going on currently, kids and adults can sign up for Zoom or Skype classes either in groups or one-on-one. With centers in several locations around the Klang Valley, the classes are suitable for students without any formal Mandarin education, students from Mandarin-speaking families, or students from Chinese primary schools.
EDU Mandarin Center, +6012 903 6155, www.mandarinclass.my
Silk-Road offers a number of programs for kids, adults, corporate organizations, and individuals with native graduate teachers from China. Their program focuses on four major areas of development: reading, speaking, writing, and listening. Classes are currently held online with programs like Academic Mandarin for SJKC students, reading & writing, kindergarten Mandarin, conversational Mandarin and IGCSE Mandarin preparation.
Silk-Road Mandarin Language Center, Lot S18, 2nd Floor, Centrepoint No.3, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, www.silkroadmandarin.com
Smart Little Beans Early Reading Center was established in 2006, with the purpose of strengthening young children’s early reading habits and interest in languages (especially English, Bahasa Malaysia, and Mandarin). Flash cards are used for one-on-one lessons to teach students for up to two hours. This methodology is believed to enable word recognition, strengthen long-term memory, and enhance focus and observation, creativity and imagination. With a large number of branches available throughout the nation, their program is suitable for children from 4-10 years.
Smart Little Beans Early Reading Center, Various locations, +603 3323 3928, www.smartlittlebeans.com/home
Established in 2005 with over 60 learning centers nationwide, TeacherYap differentiates itself from other language centers by offering one-on-one tutoring for each child by a team of professionally trained teachers. This center is very popular among parents who plan to enroll their children in Chinese vernacular schools, as the centers specialize in teaching both Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia. The program focuses on teaching literacy and reading, especially for young learners, via one-on-one guidance, with creative and innovative methods to help children build a strong foundation in languages. Kids from 3 years onwards are taught word recognition, pronunciation, reading, comprehension, and writing.
Teacher Yap @ YelaoShr™, various locations nationwide, www.teacheryap.com
The Language Tree specializes in teaching Mandarin as a Second Language to children, adults, and institutions. They offer programs that focus on communication and interaction with quality trainers who teach in Putonghua (Standard Beijing Mandarin). For preschoolers from 4-6 years, classes are interactive and fun, with the use of songs, games, activities, and flashcards. Meanwhile, the Junior Mandarin program caters to children from 6-12 years, with activity-based learning that focuses on communication. Online classes are available now, check out their Facebook page for updates.
The Language Tree, B-03-03A & B-3-5 Galeria Hartamas, Jalan 26A/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, +603 6211 3677, www.thelanguagetree.com.my