“Learning Chinese is so cool!”
“Cannot wait to get started!”
As my colleague and I walked into the classroom, the chit chat quickly quietened down. Eight students sat around two desks, bursting with excitement. We were faced by eyes filled with curiosity. I thought at that moment the girls must be wondering – can we understand their English? Will we be able to speak Chinese? …
The class started promptly after a brief introduction by a school teacher. The students were taught greetings, numbers and the names of a small handful of Chinese foods. In a friendly and engaging environment, the class proceeded very smoothly. Laughter occasionally burst out as some couldn’t quite master the pronunciation at their first try. My colleague and I were patient and attentive to the students’ needs – we understand that this experience can be life-changing and are genuinely happy to see these young learners enjoy their time.
That was day one. But how did we come to start the club in Helvetia House School?
Early this year I was contacted by a parent from the school, whose son used to learn Chinese with me a couple of years ago. He explained his intention to sponsor a Chinese club at Helvetia for Y4, which hopefully could draw the interest of many. In the past, our after-school clubs were paid for by the parents of those attending. Truth be told, a sponsored club was a fresh idea. I was extremely interested, and particularly drawn by the fact a parent had more than one child’s interest in mind.
After a few more weeks of liaising and discussion on the detail, the club at Helvetia was confirmed! Our first lesson started after Easter Holiday, and so far the class has been described as interesting, enjoyable and informative. The students are working on YCT Level 1, the teaching of which will last for two terms until just before Christmas. Lessons for the next level are subject to review after the completion of the current level. At the moment, there are 9 students in our class (after a new student joined last week). The class runs every Thursday after school from 3-4pm.
With a new staff member on board from September, we will have more capacity to teach outside our office. If you are interested in the opportunity for your children to learn Chinese, and would like to have their friends join and to benefit, a sponsored club at your children’s school is a good option. Education is the best gift. Our special rate is applicable to sponsored clubs. Please contact our office directly at (01534) 864873, should you be interested.