Teaching Children Chinese in Australia

Thanks Nix 

Yeah many reasons to move, though as the years pass, the other countries increase the requirements and difficulty. On the flip side, more and more reasons to move out as Sg is just getting worse by the day in terms of crowds, personal freedoms, human selfishness, etc...

Btw, a question for you - regarding your kids education, are you concerned on ensuring they get exposure to Chinese language? I am wondering, as a cheapo myself, if I ever am able to move out, I surely won't pay for any extra enrichment classes, since I don't even do it now in sg. But I do want my kids to be at least able to read, write and speak Chinese.

Sorry if this is too personal a question, and please feel free not to answer if it is.



Hi EL,

I don't find this question personal. In fact, I would like to bring this to the table because I found this a common problem that Singaporean parents face here.

To be honest, I don't worry about such things, because there are bigger problems to worry about here. 

From my observations, my daughter's spoken Mandarin is not as good as me than when I was at her age. I would say she is slightly behind now. Since Albany is not in Primary School yet and all things being equal, the reason can only be the fact we communicate less in Mandarin with her than my mother used to with me.

From her Primary School onward, I have no doubt the gap will widen, because she will not be exposed to the kind of education we were subjected to in Singapore. She will probably end up being able to speak and understand Chinese, just enough to have simple conversations. She will not be able to write at all. In fact, if I have to write a compo now, i will struggle to do a passable one, let alone a good one due to years of non practice. If I were to read a Chinese article, my reading speed will be about 20% of the speed that of an article in English. Considering that my Chinese was about the same standard as English during school days, the notion of of "use it or lose it" holds a lot of truth.

That comes to the point how long you intend to let your kids stay in Australia. If they will be here long term, you will be fighting a losing battle, wasting precious resources (money) to buff their Chinese up. I wouldn't say it is impossible but it is not realistic to achieve similar standards to if your children are brought up in Singapore. That brings us back to my earlier point. The main reason being, they will not even get the chance to practice it because all the kids here basically communicate in English, even if they know the Chinese language. Before long, they'll lose grasp of the language.

I wouldn't recommend sticking your children with other kids that speak a lot of Mandarin just for this reason. We are migrants in Australia. It is our responsibility to integrate with the local culture. We should be moving to China, if we want the best development for our children in this area.



  1. Hello,

    May I know what is the objection to tuition?

  2. Being Chinese literate can be an asset