5 Books That Can Help You In Learning Mandarin

Mandarin is one of the four official languages of Singapore along with English, Tamil, and Malay. Learning Mandarin is more than just learning a language, it is learning a language, which is spoken by about 1/5th of the World’s population. As China is slowly climbing the economic ladder, Chinese is becoming an important language to learn not just for professional reasons, but also for cultural reasons in Singapore.

Mandarin can be learnt via multiple channels, including online tutorials for Mandarin courses in Singapore, and learning guides or textbooks. Here are five textbooks that can help you learn Mandarin:

1. Colloquial Chinese: The Complete Course for Beginners

Written by Kan Qian, an experienced teacher and professor in Asian and Middle Eastern studies, this book is a solid tool for those who want to learn Chinese as it is spoken and written today. The course is lesson-based and comes with multiple CDs to improve listening skills and pronunciation. No prior experience of the language is required to learn from this book.

2. Integrated Chinese

This book is widely used by college and university students to better comprehend the Chinese phonetics and characters. The book comprises interactive and detailed lessons, along with storylines to better understand conversations and dialogues. It is a great book to begin with as it contains a good set of the introductory vocabulary.

3. Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar: A Practical Guide

This book serves as a great reference guide for beginners. It introduces students to function-based and traditional grammar. The book is split into two parts, Part A explaining the grammatical features of the language and comprising the structure of Chinese, and Part B comprising language functions, notions, and situations.

4. New Practical Chinese Reader

This book comes in six volumes, but each volume can also be bought separately. These volumes help assess a student’s progress from beginner to intermediate. The lessons in this book primarily focus on conversations and help strengthen conversational skills. However, there is sufficient information regarding writing, grammar, vocabulary, Chinese culture, and idioms.

5. Chinese Made Easier

This textbook leans towards the practical use of Chinese and is a great tool to improve your Chinese conversational skills. The vocabulary included in the book can be used for everyday conversations and is mostly ideal for people who are visiting China for shorter durations or trips.

With Mandarin slowly replacing Japanese as the Asian language of business, it is fairly obvious why young adults and professionals are leaning towards learning it. While textbooks and learning guides are a great way to get introduced to Mandarin, taking up Mandarin courses can provide an in-depth view of the language.

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Dress Code for a Pre Nursery School Teacher – Dos and Don’ts

When you teach pre-nursery school kids the importance of dress, the right question that you need to ask yourself whether teachers should follow a dress code. Some school districts are already trying to implement dress code policies for their employees. However, some teachers are protesting the proposed code.

Different views

While professionals are expected to wear decent dress, many consider imposing a dress code takes away their liberty and freedom. It is important for the teachers to consider what kind of outfit would be comfortable to them while conducting classes in a pre-nursery school. They will be on the floor. They will be running around. They will need to squat and bend while mixing paints. In other words, even without a formal dress code, they need to give a thought to the appropriate dress they need to wear in class.

As a parent, you might be appalled to find the teacher teaching your toddler teetering on stilettos. Some of the teachers dress more appropriately for clubbing than a nursery class room. Some of the teachers wear very short skirts that might make them impossible to squat next to a kid without exposing her privacy. It is not important how amazing some teacher might be, but it is important that their liberal sense of freedom with dress doesn’t cross the limit of decency in a classroom setting.

Summer dress code

Summer is the time when the temperature rises along with a few skirts and eyebrows too. The school administration must gently remind all female staff that their school has a dress code that must be adhered to. The schools have summer as well as winter dress codes. Most school or nearly all schools prohibit flip-flops, spaghetti strap tops, see through or very low cut tops. Ideally every school should have a dress code with dresses or skirts of a reasonable length.

While dress code is important, what exactly should be the dress could be debatable. Some schools allow jeans, others don’t. Some schools allow heels, others don’t. The important thing to consider is the comfort level in the classroom while teaching and professionalism. Ideally, when a teacher dresses to go to school, she should appear to be a teacher and not someone going to attend a party.

While it might have been easier to impose a dress code two or more decades ago, it may not be the same today. Most men teachers in the 80s, wore shirts, ties and jackets and women teachers chose to wear skirts or pants with nice tops, while sports and gym teachers came in casuals. Even today, with relaxed sense of dress, short skirts and stilettos appear inappropriate.

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Impact of a Good Teacher on The Child

Teachers always have an important role in guiding the student to fulfill the maximum potential of the students. A good teacher influences the child in one way or the other without any doubt. Preschool education in Singapore is of high quality due to the number of good teachers available. Let’s take a look at how a good teacher impacts the lives of their students.

Qualities of an effective and good teacher

A good teacher influences her students to be good and hard working; they get inspired by the teacher to achieve more. Students really don’t have to asses different qualities to come to the conclusion whether their teacher is good or not. Because the impact of a good teacher can be felt from the very first class; their way of talking, teaching and involvement with the students. A good teacher can make the student perform better without having to drastically change anything; their way of teaching can be understood by students of any caliber. Most teachers who are good at what they do, tend to be very passionate about their subject and has a vast knowledge about the subject.

Such teachers have genuine feelings for their students and really care about what they achieve in life. Many teachers have influenced people to become great and change the world. Whatever we are today is in part thanks to our teachers who taught us at different stages in our life, they were not only good at teaching the subject but also in giving important lessons about life. Teachers tend to have a long lasting effect on the ideals and methodology of a person.

Impact of a teacher

While we can argue about how greatly the teachers impact the students, there are actually factual proof that shows the level of impact of the teachers. In a popular research carried out in a school over a period few years it was found that a teacher had a cumulative effect on the students. When low performing students were transferred to the classes of high performing teachers their over percentage increased drastically over a period of 2 years showing great improvements in their academic achievements. It was also found that additional years under the care of a good teacher improved the grades of the students in the late years rather than a sudden change, while the ones under the average teacher did not show any great changes. This research, really the shed the light on the effectiveness of a teacher.

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How To Learn Japanese When You Are Staying In Singapore

Singapore has a strong presence of Japanese residents, immigrants, and tourists. With the growth in the number of business interactions between Singapore and Japan, people are constantly looking to learn Japanese. The Japanese language is also gaining more importance in Singapore because a lot of Japanese clients prefer doing business in their native language and cannot speak English very fluently.

Japanese language courses, classes, and exchange students can easily be found online by typing Japanese classes in Singapore, Japanese courses in Singapore, and other similar keywords in the search bar. Before that, let’s take a look at a few easy ways to learn Japanese in Singapore.

1. Take a quick beginner’s course

The best way to get started with learning a new language is to enroll in a short 2-3 weeks beginner’s language course. This doesn’t just help give a right start to your practice, but also helps you assess if you like the language or not. Consider this quick course as a trial course before you jump into paying for long-term courses.

2. Look for a Language Tandem

Another great way of improving your language skills is to find a language partner. This is the best way to improve your conversational skills in any language. Japanese language partners can be found at universities or specific language courses. You can also reach out to people via the several Japanese communities and groups present in Singapore.

3. Join Language Coaching Centers or Institutions

If you have a good chunk of time and money in hand, join a good language coaching center or institution to get an in-depth understanding of the language. There are several established institutions in Singapore that help people from all walks of life master the Japanese language. Even though these institutions require you to spend a good amount of money, the attention and teaching methods employed definitely make it worth your while.

4. Join Activity Groups

If you prefer to not spend too much on extensive language courses, join communities or activity/hobby groups that suit your interest. Once you figure out your interests, finding groups and activity centers is fairly easy. You can break down your search based on international students, ethnicity, cultures, and interests.

If you are interested to learn more, check this out: http://www.berlitz.com.sg/l/language-menu/japanese-language

That said, learning a new language in a cosmopolitan and culturally-rich country like Singapore is extremely easy. Even a complex language like Japanese can be learnt easily by using the above-mentioned resources and tools. There are a lot of people who constantly look for Japanese classes and find thousands of results to pursue their passion. However, it is important to assess each tool or resource based on your budget and time before making a final decision.

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Important Things To Consider While Hosting A Preschool Open House

preschool students

Preschool can be tough for the children as well as parent because it is probably the first time the children spend a lot of time away from home and their parents. Children face many problems in school due to this. A preschool open house likeĀ http://www.cheriehearts.com.sg/curriculum/preschool-curriculum/ helps the parents and teachers to meet each other and talk about the child. This helps the parent and teacher to exchange valuable information for the development of the child.


1) An invitation
Sending an invitation letter for the parents to come to the open house describing the events and functions is a good way to give the parents a heads up on what to expect. It also makes a good formal introduction between the parent and the child. Sometimes children forget to mention important details like the venue or date, this can be avoided if invitation letters are used.

2) Understanding open night
Important thing for both the parent and teacher to understand is that open house last from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the school. In Singapore, Childcare centers usually follow these methods to make it a better event. So it is important to convey the messages and tips in a short while rather than have a long conversation as there is only limited time available for the teacher and all the parents to meet. Open house is an opportunity for the teachers and parents to meet.

3) Presentation
Presentations are the best way to convey common messages to the parents. This saves time as well as answers half the questions parents want to ask to the teacher. Making sure that the presentation is simple and touches all the important topics is important. After that the teacher can spend time with individual parents of the children who need special attention.

4) Important information
It is important to give parents important information about exams, contact numbers etc. The different ways to contact the teacher can also be told to the parents. Also information o how to access the child’s time to time developmental information from the school should be told too, so that the parents know how their children are doing in school without having to contact the teacher from time to time.

5) Displaying student engagement
Get the students to create artworks and types of crafts to decorate the venue of open house so that the parents can witness the creativity and class engagement in person during the open house.

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Importance of Kindergarten

Kindergarten has become a stepping stone for the success of a child. It’s also used as a base for school, all the basics of your academic life begins here. The importance of kindergarten in today’s world cannot be understated, since schools have become very competitive in nature and also being tough. Kindergarten familiarize the child with the basic knowledge of all the subject taken up in school, so that it’d be easier for them to acclimatize to the academic needs of the school.

Reading skill
One of the important advantages of kindergarten is that it gets children to improve their reading ability. English is taught at an early age so that they are able to read simple books. In kindergarten basic reading skills such as recognizing words and sentences are taught as well as writing their name. They are also taught how to speak in public and the important skill of listening is drilled into them.

Mathematical knowledge
Mathematics has become one of the important subjects in today’s academics; it can be an easy subject to learn given that the child has the right aptitude as well as basic understanding of the subject at a young age. Kindergarten aims to do this by inculcating the habit of solving simple math problems such as addition and subtraction. Children are taught to identify numbers, its patterns and also a small bridge course to algebra.

Technological familiarity
Incorporation of technological studies is done in almost every kindergarten these days as computer and its components have become a vital cog in our day to day life. Kindergartens also utilize these to teach students subjects like math and history in an enjoyable way. Children are exposed to technology even before kindergarten hence it is important to teach them how to properly use them and not abuse it.

The arts program in kindergarten aims at bringing out the creativity in the child. Many activities such as making crafts, painting, drawing and coloring along with singing and dancing are available in the school for the child to take up. The probability of the children finding a skill or activity that interests them is very high. Music is used as a tool to teach children to read and also in developing their reasoning skills. The motive of arts is to encourage creativity, spontaneity, confidence, self expression, imagination and freedom. According to studies experiences in arts tend to have a positive impact in their development of academic skills. Kids’ playgroup is also promoted so that they learn to cooperate with others as well as improve their communication skills.

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Role of Arts in Education

Arts play an important role in developing and building life related skills which academic teaching doesn’t cover. Education should include both academic and life related skilled. The problem with today’s education system is that it only focuses on core subjects such as engineering, science, technology and math. The need for better engineers and doctors is understandable, but there is also the need for better human beings. Arts as a subject covers lots of areas, you could probably say that it is a versatile subject in developing an individual.

Let us take a look at some of the key areas where arts benefits a student which underlines its role in education.


Creativity has become the number priority in job specification these days as it brings a breath of fresh air to any industry. The motive of education is to build a student with all the skills and knowledge required to be success in the world. Hence creativity which is so important to be successful these cannot be ignored, therein lays the importance of arts which cannot be overlooked. Drawing, clay modeling, acting and singing are some of the arts that help to bring out creativity in students.

Improving academic performance

This reason increases the relevance of arts in schools even more. The creativity that has been developed is applied by the students in academics which help them perform better than before. It is an added advantage to the students being able to develop creativity and also utilize it to improve academics. Studies show that students who consistently involve themselves in arts tend to get recognition for academics in school life.

Motor skills

Motor skills are important for physical development of the child. At different stages a different aspect of motor skills need to be developed. Including arts suitable for the respective ages of the students in school curriculum, helps in developing these motor skills. Crafts are very good option for developing these motor skills by using scissors and pencils.

Confidence building

No matter what the nature of task, confidence in one’s ability is required to take up any task, let alone complete them. Classes in arts such as drama, acting, instruments and dancing are important tools to boost confidence. Drama classes for kids, violin classes for kids or even dance classes aim at developing those skills through intensive practice and utilization of creativity which builds confidence and self belief in one’s abilities.

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