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Parents prefer to hire local tutors to coach children in Chi

Parents prefer to hire local tutors to coach children in Chinese 

Chinese language tutors from China may have the edge over Singaporean tutors when it comes to having a grasp of the language, however, parents here still prefer to hire local tutors to teach their kids Chinese.

The Shin Min Daily reported that although there have been an increasing number of China-born tutors here, their presence have not affected the business of local tutors.

Of the five Singaporean tutors interviewed by the Shin Min Daily, three said that parents have turned to them when they discovered that the tutors they had hired who were Chinese nationals, were not suitable.

One reason is because students here who are poor in Chinese, tend to require teachers who are able to explain the lesson to them in English.

According to Mr Tan, a teacher with 20 years experience, another reason is because local tutors understand the Singapore education system and Chinese syllabus better.

Said Mr Tan: "Usually, tutors from China end up teaching at a level that is either too advanced, or too basic. They also tend to use words or phrases that their students may not understand, leaving them confused instead."

A tutor, Ms Lin, 20, says parents may feel they get more value with local tutors as they can not only teach Chinese, but also help their students in other subjects when needed.

Another tutor who was interviewed by the Chinese daily also said parents have commented that they are less able to connect with China-born tutors due to their foreign accent.

Nationality not important

Shanghai-born tutor Feng Lei, who has been teaching in Singapore for six years, says the responsibility of all Chinese language tutors is to ensure that students are proficient in reading, writing and speaking the language.

Whether the tutor has a different accent or not, she says, is unimportant. She says parents should not lower their standards just because their child is weak in the subject, as their child will not learn to speak and write proper Chinese this way.

She also added that when it comes to teaching, ones ability and passion trumps over his or her nationality.

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