In early March, we were invited to try out Connected Learning’s online Chinese tuition. What’s that, you say? Well, Connected Learning basically provides the convenience of home tuition via an online platform.
What this means is that your child can get help in Chinese without stepping out of the house.
In the comfort of home!
Now that the kids are older and time has become extra precious because of school demands, I don’t exactly like to take on extra enrichment classes for the kids, especially when the venue of the tuition centre is really out of my way.
Connected Learning’s arrangement of e-tuition was a good fit for our family’s schedule so we went ahead with a month-long trial.
Connected Learning Classes
Connected Learning offers both Chinese and Higher Chinese lessons and their lessons are crafted by their team of experienced teachers, in accordance with the Singapore MOE syllabus.
The classes are live, online classes conducted from Monday to Saturday using the OmniJoin Meeting app. Basically just logon when it’s almost time for lesson and wait for the teacher to start the lesson. Class size is kept small, capped at four students per lesson.
Classes are short and frequent (three 1-hour sessions for lower primary children each week) so that they get enough exposure, which is even more crucial if they don’t speak Chinese on a regular basis. There are many slots to choose from for different levels and you can always contact Connected Learning by email [firstname.lastname@example.org], telephone [8725 7379] or SMS [8725 7379] for updated availability.
Connected Learning offers tuition from Primary One through Secondary Four. They are currently exploring the option to provide help at the Preschool level.
Connected Learning teachers are from China, and all hold Diplomas / Degrees in Chinese Language or related fields. The management teachers have 10-15 years experience in teaching, and even their most junior teachers have a minimum of two years experience. More importantly, they are well-trained and experienced in online teaching, which requires them to be able to read the child’s cues and body language from a remote location.
What goes on during lessons
Throughout the lessons, the teacher will converse with the student(s), do some exercises such as listening comprehension questions, and also play short clips to reinforce the lessons.
The teacher normally starts with recap and tingxie (听写) before proceeding with the rest of the lesson. The teacher will explain and go through vocabulary and the students will take down notes for revision.
Frequent usage of the vocabulary and sentences helps the student(s) retain it better in long term memory and it will become part of his / her “natural” vocabulary, thus increasing his / her confidence in the language.
All components are covered in the online classes – from oral to composition, comprehension, listening comprehension, vocabulary, sentence construction and tenses.
For Oral and Listening Comprehension, students will take turns to answer the questions. The tutor will comment on both the good points and areas of improvement.
For Composition, it is normally completed during the lesson itself. The tutor will show some examples of how to write and elaborate further based on the materials shown. In the event that the student cannot finish the composition, it will completed as homework.
What I like most about Connected Learning is the fact that we can have the tuition in the comfort of home. There is no hassle of rushing out of the house, dragging a little one in tow and waiting around for tuition to end. Time is definitely put to better use.
Also, if you are working, you can still arrange for your child to have the lesson online, as long as your child or his guardian knows how to set up the system when lesson is about to begin. That possibly means more family time together over the weekends as well.
The teacher was also constantly engaged and maintained enthusiasm throughout the class. She encouraged the students to take turns to answer questions, read passages, and she interjected lessons with simple quizzes in order to keep the class fun.
Although ours is technically a month-long trial, it spanned across March and April and I didn’t expect the teacher to write two separate progress reports for us. A pleasant surprise indeed! Just to give you a sample of how the progress report looks like, I have included screenshots of some parts of one of the reports and have removed my daughter’s name for our privacy.
As you can see from the screenshots, included in the report are details of each lesson – what was covered, and how was the child’s performance – and also an overall summary at the end.
Although the lessons were enjoyable, I feel that thrice a week was a bit too much for us to handle in our schedules. I understand the rationale of having more lessons of shorter duration but I felt that we ended up kinda stretching ourselves trying to fit the three sessions into our weekly schedule. But that’s our personal preference and three sessions might work beautifully for you.
Overall, I think this option is a good alternative to the traditional brick and mortar tuition centres, especially if you’re not keen to travel for tuition. If we haven’t already committed to an enrichment centre, we would continue with Connected Learning for the convenience and expertise.
If you’re not sure if you or your child would like this mode of tuition, you can always register for a FREE TRIAL CLASS.
Fees and frequency are as indicated:
Disclosure: We were invited to try out a month of lessons by Connected Learning. No monetary compensation was provided. All opinions are ours.