If you are a Singapore parent and would like to ensure that your children are bilingual (Mandarin and English), Mandarin immersion is an excellent way to do so. Children enrolled in these types of schools not only learn the language but also acquire an understanding of Chinese culture and history.
A Mandarin immersion preschool in Singapore provides a fantastic opportunity for your child to learn about various facets of Chinese culture without having to leave the country.
The benefits of such programs vary greatly, but as it relates specifically to this article, students exposed to them from a young age will have no trouble with learning different subjects at school or interacting with others who speak only Mandarin or have different cultures altogether.
As for the parents, having a child that is bilingual in Mandarin and English can help you understand and connect with your child more easily. It can also help your child identify which language to use to communicate with certain people who may only speak one of the aforementioned languages.
The different types of Mandarin immersion preschools available in Singapore will, of course, vary greatly depending on where they are located and what they offer their students. That said, most of them will offer similar services and will be geared towards helping students learn different elements of Chinese culture in addition to Mandarin language skills.
One example is a school that offers an “Early Childhood Bilingual Mandarin Immersion Programme” which teaches Mandarin language skills to students from ages three to five
The students enrolled in this program “have learning opportunities that begin with the first step into the school gate”. The benefits of this type of program include “enhancing their self-confidence and promoting their appreciation for diversity”. In other words, children enrolled in these types of programs receive a variety of benefits including a greater sense of cultural awareness.
As for the parents, they will have the advantage of knowing that their child has received a certain level of education in Mandarin as well as being able to explore different cultures.
There are also Mandarin immersion preschools that offer “specialized Chinese language and culture programs”. These programs teach students “so they can interact with people who are both within and outside of their immediate communities”, which is an important element given the increasing number of people around the world who speak only Mandarin.
Mandarin immersion preschools in Singapore make it easy to expose your child to a vast amount of knowledge regarding the Chinese language and culture. It is an excellent opportunity for your child, as well as yourself, to learn more about cultures and languages other than English.
Having said that, if possible you should try to enroll your child in a bilingual school from a very young age because this will allow them to have a head start over their peers who have not had this opportunity.