Frequently Asked Questions
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Q. Why learn Chinese?
A. There are so many great reasons, there isn't enough room to fit them here! Our "Why Learn Chinese" Flier is full of excellent reasons to learn Chinese.
Q. Why is CLSC the best place to learn Chinese?
A. It's because of our approach, accreditation, instructors, convenience, and more. Our "About CLSC" document details why we are the best place to learn Chinese around.
Q. How old does my child have to be to start learning Chinese? When is the best time to start learning Chinese?
A. The easiest answer is as early as possible and we offer classes for children from 18-months-old and up. The practical answer is that you can start at any age. What really matters is the desire to learn, school readiness skills and the commitment of the learner and his/her family.
Toddlers and preschoolers can begin learning in our Chopstix program. Elementary school age students start with our Level 1 course usually between the ages of 5 and 8. For slightly older beginners, we offer the New Beginners class for students between the ages of 8 and 12. For beginning students ages 16 and up, we offer the Adult 1 class.
Q. I don’t speak Chinese. How can I help my child with her homework?
A. The best way that you can help your child with homework is to make sure your learner sets aside at least 15-20 minutes three times a week to do their homework and review their lessons. CLSC teaches Chinese as a second language and, therefore, our teachers assume that parents will not be able to assist their children with the language. Teachers are careful to assign appropriate homework to reinforce learning that is occurring in the classroom. Some students do find they need some extra help and, thus, we offer our Homework Help program, which pairs students with a CLSC staff teacher to review homework online for 30 minutes each week for a minimal fee.
Q. How do I motivate my child to learn Chinese?
A. A child is motivated by immediate reward (e.g. praise, fun) while a parent is often motivated by longer-term rewards (e.g. a child well-prepared to take part in a world-wide employment market). Sometimes the rewards for both child and parent coincide (e.g. pride of accomplishment). CLSC takes the long-term view while recognizing that long-term goals cannot be accomplished without motivating students in the present. CLSC teachers use engaging, fun activities in their lessons and positively reinforce active participation in the class. CLSC also include Chinese art and culture lessons within the course of their language study to provide added interest.
Parents are encouraged to share ideas, study aids, and other resources with each other in our wider school community. Parent volunteers also arrange periodic events that allow students to use their language skills or experience Chinese culture first hand. CLSC also maintains a Facebook page that features many items of interest to CLSC families.
Q. How long will it take my child to learn to speak Chinese?
A. Your child will be listening to and speaking Chinese from the very first lesson. However, learning a language to mastery is a lengthy, often life-long, process. CLSC prides itself on creating classroom environments that use engaging activities and focus on communication skills to motivate learners to continue learning Mandarin. Factors that may shorten or lengthen the amount of time needed to become competent in Chinese, are age, motivation, aptitude, personality and diligence of the learner.
Q. Is the tuition for the school year? Can we sign up for a semester only? Can we start mid-year?
A. Learning a second language requires commitment and consistency. To ensure a reliable student body, maintain a continuous learning experience and minimize disruptions in individual classes, we offer year-long classes in our regular program. Our tuition covers the full year, including any materials used in the class and summer activity packets. We generally follow the Greenwich school district school year calendar.
We do allow mid-term entry into a class upon assessment if you are transferring from another location or school. If the learner is a beginner and wants to join a class mid-year, we require that the student study with a private CLSC tutor until they’ve caught up with the other class members. We do offer private tutoring services. Mid-term entrant tuition is pro-rated and a $150 administration fee is applied.
Q. What is your refund policy?
A. For classes and tutoring sessions, full refund minus $150 administration fee before the date of the first class or tutoring session; 3⁄4 of tuition will be refunded on or after date of the first class; no refund after the 2nd class.
CLSC reserves the right to cancel scheduled classes 2 days prior to the start date when the enrollment minimum for any given class is not met. In the event that CLSC must cancel a class and students choose not to participant in another class, participants will receive a full refund. Any refunds will be mailed within six weeks.