If you’re on the lookout for more Mandarin, check out Happy Mandarin Club. It’s a new business started by Glen Ridge mom Yen Wang (at left). She hopes to teach kids more about her language and give them the tools to master it. She’s especially great for Nishuane and Glen Ridge High School students who are exposed to the wonderful Mandarin programs at school and want more. But Wang hopes to appeal to everyone–including all ages–who want to study. She offers after school instruction, tutoring and even mini immersion camps on days when the kid are out of school.
To find out more, I asked Wang lots of questions. Read below for all the info, including her prices at the end of the Q&A.
KK: Tell me about your business and what you’re offering to local kids?
Happy Mandarin Club is home-based tutoring business. It was established in September, 2012. It offers after school and weekend Mandarin learning programs covering basic Chinese character learning, building phrases and sentences, daily conversations, Chinese grammar, and culture introduction. The class includes speaking exercises with correct pronunciation, writing characters, and listening and reading comprehension practices. Various textbooks are available to fit different levels. Fun and interesting supplemental materials are also provided as reinforcement. Simplified Chinese are taught and used in all lessons. All classes are in small group setting, and students are grouped by their ages and Chinese fluency levels.
KK: What ages do you teach?
The programs are mainly for children pre-K up to high school. There are adult programs available, too.
KK: Why do you think there is a need for Mandarin lessons right now?
English is still the main world language, but Chinese languages are getting more popular due to the economic and political reasons. People are always following opportunities. During the past few years, I have seen increasing needs of learning Chinese from non-Chinese speaking families. These families are putting tremendous effort into their children’s Chinese learning process. There are many resources available locally, such as Chinese immersion schools, weekend Chinese schools, numerous language workshops, and online learning course, etc.
Happy Mandarin Club is an addition. We can help if the children graduate or drop out from full immersion schools, but they need continue their Chinese learning; or some families prefer weekday lessons instead of weekend; or some children simply want to start as beginners. Even though online courses are convenient, face-to-face teaching is still important and irreplaceable for young children to capture the essentials of a new language, which is so different from their native environment.
Our flexible schedules and programs sure fit those various needs. The small group settings allow our teacher to give special attention to individual student. I have years of Chinese teaching experience. Being a native of Beijing, I can provide the most standard Mandarin to our students. Also being a mom with two school age boys born and grown in this country, I have insight and understanding about American children’s interests and the difficulties they many encounter in their learning process. With fluent English, I am able to interpret the Chinese language and culture in clear and fun ways to the class. At Happy Mandarin, we are committed to provide the most authentic and high quality training to local families who commit to Chinese learning.
KK: How can kids benefit from learning this language?
There is abundant information about the benefits of learning Chinese at younger age. The training on Chinese character recognition, writing, memorizing, and speaking, stimulate those young children dynamically. In my daily observation, I can see their young brains are working with extra dimensions when they try to write the non-linear characters. I also observe that the children starting at earlier age capture the subtle tonal distinctions much quicker, and they present more precise pronunciation. Chinese is an ancient language. By knowing this language, these children have a tool to explore another intellectual world full of great literature and rich culture, which is so different from the one they are born and grown up with. On a broad view, other benefits of being bilingual (in English and Chinese) are: Expending future job opportunities, well rounded personal skills, satisfying second language credit at high school, better performance on multitasking, and more, and more…
KK: Can you give me a ballpark of what you will charge?
Most of the programs run in a 12 week sessions. The small group rate for one lesson per week is $27 per hour. There are substantial discounts for enrolling more than one lesson per week, and sibling discounts are also available. Please find details from the website.
KK: Where will the tutoring take place?
The classroom is set up in a bright sunroom at my home in Glen Ridge.