Frequently Asked Questions
Please see below for a list of questions that parents have frequently asked us. If you have other questions, please feel free to contact us here!
At KidStartNow, we hire only the highest calibre teachers as we know they are instrumental in getting your kid to love and learn Mandarin.
The most important quality we look for is passion for teaching preschoolers Mandarin as we believe a genuine love for teaching preschoolers is the most important factor in a good teacher. Secondly, we look for the right experience - teachers who have extensive experience with teaching non-Chinese speakers and adapting to their unique needs. Thirdly, we look for teachers who are well versed in technology, ensuring a seamless digital classroom. Other qualifications our teachers have include MOE accredited native Mandarin speakers, etc.
At KidStartNow, we use our own proprietary syllabus created by curriculum executives with over 20 years of teaching experience, and is based off several key tenets:
a) Unique story-based curriculum that brings your kid on fun filled adventures, motivating your kid to love mandarin
b) Full integration with technology to make learning both fun and effective
c) Gamifcation, a different approach to grading where kids are encouraged to keep trying rather than be penalised for being wrong
d) Focus on speaking and listening first to encourage kids to love mandarin, and then moving on to reading and writing, an approach espoused by former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew in his book "My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore's Bilingual Journey"
No. Rather than playing video games in class, gamification is a different approach to grading - instead of penalising kids for being wrong, kids are encouraged to keep trying until they get it right, just like in a game. And while doing so, they're constantly practicing Chinese!
Imagine your kid loving to learn chinese as much as they love to play games like Candy Crush Saga!
The use of gamification in education has gained traction in the last 12-18 months, particularly in the US.
First, it is a different way to think about grading. The gamified classroom at KidStartNow involves constant mini quizzes and activities - known in gaming parlance as questing - where kids can earn points. Therefore, the more motivated and enthusiastic they are while questing, the more point they will earn, which is immediately reflected in our leaderboard. This is different from the traditional classroom where tests are often used to determine how much a student has not learnt, by deducting points for wrong answers.
"Questing, without a doubt, increases student motivation, student attitude, and student performance. Data proves this fact. Students in my classroom are doing three times the amount of work that students completed in previous years, and they are doing it with joy and without complaint," Denishia Buchanan, Biology Teacher, Marked Tree High School, Marked Tree, Arkansas
And gamification - taking its cue from games - encourages constant practice. Called grinding in games, this encourages kids to keep trying until they get it right - this constant practice is not seen as a chore, but rather a way to beat their own scores or that of others. They may not realise that while grinding, they're constantly practicing their Chinese.
According to some studies, technology can speed up learning speed by up to 5x, and we believe in using technology appropriately to give kids a headstart in life and make it easy for you to learn together with your kid. For instance, our special bilingual eBooks has Mandarin read along function and easy to understand english translations, so you can easily learn with your kid too.
Moreover, our kids are growing up in an increasingly digitalised world, and we believe digital natives should not be learning via yesterday's methods. According to Mashable, the world will inevitably become increasingly digitalised, and parents should embrace the change by educating themselves about the latest educational technology trends.
We hope to become your education technology partners, and work together to give your kid a headstart.
We understand you might be worried that the entire chinese class will be on technology, especially since using the iPad can be a solitary activity. Technology will be used ~30% of class time, and students will be encouraged to use it to interact with their peers.
The remaining 70% of the time will be focused on activities like story-telling and song and dance, with a good balance between technology and non-technology elements.
The bilingual eBooks are available for parents of our students - we know you want to allow your kid to revise at home and have the option to learn with them, and we want to do our bit to help out! It's time to retire those old paper textbooks!
The best time to start is now! It is never too late, or too early, to introduce your kids to another language.
While it is true that starting kids young is advantageous, and while his or her ability to learn a second language changes throughout childhood, research by Professors Kendall King and Alison Mackey, Linguistics Professors in Georgetown University, show it does not completely disappear after a certain age. So no matter how old your kids are, now is the best time to let them learn Mandarin.
Yes we do! We understand you might want to see if your kid likes our method of teaching, and we are happy to provide a trial ($10) during the first lesson!