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The Sassy Mama Guide to Chinese Classes, Playgroups & Tutors

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One of the most useful gifts you can give a child is the ability to speak more than one language, and here in Hong Kong it’s so easy to expose your little linguist to 2, 3 or even more foreign tongues. In this roundup we’ll be exploring the different ways in which kids can learn Chinese here in the ‘Kong, with playgroups, classes and tutors to help them on their way to fluency. From monoglots to Mandarin masterminds in no time!


We all know that a toddler’s brain is like a sponge. Harness their innate curiosity by incorporating Chinese into early playtime and they won’t even notice that they’re learning a new language.

Mandarin for Munchkins offer classes for toddlers from 12 months up and have a good variety of age-specific classes. Their Music and Movement class uses simple songs and rhymes to start 12-20 month old babies on the road to Mandarin learning, while the Independent Playgroup allows older tots from 2.5 – 3.5 years the chance to have fun and learn Chinese without mum cramping their style! Classes are held in Sheung Wan, Central and Discovery Bay.

Coda Plaza’s Mandarin Town blend language learning with physical play at their exciting indoor gym. Classes are available for children from 6 months up to 4 +, and exercise routines, games and challenges are all conducted in Chinese, providing an effective immersion environment in which to learn.

Catering for babies, toddlers and older kids alike, Sun Kids run a full programme of Chinese playgroups and classes from their Happy Valley centre. With baby signing incorporated into the 6 month+ Mandarin playgroup, and specialist art classes for toddlers from 1.5 years up, sessions are designed to offer opportunities for easy language acquisition through all their activities.

With not one, but two locations slap bang in Central, Kid’s Land is the place to go if your toddler loves music. Using nursery rhymes and songs as the basis for all classes, Mandarin Playgroup provides a fun group environment for toddlers from 18 months-3 years. For older, bolder toddlers, Learn-n-Play is an unaccompanied session for 2.5-3.5 year olds. Time for a latte, mama…

Despite the name, Sai Kung’s Easy English for Kids has a great Mandarin playgroup! Pre-schoolers have the chance to get hands on with plenty of messy play, arts and crafts, and musical instruments, not to mention a rare-for-HK outdoor play area! Classes are limited to a maximum of 7 children per session so EEK guarantee plenty of individual support.

*Mandarin classes

For kids aged 5-18, a more structured approach to language learning can be beneficial. Luckily we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to Mandarin classes in Hong Kong, so whatever your child’s specialism or interest, there’s something out there that is bound to appeal.

Woodland Pre-School’s Aberdeen and Mid-Levels branches offer Saturday Mandarin Clubs for children aged 3-7 years. Hosted by a native Mandarin teacher, the club blends music and movement, craft, story time and role play to offer an exciting and inviting place to learn.

KiddiWrite Chinese focuses on vocabulary, sentence structure and composition, as well as writing in simplified characters. It covers the Primary Chinese curriculum and is suitable for both native speakers and those learning Chinese as a second language. Classes are held at Kiddi Kraft’s Kowloon Tong and Kennedy Town branches.

The Young Learners programme at Jumpstart Mandarin Learning Centre in Sai Kung adopts a talk-based learning approach, with Primary-aged kids being encouraged to build vocabulary and comprehension by discussing everyday topics such as ‘My School Bag’ or ‘Food and Eating’. Reading and writing skills are not neglected either, with basic Chinese characters being taught alongside Pinyin.

For help with Chinese homework when Mum and Dad just don’t cut the mustard, Kid’s Talent have a range of primary level classes and after-school tutorial groups at their centre in Kowloon.

The Hong Kong Mandarin School is a good place for the whole family to improve their Chinese, with adult classes aplenty. Junior classes are specifically aimed at international school students, intending to support language learning alongside the schools’ curriculum. Mandarin for Schoolkids is aimed at the P1 to P5 age group and covers spoken and written Chinese, a historical and cultural overview and gives a good grounding in Pinyin.

The Hong Kong Institute of Language’s HK Kidz Mandarin programme is another great option with classes including “First Step” classes for kids ages 3-4, “Getting Ahead” classes for 5 and 6 year olds, as well as Arts and Theatre classes for kids in Mandarin.  They also offer Christmas, Easter and Summer Holiday immersion camps so plan ahead.


For kids already working towards a recognised Chinese qualification at school, a spot of extra tuition can be just the thing to push those exam results from good to great. 

ITS Hong Kong is a registered school offering courses and tuition in more or less every subject you can imagine, including, of course, Chinese. Small group and one on one tuition is available, including special programmes for SAT II Chinese and AP Chinese preparation.  Based in Sheung Wan and Mong Kok, their online course timetable is updated daily.

Back at the Hong Kong Mandarin School, their Secondary School Mandarin course helps teens with their prep for the Chinese exams such as GCSE, IGCSE, AS and A-levels, and IB.  They offer small groups or private classes.

Family holiday threatening to get in the way of study? Focusing on IB and IGCSE Chinese exam preparation, New Concept Mandarin encourage regular testing and past paper mock exams to ensure that children are thoroughly prepared for the real thing. Their super-flexible approach to tuition means that sessions can take place at their Connaught Road Central centre, at home or even via Skype if necessary. Problem solved!

 Have a favourite Mandarin class, playgroup, or tutor that you just love and can’t believe we missed?  Let us know!  We loooove hearing about great places we didn’t know of before.  Drop us a line at [email protected] or leave us a comment below.

And a big thanks to our Sassy Mama contributor Kate Farr for this fab roundup.

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