Why do students have issues learning Chinese?

Why do students have issues learning Chinese?

Keynote Learning Blog presents: 

Learning Chinese can be a challenging task for many students. In fact, it is a common issue among students who are trying to master this complex language.

That’s why schools have remedial/extra classes.

Despite the efforts put in, some students still struggle with learning Chinese and are unable to grasp the fundamental concepts of the language. This can be frustrating for both the students and their parents.

But why do students have issues with learning Chinese?

In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this issue and explore possible solutions to help overcome these obstacles in the journey of learning Chinese.

Not enough practice in their daily lives

This tends to be one of the top reasons why students are unable to master the language. If you do not practice it with your child at home, naturally, they would rarely speak Chinese.

Much less have the self-motivation to learn Chinese by themselves.


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The only times they would speak Mandarin are in school, during their Mandarin/Chinese lessons and when they need to communicate with stall owners outside.

When your child does not speak Mandarin enough at home, they struggle with reading and writing.

Being weaker in the Chinese language also affects their Chinese grades and pulls down their overall PSLE score.

link to learning eng YT vid

Complex tonal rules

When your child is learning Chinese, they may get confused as there are different tonal rules. Even a slight mistake can produce a very different meaning. Which can cost precious marks in the exams (eg: oral)

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As you know, the Chinese language has 4 common tones.

Depending on the tone, using the han yu pin yin ”shi” can be 是(4th tone) or 十 (2nd tone) or 师 (1st tone).

Now you can see why learning Chinese can be confusing for some students

Reluctance to clarify due to fear

No, this isn’t about students being made fun of by the teachers, but rather they are afraid that the teacher will:
1) Give a different explanation
2) Give the definition in Chinese.
3) Use an example that the student cannot relate to. Thus, confusing them even further.

Especially when the student already has trouble understanding in Chinese, the teacher explaining it in Chinese makes it even worse for students.

confused gif

Some schools have teachers from China and they prefer to converse in Chinese.

This may not be beneficial for your child if they are already not doing well in the subject.

Reading materials not relevant to students

Sometimes, you may come across a good reading material for your child and you share it with them, but they did not bother to read.


Most likely it is not relatable to them which makes them lose interest.

What parents/teachers think it’s good reading material for students, may not be the best learning material for them.

Teachers don’t have time to go through Chinese assignments in detail

A teacher’s job is not just purely teaching, they have tons of admin work, lesson planning and assignment marking to do.

Especially after their classes, they may need to rush to another class. So they may not have the time to explain thoroughly to your child what are their specific mistakes and how to improve them.

This makes your child not care much about it either, finding corrections a chore and not bothering to find out what’s wrong.

In the end, causing them to have difficulty mastering Chinese

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So, what can you do to HELP your child improve Chinese?

You can either do the following with them:

  • Speak more mandarin at home
  • Let them watch some Chinese shows (that they are interested in)
  • Practice and go through Chinese phrases and vocabulary together

But we have a BETTER solution!

You probably have a lot on your plate and so does your child. Doing these tips suggested above can be a good start but it takes consistency and determination to continue.

Which is what makes it difficult for parents and students!

confused overwhelmed gif

To overcome that, our Chinese tutor guides can guide your child to improve their grades and not find Chinese a chore to learn. 

How good is our Chinese tuition?

Mr Lim has been teaching Chinese tuition for 10 years and counting. He is also able to provide modern-day and current examples to better help students understand the context of the Chinese language in today’s world.

Alongside teaching, he is a professional translator for one of the top e-commerce platforms in Singapore

He focuses his teaching methods on Primary school & Secondary 1 students and helps them achieve good results.

How did students perform under his guidance?

With his guidance and patience in giving Chinese tuition, students were able to score the grades they wanted. He has turned his students into self-directed learners and not made them afraid of the language.

View the images below to see what parents and students have to say about his Chinese tuition classes!

You can refer to the image below to see what he goes through every week per month. 

chinese lesson plan

Ready to take first step with us?

To find out more about our Chinese class schedule & availability, click here

We offer both online and physical classes. Online classes would be held on Zoom and physical classes would be held at our Ang Mo Kio Centre [727 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 #02-4264 Singapore 560727]

For more information and any enquiries, feel free to Whatsapp message us at 81816687

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