South Bay Chinese School
Frequently Asked Questions
Before You Decide to Enroll
Yes, the Mandarin Conversation 國語會話 (MC) class is designed for beginners of all ages. The idea is to learn Chinese through natural discussion. The class provides opportunities for you to interact and internalize the new skill with a language “partner.” Please take advantage of the open enrollment policy and join in anytime.
Our very popular Mommy & Me class 國語小小班 accepts students from age two to Five. When classes resume onsite, this class meets every Saturday from 11am to 11:55am. Please feel free to bring your little one at that time and try it out. Tuition is $300 for 30 weeks. Always check for current class time and pricing. Core Chinese classes can accept your child turns 5, and progress from Level Kindergarten to 8.
The cost is $300 for 30 weeks of activities in the school year (as of July 2018). Always check for current pricing.
Please reference our events box on the home page of the website www.southbaychineseschool.org. Scroll down to the “Upcoming Events” box and the click the link of any event, or click on “View All Events” for a detailed list. Please also feel free to send us an info request on the contact page click here.
We run two 16-weeks semesters a year. Fall semester goes from Sept to Mid-Jan. Spring semester runs from Mid-Jan to early June. Each class is progressive, and one textbook will be covered per 2 semesters. See Q.4 for school calendar.
Yes, welcome! Please feel free to stop by any Saturday (except school holidays) between 9am to 11am (see Q.4 for school calendar). Our office staff on duty in Room P110 can process your visitor’s pass.
Please take advantage of the open enrollment policy and join anytime. Visit the SBCS office (Room P110) on school days (Saturdays).
We are interested in enrolling, but are very worried about how it will work with the kids’ sport and school activities on Saturdays.
You have a very common concern with most other parents. Over the past 49 years, our school has co-existed with thousands of very busy South Bay families. Our teachers are very experienced and flexible; they work with your family to help your kid(s) succeed, in the amount of time he/she can attend to Chinese learning.
Yes, we have open enrollment, and our teachers are very experienced and flexible in fitting new students into the classes.
Our experience is that developing a language skill requires frequent interaction. Families do find it necessary, and very helpful, to stay with our school more than 1 semester. With the tuition set at a very affordable rate (~ $7/hr), the once a year tuition collection was voted in as a necessary measure to streamline the time & effort required given the limited numbers of resources on hand to process new registration and payments.
My child is a beginner; please explain the difference between Mandarin Conversation (MC) and core Chinese (LK/HLK/C1) classes ?
Students in the conversation class learn Chinese through listening and natural discussion (also see question 1). It is a standalone class which can be a transition class to allow students more time to understand the new language by focusing on listening and speaking 聽和講first. Some Cantonese speaking students or students with English speaking parents would take this class as a preparation to migrate to a higher level core Chinese class later, such as L2 or even L3 classes. In contrast, students in the core Chinese classes must also learn reading and writing 讀和寫. They advance throughout the curriculum with the same classmates from kindergarten to AP (K – 9) levels.
What is the difference between LK (Level Kindergarten) and HLK (Hanyu Pinyin 漢語拼音 Level Kindergarten) ?
LK is for you if you are interested in learning traditional Chinese characters to write, and using the zhuyin注音 technique (bo po mo fo) to pronounce the words. HLK is for you if you are interested in using simplified Chinese characters to write, and using the pinyin 拼音 style to pronounce the words. Although some may consider one method “easier” or “more popular” than the other, most students are an “open book” and they will adjust well in either method. We recommend that your family evaluates both classes to find a better match for YOU.
We are Cantonese, but our goal is for our kids to know both Mandarin and Cantonese. Should we enroll in the Cantonese series first or go straight to the Mandarin track ?
Our school is the only school in the South Bay to offer Cantonese classes 廣東話 班, which are taught by seasoned teachers. Besides having ample of chances to speak and learn in Cantonese, the unique and very effective curriculum helps students build an unusually strong vocabulary base, reading and writing in traditional characters. So, as they transition to the Mandarin track, they can then focus primarily in listening and pronunciation. We recommend that your family evaluates both classes to find a better match for YOU.
After you Enroll
When the school gets all the information together, we’ll email or call you regarding what may still be required. We will provide information on what to expect. You may also send us an info request on the contact page click here.
In the beginning of the Fall Semester, the school will kick off with an Opening Ceremony 開學典禮. You will see posted signs directing you to event location. Otherwise, look for any parent volunteers in red SBCS shirt, or the SBCS administrative office on campus.
Classes are typically held Saturdays from 9 am to noon.
In addition, at the beginning of the Fall Semester, the school will kick off with an Opening Ceremony 開學典禮. You will see posted signs directing you to event location. Otherwise, look for any parent volunteers in red SBCS shirt, or the SBCS administrative office on campus.
Yes, each student can enjoy learning Chinese during the summer. Aside from the standard summer school classes, SBCS Teachers also offer one-on-one tutoring for any age student.
The summer school is a mixture of 5 to 18 years old students. The teacher will divide them into groups of similar age according to their Chinese proficiency level. They will also share many fun educational activities such as cooking Chinese food, arts, dancing, etc.
Yes, the program is flexible, teaching a different theme each week. Parents can choose the number of weeks of enrollment. Each student can be enrolled for ½ day or full-day classes on a weekly basis.