Chinese, Math, Science, English… and sometimes music, brain training or taekwondo. Parents will know that there are just so many tuition or enrichment classes you can squeeze into your child’s schedule simply for the lack of time available to shuttle between all the different locales.
Won’t it be nice if your child can come home from school, then take an unhurried shower, lunch or nap before conveinently turning on the computer to receive some good, quality tuition right in the comfort of home?
TutorMe: Chinese, an online ‘live’ tutoring platform by StarHub and Connected Learning, offers the flexibility and convenience to do just that. Through an online video conferencing platform, highly trained tutors will provide coaching and revision that is fully aligned with MOE’s Chinese syllabus for primary to secondary school.
Primary 2 student Josh Lim has been receiving online tuition on TutorMe:Chinese for almost two years now. His mother, Gin Ong had signed him up for lessons after learning about the programme from her friend.
“My boy enjoyed the initial trial class and I also liked how it was conducted. So I decided to continue him on TutorMe,” said Gin. She added: “Although he still goes for Chinese classes at another enrichment centre, TutorMe definitely saves me a lot of time having to fetch him to and fro those classes. Ten minutes to walk him to the centre, another 10 minutes for me to walk home and repeating the process again to fetch him back can add up to a lot of time wasted. With TutorMe, there is no need to worry about commuting and I can be at home with my son when he is doing the lessons three times a week, whether rain or shine.”
A KiasuParents member Patntee, who is currently considering TutorMe is similarly attracted to the time-saving factor and commented: “Saving travel time is definitely an incentive as we are going to be car-less soon for some time.”
Another reason why Gin gives TutorMe the thumbs-up is the quality of the tutors and way they conduct the lessons.
She shared: “The ‘live’ tuition is conducted by natives in China. They are very fluent in Mandarin and have accurate pronunciation. Most importantly, they can communicate well with my boy and are extremely patient with him. I was quite sceptical about him receiving online tuition for the first time because he is quite active and may get fidgety. In fact, during each of the one-hour lessons, he may sometimes wander around or try to watch his online favourite entertainment videos during a short lesson break. But the tutors will always get his attention back by calling out to him or gently chides him for getting distracted with other activities.”
Other parents whose children have experienced TutorMe have shared similar good feedback about the lessons and the tutors on the KiasuParents forum.
A mother, who goes by the Kiasuparents username Mumcat wrote: “My girl has been with TutorMe service for the past one year and is now learning P2 higher Chinese over the video conferencing system. She loves the interactivity and the teacher engages her in the lesson. As it is a small group class, she can focus better. What I like about the class is the frequency; she attends lesson three times a week, which I think is important for language and literacy learning, especially since we seldom speak mother tongue at home.”
Compared with other forms of e-learning where children usually go through lessons from a pre-programmed computer application, TutorMe offers much more interactivity. It allows students to converse with the Chinese teacher throughout the lesson, thereby improving their oral skills. Any area that requires more coaching or improvement can be pinpointed immediately as well. For example, the kid can take a picture of a composition he has just written and upload it to the teacher for marking.
Gin further shared: “As my son has TutorMe lessons thrice a week, his ting xie (听写, dictation tests) skills have seen a lot of progress. This is because at the start of each lesson, the tutor will recap and keep repeating the words taught in the previous lesson. Moreover, my son gets to pick up a lot of new vocabulary. For example, to reinforce the Chinese word for ‘pond’, the teacher may teach related words such as ‘river’, ‘sea’ or ‘stream’.
The teacher also follows my son’s school textbooks closely and will go through what will be taught ahead of his school lessons. If there’s going to be an upcoming oral or comprehension test in school, his TutorMe teacher will do revisions accordingly.”
Finally, most parents who have experienced TutorMe also note that flexibility is one its advantages. KiasuParents member Wonder-ful, whose son always looks forward to the classes, likes that they get to select the time slots and that parents can stay side-by-side to monitor their children during lessons. Gin too said: “If we miss a lesson at the last minute, the teacher will also try to make up for us.”
Has your child tried TutorMe:Chinese? Or do you have some questions before signing up? Join in the discussion here.