Recognising the importance of acquiring a second (or third) language, the TOM Kids team finds the best centres in KL where kids can pick up something aside from Mandarin.
Germany is one of the few countries in the world that offers free university education to both local and international students and with their tertiary establishments rapidly coming up the ranks. Learning German from a young age could prove to be a wise investment considering how much you could save in university fees.
If you’re thinking of sending the kids to Das Land der Dichter und Denker – literally translated as ‘the land of poets and thinkers’ – enrol them for a course at the Goethe Institut. The Learner’s Course caters for children aged ten to 14 years old and is held in a typical classroom setting; and there are also private lessons and small group sessions on offer for a more intensive education.
For now, the German introductory class will be held only during the school holidays at the end of the year. The centre is currently updating their class schedules so watch out for regular kids’ classes next year.
Learner’s Course, RM595.
Commonly known as the language of love, French is spoken by over 80 million speakers worldwide in 29 countries. Historically, French is an international language of literature and scientific standards and is one of the main languages spoken in international organisations including the United Nations, the European Union and the International Olympic Committee.
Alliance Française, the official French language and culture centre in Malaysia, was established in 1961 and offers age-specific language classes for kids. Begin with Immersion Classes for pre-schoolers aged three to six, Children Classes for kids aged seven to nine, and Teenager Classes for older kids from ten to 14 years old. Each weekly one-and-a-half hour class teaches the fundamentals of the language through fun activities, games and singing. Teachers are native speakers and kids will also learn how to converse as no English is spoken in class, encouraging kids to speak and build up their confidence.
Immersion Classes, RM550; Children Classes, RM470; Teenagers Classes, RM470.
Japanese is mostly spoken in Japan obviously, but with Japanese culture becoming popular around the world, many students take it up as their second language to learn. It isn’t the easiest language to learn and students must also learn kanji, which are the characters they use for writing.
Spread over a period of three months, classes here are taught by friendly native-speaking instructors and are suited for children ages six to 12 years old. Classes are intentionally kept small so that students care fully engage with the lessons.
RM390, check website for promo.
Historically speaking, Korean is one of the oldest living languages in the world and dates back to 600 BC.
With multiple locations throughout KL and Klang Valley, Korean Language House is one of the biggest and specialised Korean language centres in town. Boasting the signature directed self-study (DSS) teaching method, students here can learn at their own pace even if they are part of a group class.
Under the guidance of native Korean tutors, classes can be expected to be fun with songs and games, flash cards and traditional arts and crafts activities. As both locals and Koreans attend classes from five to12 years old, your kid will benefit from the interaction with the international students.
Kids class, RM350 per eight-week term. Registration fee, RM50.
This is usually not the first language to learn that comes to mind, but as more people attend Russian medical schools, Russian is becoming a popular choice. Operating in Malaysia since 1981, the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) was set up to promote cultural understanding between the two countries.
Located off Jalan Ampang, classes are conducted by qualified instructors and kept small to ensure kids get equal attention and to encourage interaction among them. Being the Russian cultural centre, lessons include fascinating tales and the amazing history of Russia for kids to learn beyond the language. Besides teaching Russian, the centre also showcases cultural performances and offers kids’ ballet and ballroom dance classes.
Contact centre for more information.
Did you know that Spanish is the fourth most spoken language in the world after Mandarin, English and Hindustani? With more than 400 million native speakers from Spain to Latin America, it’s also an official language of the European Union and the Union of South American Nations. With that in mind, parents will be happy to know that the first Spanish language and culture centre based in Singapore, Las Lilas, opened its new centre in Malaysia in April this year.
The school offers two main classes for kids aged three to 12 years-old – the Mother Tongue Programme and Beginners. For older kids, sign them up for the group sessions or semi-private sessions where there are no more than three students in a class. Or opt for a private class if your kid is on the shy side or wants to learn the language more thoroughly.
The programmes offered are accredited by Instituto Cervantes, a non-profit organisation created by the Spanish government to encourage the study and teaching of the language and culture. Besides language classes, the school also organises cultural and holiday workshops related to Spanish.
(Beginners) RM60 per hour; (Mother Tongue Programme) RM80 per hour. Teens, (Group Classes) RM40 per hour; (Semi-private) RM54 & RM81 per hour; (Private) RM138 per hour.