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Language Schools for Expats in Singapore

Submitted: February 2014

Singapore is a multilingual country with four official languages: English, Tamil, Chinese and Malay. English is widely spoken but when you are there, you should make an effort to learn some of the ‘mother-tongue’ languages as they are called. In a business and/or educational setting English is preferred, however at home, many Singaporeans still use Mandarin. Also, as English is not the main language used in homes, sometimes it may be difficult to understand so for ease of communication it would benefit you to pick up some Mandarin while you are there.

There are many language schools across Singapore with experienced teachers. Most schools offer lessons in Malay, Mandarin, French and other languages as well.
There are different types of instruction you can choose from if you decide to learn a new language. Firstly there are group classes offered at different language schools and even universities. Also, there are private lessons that could be done with a personal instructor; this of course is a more costly way to learn a new language, however the course will be more personalised and suited to your individual needs.

Here is a profile of only some of the language schools and centres that you can choose to learn a new language while you are in Singapore:

  1. Education First – This school offers English and Chinese language courses and is geared towards students aged 16 and above. See their website for more details: https://www.ef.sg/sg/
  2. Inlingua - The inlingua method teaches you to communicate in the target language from the very first lesson as the primary emphasis is on direct communication through speaking. Mandarin, French and English courses are available. See https://www.inlingua.edu.sg/en/home.aspx?lang=en&menu=L&menuid=home for more information.
  3. LINGO - At LINGO, they aim to train their students to be proficient in speaking and writing in the language chosen. Upon completion of each level of the language course choses, students are certified and they can also participate in each language’s proficiency test conducted by the language’s host country.

    There are highly-trained, specialised native speaking language teachers in each respective language course. The Executive/Adult Courses may be taken in part time or full time depending on your schedule.

    Some of the languages offered here include: Mandarin, French, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, Dutch and 12 other languages. Tuition fees cost between S$370 to S$450 ($291US - $354US), depending on the level. For further information see: https://www.lingo.edu.sg/
  4. Regional Language Center Singapore – this school offers Mandarin for beginners as well as other languages. See: https://www.relc.org.sg/Courses/Other-Languages/Customised-Language-Courses/.
  5. Han Hai Language Studio – Here you can learn Mandarin in courses aimed for working adults and professionals. You can learn either business Mandarin or conversational mandarin for everyday casual communication. This school utilises group discussions, one-on-one sessions and overseas immersion programs as teaching tools. See:  https://www.hanhai-language.com/ for further information.
  6. National University of Singapore ,  Centre for Language Studies  - this Centre was established in 2001 to serve the foreign language needs of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and has some 100 full-time and part-time faculty members. It teaches twelve different languages - Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Tamil, Thai and Vietnamese. See: https://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/cls/ .



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