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Chinese Chamber of Commerce (CCC) - Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese school in London, Frith Street

Discussion in 'London' started by Andrew, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. Andrew

    Andrew Administrator
    Staff Member

    I have created this post because there is almost no information online about the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Chinese school. The CCC have a website but not really any information in English online. In a sense it's has a very traditional setup - everything is handled in person or over the phone only on weekends, and it can be tricky to find up to date information or accounts of how the school works, fees, times, classes, etc.

    19-20 Frith Street, London W1D 4RL
    Directly opposite Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, about 5 minutes walk from Leicester Square tube station and Chinatown

    020 7734 8135


    Timetable 2016-2017

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    IMG_0137.JPG IMG_0136.JPG

    We enrolled last minute in September 2016 as we were undecided as to whether to sign Benjamin (reception age child, 4 years old) up to Chinese school so we were trialling several other options. Registration at CCC actually happenend 3 months earlier in the summer in July, so we missed the boat there.

    Initially we intended to enrol him in the Beginner's Mandarin class however by September these were all full up. Then we decided to sign him up for the Beginner's Cantonese class instead as these had availability. The Beginner's Cantonese Saturday class was cancelled due to not enough students so instead we signed him up to the Sunday class instead which did have space.

    I'd describe the teaching style as 'traditional' Hong Kong style. The teacher doesn't seem to use games or actiities as part of the curriculum, and instead focuses on rote learning, repetition, the assigned book lessons. Each week a set of homework needs to be completed in the supplied green book, which is marked every week. Every week also features a test where the student is graded out of 100. Every now and then there is also an exam.

    Overall I'm extremely impressed with the class - it is quite strict (homework, test every week, big exam once a year) and doesn't seem to be any room for 'fun', but our son has taken to it and enjoys it and has made a lot of progress learning lots of characters, how to write them, etc.

    Link: List of all Chinese schools in London
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
  2. Charlie L

    Charlie L New Member

    Great post, brings back lots of memories. I attended in the 1990s, my spoken cantonese wasn't very good and I found the classes at CCC were focused on the written language (traditional characters). So I progressed at the written language but didn't learn how to speak, as we mainly spoke English at home.

    The location was exciting as a kid, as I got to travel up to central London every Sunday. But for adults I imagine this can be quite time consuming. From the photos, the building seems to have been spruced up a bit.

    Would like to know if anyone would recommend CCC today and why? I have a 2 year old we are only just introducing to Cantonese.
  3. Cindy Lau

    Cindy Lau Member

    Amazing, thanks so much for putting the info here Andrew. Great location but such a small place. I wouldn't recommend CCC to a 2 year old. Wait until they are much older. Have you thought about the PlayCantonese sessions around London? Lots of fun and games for younger kids.
  4. Andrew

    Andrew Administrator
    Staff Member

    Teaching materials for Beginner's Cantonese (this is typically for intake from Reception/Year 1)
    The first year we used the first and second edition of this book. It contains a word follows by an image explaining the word, see cat:


    Two types of exercise books are provided - green and yellow. The green book is for homework. The yellow book is for tests. Homework consists of two pages of repetition of the specific words. Also included is a photocopied sheet for practise which the teacher doesn't mark.

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    Every lesson ends with a test. The first week we didn't realise this was happening so we didn't prepare our Benjamin for the test properly so he didn't score very high! Subsequent tests have been better prepared for.

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    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  5. Andrew

    Andrew Administrator
    Staff Member

    I would definitely say that it's best to supplement any learning written material with practise speaking at home. If you can speak Cantonese/Mandarin (even basics) then you should speak to your child as much as possible in that languge. I only started with Benjamin in Mandarin after 3 years old and now he speaks to me in Mandarin full-time.

    Location is pretty good to be honest - if you are able to travel to Chinatown/Soho/Leicester Square (it's about 40mins door to door from us) then it's convenient. The other alternatives are often held in schools or out of the way places. In Chinatown you can wait in a nearby cafe, or like me you can get some Chinese grocery shopping done or you could even have dim sum!

    Mostly I've been impressed with the way that our son Benjamin (4 years old when he started the class) has coped with the language learning. He likes learning the words, speaking them, getting good marks etc. however this is highly dependent on our support - we spend lots of time helping with his homework, giving him mini-tests, speaking to him to reinforce the words. I'd love to recommend CCC for other parents but I think it's highly dependent on the home languge support, and also the learning style for the child as well. I can see that if Benjamin found it too 'hard' or 'boring' it would make it much harder to continue as the teaching doesn't have much flexibility in adapting to different learning styles or to stragglers.
  6. Andrew Wong

    Andrew Wong New Member

    Do you think the place would work if you're a complete beginner for Cantonese etc.?
  7. Andrew

    Andrew Administrator
    Staff Member

    Hey Andrew nice to see you here :). I think it's aimed at kids who have a basic knowledge of Cantonese and who have good language support at home. Also you'll need to be able to complete the homework/tests every week - see the photos of the homework I posted.
  8. raichu

    raichu New Member

    I wouldn't recommend that class for complete beginners unless you fully support them with the learning at home and speak some Chinese at home with them. Like someone mentioned earlier there's lots of PlayCantonese groups in London which are more fun and better for beginners
  9. raichu

    raichu New Member

    I agree, this brings back a lot of memories for me too!
    This is such a great post and very detailed.
    I would say wait until your two year old is a bit older and take it at his/her pace.
  10. Chineseparent

    Chineseparent New Member

    I looked into classes for my daughter when she was three and they said she was too young. I was told they take in kids when they are 4-5 as they need to be able to hold a pencil and be able to write, which makes sense. The child needs to be old enough to sit still in a classroom setting.
    Thanks Andrew for posting this as I found it extremely difficult to get any details online (and no one answered the phone). I managed to go in during their registration week which a parent had posted on Cantonese parents on Fb. I wasn't sure if my daughter would take to the class so at 4 I sent her to a mandarin class near us. However, I don't really speak mandarin so am thinking about changing her to the ccc Cantonese class when she is a bit older. However, it is sometimes a struggle to get the homework done, especially if a word is a little more difficult. She is learning simplified so I don't think she'd manage too well writing the traditional characters. Wow Andrew, your son's homework is amazing!! It's much more, and more difficult than what my daughter does.
  11. Chineseparent

    Chineseparent New Member

    Andrew, how many children are in a class? E.g. Age 5
  12. Andrew

    Andrew Administrator
    Staff Member

    Hi thanks for commenting - I really recommend that if you speak only Cantonese at home and can't speak Mandarin, you should send your child to a Cantonese class for the home language support. They won't progress as fast as other children if they don't get to practise the language at home too.

    Age range for the beginner class was around 4-8 years old - Reception to Year 3. All that really matters is whether they are able to speak basic Cantonese and in the first class, write things like 1, 2, 3, person, you, me, etc.

    I have recently heard a rumour that CCC might be stopping the beginner Cantonese class for 2017/18. This is similar to another rumour where I heard that Greenwich is also closing their beginner Cantonese class. In which case I might suggest trying to tutor to get your child into the next level Cantonese class (where my son will be going) just so that they are able to get in for the rest of the following years. I would suggest speaking to CCC to see what the situation is for next year.
  13. Chineseparent

    Chineseparent New Member

    Thanks for your reply Andrew. Is physically going in the only way of speaking to someone? what is the next level Cantonese class called on the schedule you posted?
  14. Andrew

    Andrew Administrator
    Staff Member

    I think CCC is closed for the summer, the first time they will be contactable will be in first week of September I believe. I think the next level is called 'Class 2'.

    Also the Greenwich Chinese Schools and CCC rumours turned out to be false. See Greenwich statement here: http://www.gccsms.org.uk/important-announcement-rumours-stop-at-the-wise/

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