Frequently Asked Questions

General Information
1.What is your address?
We operate at the following address:
Pilgrim United Church of Christ 3011 Academy Road, Durham, NC 27707
For other contact information, visit: http://www.chclcs-chinese.org/contact

2. What is the schedule for CHCLCS?
Our school hours are from 6:10pm to 8:00pm on Fridays. The school calendar can be found at http://www.chclcs-chinese.org/Academic-Calender

School Hours Related
1. Most Chinese schools meet on weekends. Why are you different?
Learning languages requires a huge commitment from children as well as their parents because it takes a long time to become proficient. And all the family activities, friend gatherings, weekend travels, birthday parties and games on weekends make it even more challenging. Thus, when CHCLCS was established, majority of the founder families voted for Friday evenings, leaving weekends for quality time with family and friends. 

2. Will my child be too tired to learn on Friday evenings?
Getting accustomed to this unique schedule requires time and is indeed more challenging for younger children. However, most of our students have become well-adapted to the Friday-evening schedule over time and are happy that they don't have to go to school on weekends.  

Registration Related
1. How do I register at CHCLCS?
You can register online at
On-site registration will take place at school during regular school hours.

2. How much does a class cost? What does my tuition cover?

Please check the tuition page for detail: Tuition page.

3. What is the tuition refund policy?

We allow a student to try out a class for 2 weeks. If the student drops the class before that, we offer 100% refund.   If a class is dropped within 4 weeks, 50% tuition fee is refunded, and no refund will be offered after 1 month.

4. How do I make the payment?
Please make your payment at school during regular school hours.  We take cash and check (payable to: CHCLCS), no credit card.
5. Can I enroll my child to CHCLCS even though the semester has already begun?
Yes, you can enroll your child at any time during the semester. The tuition will be prorated.

Academic Affairs Related
1. What kind of curriculum does CHCLCS provide? 
CHCLCS have two tracks of Chinese classes: one is the CHL (Chinese as Heritage Language) classes. The other is the CSL(Chinese as a Second Language) classes. CHL classes are designed for students who have Chinese language exposure in their home environment while CSL classes are designed for students who do not speak Chinese at home.

2.  Do you offer adult education?
Yes, we offer Adult Conversational Chinese Class. It's a practical class focusing on basic speaking, listening, pronunciation and recognizing some simple Chinese characters. Cross-cultural communication skills will be introduced.

3. How Chinese language is being taught in CHCLCS?
CHCLCS follows Standards for Foreign Language Learning and National Assessment Educational Progress Framework and applies the principals of 5’Cs.
1. Communication in 3 modes: Interpersonal, Interpretive and Presentational;
2. Cultures;
3. Connections which links Chinese learning to other subjects;
4. Comparisons (compare Chinese culture to other cultures);
5. Communities which help students to use Chinese language in their daily lives. 

4. What is the teaching background/experience of the teachers at CHCLCS? 
All of the teachers at CHCLCS are dedicated to their students and have a great passion for teaching. Most of them have over 5 years of teaching experience. 

5. How many students will be enrolled in a class?
Usually no more than 10. We value small class sizes at CHCLCS.

6. How do I know which class fit my child best?
Please refer to http://www.chclcs-chinese.org/courses for class descriptions or attend a free trial class to see which class suits your child. You can fill the online request form at http://www.chclcs-chinese.org/free-trial-class

7. Can CSL students switch to CHL classes and CHL class students switch to CSL classes?
Yes, our students can transfer from CSL classes to CHL classes once they are ready for total immersion Chinese learning and vice versa if they prefer to learn Chinese with the help of English instruction.

Chinese Characters Related
1. Are students taught traditional or simplified characters?
CHCLCS teaches traditional characters. However, when there is a corresponding simplified character, CHCLCS teachers will present both characters to allow students to be able to recognize both forms. Our goal is to provide our students with necessary Chinese language knowledge that would allow them to communicate freely in any of the mandarin-spoken countries around the world. 

2. Why do you teach traditional characters? Aren't simplified characters used by more people and easier to learn?
According to our teaching experiences, understanding traditional characters helps students lay a solid foundation in learning Chinese because traditional characters carry more of the Chinese culturehistory, and essence of each word.

3. We like your school but prefer our child to learn simplified characters. What should we do?
All of the textbooks and workbooks come in Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese versions. Students and their parents can decide either form of characters based on their background and preference.

4. Will there be too much burden to my child if he needs to recognize both traditional and simplified characters?
It is not as difficult as people think. Only about 20% of Chinese characters have different versions. And thanks to the computer technology today, we can easily do conversions between Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese automatically.

Phonetic Systems Related

1. What phonetic system does CHCLCS adopt? Hanyu Pinyin (b, p, m, f) or Zhuyin Fuhao (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ, also known as Bopomofo)?
CHCLCS teaches Hanyu Pinyin for CSL students and teaches Zhuyin Fuhao for CHL Early Learners and starts to introduce Pinyin from Level 1 or 2 gradually. By Level 4, CHL students will use Pinyin input in typing.

2. What are the advantages of learning Zhuyin Fuhao?
The biggest advantage of learning Zhuyin Fuhao is to prevent beginner-level students from confusing Pinyin with the English phonetic system. For more comparisons between Pinyin vs Zhuyin, please go to: http://chinesehacks.com/blog/study/learning-chinese-pinyin-or-zhuyin/

3. What is Zhuyin Fuhao?
Zhuyin Fuhao is a phonetic system used for Mandarin learners in Taiwan. There are 37 sounds and 4 tone marks used in bopomofo. The naming of "Bopomofo" comes from the sounds of the first four symbols in this system: ㄅㄆㄇㄈ.  For more details, please go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bopomofo

4. What is Hanyu Pinyin?
Zhuyin Fuhao was also used in China until romanized phonetic system called Hanyu Pinyin was developed in People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1958. Pinyin means "phonetics" or "spelled sound" in Mandarin.   For more details, please go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinyin

Parents On Duty Related
1. What is Parents On Duty for?
CHCLCS is a non-profit organization and all staff members are volunteers. Parents' participation and dedication are necessary to ensure that our school run smoothly every Friday evening.

2. How often?
Each family with children in language class who is not a staff/faculty member or does not have a parent in adult language class is required to sign up ONE night of Parents-On-Duty per semester

3. What should I do as the Parent On Duty?
Arrive 10 minutes before classes start on your assigned day, provide assistance to the teachers and school staff, ensure safety in classrooms and hallway, monitor the front entrance, etc. Please visit  http://www.chclcs-chinese.org/parents-on-duty for a complete to-do list. 

4. What if I am not able to perform the duty?
If for some reason you cannot perform the duty, a $25 fee will be charged to cover a replacement cost.

5. What if there is a conflict with my schedule on my assigned Parent-On-Duty day?
In case you are not able to come on the day you have signed up for, please contact other parents to find a substitute at least one week before your assigned duty day. Otherwise, you can contact the school admins at ChapelHill.Chinese@gmail.com.

1. I'd like to teach for you; I have an idea for a class. Whom should I contact?
Please contact us at ChapelHill.Chinese@gmail.com. Thanks!

2. How do I get answers if I have additional questions on you program?
The best way is to contact us at ChapelHill.Chinese@gmail.com. You are also welcome to visit the school and speak with the administration staff during school hours.  Additional information is posted on our school website: http://www.chclcs-chinese.org/home