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Children Can Learn Chinese Better with These Class-Related Expressions

Jun. 8, 2022

Last week, when Ms. Cheska was teaching Mia Chinese, she talked about the phrase “bǔxí bān 补习班” and Mia was confused about the differences between this phrase and “kèwài bān 课外班” she had learned before. It’s easy for Chinese children to distinguish between the two, but why did Mia, a native Los Angeles girl, get confused?

In the U.S., most children attend extracurricular classes based on their interests, similar to “xìnɡqù bān 兴趣班” in China. But in China, children also attend a kind of cram schools called “bǔxí bān 补习班”, which are designed to improve their academic grades. When Chinese children are in elementary school, most parents will follow their wishes and let them take classes that interest them. While in middle school and high school, students are often under a lot of pressure such as pursuing higher education, so parents tend to send their children to “bǔxí bān 补习班” to improve their grades so that they can enter a better university.

Let’s learn these three phrases now.

cram class


 bǔxí bān
1. 补习 班
 cram class

A “bǔxí bān 补习班” is an extracurricular class established with the purpose of improving students’ academic performance. For example, there are language classes, math classes, and also comprehensive classes. These classes usually aim to improve students’ grades, but they also develop children’s abilities.

Example Sentences:

Wǒ měi zhōu dōu yào shànɡ bǔxí bān.
我 每 周  都  要  上 补习 班。
I have to take cramming classes every week.

Shànɡ le bǔxí bān yǐhòu, wǒ de chénɡjì tíɡāo le hěn duō.
上  了 补习 班 以后,我 的 成绩 提高 了 很 多。
My grades have improved a lot since I took the cram classes.


 xìnɡqù bān
2. 兴趣  班
 interest class

In common sense, “xìnɡqù bān 兴趣班” refers exclusively to interest classes, which are simply a form of extracurricular organization where children can gain knowledge, improve abilities, learn expertise, develop interests and have fun outside regular classroom in their school. In a broader sense, interest classes can refer to collective organizations established for all age groups of a particular hobby or interest. They are usually set up either volunteerly by the members or by a specialized organization.

interest class

Example Sentences:

Wǒ hěn xǐhuān shànɡ xìnɡqù bān.
我 很 喜欢  上 兴趣 班。
I enjoy taking interest classes.

Wǒ shǔjià yào shànɡ xìnɡqù bān xué wéiqí.
我 暑假 要  上  兴趣 班 学 围棋。
I’m taking an interest class to learn I-go in the summer.


 kèwài bān
3. 课外 班
 after-school class

kèwài bān 课外班” are classes that are organized after school and outside of school.

after-school class

Example Sentences:

Wǒ hěn xǐhuān kèwài bān de lǎoshī.
我 很 喜欢 课外 班 的 老师。
I really like the teacher of the after-school class.

Wǒ shǔjià huì shànɡ hěn duō bù tónɡ de kèwài bān.
我 暑假 会  上 很 多 不 同 的 课外 班。
I will take a lot of different after-school classes in the summer.

HSK 3 quiz
Have your children mastered the knowledge? Try the quiz below.

In China, most students go to many ____, some to improve their grades, some to make the most of their after-school time, and some to develop their hobbies. Danny has been interested in music since he was little, so his mother enrolled him in a ____ for piano lessons. This year, in order to improve Danny’s math performance, his mom enrolled him in a math ____, so he needs to go to math class every weekend now.

 bǔxí bān   xìnɡqù bān   kèwài bān
A. 补习 班   B. 兴趣 班   C. 课外 班

See Answer Analysis

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”Helping Your Child Introduce Themselves in Chinese”

HSK 1 quiz

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