Useful Links

Mandarin / Chinese language learning

Wellington Chinese Language School

The Wellington Chinese Language School (WCLS) was established in 1972 and offers Chinese Mandarin classes for adults and children (aged 5 and above) of all levels of confidence and ability.

Children come here to learn to read and write in a formal way. It is the best option for families (or parents) who are native or fluent speakers. The classes are located at Victoria University of Wellington’s Kelburn campus. Classes are held on Sundays 1.30pm-3.00pm, during primary school term times. Visit their website for more details.

Yau Yih Yun Wellington Chinese Language Preschool

This is for families interested in speaking Cantonese Chinese at any level of fluency. A teacher leads the classes. Children are accompanied by the parent/caregiver (it is not a ‘drop off’ preschool), and enrolled families help out on a duty roster. This non-profit preschool is located at the Wellington Chinese Sports and Cultural Centre, on Mount Albert Road, Newtown. Families can either attend on Wednesdays 9.45am – 11.45am OR Saturdays 10:00am to 12:00pm (school term times only). Visit the Yau Yih Yun website for further details or to enrol.

usbornefirstthousandUsborne First Thousand Words Book in Chinese (Mandarin)

This is a very visual picture book that is great for any family wanting to start off and build their Mandarin Chinese vocabulary. It’s really useful with the vocabulary being built around everyday themes with lots of fun pictures. Usborne also provide Quicklinks online learning support which really comes in handy with pronunciation.


A very new innovative learning resource! Their website says it all:

Chineasy’s goal is to allow people to learn to read Chinese easily by recognising characters through simple illustrations. The magical power of the Chineasy method is that by learning one small set of building blocks, students can build many new words, characters, and phrases. Master a few sets of building blocks and your learning will accelerate to a whole new level. With very little effort, learners will be able to read several hundred Chinese characters and phrases and gain a deeper understanding of the historical and cultural influences behind the vocabulary. Even though there are tens of thousands of Chinese characters, only a few hundred are actually necessary to comprehend basic Chinese literature and begin to delve into Chinese culture and art.

Other language learning opportunities for children and families

If Mandarin is not for your family, or you want to learn something else in the future, here are the other language learning opportunities in Wellington:

Sign Language

Rhymes with Sign is “aimed at helping families and educators use their hands to sing their favourite nursery rhymes with Deaf or hearing children at home, preschool, or anywhere!” New Zealand Sign Language is used.

Sign NZSL with your baby is a “website for parents, whānau, friends and teachers who want to start learning New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) to communicate with babies and toddlers. It shows the first signs and skills needed to communicate with children between 0 and 3 years old. Using NZSL with your baby or toddler can increase your child’s ability to communicate their needs, desires, and feelings. Signing with babies and toddlers is fun and can involve creative and visual dramatic play. Pre-schoolers can learn signs quickly through everyday communication at home.”

Talking Hands –  Molly Kelly from Talking Hands offers family workshops in the Wellington area, and teaches mostly American Sign Language.

German School Wellington

germany-flag-1783774_1280“Does your child speak German already? We at German School Wellington offer German-speaking school-aged children the opportunity to further their language skills and to learn to read and write in German.

What started out as a small gathering of German families at a local play centre in 2008 has developed into a multi-member interactive parent cooperative. Today, we run a professional language programme, using fit-for-purpose classrooms, and are teaching over 30 students every school term.” Read more about the German School Wellington…

French LCF Clubsfrench-flag-1053711_1280

LCF Clubs is an international franchise and offers French language classes to children during school lunchtimes and after school in various locations around Wellington and in Lower Hutt.


The Wellington Indian Association provides a Gujarati Learning Centre that includes a Gujarati Pre-school and a Gujarati school, and also includes learning about the Hindu religion. The learning centre is open on Sundays.


Founded in 1988, New Zealand Korean School of Wellington has the longest history among Korean schools in New Zealand and is the only Korean school in New Zealand that has independent facilities with a support from the NZ Wellington Korean Association.
New Zealand Korean School of Wellington has focused on providing experience of learning Korean language and culture to descendants of Korean expatriates in Wellington and is supported by the Overseas Korean Foundation in South Korea.
New Zealand Korean School of Wellington offers Korean language classes for children from 4 years of age as well as college students. Class for college students was first opened in 2001 to deliver various contents of Korean culture and history and to encourage college students to identify and take advantage of their multicultural background.