Queenie Kawabe is the founder and teacher at QK Chinese. As she was brought up in a multilingual family, she is able to speak several languages. Now, she is a Chinese and Cantonese teacher, and she also occasionally teach English as a Second Language (ESL) using high-tech educational tools in her courses.
How is it possible to Learn Chinese with you through digital whiteboard nowadays? Is it very different from learning face-to-face with a live teacher?
There is no significant difference in learning outcomes. I have teaching Chinese to children and adults in class and online since 2006. However, I have found that no evidence that Chinese online learning is qualitatively inferior to that obtained in a traditional classroom.
As an online Chinese teacher, one of my support features to teach in a digital classroom is online whiteboard. Advances in information technology now make it possible to offer an online whiteboard that it looks the way you want it to be in the classroom. For example, as a Chinese learners, you can read and write on the online whiteboard as well as I can correct your mistakes using the online whiteboard. In addition to that, it given the “anytime, anywhere” nature of online instruction, as opposed to fixed time and place classroom formats.
With this learning method, I believe that online learning can surpass that of the typical classroom because I create an interactive and fun learning environment using the online whiteboard. Apart from that, students can hear my voice and see my body language when I teach in the digital classroom.
How long have you been teaching Chinese, can you share with us the good experiences you get from teaching someone your language?
Since I was brought up in a multilingual family, I am able to speak five languages. Thus, now, I am a Chinese teacher. I have been teaching my students and working with people from all walks of life since 2006. I worked with one of the well-known universities in Australia as an Chinese instructor of English adults. Additionally, I worked in several childcare centres to teach Chinese to Australian children.
There are too many great stories to share with you all. I recently received a good new that two of my students passed their Youth Chinese Test 2014. This is the latest achievement I had.
However, here are some testimonials from my former students:
“Ni Hao! Queenie taught me Mandarin Chinese for a little over 2 months. In that time, she put great efforts into tailoring my lessons for me, so that I could use my new skills in a clinical setting as a dentist. Having now arrived in Singapore, I have found her teaching extremely useful, and I can communicate well with my patients and in social situations. Queenie taught me not only the language, but also the attitudes and habits of the people of the countries of South East Asia. She also made the lessons both educational and whole lot of fun. I would recommend her to anyone wanting to learn a language. Zai Jian! - Dr. James Keys - “
“Queenie has been my Mandarin teacher since March 2010. Over the course of the year I have acquired a sizeable vocabulary, I'm able to build sentences and converse across a decent range of topics. Queenie has really helped with my pronunciation through teaching me Pinyin. I have progress to reading and writing characters. My listening skills are really improving - late 2010 I tested my language ability in China, it was really fun, I could hear the locals talking about me, I had no problems interacting. If your wanting to learn Mandarin quickly and thoroughly I recommend Queenie. - Ben Price -“
“I have learned Mandarin from Queenie Kawabe for around 6 months having no prior knowledge whatsoever. What I found really useful was to start with fundamentals and easy core concepts. This was important to grasp an idea of structures and basics from which to build upon. Each week was structured and saw a gradual progression of building upon core ideas. With each lesson, we would begin by recapping previous concepts and important structures which provided a great way to warm up and engage further. I also enjoyed learning about social and cultural things from Queenie about China and also other areas of Asia. This helped in providing a context to compare and understand at a greater level. Queenie provided us with a tailored approach to learning as we wanted to focus on learning language and conversation skills. Pronunciation was key to this and we practiced this a lot in the beginning stages to form good habits. Queenie was very patient and nice to us, we had a lot of fun in the process. - Matthew -“
Is it more relevant to learn to write Chinese characters at the start of learning Chinese language? What are the ways can someone overcome the learning difficulty of writing the Chinese characters (Hanzi)?
As a Chinese learner, you should learn to write Chinese characters and learn Chinese PinYin (Pronunciation ) at the start of learning Chinese language. However, it is a tremendous difficult task to English speakers due to the step by step Chinese characters writing. When I teach Chinese characters to my students, I break down the bricks and show it to them.
There are three bricks you need to know before you learn to write Chinese characters. Firstly, you need to know each stroke of the Chinese characters. Secondly, you need to know the radical of the Chinese characters. Lastly, you need to know how to pronounce the Chinese characters. Without the Chinese PinYin (Pronunciation) of the Chinese characters, you do not know how to say it in Chinese.
To be honest, there is no short-cut way to learn the Chinese characters. It takes time to master it but with my HanZi Writing Made Easy program, I break down the bricks in order for you to follow the steps.
In your opinion, comparing Chinese and English, which is a more difficult language to master?
To be honest, Chinese is easier than English because Chinese has less grammar rules than English. If you are not interested in learning Writing Chinese characters, you can learn to speak and listen to Chinese in 10 months thought you know nothing about Chinese language. All you need is to find a right teacher to teach you the basic Chinese rules or the right techniques, and you will be survived in Chinese societies.
In fact, the majority of my students told me that learning Chinese is easier than learning English, though they are English speakers.
In part of your course, do you teach pinyin (pronunciation)? How much are your courses for beginners?
Yes, I offer Chinese PinYin (pronunciation) in my lesson. I am currently working on a new content for early 2015. It is called “QK Chinese Online Academy”. It is a 12 weeks course with 36 hours live lesson - Anyone can speak basic Chinese in 36 hours. Also, I am working on a new series of videos on Learn Basic Chinese in 21 days. Apart from that, I also offer Tuesday Chinese Lesson Podcast (it is free, but you need to subscribe it).
If you are interested in Chinese language and culture, and looking for online lessons, I offer a 25 minute lesson for $10.
You can contact Queenie through her: