I created Poetic Cantonese Academy Year 1A for complete beginners. Term starts on 10 October 2022 and ends on 9 March 2023 . It includes short lectures, tasks, listening, submitting audio recordings, and catching up with me 7 times. Sign up here.
Who am I?
I am Ka Hei (Adrian). Hong Kong native, Environmental Science graduate, language learner, year 1 Chinese teacher in London and now teaching online.
It all started when I volunteered to teach Njeri, a good friend of mine Cantonese at UC Berkeley. I am hooked and cannot stop helping!
Tailored class with real-life scenarios and a secret to fluency – recordings (plus hard work and consistency, surprise!) . Many of my overseas-born Chinese and Mandarin speakers students have achieved working proficiency.
Get in touch if you have a question.
Have a taste of my lesson
See what my students have to say
Very enthusiastic and tailors learning to your needs. Keeps the material relevant and useful. Highly recommended!
Ka Hei was a brilliant tutor and I really enjoyed having lessons with him. I was wanting to learn some Cantonese before I moved to Hong Kong and he made me feel at ease learning a new language. I was impressed by the way Ka Hei tailored the sessions to make it work for me. He also made recordings of vocabulary/conversations so I could practise in my own time.
I would highly recommend Ka Hei
My name is Njeri and I’ve been self-studying Cantonese for a year now. I first met Adrian at the Hong Kong student group at UC Berkeley. Though I had only met him once, when I told him I wanted to learn Cantonese, he immediately reached out to me like an old friend! Adrian is a unique teacher because he offers valuable person-to-person language assistance as a well as help on social media. Whenever we message on facebook, we communicate in Cantonese. Adrian is encouraging. In the beginning, despite my limited Cantonese, he would always praise me when I used a new vocabulary word or asked questions. Even today, he constantly cheers me on by writing, “Keep up the good questions! They’re awesome!” followed by a thumbs-up facebook emoji. When I have questions about pronunciation, he sends me a voice recording of the word! He even created a google doc where he added helpful Cantonese vocabulary, dialogues and grammar points. We still add to the doc today. The dialogues helped me to role play conversations in Cantonese that I had to use in real-life at my job. In person, Adrian is incredibly patient and will encourage you to keep speaking Cantonese with him. Whenever Adrian and I hang out, he always speaks Cantonese. Many times, I am too shy and slip into English. However, Adrian keeps saying “唔好講英文，只講中文，好唔好啊！Don’t speak English, only Cantonese, OK!” Even when we go swimming or order food at a restaurant, he pushes me to speak Cantonese. I am glad he never gave up on me even when I’d give up on myself and speak English.Adrian is talented and persistent at recommending multimedia resources that offer fun and enriching Chinese cultural and language knowledge. These days, whenever I get a new facebook message, I can be sure it’s a Cantonese video or a link to a Cantonese blog from Adrian. The videos can be challenging to understand because they are all of native Cantonese speakers. However, the Chinese/English subtitles help me pick up key words. One of my favorite videos explained the origin of Chinese characters and the unique evolution of the Cantonese language in Hong Kong. Another video was a captivating TedEX talk in Hong Kong about Hakkien, a Chinese dialect that is mainly spoken in Fu Zhou, China. The speaker emphasized the uniqueness of Hakkien by comparing certain Hakkien words to Cantonese and Mandarin words. Basically, Adrian is a one in a million language instructor. It’s rare you find a teacher so PATIENT and PASSIONATE. Choose Adrian!
I have been learning Cantonese from Kahei for about four months and I feel very glad that I have Kahei as my language tutor. Generally, people think learning a foreign language is not an easy thing. I thought this was so true, especially when you have a full time job and a very tight schedule to work with. Until I found my tutor Kahei who brought a very effective approach of learning Cantonese to me and my Cantonese has improved a lot during a short period of time, I know learning a foreign language can also be great fun and fulfilling. Kahei has made my learning productive and changed my perception of learning a foreign language.
My mother tongue is Mandarin, which shares similar writing systems with Cantonese. Because of this, I thought learning Cantonese would be a piece of cake. When I first started (not with Kahei), I felt OK because I can understand many words and sentences. However, the nightmares came when I was trying to speak with native speakers: they could hardly understand what I was saying! Then I realised, I hadn’t managed to get the tones correct, and Cantonese is a tonal language! Luckily, I found Kahei, who has helped me a lot in improving my spoken Cantonese and now I am confident in communicating with native speakers in the work environment.
Kahei is a very patient, experienced tutor who is passionate about teaching. During the first lesson, Kahei analysed my tonal issues and helped me improve my tones accordingly and patiently. After just four lessons, I surprised my colleagues by speaking Cantonese with clients over the phone. In the beginning, we had lessons which were mainly work related, and my tonal issues were tackled by a “special weapon” of Kahei’s – the exclusively recorded tone practice materials. With the help of this, I could also practise and review my tones on the journey to work. Now we have moved our focus from work to daily communication by learning from the scripts of popular TVB episodes. I am also benefitting a lot from this and have a better understanding of the language with Kahei’s explanation of native speakers’ usage of words.
I would definitely recommend Kahei to people who want to learn Cantonese effectively and productively. Whether you are looking to gain a solid foundation of Cantonese tones or expand your vocabulary and knowledge of the language, Kahei will help you go a long way in achieving you goals.
Tammy Qiaotan Zhai
Ka Hei is a fantastic teacher! Not only that he is passionate about teaching, he is also very patient and friendly. I am a Mandarin speaker who could not speak any Cantonese and I was nervous before attending my first class but Ka Hei was so friendly and I felt comfortable around him right away.
During the first class we discussed what I wanted to focus on as I only had a short time to improve my Cantonese before I moved abroad. I wanted to improve my conversational skills and we had 1.5-2 hour intensive lesson every time we meet. By the 3rd class we were already having basic Cantonese conversation. I was very happy to see such an improvement within a short time.
Ka Hei also provided audio recording for each sessions and this was really really useful for pronunciation as I could listen to it during commute. He is also a very encouraging teacher and would motivate me to study. During the classes we studied hard but we also laughed a lot. It was always very enjoyable which made me want to speak more.
Ka Hei created a very comfortable environment for a beginner like me to progress fast and feel confident in speaking Cantonese.
I would 100% recommend Ka Hei as a tutor without any hesitation!
My sessions with Kahei were very helpful in progressing my Cantonese (I am British and only speak English fluently). I started learning last October, and once I had been learning on my own for around 4/5 months I was looking for a tutor to help progress before my trip to Hong Kong in April. I think this was a useful point at which to invest in tutoring, since I had already grasped basics. Kahei is very passionate about teaching and the Cantonese language, which I really appreciated! The sessions were fairly informal, and he was happy and able to focus sessions around my own goals and ideas (despite these being somewhat vague!).
Just before my trip, we did a week of intensive sessions where I really felt I improved and had a lot of fun discussing the intricacies of language. Kahei had a set of planned lessons that we worked through which kept us moving, but he was also flexible and improvised according to my learning needs. There were only a few times where I felt we were a little stuck for content! When I arrived in Hong Kong, I definitely felt more confident using the language than I would have before!
Kahei is also very friendly, and, being from Hong Kong, provided me with lots of tips before (and during) my trip which was great! Another valuable point was that in learning Cantonese, there are cultural and social aspects that become an integral and enriching part of learning the language (and very different to English). Speaking with a native speaker was useful not just from the language point of view, but also to help me understand differing cultural aspects that are relevant to understanding Cantonese.
Although on the expensive side to have one to one tutoring, the input to my learning was invaluable and I would highly recommend for anyone looking to improve their Cantonese!