Our students say ...

What started as a professional engagement to develop Chinese language skills for interactions with our clients developed into a personal interest in furthering my own abilities.


Unlike other schools Joanna and NOET were interested not in providing endless inapplicable theory that facilitates post-secondary certification while lacking in practical applicability. Instead they immediately dove into real-life, practical tools to engage in actual conversations.


Their “non-traditional” approach is actually simply teaching the language the way normal people learn naturally. No lectures on verbs and adverbs. Just the language as it is spoken by everyday people, built from the ground up and immediately usable with native speakers.


As someone that works with a nearly 50% Chinese client-base, it was this practical approach to teaching the actual language – not theory via grammar – that caught my eye and made me choose NOET over others. And it was Joanna’s abilities as an instructor that kept me coming back for more.


Working with Joanna has been the best possible introduction to Mandarin. She is experienced, knowledgeable, patient, professional, and always looking for ways to improve the lessons. She’s made the language fun, accessible, and interesting and I look forward to continuing to work with her for the foreseeable future.


I would recommend Joanna, and NOET, to anybody that is looking for an effective, efficient, and fun way to quickly learn conversational Mandarin.                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                             -Chris P



NOET is a comfortable and supportive place for Chinese born Canadians to swiftly learn and master Mandarin. Whether you have little, none or a lot of knowledge in Cantonese and you’re looking to bridge the gap between these two languages – NOET is the place to be. 


Returning from recent and amazing visits to southern China where I thought I would be “safe” because I know how to speak Cantonese, I felt frustrated and extremely eager to pick up some handy phrases in Mandarin for my future visits.


Finding an establishment willing to work with me to determine my placement level was difficult since I speak Cantonese but knew less than 20 Chinese characters. My instructors took me under their wings and taught me upwards to 300 or more characters in about 6 months only while committing roughly 3 hours a week. They work at your pace and I highly recommend NOET’s group classes. My classmates are from all walks of life and we all have different reasons and inspirations for learning Mandarin.


Mandarin and reading Chinese is a very easy language for Cantonese speaking individuals to learn and master. Although I haven’t mastered it fluently, the idea of mastering it isn’t a figment of my imagination. With the support of NOET and their team, this goal is realistic and attainable. 




May L.

I'm so grateful to be able to continue my studies in Mandarin at NOET through remote learning! The online classes are just as interactive and lively as in the classroom.


While she's introducing new characters, my teacher makes great use of slides to give me examples and real-world extensions so that the new characters really stick. Having these slides to refer back helps me review. 


                                                       Athena V. 

I never lose focus in class. This is the first time for any class, in my life, that I don't lose focus.

I can now recognise some Chinese characters on the street and order a bubble tea in the shop. It feels good. Most importantly, learning Chinese is a fun thing for me to do now.

Ammar H. 

I chose NOET because the course is teaching Mandarin in a non-traditional way since I found the traditional way of teaching to not be worthwhile. I loved that we started learning Chinese characters right away (very different from any other places I know) and was thrilled to find that I could truly understand more in real life, whether at the restaurant, watching dramas or listening to music. I was definitely surprised by the amount of useful content we actually learned and how staff always tried to support and encourage us in our learnings. 



                                                                Isabelle C

I choose NOET primarily because the teaching method proposed was very different from other methods out there (at least in Vancouver). I liked the classes because it was in a small group so we could practice speaking a lot more than in some other schools. It is also great to learn the characters, I think if one wants to reach an intermediate/advanced level in Mandarin, it is mandatory to learn the characters to understand the language. Pinyin is great to learn some basics but I felt it quickly showed its limitations. 

The quality of the teaching was also outstanding in comparison with my previous experiences.

                                                                      Gui H.

Learning Mandarin will definitely differentiate me in my work, social life, etc.  I think learning mandarin bought me joy and peace and fun! Mandarin has been a great experience it did help me how Mandarin speakers think ...I chose NOET because the school was proactively marketing itself and I liked the approach, the NON pinyin approach was very good. 


                                                    Hassan W

My interest in learning Mandarin stemned from when I was seven years old, watching Japanese cartoons in Canada.  I realized there were other ways of thinking that were not common knowledge in Western culture. 


During grad school, I became good friends with several Chinese students who had come from overseas to complete their university studies. Over the course of our friendship, I was introduced to social norms, cultural values, medical practices, technology and delicious cuisine that I hadn't experienced before, even in my own city!


I was also engaged in weekly Kung Fu lessons, in which our teacher regularly brought up fundamental wisdom behind each lesson, as well as anti-violence principles. It was inspiring to experience martial arts as a way of life, rather than a series of combat techniques. At this point, I needed to dwelve deeper into Chinese culture, and witness it from it's raw perspective. This is when I decided to learn Mandarin. 


I initially focused on trying to pronounce some common phrases, the idea being that speech would be the most reliable form of communication with Mandarin speakers. However, my listening, reading, writing and continued learning suffered because it was very difficult to draw connections among Chinese characters, and thus much more difficult to recall old information. I decided to participate in NOET's private course, which targeted all aspects of learning a new language: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. 


After 30 classes, I felt significantly more comfortable picking up key words in Mandarin conversations, writing simple phrases, using Mandarin in restaurants and grocery stores, and reading various advertisements and signs throughout Vancouver. However, it was no easy feat. My teacher, Joanna, took the time during each class (and after hours) to gather feedback about my experience thought the course. Changes to the course structure were immediately implemented to assist with my development. In addition, the course content was designed so that initial memorization involved very simple characters, which would then be used as building blocks in future lessons. This allowed me to see how characters were connected, while also experiencing the culture behind their modern usage. 


The combination of course content and staff at NOET was remarkable. I felt welcomed and encouraged every step of the way, and at no point did my studies feel like a chore. For anyone, beginners or otherwise, considering learning or improving their Mandarin, I highly encourage taking a journey with NOET. 

Boris B. 

I chose NOET because it is different. Although the classes are in English, removes the English influence of the characters and teaches the language based on it’s origins. The most surprising feature of the course, is how fast the character learning is. Once I realized, I could already understand 350 characters and create my own sentences.A whole new world was opened to me. Being able to now understand part of conversations, advertisements, texts, etc., has unveiled a society that I have been living among in this 4 years in Vancouver, but that I was not fully aware of. For me has been like rediscovering Vancouver and has awaken my interest in a deeper research about this important language.

                                                         Uriel T.

The method that has been presented here at NOET is truly unique and has changed my perspective on Chinese Characters and how simple it can be to learn them.

With the hardest aspect of the language being presented as simple it makes it all the easier to study characters and remember them. I no longer am intimidated by Chinese Characters, and feel that I can continue to learn more of them even on my own to improve my Chinese. 

Austin E. 

Making Chinese friends because they want to practice English and I want to practice Chinese.  When you tell a Chinese person your learning Chinese then you have something to talk about it and it creates a path to start a new friendship.

Kyle C.

© 2020 by New Occidental Education & Technology Group Ltd.