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A letter from Dr. Helen Chen, daughter of the former Mayor of Monterey Park, California:

Pei-Pei has changed our entire life in only few hours!

Dear Parents and Educators,  

When my mother Lily Lee Chen (former Mayor of Monterey Park, CA) first introduced the idea of Pei Pei Champion coming to L.A. to tutor my daughter Christine (5 years old) Chinese for one week, I was highly skeptical. What could Christine possibly learn in 5 one-hour sessions? Nevertheless, out of politeness, I scheduled 5 morning sessions with PeiPei. 

I brought Christine myself to the last two sessions.  I was amazed that she had actually learned to recite and write the entire Chinese alphabet and the individual best friends from the English alphabet (known as Hanyu Pinyin).  To avoid confusion between Englishphonics and Hanyu Pinyin, PeiPei introduced Hanyu Pinyin as BoPoMos’ best friend.  PeiPei later told me why she conducted her lesson this way: For young children (even forsome adults), when they see Chinese characters spelling with BoPoMo, they then will read the characters according to the sounding system of BoPoMo symbols.  When the character’s spelling with Hanyu Pinyin symbols, (since Hanyu Pinyin are boPoMo’s best friends) children will try to sound out the characters according to BoPoMo’s sound; even though they see the Hanyu Pinyin.  The Hanyu Pinyin symbols are like substitute persons for their BoPoMo friends and every Hanyu Pinyin symbol will try to do the job of their individual best friend.  I later found out that Christine not only had learned and remembered the BoPoMo system, she also had reviewed her English alphabet.  Furthermore, she had attained the beginning idea of the Hanyu Pinyin system.  Most of all, she does not have  “identity confusion” like most of the children who start learning both the English alphabet and Hanyu Pinyin at the same time.

PeiPei’s method of teaching uses a highly effective form of mnemonics, that very simply appeals to children. What I found even more special is that Christine loved and looked forward to her Chinese lessons! Christine is now so enthused about learning Chinese, that she can’t wait to attend ChineseSchool in the Fall. When she does attend, she will already be far ahead of the other children. PeiPei spent a total of only about 80 minutes teaching Christine the sounding systems. The rest of the time involved mostly singing and playing games. I later learned that our local Chinese school devotes a full year to learning just the BoPoMo system! 

It has been two weeks since PeiPei’s return to Hawaii, and PeiPei’s teachings remain vibrant in our household. Christine continues to talk about “Pei Pei Lao Sher.” She sings the Bo Po Mo song every nite. She remembers everything PeiPei taught her. She loves listening to PeiPei’s cassette tapes and CD’s. In fact when we get in the car, the first thing she says is “ I want the Chinese tape! ”  When we get home, she colors her  BoPoMo coloring book. PeiPei has changed our lives. In one short week (5 hours otal), she has taught Christine the fundamentals of the Chinese language, and engrained in her a passion and love for learning Chinese. 

PeiPei’s talents and success stem from her own creativity and love of children. She has the gift of being able to bond with children, and then reach their minds through their hearts by knowing how they think and what they enjoy. She has created a  multi-faceted teaching program, complete with workbooks, coloring books, audio, and easy-to-use teaching guide. Not being an educator myself, I was impressed how easily I was able to learn her teaching method after only a few hours of study.  

PeiPei is an incredibly dedicated, kind, and enthusiastic individual—a true gift to our culture.I can’t wait to fly PeiPei over for another one-week teaching session. Meanwhile, we look forward to listening to more of her tapes, and strongly encouraging Christine’s future Chinese teachers to adopt PeiPei’s methods. 

Please feel free to contact me so I can personally share my experience. 

Helen K. Chen, M.D.
August19, 2003