Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Introduction: Hello, welcome to Qaiwa, a global website where language students can search and find instructors who can help them in their studies. We know you have many questions about the site and about us, you could do so using the Contact Us page. We look forward to answering your enquiries about the site. Some of your questions might have already been answered on this page, so please check this page first before sending us your questions. We will begin with a short list of questions first, and add to it later as we get more questions from you.

What is Qaiwa?

 

Qaiwa is a global website that centralizes language teachers all over the world to help language students search and find effective teachers to help them in their studies for a fee that is freely set by the language teachers.

Who is it for?

 

Apart from the fact that Qaiwa is a global marketplace for language learning services where students can have a safe and effective way to find personal language instructors, Qaiwa is a part of a bigger plan, the purpose of which is to empower minority groups such as students, foreigners, women, and language instructors in third-world countries. Since Qaiwa is Japan-based startup we will focus in Japan first, catering to Japanese students who need assistance in learning a second language. We may expand later on but our main focus right now are language students in Japan. In the instructor side however, we'll make the site available for instructors from all over the globe at the onset.

What languages does Qaiwa offer?

 

English will be the main language that Qaiwa will initially spend resources on. Although Qaiwa will offer Spanish, French, Deutsche, Chinese, Portuguese, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Arabic and other world languages as we register instructors who can teach them, English will be our main focus first. The reason for this is that  English is the foremost language that Japanese students need to learn to be more competitive internationally. 

As time pass by we will support all language instructors on their resolve to teach whatever language they are expert on. Qaiwa will strive to be a defacto language learning site globally.

How is Qaiwa different from all other English conversation schools in Japan?

 

We are different in five important ways:

1. Choice -- We give students vast numbers of instructors to choose from. We enable our website to accommodate all instructors of languages all over the world. Students can choose the best fit for their level and style of learning.

2. Freedom -- Our instructors are free and flexible to set how much they will earn per hour of their services and how much work they want to do everyday. Our students are free, too, to book instructors and their lessons according to students' preferences.

3. Reach -- We have global reach. We have local instructors who can teach students face-to-face. Of course we will also have instructors abroad who can teach major world languages as well as other exotic languages online.

4. Price -- We intend to keep our commission minimal, so instructors are free to raise their prices and still come out as a bargain for students. Competition would lower the prices eventually, but still enable instructors to distinguish themselves among the crowd.

5. Mission -- We have a clear mission. The company behind Qaiwa is a progressive company that believes strongly in the idea that we can do business mainly out of helping people. Pooling the mostly untapped but highly valuable skills of women and foreigners, we strive to be the de facto practical language learning centre in the world.

Who is the target audience of Qaiwa.com?

 

Since Qaiwa is a fresh startup from Japan. We will focus all our efforts first in Japan and to students of languages in Japan first. Later as we gain traction we will expand abroad to capture other important markets.

How do you regard teachers in terms of their contribution to the qaiwa.com?

 

Very very important. Maybe their importance is just next to students' but the gap is very close. We actually want to call them our customer#2 but for clarity sake we will have to make do by calling them our "partners". They will be the main actors in our efforts to help and educate students effectively. 

How long is one lesson at Qaiwa?

 

It depends on the time length of lesson set by the instructor. Although schedule unit shown in the calendar is divided in half hour slots, lessons can be as long as short as half an hour, or as long as three hours, if both student and instructor agreed so.

Why do students need to confirm with teacher before the reservation is finalized?

 

The main reason for this is efficiency. Confirming with instructors the details of the lessons, the schedule, and the venue before finalizing the payment gives the student the option to cancel the initial booking after learning more about the lesson and the instructor. This saves everybody time and and unneeded worries about payment and cancellations. Students are only advised to proceed payment (finalized reservation) when they are sure about the lesson and when the instructor finally confirms that he or she accepts the reservation.

What if students do not put enough details about her needs and requirements?

 

Instructors must take the first step in encouraging their students to be more active in the lesson. 

Although the system is built so that students can send messages to instructors about their concerns, thoughts and request at the initial reservation, the bulk of the responsibility in getting these information resides with the instructors.

To be an effective instructor, one must be able to encourage students to take positive actions and move forward.

Wouldn't unchecked competition drive prices too low?

 

We don't think so. 

People will pay for services according to their needs and budget. The price for face-to-face lessons would understandably tend to be higher than that of online lessons since the instructor will have to do extra preparation, has to travel, and find the venue for the lesson.

Online lessons can also be priced higher depending on the needs of the student. For example, if the student require a native English speaker with American or British accent, the student will have better chances of finding such instructor in the United States or in the UK. Since prices for these countries tend to be higher, the student must bear this in mind and be ready to pay a higher lesson fees as if she is paying premium to receive a particular service, i.e. English lesson in American or British accent. In this regard the capability of the instructor will be the deciding factor in the price.

There are many great language instructors even if they are not "native speakers". For example English instructors in the Philippines are highly regarded for their English abilities although they may not be "native speakers". Generally speaking, Filipino English is based in American English. If the student's requirement is not that high, and only needs a highly structured conversation instructor, then an English instructor in the Philippines might be good enough for the task. The price per lesson in the Philippines will be much lower than that in the U.S., UK, Canada, or even Australia.

To sum, it is up to the student which instructors and which of their lessons he or she will choose, and this is mainly determined by their needs and budget. Prices will only be driven to unfairly low level when instructors cannot differentiate their services from the competition.

How is the search result determined at Qaiwa?

 

The search result is determined first by the student's preferred location of prospective instructors. The second factor is the price. The third factor is the search criteria that the students set during their search. These are:These are:

1. Native speaker ability

2. Availability of venue

3. Availability of certificate

4. Japanese ability

The more the teacher's profile fit the search criteria of the student the higher up in the search result the teacher will be shown.

What do you need to prepare for an online lesson (for students)?

 

For students please do the following preparation before your lesson:

1. Review the last lesson and the overall lesson outline (imagine where you are now in your lessons).

2. Do the task agreed upon in the previous discussion/lesson. Be proactive. Try to search about the next topic using the internet.

3. Be sure to add your instructor's Skype address before hand.

4. Prepare an attachable mic and/or a headphone just in case the built-in mic/speaker in your computer suddenly stopped working.

5. Be sure to have a notebook and pen with you. Or you can use note taking software using your computer. Use the Cornell note template for effective note-taking.

6. Doing all of the above builds your confidence, so cheer up and always be positive!

7. Go to your lesson on time. Be five minutes early and send a quick message to your instructor saying, "I'm ready." Your instructor will call you on or five minutes before the agreed schedule.

What do you need to prepare for an online lesson (for teachers)?

 

For teachers please do the following preparation before your lesson:

1. Prepare for your class by first reviewing the past lessons you've had with the student.

2. Prepare and use various teaching material to make your lesson more fun and engaging to students. Use movies, podcasts, comics, and visual aides to easily impart to students what you want to teach in fun way.

3. Be sure to add your student's Skype address before hand.

4. Prepare an attachable mic and/or a headphone just in case the built-in mic/speaker in your computer suddenly stopped working. 

5. Be sure to have a notebook and writing pen with you to take notes about your student's progress.

6. Doing all of the above builds your confidence, so cheer up and always be enthusiastic in front of your student. They may not tell it to you directly, but students do love enthusiastic and passionate instructors.

7. Make sure to call on time. Be five minutes early and send a quick message to your student asking, "Are you ready?" If the reply is positive you can start the call immediately. To prevent confusion, instructors are responsible to make the call on time for the scheduled lesson.

What do you need to prepare for a face-to-face lesson (for students)?

 

For students please do the following preparation before your lesson:

1. Review the last lesson and the overall lesson outline (imagine where you are now in your lessons).

2. Do the task agreed upon in the previous discussion/lesson. Be proactive. Try to search about the next topic using the internet.

3. Be sure to add your instructor's Skype address before hand. (You can use this to send text messages to your instructor during emergency).

4. Be sure to have a notebook and pen with you. Or you can use note taking software using your computer. Use the Cornell note template for effective note-taking.

5. Be sure to have googled the meetup place the night before your lesson. Be sure to check the following check list:

  1. a. Get the address of the venue (make a note both on paper and on your phone).
  2. b. Get the map of the venue and imagine how you'll arrive at the meeting place 
  3. (It's important that you locate landmarks on the way to the venue so that you wont get lost)

6. Doing all of the above builds your confidence for the class, so cheer up and always be positive!

7. Go to your lesson on time. It's better to be 5 to 10 minutes early so you'll have time to relax and catch your breath right before the class. Feeling flustered just before the class is not conducive to a great class. When you arrive send a quick message to your instructor saying you've arrived already.

What do you need to prepare for a face-to-face lesson (for teachers)?

 

For teachers please do the following preparation before your F2F lesson:

1. Prepare for your class by first reviewing the past lessons you've had with the student.

2. Prepare and use various teaching material to make your lesson more fun and engaging to students. Use movies, podcasts, comics, and visual aides to easily impart to students what you want to teach in fun way.

3. Be sure to add your student's Skype address before hand.  (You can use this to send text messages to your students during emergency).

4. Be sure to have a notebook and pen with you to take notes about your student's progress.

5. Be sure to have googled the meeting place the night before your lesson. Be sure that the following check list are checked before the lesson:

a. Get the address of the venue (make a note both on paper and on your phone).

b. Get the map of the venue and imagine how you'll  arrive at the meeting place. 

(It's important that you locate landmarks on the way to the venue so that you wont get lost). As a instructor it is highly inappropriate to be late for your lessons.

6. Doing all of the above builds your confidence, so cheer up and always be enthusiastic in front of your student. They may not tell it to you directly, but students do love enthusiastic and passionate instructors. 

7. Go to the venue on time. Be as early as possible, around 15 minutes before the class. When you arrive send a quick message to your student saying you've arrived already.

What materials does Qaiwa teachers use in their lessons?

 

Just about anything that students would find entertaining and effective in their studies. Since students to students differ in their preference with what is entertaining and effective, instructors will suggest the kind of material that would best fit the student. It's up to the student to suggest something else if the current material is not doing a great job.

Can teachers post language lesson video for sale?

 

Yes, they can in the future. But we have yet to add the functionality at this time. Please be patient while we try to add the feature to the site.

Does Qaiwa have materials for students who want to learn English in a specific level?

 

No, there are already many effective materials out there that are priced reasonably and instructors will undoubtedly have their own materials that they prefer to use. However, for learners of English language we recommend materials by English Out There. We not only recommend them to students of various English skill levels, but also to instructors as it well help them structure their lessons more systematically. </p>

<p>However, we will have a general English course lesson plans for those who would want to received more structured lessons that can be taught by multiple instructors. We are hard at work developing them at the moment, please stay tuned.

Do you recommend me to give my phone number to students, or vice versa.

 

No. We recommend not to give your phone number to your instructor or your student. Teaching and learning is much more effective when you keep things between you and your instructor or you and your student professional. So that in cases where you have to end the relationship, you don't have to change your phone number.

You can always send private messages through Qaiwa, or you can use Skype for texting and/or for calling your counterpart.

Why do we need Qaiwa when we can just exchange contact address and we can do the transaction ourselves without paying Qaiwa any commisions?

 

We prohibit our users to conduct transaction outside of Qaiwa. We know that with Qaiwa's open business model there is no obstacle for you not to do so. However, we prohibit you from doing so mainly for one foremost reason: your security. Anyway, think you will not do so when you begin to appreciate the following underlying reason why we are strongly against doing outside transactions:

1. Because going through Qaiwa is for your own security. Imagine if a non-payment dispute between you and your student arises, what will happen? At Qaiwa that won't happen since all lessons are prepaid, and we will proactively work with you for claims regarding fees and non-attendance disputes.

2. Because you can keep your studies more effective when your relationship with one another is purely professional. If you allow the relationship become more personal sooner or later instructor-student relationship becomes friend-friend relationship where the effectivity of being an instructor looses its power and the student looses the will to do great work.

3. You will only deal financially with Qaiwa, no need to deal with unreliable  third-parties to do the payments. We are all professionals and Qaiwa is founded by a legitimate business entity officially registered in Japan. We are not going away and you're in very good hands with us.

4. You'll be able to help the cause behind Qaiwa. We do not only operate for profit we also stand committed to achieve our vision of social justice and economic development for all levels of society. We believe that our vision and mission will persuade you to help us by supporting the success of our business. 

5. It's good Karma. You found your instructor and/or your students here at Qaiwa, it's just right to show your support by helping us bare the cost of operating the site. We do not intend to charge unreasonably, you will only be charged for transactions that Qaiwa helped you to make.

If you do not find all five of these reasons compelling enough, you can decide to go ahead and do your transactions outside of Qaiwa. However, we will not be liable in any way and we may not be able to help in any way if trouble arises between buyers and sellers who conduct their transactions outside of Qaiwa. Moreover, if we receive report that a certain user is soliciting for outside transaction and our analysis prove that it is true, we will have no choice but to disable the user without notice.