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Frequently Asked Questions

Credit-bearing Chinese courses: Eligibility, registration, and enrollment

Credit-bearing Chinese courses: Teaching, assessment, and progression

Non-credit Chinese courses

Other useful information

 

Credit-bearing Chinese courses: Eligibility, registration, and enrollment

  1. Students in which faculties and departments can take the first year Chinese course?
    A: “Part 1 Chinese” is available to most first year students at Lancaster, or more specifically, to those who have flexibility to choose their Part 1 subjects. Note that some courses do not give students flexibility to do this.
  2. I have never learned Chinese or a foreign language at school before. Can I take a credit-bearing Chinese module?
    A: You don’t need to have a prior knowledge of (Mandarin) Chinese in order to sign up for the module, as we will teach Chinese from the beginning. However, you are expected to have already learned a modern or classical foreign language before either in school or via another route. You’ll be asked to bring your GCSE / A-Level results or HSK certificate when you sign up for Part 1 Chinese.
  3. I will study Politics/German/History/Management/Business…at Lancaster. Can I study Chinese as part of my degree? Can I progress to study Chinese after the first year?
    A: Most first year students can take the Chinese module. If you want to study Chinese in second and third years as part of your degree, you should check with your department whether your major subject degree structure is flexible enough to allow you to take Chinese modules in second and third years. Currently validated degree schemes with Chinese as minor include English Language with Chinese, Linguistics with Chinese, Politics with Chinese, Philosophy with Chinese, Religion with Chinese, Spanish with Chinese, French with Chinese, German with Chinese, and Modern Languages. More degree schemes are being validated. If you are not sure, please email your query to ci@lancaster.ac.uk.
  4. I have learned Mandarin Chinese at GCSE / A-level in school. Can I still sign up for the first year Chinese module? Or can I study second year Chinese courses directly?
    A: If you’ve got a grade B or above at A-Level in school, or have passed New HSK test Level 3, you are encouraged to attend seminars and keep practicing your Chinese skills. You must pass all components of the assessment in order to continue to study Chinese as part of your degree in second and third years. If you have learned Chinese in school but did not get the required grade, you will need to attend seminars.
  5. I am a second year student. Can I still learn Chinese at Lancaster?
    A: Second year students cannot take the first year credit bearing Chinese module Part 1 Chinese, but you can enroll for the Chinese Culture and Society module, which is taught in English. You can also learn the Chinese language by attending non-credit Chinese courses at the Confucius Institute, which offers Chinese courses of different levels ranging from Beginner Chinese to Intermediate Chinese.
  6. I am interested in China but I don’t want to learn Chinese. What does Lancaster offer?
    A: Our Chinese Culture and Society module is open to all students in either 2nd or 3rd year.  Additionally we offer seminars and cultural events on many aspects of China. Please see the Confucius Institute website for further details. You can even join our Taichi classes!
  7. I am a native Chinese student at Lancaster. Can I take Chinese modules?
    A: No. Chinese courses are only available to nonnative speakers. 
  8. My native language is Cantonese but I do not know much about Mandarin; can I take Chinese modules?
    A: Chinese courses at Lancaster teach Standard Chinese (Mandarin) and Simplified Chinese characters. Cantonese speaking students who do not know much about Mandarin Chinese are eligible to apply. Your Chinese cultural background will obviously allow you to enjoy advantages in learning Mandarin. As the teaching pace is set to take care of the majority of students in groups, your tutors ask you to do some extra work so that you won’t feel bored.
  9. Where can I find information about how to enroll for first year Chinese?
    A: In the Introductory Week, there will be subject talks including one for Chinese. You will get up-to-date information about the time and venue for signing up for Part 1 Chinese (which is based in the Department of Linguistics and English Language) in the programme for the Intro Week. We will also post such information at the website of the Confucius Institute.
  10. What is the procedure of registration and enrollment?
    A: It’s advisable to attend the Chinese minor subject talk to get the necessary information to help you decide if this is a right course for you. Then on the module enrollment and registration date, you can go to the Desk of the Department of Linguistics and English Language to complete a registration form (date and venue will be announced in the Intro Week programme). You will be able to ask Chinese tutors there any questions you might have. 
  11. Can I have a Chinese taste session?
    A: You can attend either session of the Chinese language and culture subject talk, which is repeated at 11am and 1pm, in Bowland North Seminar Room 20 on Visit Days.
  12. I cannot attend the Chinese subject talk because of a clash with my major talk. What shall I do?
    A: If there is a timetabling clash with other subject talks you are interested in, you can contact us by email (ci@lancaster.ac.uk) to request a copy of the presentation of the Chinese subject talk or arrange a time to speak to one of our Chinese tutors.
  13. Where can I find up-to-date information about Chinese course registration and enrollment?
    A: This information will be made available in the Intro Week programme and at the website of the Confucius Institute. If you wish to be informed via email or phone, please leave your email at the Desk on Visit Days or email ci@lancaster.ac.uk.

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Credit-bearing Chinese courses: Teaching, assessment, and progression

  1. What is the credit value of first year Chinese course?
    A: Like all Part 1 modules for freshmen, the first year Chinese module “Part 1 Chinese” is worth 40 credit points.
  2. How many hours a week and how many weeks is Chinese taught in the first year?
    A: Part 1 Chinese is taught in 25 weeks in three terms. The weekly contact hours include an hourly Lecture, an hourly Listening seminar, a 2-hour Speaking seminar, a 2-hour Reading & Writing seminar, and an optional Chinese film screening session. A 40-credit module expects students to spend 400 nominal learning hours, so in addition to the class contact hours, you will need to spend time preparing and reviewing lessons and practising your language skills.
  3. What is taught in the first year Chinese module?
    A: The module teaches Chinese language skills for listening, speaking, reading, and writing (focusing on the first three), which will enable you to engage in daily life conversation using simple Chinese confidently. You will also learn basics about Chinese culture and society.
  4. Do I need to buy textbooks on Chinese courses?
    A: The textbook used on the credit bearing Chinese modules is the most popular New Practical Chinese Reader, which has been used by over a million learners of Chinese as a foreign language. Part 1 Chinese in the first year teaches from the first two volumes. Both textbooks and workbooks will be made available to you free of charge through the courtesy of the Confucius Institute. But you will need to buy your books in second and third years if you study Chinese as part of your degree.
  5. How will the Chinese module be assessed?
    A: The assessment of Part 1 Chinese includes an assessment profile (30%, fortnightly tests), coursework (15%, an essay), a speaking test (15%), and a written exam (40%).
  6. Who will teach Chinese?
    A: Chinese modules are taught by native Chinese speaking tutors who are professionally qualified and enjoy years of experience teaching Chinese as a second or foreign language.

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Non-credit Chinese courses

  1. Who can sign up for non-credit Chinese courses?
    A: Non-credit Chinese courses are open to all students, staff, and the public.
  2. What levels of Chinese courses are available?
    A: Currently available courses include Beginner Chinese Levels 1-4 and Intermediate Chinese. The courses focus on spoken language.
  3. How do I know which level I should sign up for?
    A: If you have some prior knowledge of Chinese but are not sure which level to learn, we are here to help. Simply come to visit us at the Confucius Institute (the Round House), email or phone us to let us know your Chinese learning experience; and our experienced teachers will interview you and judge your level.
  4. For how many hours a week, and for how many weeks are non-credit Chinese courses taught?
    A: Different levels vary in the numbers of teaching weeks and weekly contact hours, but usually 9 or 10 weeks, with one lesson of 1.5 hours per week.  These courses are often taught during lunch breaks or in late afternoon / early evening to avoid timetabling clashes with your subject courses. For up-to-date information see Mandarin Chinese Language Classes.
  5. Are there any textbooks I need to buy?
    A: The teaching materials are usually compiled by tutors themselves; tutors usually give out handout sheets to you.
  6. Are there any exams and tests on noncredit Chinese courses?
    A: There are no formal exams or tests, but you are always encouraged and given lots of opportunities to practise your Chinese skills in class.
  7. Will I get a certificate to show I have learned Chinese?
    A: Yes you will be awarded a certificate of attendance if you have attended 80% or more of the sessions.
  8. Do I need to pay for signing up for non-credit courses? How much and how should I pay?
    A: Yes you will need to pay a small fee: £30 for students, £40 for staff, and £45 for others. There is a link for secured online payment on the classes information page.
  9. How can I find information about when and how to sign up for noncredit courses?
    A: You will find such information on the Mandarin Chinese Language Classes page. If you want us to keep you updated, please complete a form at the Desk to leave your name, email, and phone.

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Other useful information

  1. What’s next after I learn Chinese at Lancaster?
    A: Both credit bearing Chinese modules and non-credit Chinese courses are linked to levels of the HSK Chinese proficiency test. After completing these courses and attending training HSK sessions (which are available now at the UCLan Confucius Institute in Preston and will be available soon at Lancaster), you will be able to take the HSK tests to prove your proficiency in Chinese. If you learn Chinese as part of your degree, your diploma will include the title of your main subject together with the wording “with Chinese”. Those who take Part 1 Chinese will also have the Chinese course shown on their final degree transcripts.
  2. Are there opportunities to visit China or study Chinese in China if I learn Chinese at Lancaster?
    A: Our Chinese degree schemes currently do not include a compulsory Study Abroad year. But the Confucius Institute at Lancaster regularly organizes visits to China that allow our students to spend a period of time in China for language learning and cultural immersion. Such events are financially supported by the Confucius Institute Headquarters and students on both credit bearing and non-credit courses are eligible to apply. There are also various scholarships that will help you to learn Chinese in China. For more information see Study in China.
  3. Where can I find further information about Chinese learning and Chinese cultural activities at Lancaster?
    A: The most up-to-date information can be found at the Confucius Institute website, simply click on the link of your interest.
  4. Where can I find further information about the Department where the Chinese subject is based?
    A: You can find such information at the website of the Department of Linguistics and English Language.

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