Part I Chinese

Part I Chinese (CHIN100) is designed as a breakthrough into Mandarin Chinese in its standardised spoken modern form and in simplified characters for beginners with no or little prior knowledge of Chinese.

It starts at a level in Chinese broadly equivalent to the “A1 Basic User, Breakthrough” level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, aiming to help students achieve the “A2 Basic User, Waystage” level towards the end of the module (roughly equal to AS level).

The module will teach Chinese language skills for listening, speaking, reading, and writing (focusing on the first three), which enable students to engage in daily life conversation using simple Chinese confidently.

More specifically, the module will cover:

  • background to Mandarin Chinese
  • Chinese phonetics including pronunciation and intonation
  • the Romanization system (Pinyin with tones)
  • more advanced skills for Chinese pronunciation and sound recognition
  • basics of Chinese grammar and key sentence structures
  • vocabulary requirements and language functions for daily life across a wide range of topics
  • as well as aspects of the writing system such as the radical system and stroke types and orders

A general knowledge of Chinese culture and Chinese ICT (Information and Communications Technology) skills will also be taught on the module

Weekly pattern of teaching and learning activities

  • A one hour lecture teaching Chinese grammar, language functions, and explaining the text of the lesson as well as related cultural aspects focusing on understanding the Chinese social context and way of life so that students will feel better equipped to interact with Chinese people or visit China in their future careers.
  • A one hour seminar for listening practice, which may be combined with character recognition and speaking exercises.
  • A two hour seminar for speaking practice in the form of pattern drills, group work, role play and at later on more creative language production.
  • A two hour seminar for reading practice of authentic language materials and learning Chinese character writing with the aid of computerised flashcards.

Course Aims

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of Chinese phonetics and skills for Chinese pronunciation and sound recognition skills, producing sounds in Chinese with correct and accurate pronunciation and intonation
  • Apply the necessary vocabulary and language functions to be able to formulate various consolidated ideas and thoughts in Chinese for daily spoken communication on a wide range of topics
  • Understand the basics of Chinese grammar and use key sentence structures in Chinese
  • Write Chinese characters, including the radical system, types of strokes, stroke orders, and be able to recognise 400-500 of the most commonly used Chinese characters and be able to write 200-300 of them
  • Carry out simple writing tasks in Chinese characters which would require a basic knowledge of grammatical rules including notes, messages, postcards, letters and short compositions
  • Engage in basic Chinese computing, using computerized word processing skills to writing Chinese with the help of the Pinyin input method
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge and understanding of Chinese culture and society
  • Structure and communicate ideas effectively orally
  • Study with greater autonomy and effectiveness
  • Understand the connections between language, society and culture
  • Experience independent goal setting through setting their own essay title for the coursework requirement
  • Employ appropriate ICT skills both as a means of communication and as an aid to learning, applying the practical skills of using e learning facilities to selfaccess study
  • Be able to count on methodological and theoretical expertise to carry out cross-linguistic and intercultural research, with a special focus on Chinese and China.