Chinese

The following modules are available to incoming Study Abroad students interested in Chinese.

Alternatively you may return to the complete list of Study Abroad Subject Areas.

CHIN100: Part I Chinese (Intensive)

  • Terms Taught: Full Year Course.
  • US Credits: 10 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 20 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites: This course is NOT available to native speakers of Mandarin Chinese or to students who are studying here for less than a Full Year.

Course Description

This module is designed as a breakthrough into Mandarin Chinese in its standardised spoken modern form and in simplified characters. The course is suitable for beginners with no or little prior knowledge of Chinese. The module will teach Chinese language skills for listening, speaking, reading, and writing (focusing on the first three), which enable students to engage confidently in every-day conversations using simple Chinese. 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;
  • Aspects of the writing system such as the radical system and stroke types and orders;
  • Chinese culture and Chinese ICT (Information and Communications Technology) skills.

Educational Aims

This module aims 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

  • Provide beginners with a breakthrough into Chinese and develop their Mandarin Chinese proficiency to the "A2 Basic User, Waystage level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (roughly equivalent to Level 1 of NQF UK, or AS level)

  • 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

  • Develop students knowledge and understanding of the basic structures of Mandarin and its writing system and their ability to communicate in Mandarin to meet the basic requirements of daily life

  • Engage in basic Chinese computing, using computerized word processing skills to writing Chinese with the help of the Pinyin input method

  • 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 self-access study

  • Encourage students to learn about contemporary China and better understand cultural differences between the West and China

  • Provide students with the basis to study Chinese in Part II.

Outline Syllabus

The module will consist of six teaching hours a week spread over 25 weeks across three terms (i.e. a total of 150 hours of study). The weekly patterning of teaching and learning activities are as follows:

  • 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.

Following the first four weeks of intensive and systematic learning of Chinese sound systems, the study of pronunciation and tones will be carried out in the context of situational dialogues which will also build up vocabulary and develop communicative skills. Emphasis will largely be placed on effective communication in Mandarin through classroom instructions and group activities such as pair work, role-play and simulations in oral interactive activities. Grammar will be explicitly taught from the outset and regular written exercises will be used to monitor students’ progress of developing grammatical competence.

The structure of the language and grammar will be taught in conjunction with the learning of the spoken language. Half of one class hour each week will be devoted to learning characters, which will be taught systematically by teaching the right order of strokes and radicals. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), which includes digital audio and video materials, will be used to provide support to self-access study and flexible learning. Multimedia materials will be used in classroom teaching in lecture/seminar rooms with supported multimedia PCs. In addition, there will also be 30 hours of Chinese film/TV showings (approx. 1.5 hours for 15 of the 25 weeks of the course) which will be optional but strongly recommended.

Assessment Proportions

  • Exam: 40%
  • Coursework: 15%
  • Oral: 15%
  • Written Assessment: 30%

CHIN200: Chinese Language 2

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term Only.
  • Also Available: This module is only available in Michaelmas term.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites: Students must have an existing level of Mandarin Chinese equivalent to that taught on CHIN100 in order to register for CHIN200, but must NOT be native speakers. Please also note that, although teaching is only in the Michaelmas term, only full-year visiting students are permitted to register for this course due to the assessment structure (the exam must be taken in January, after Michaelmas-only students have left).

Course Description

CHIN 200 progresses from CHIN 100 and systematically introduces more complex Chinese grammar and key sentence patterns. Additionally, more advanced and extensive vocabulary items are introduced to enhance the students competence in communicating in Chinese in a range of demanding interactive situations. The weekly teaching consists of four contact hours, including a one-hour lecture teaching grammar and language functions, a two-hour seminar for listening and speaking practice, and a one-hour seminar for reading practice, grammar exercises and character learning. Please note that this course is NOT available to native speakers of Mandarin Chinese but students need to have completed 150+ hours of classroom teaching or have passed the NEW HSK Level 2.

Educational Aims

This module aims to:

  • enable students to acquire more sophisticated skills in listening and speaking as well as reading and comprehension, building on the skills acquired through the intensive Chinese Part I course (or equivalent);
  • ensure students can recognise approximately 700 Chinese characters (including the 400-500 learned in CHIN100)

  • further develop students' competence for computing in Chinese.

Outline Syllabus

CHIN200 progresses from CHIN100 and introduces more complex Chinese grammar and key sentence patterns systematically.  Additionally, more advanced and extensive vocabulary items are introduced to enhance the students’ competence in communicating in Chinese in a range of demanding interactive situations.  Students taking this module are expected to reach a standard beyond A Level. The weekly teaching consists of four contact hours, including a one-hour lecture teaching grammar and language functions, a two-hour seminar for listening and speaking practice, and a one-hour seminar for reading practice, grammar exercises and character learning.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 40%
  • Exam: 60%

CHIN201: Chinese Language 3

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms Only.
  • Also Available: This module is only available in Lent Summer term.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites: CHIN200 or equivalent existing knowledge of Mandarin Chinese.  Not available to native speakers of Mandarin Chinese.

Course Description

CHIN201 progresses from CHIN200 and introduces more complex Chinese grammar and key sentence patterns systematically. Additionally, more advanced and extensive vocabulary items are introduced to enhance the students competence in communicating in Chinese in a range of demanding interactive situations. Students taking this module are expected to reach a higher standard than that expected on CHIN200, equivalent to undergraduate level Year 1. The weekly teaching consists of four contact hours, including a one-hour lecture teaching grammar and language functions, a two-hour seminar for listening and speaking practice, and a one-hour seminar for reading practice, grammar exercises and character learning.

Educational Aims

This module aims to:

  • enable students to acquire more sophisticated skills in listening and speaking as well as reading and comprehension, building on the skills acquired through the intensive Chinese Part I course (or equivalent) and CHIN200;
  • ensure that students can recognise approximately 800 Chinese characters (including the 700-or-so words learned in CHIN100 and CHIN200);
  • continue to develop students’ competence for computing in Chinese.

Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • understand the connections between language, society and culture in Chinese context;
  • express themselves accurately with good pronunciation and tones about familiar subjects, with increasing confidence in a variety of contexts;
  • understand longer passages of spoken Chinese delivered at normal speed by answering questions or producing a summary;
  • have a systematic knowledge and understanding of more complex Chinese grammar and key sentence structures, and develop a finer and more extensive vocabulary and language functions;
  • read and understand passages of reasonable length written in Chinese characters such as a short story or simple newspaper article and produce extended pieces of written work in Chinese, including notes, letters and short essays with the help of a dictionary.

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 40%
  • Exam: 60%

CHIN300: Chinese Language 4

  • Terms Taught: Michaelmas Term Only.
  • Also Available: This module is only available in Michaelmas term.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.
  • Pre-requisites: Students must have existing knowledge of Mandarin Chinese equivalent to that taught on CHIN201 in order to register for CHIN300, but must NOT be native speakers.Please also note that, although teaching is only in the Michaelmas term, only full-year visiting students are permitted to register for this course due to the assessment structure (the exam must be taken in January, after Michaelmas-only students have left Lancaster).

Course Description

This module is designed for students who have acquired an intermediate level of the Chinese language in terms of speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing of the modern Chinese language through the intensive Part I Chinese programme (CHIN100) and the Year 2 modules (CHIN200 and CHIN201). The module will use authentic texts (slightly adapted from originals) from a range of sources and genres to help students communicate in a systematic and comprehensive manner using appropriate expressions and language norms in context, and develop further proficiency in understanding and expressing in-depth and intellectual comments using advanced Chinese language skills. It will also develop students advanced language skills including translating between English and Chinese as well as extended writing. The weekly teaching consists of four contact hours, including a one-hour lecture teaching grammar and language functions, a two-hour seminar for listening and speaking practice, and a one-hour seminar for reading and writing practice.

Educational Aims

This module aims to:

  • develop students’ Mandarin Chinese language skills to reach a post-intermediate level of Chinese (equivalent to undergraduate level Years 2 and 3). This will include the ability to converse fluently and confidently with native or competent speakers on everyday practical topics and also express their opinions on a range of issues appropriately in various forms and contexts, especially having to do with contemporary China;
  • enable students to write coherent passages in Chinese characters and understand simple newspaper articles and other written documentation with limited reference to a dictionary;
  • enable students to acquire an extended knowledge and understanding of complex syntactic structures and textual genres (i.e. political, academic, economic) in Chinese as well as basic knowledge and skills of translating/interpreting between English and Chinese;
  • enable students to acquire a corpus-based methodology to language learning and cross-linguistic academic enquiry; 
  • ensure that students can recognise up to 200 new characters, in addition to the 800 characters previously learnt via CHIN100, CHIN200 and CHIN201.

Upon successful completion of this module, students will:

  • be able to listen and understand spoken Chinese delivered at normal speed on a variety of topics relating to Chinese society as well as proficiency in understanding and expressing in-depth and intellectual comments using advanced Chinese language skills;
  • have the ability to speak Chinese accurately with adequate linguistic proficiency and intercultural awareness so that they can converse freely and appropriately with a native speaker in a variety of contexts, including delivering presentations and participating in discussions;
  • be capable of reading and understanding a lengthy passage on a wider range of general and specialised topics in different styles;
  • possess advanced language skills of extended writing in Chinese, including notes, letters and essays as well as translating between English and Chinese.

Assessment Proportions

  • Exam: 40%
  • Coursework: 60%

CHIN310: Chinese Culture and Society

  • Terms Taught: Lent / Summer Terms only.
  • US Credits: 4 Semester Credits.
  • ECTS Credits: 8 ECTS Credits.

Course Description

This module aims to provide students with a general knowledge of the key aspects, both historical and contemporary, of modern Chinese culture and society. Particular emphasis will be placed on China’s economic and socio-political developments, and on understanding the Chinese way of thinking and living so that students will have more confidence if they work in or with China, or interact with the Chinese from the greater China region in their future careers. The weekly teaching consists of an hourly lecture and an hourly seminar. This module is open to all visiting students, including native speakers of Mandarin Chinese.

Educational Aims

Students will gain:

  • an extended knowledge and critical understanding of key aspects of contemporary China and the necessary linguistic and cultural competence and skills for communicating with the Chinese;
  • a critical cultural awareness and ability to research into key socio-cultural issues in China 

Outline Syllabus

Topics will typically include:

  • An overview of Chinese culture and society
  • Imperial China and the fall of the Qing dynasty
  • China under Mao and since 1978
  • China’s politics and international relationships
  • China’s economy
  • Classic Chinese philosophies and their influence
  • China’s ethnic groups and languages
  • Migration and ethnicity in China
  • China and global governance

Assessment Proportions

  • Coursework: 40%
  • Exam: 60%