BA Spanish and Chinese

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Chinese Language 1

Unit code CHIN51011
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Chinese Studies
Available as a free choice unit? No


This is a beginner’s level language course which teaches the skills of reception (reading and listening), production (speaking and writing) in Mandarin Chinese, and translation of the material learned into English.


None; this course is for students who have no (or extremely limited) prior knowledge of the Chinese language


This course aims to:

  • familiarize the students with the basics of spoken and written forms of the Chinese language

  • emphasise on the listening and speaking system and proper pronunciation of sounds and intonations unfamiliar to non-native Chinese speakers

  • introduce basics of grammar and the writing system

  • develop students’ communicative skills to be able to express themselves freely in simple pair-work, group work, role-play, dialogue, drills and written expression

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • understand and express themselves in basic role-play and dialogue on everyday matters (for oral expression)

  • use approximately 822 Chinese words and phrases (for written expression)

-           about 370 will be basic characters which students must be able to identify and write

-           about 452 will be phrases which students should be able to identify only

  • read passages and write simple sentences to form a paragraph (100 characters), as well as translate those sentences into English


Week to week overview, if available. Please don’t include too much detail that is already covered in course unit overview


One lesson one week which consists of three components according to language skills, which will be delivered by three different tutors.

·         intensive reading (2 hours/week)

·         reading and writing (3 hours/week)

·         listening and speaking (2 hours/week)


week 1: Lessons 1-2 ¿¿

week 2: Lesson 3 ¿¿¿¿

week 3: Lesson 4 ¿¿¿¿¿¿

week 4: Lesson 5 ¿¿¿¿¿¿

week 5: Lesson 7 ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿

week 6: Reading week (independent learning of lesson 6, a revision lesson) ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿

week 7: Lesson 8 ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿

week 8: Lesson 9 ¿¿¿¿¿¿

week 9: Lesson 10 ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿

week 10: Lesson 11 ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿

week 11: Lesson 12 ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿

week 12: Lesson 13 (Lesson 14, a revision lesson as independent lesson)¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿

Teaching and learning methods

Combination of short lectures, seminars, tutorials, directed reading, Blackboard and e-learning.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Understand the basic structures of the Chinese language
  • develop the basic communicative function of the language

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • read new Chinese words correctly according to its phonetic rules
  • form phrases by combining the basic characters
  • express themselves in both spoken and written forms 

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Develop four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing
  • Master phonetics, vocabulary, sentence patterns, grammar and discourse
  • Reach HSK 1 or above ( CEF1)

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Manage their time efficiently
  • Develop efficient Chinese keyboard entry skills
  • Use basic spoken and listening communication skills
  • Find the right help and support and learn how to learn
  • Explore Chinese culture and society

Employability skills

Motivation: be able to act on initiative, identify opportunities. Drive: determination to get things done, make things happen and look for better ways to do things.
Oral communication
Be able to express ideas clearly and confidently in presentation and speech.
Written communication
Be able to express oneself clearly in writing.

Assessment methods


Assessment task


Weighting within unit

coursework for all skills

class participation

an oral examination

a written examination at the end of each semester



15 minutes


2 hours







Feedback methods

  • Comments made during class discussion regarding the relevance and coherence of student responses/participation in discussion.
  • Written comments on assessed coursework
  • Face to face discussion in private meetings during the office hours.
  • Global feedback on the assignment (delivered orally in class, posted to blackboard as a handout, or by email to the class)

Recommended reading

  •  Liu, Xun. 2002. A New Practical Chinese Reader (Textbook & Workbook), Book 1. Beijing: Beijing Language and Culture University Press (set textbook).

  • Ma, Yanhua. 2011. Jump High: A Systematic Chinese Course (Intensive Reading and Workbook) Books 0 and 1. Beijing Language and Culture University Press (additional learning material)

  • ¿¿, et al. 2007. Step by Step: Intensive Chinese Elementary (Reading & Writing, Characters and Speaking) Books 1 and 2. Beijing: Huayu Jiaoxue Press (additional learning material)

  • Handouts

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ablimit Elterish Unit coordinator
Hongjun Ma Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Exceptions to word-processed assignments: all assessed coursework should be hand-written.

Language of Assessment: English and Chinese

Return to course details