Mandarin Chinese (advanced I)

  • Fit a language around your Undergraduate or Postgraduate studies
  • For students on certain courses, a UWLP module will be included in your programme at no extra cost
  • Language provides you with many transferable skills, which are highly valued in the contemporary world
  • Most of our programmes are delivered by native speakers of the language
  • All of our modules are taught in small class sizes
  • All students will have full access to the University's excellent resources.

Module code: LX1001 

Number of Aston credits: 10

Entry requirements: Mandarin Intermediate II or GCSE A or above
Language of Delivery: Mandarin

Apply: Online  

Fees: To check the latest fees for this course, please visit THIS PAGE. Pay online.

Duration: 2 hours per week for 12 weeks per module
Teaching Period when Offered: Teaching Period 1

Module convenor: Mrs Qiaochao Zhang 

Further information: View contacts for all your University Wide Language Programme enquiries.

This is an advanced-level module developed with the purpose of teaching students to express, interpret, and negotiate meaning in context. The module content follows the Languages Ladder framework and the Common European Framework.

The TP will be divided into two areas of focus: an intercultural one and professional one. Each lesson will aim to develop the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking, and to deepen knowledge and understanding of the grammar and lexis of the Mandarin language through a variety of activities such as:

1. Communicating in different situations (through role plays, presentations, group discussions)

2. Reading activities and exercises

3. Writing activities ranging from CVs to compositions

4. Practice grammatical structures and vocabulary

Educational Aims

The module emphasises the functional use of language within a proficiency-oriented framework around two main themes : a job or professional-related theme and a more cultural one. The development of the basic skills – listening, speaking, reading, writing - are given equal weight and are taught as building blocks toward proficiency and communication.

This module aims to consolidate and expand the fundamentals of Mandarin language acquired at the level of Intermediate II (or equivalent). This module is a Mandarin course, which offers practical knowledge of Chinese cultures and Chinese language as spoken by native speakers, both in professional and day to day life situations. This practical knowledge will be developed in five areas: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and cultural competence. Furthermore, this course will consolidate the fundamentals of Mandarin grammar at advanced level. The course is organized around interactive and communicative activities that will allow students to build all skills in the most effective way. On completion of this module students will acquire the following skills:

Knowledge and understanding: students will be able to:

  • Use a wider range of vocabulary adapted to the situation
  • Demonstrate comprehension of spoken and written authentic Chinese in various situations and formats
  • Apply grammatical structures to both oral and written purposes

Cognitive skills: students will be able to

  • Identify the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters (encountered at work, leisure...)
  • Demonstrate the use of conversational skills in a variety of communicative situations
  • Demonstrate accurate reading comprehension of cultural and job-related issues
  • Produce written Chinese to meet practical needs as well as creative expression.

Subject-specific skills: students will be able to

  • Apply for a placement or a job in a Chinese-speaking country
  • Communicate (orally and in written) effectively and appropriately in both formal and informal situations
  • Engage in and sustain face to face conversation with others about a variety of topics.
  • Develop awareness of the challenges of intercultural communication
  • Behave and interact in a culturally appropriate way

Transferable skills: students will have practised

  • Using different learning resources available in print or on-line
  • Working autonomously inside and outside the classroom, to further their knowledge of Chinese through independent learning skills;
  • Working in pairs and groups to practise and consolidate written and spoken communicative competence.

The course will be delivered in Mandarin. English will be used only if necessary or requested by students in particular situations or grammar explanations. Students are expected to use the target language as a means of communication in the classroom.

Students will be encouraged to seek opportunities to practise the four skills outside the classroom. They will be expected to take advantage of the learning resources available in the School to practise, revise and consolidate their learning of the Chinese language (for instance by using Happy Chinese - a language software available in the Technician office) 

The module will consist of two contact hours per week.

A minimum of 3-4 hours a week, in addition to the 2 taught hours, should be devoted to Chinese outside the classroom to complete work set by the tutor, assignments on grammar structures, learn and revise vocabulary and practise reading, writing, and listening skills.

Learning Hours

Seminar - A discussion or classroom session focusing on a particular topic or project - (20%) 

Independent Study - might include preparation for scheduled sessions, follow-up work, wider reading or practice, completion of assessment tasks, revision, etc - (80%) 

Feedback will be given through:

  • Formative feedback throughout the module through informal, verbal  comments on weekly activities.
  • Formative and summative feedback following the oral presentation.

  • Summative written feedback as part of the marking process for the exam.

Summative assessment

  • An 8-min (approx.) individual discussion with the tutor on topics covered in class (no notes allowed) in week 10  20%
  • A 30-min listening test in week 11  20%
  • A 2-hour exam (grammar and vocabulary exercises, reading comprehension, and a written composition) (examination period), No dictionary allowed. 60%
Students are advised that all marks obtained in tests are subject to moderation and approval by the external examiner.


Liu, X. et al. (2002) New Practical Chinese Reader. Vol. 2. Beijing Language and Culture University Press.

Grammar book:

Yip, P. C. & Don, R. (1998) Intermediate Chinese: A Grammar and WorkbookRoutledge


Oxford Chinese Dictionary and Talking Chinese Dictionary and Instant Translator (or equivalent bilingual dictionary).

A list of useful electronic resources will be available on Blackboard.

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