Mandarin Chinese (beginners II)

  • 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: LX1401

Number of Aston credits: 10 

Entry requirements: Chinese for Beginners I

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 2

Module Convenor: Mrs Qiaocho Zhang 
Other Staff Contributing to the Module: Xu Geng

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

This module is designed as an introduction to the Chinese language for students with no previous knowledge.

The module content follows the Languages Ladder framework, provides student with the basic structures needed at this level, and ensures progression in language ability and proficiency.

Language purposes and functions

  • Taking part in simple situations (e.g. greeting/responding to greetings; expressing thanks; apologising)
  • Giving simple information
  • Asking simple questions
  • Describing (e.g. colour, size, location, possession, appearance)
  • Giving simple opinions
  • Following/giving simple instructions
  • Expressing ability
  • Using numbers and expressing quantity
  • Expressing time (e.g. clock, days, months) 

Educational Aims

The course will help students to develop strategies for coping with Chinese in real-life situations. At the end of this course students will be entitled to take Intermediate Chinese I.

This module is an intensive language course, which aims to bring beginners up to a standard in which they are able to communicate and understand basic ideas in Chinese.  The module aims to develop language skills in all four areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  Furthermore, basic grammatical structures and vocabulary will be integrated into the learning process in meaningful contexts. 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 be able to:

Knowledge and understanding: students will gain a deep understanding of

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the basic grammatical structures of Chinese
  • Understand and communicate basic factual information in Chinese, orally and in writing
  • Listen to and understand in detail selected short samples of Chinese
  • Read short adapted Chinese texts aimed at learners of Chinese

Cognitive skills: students will be able to

  • Write short passages in Chinese on a range of practical and descriptive themes
  • Extract key information from written and spoken sources
  • Express opinions about basic topics of daily life

Subject-specific skills: students will be able to

  • Use of basic grammatical structures
  • Oral and written communication of factual information in Chinese
  • Listen and read short text in Chinese

Transferable skills: students will have practised

  • Use relevant reference materials
  • Organise their own learning with guidance from the tutor, planning and managing time efficiently to get the most out of independent study
  • Use a variety of learning aids, in a variety of media, to consolidate learning
  • Work in pairs or groups
  • Work independently

Communication in Chinese will be encouraged from the outset. Classes will be conducted mainly in English, enabling students to learn and practise the new grammatical structures and vocabulary covered in each session. In order to develop and consolidate skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing, classes will be highly interactive.

The course will consist of two hours per week. In addition, several hours a week should be devoted to Chinese outside the classroom to do work set by the tutor, and practise reading, writing and listening skills.

The module will consist of two contact hours per week.

A minimum of 2 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 learning 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 will be given throughout the module through informal, verbal  comments on weekly activities.
  • Formative and summative feedback will be given following the oral presentation.

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

Summative assessment

  • A 3-min (approx.) individual discussion with the tutor on topics covered in class (no notes allowed) in week 24  20%
  • A 30-min listening test in week 23  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.


Kan, Q. (2009) Colloquial Mandarin Chinese: The Complete Course for Beginners. Routledge.

Grammar books

Yip, P. C. & Don, R. (2009) Basic Chinese: A Grammar and Workbook. Routledge


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

A list of useful electronic resources is available on Blackboard.

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