Mandarin Chinese course descriptions

Beginners

BeginnersMandarin image

Students are advised NOT to buy the course book before the start of the course.

This Beginners course for students with no prior knowledge of the language aims to provide students with a thorough grounding in the sounds of Mandarin Chinese, as well as some basic speech patterns that will equip them to deal with everyday situations. Topics covered include basic greetings, the family, likes and dislikes, food, and shopping. The focus of the course will be on speaking and listening, but students will be also taught the rudiments of Chinese script, after which they can choose whether to continue learning Chinese characters or concentrate on learning the language through the medium of Romanized Chinese.

The main course book will be Colloquial Chinese by P.C. T’ung and D. E. Pollard. An accompanying character text is available: Character Text for Colloquial Chinese (Simplified or Traditional Version). The teacher may supplement the main course book with other materials. Students who come from linguistic backgrounds in which Chinese characters are commonly used may also find it helpful to use the character text.

Imperial College undergraduates and postgraduates may, if they wish, acquire 2 ECTS credits after successfully completing their Evening Class. To qualify, a student must attend the classes regularly and pass a test at the end of the second term. Students will be invited to apply in the second term to take the test.

Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be addressed to the Coordinator of Mandarin Chinese, Dr Ruth Herd, ruth.herd@imperial.ac.uk.

Post-Beginners

Post-BeginnersMandarin image

Students are advised NOT to buy the course book before the start of the course.

This course is intended for students who have taken our Beginner’s course (or similar), have mastered the four tones, can already handle simple structures and who now wish to immerse themselves in studying the language in earnest.

After revision of basic structures, students will move on to study grammatical structures of greater complexity and a wider range of speech patterns. While students can expect to develop their oral and listening skills, to this will now be added the study of Chinese script. (However, those students not wishing to develop reading skills can still follow the course using the pinyin book.)

The text book for this course is Colloquial Chinese by P.C. T’ung and D. E. Pollard and, for those students who choose to study script, its accompanying Character Text for Colloquial Chinese (Simplified Version). The teacher may supplement the course with additional material.

Imperial College undergraduates and postgraduates may, if they wish, acquire 2 ECTS credits after successfully completing their Evening Class. To qualify, a student must attend the classes regularly and pass a test at the end of the second term. Students will be invited to apply in the second term to take the test.

Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be addressed to the Coordinator of Mandarin Chinese, Dr Ruth Herd, ruth.herd@imperial.ac.uk.

Lower Intermediate

Lower IntermediateMandarin image

Students are advised NOT to buy the course book before the start of the course.

This course is designed for students who have a good grounding in Mandarin Chinese and wish to tackle more complicated structures.

By the end of the course students can expect to have mastered most of the basic speech patterns and grammatical structures of Mandarin. Throughout the course, oral and listening skills will be further developed. Those students who wish to may further extend their knowledge of Chinese characters. Students can expect significantly to increase their confidence in communicating accurately and effectively with native speakers of Chinese.

The students’ ability and previous knowledge permitting, the course objectives may include consolidating basic Mandarin Chinese structures such as ba sentences and the passive bei, expanding students’ existing knowledge by widening their vocabulary. Should these areas be covered, students can expect by the end of the course to have enhanced their confidence in using and understanding the target language and to be able to express themselves in Chinese with greater sophistication and subtlety.

In order to foster aural comprehension skills, the tutor will make extensive use of the target language throughout the class. Students will be able to follow the course in either Chinese characters or pinyin.

One or both of the following textbooks will be used. Please listen to announcements in class.

  • Colloquial Chinese by P.C. T’ung and D. E. Pollard.
  • Chinese For Managers: Everyday Chinese vol.2 (Book + 2 CDs) by Zhang Xiaohui, Foreign Languages Teaching & Research Press, 2009.

The teacher may supplement the above with other materials.

Imperial College undergraduates and postgraduates may, if they wish, acquire 2 ECTS credits after successfully completing their Evening Class. To qualify, a student must attend the classes regularly and pass a test at the end of the second term. Students will be invited to apply in the second term to take the test.

Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be addressed to the Coordinator of Mandarin Chinese, Dr Ruth Herd, ruth.herd@imperial.ac.uk.

Higher Intermediate

Higher IntermediateMandarin image

New students are advised not to buy the textbook prior to the start of the course.

Students entering our Higher Intermediate course designed for students who have already acquired a reasonable fluency in the language will have already completed all the lessons up to Lesson 14 of the text book Colloquial Chinese by T’ung and Pollard, or will be able to demonstrate that they have reached an equivalent level. This includes being able to use –le and –guo to talk about past events and experiences, and also being able to use verb complements (resultative, potential, etc.) with confidence.

The course is available in both Romanized (Pinyin) and character versions.

By the end of the course students can expect to have improved their Chinese skills to a point at which they can use more sophisticated vocabulary and structures and, if so desired, to have increased their knowledge of script still further.

The course will use Colloquial Chinese by P.C. T’ung and D.E. Pollard (Routledge, 1982) at the beginning of the first term and then move on to using supplementary materials (TBA).

Imperial College undergraduates and postgraduates may, if they wish, acquire 2 ECTS credits after successfully completing their Evening Class. To qualify, a student must attend the classes regularly and pass a test at the end of the second term. Students will be invited to apply in the second term to take the test.

Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be addressed to the Coordinator of Mandarin Chinese, Dr Ruth Herd, ruth.herd@imperial.ac.uk.