Prerequisites: No prior knowledge of Chinese required. Learner has no previous Mandarin learning experience or has very limited exposure but has not mastered Pinyin.

With a strong emphasis on proper pronunciation and speaking Chinese, expect to spend ample time learning new expressions and vocabulary and grammatical structures. The course covers elements of:

  • Language overview
  • Mastering Mandarin pronunciation (Pinyin, tones)
  • Chinese numerals and ways of counting (1 - 999)
  • Some Chinese songs
  • Two well-known Chinese classical poems
  • Four well-known Chinese idioms
  • Introduction to the first verse of Confucius' sayings
  • Daily expressions: greetings and goodbyes, gratitude, apology, requesting help, enquiries, introducing oneself (name, age, address, family, nationality etc.)
  • Dialogues: dates (week, year), telling the time, ordering a taxi, shopping and bargaining, ordering food, asking directions etc.
  • Chinese characters and words: recognising signs
  • Basic grammar and sentence patterns
  • Using a computer to write some Chinese sentences and find out if they are correct
  • Chinese cultural information

The beginner student will learn 1000 items of new vocabulary, 60 new grammatical structures, and the ability to speak Chinese in daily situations.