ULCH10022 – Introduction to Spoken Mandarin Chinese

A course unit offered in conjunction with the University College for Interdisciplinary Learning.

  • Credits: 10
  • Level: 1
  • Pre-requisite: None
  • Co-requisite: Open to students not following Honours courses in Chinese. Not open to Mandarin or Cantonese Chinese speakers
  • Taught during: Second semester (January to May)
  • Timetable: Timetable for the course


This course is designed for students who wish to move quickly through the fundamentals of Chinese grammar while developing some basic communicative skills. It aims to teach students simple structures, lexis and phrases which will enable them to communicate effectively in a range of situations in a Mandarin speaking country. Reading and writing Chinese characters is not covered, though some time is given to developing recognition of commonly seen characters and signs. Students will be expected to use the range of resources available to them in the Language Centre and to communicate with native speakers wherever possible, in order to develop cultural competence.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to: 

  1. Handle some of the basic grammatical structures of Mandarin Chinese; and
  2. Communicate orally in a limited number of social occasions.

By the end of the course, students should be able to perform at Level A1 (Speaking and Listening) of the Common European Framework.

Transferable skills

Pair and team work, focused listening, informal presentations, language awareness, cultural appreciation.

Teaching and learning methods

One three-hour seminar per week. Students will actively practice new language (words, phrases and grammar) in pairs and groups in class, as well as through written exercises at home.  Students will also be expected to make full use of the resources and activities on the Blackboard component for this course.


One written test (35%), one oral test (35%) and one aural test (30%).The written and aural tests will take place in week 11, the oral test in week 12.

Nature and timing of feedback

Feedback will include a combination of:

a) informal ongoing oral and written feedback resulting from homework and class based learning activities; 

b) formal written feedback will be given following every assessment.


Sandra Torres

Taught by

See timetables

Maximum entry

16 per group

Set texts

Mastering Chinese, ISBN: 978-1352001365


Following this course, with additional study and/or a short period of time in a Chinese speaking country, students may progress to ULCH20110 - Pre-Intermediate Chinese , or higher depending on their level.


Successful completion of this course unit will enhance your curriculum vitae and your employability by showing that you have a capacity to learn other languages and the desire to engage with other cultures.