Chinese Mandarin Year 1 (Beginners)  Short Courses

Course Information

Start DateStart TimeDurationCostCourse CodeApply
Wednesday 4 October 2017 18:30 - 20:30 10 classes over 1 term £235.00 (Term 1) CS1001 Enrolment Closed
Wednesday 17 January 2018 18:30 - 20:30 10 classes over 1 term £235.00 (Term 2) CS1001 Apply Now
Wednesday 2 May 2018 18:30 - 20:30 10 classes over 1 term £235.00 (Term 3) CS1001 Apply Now
Wednesday 4 October 2017 18:30 - 20:30 30 classes over 3 terms £560.00 (All Terms) CS1001 Apply Now

Course Content

Have you have heard Chinese expressions Xièxie and Ní hǎo from those Kung Fu films and wonder what they mean? Do you want to be able to introduce yourself in Mandarin on Skype to your colleagues in Shanghai? Would you like to be able to tell your Chinese friends about your family, your hobbies and dishes you love? On friends’ birthdays, would you like to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ in Mandarin to surprise them?

This Beginners Chinese Manadarin short course is an introduction to the Mandarin Chinese language and way of life in China. It offers a systematic learning style for beginners who want to lay a solid foundation in Chinese grammar and sentence structures. It focuses on daily communication and uses the phonetic system, Pinyin, to develop speaking and listening skills. Hands-on tasks and role play exercises are used to create realistic situations in which the use of language and culture is explored.

Term 1 of the Mandarin Year 1 course is aimed at complete Beginners - for students with no prior knowledge of the language.

Term 2 and term 3 of this course are aimed at students with some basic knowledge of the language. If you would like to join the Mandarin Year 1 course in January or April, please make sure you have the correct level by using our online guidelines.

If you are a complete Beginner and you have missed the October enrolment, you can join the Chinese Mandarin Fast-Track course in January. You will cover Term 1 and Term 2 within one 10 week term. You will then be able to join Chinese Mandarin Year 1 in Term 3.

If you have missed the January enrolment, you can join the Chinese Mandarin Beginners Summer Intensive (Year 1) in April. You will cover the course materials of Term 1, Term 2 and Term 3 within one term.

Why Choose the Mandarin Beginners short course?

Delivered by native speakers, our Mandarin Chinese Beginners short course is taught over ten weekly evening sessions in the heart of London.

Challenging but rewarding, the Mandarin Chinese Beginners course is perfectly suited to those working full time or anyone looking to improve their skills and knowledge.

Tutor Info

Ping Chai started her Mandarin teaching career in Nanjing University, China, where she had studied and worked before she came to the UK and studied in Westminster University and University of Sheffield.

Ping is a chartered linguist. She has been giving in-house specialized business Chinese training for professionals, diplomats and journalists, and practicing translation over many years. Ping also has guided some learners to take HSK, CEFR, GCSE and other exams and tests. She has tutored professionals to take professional Chinese qualification exams.


No prior knowledge required for a September start. If you wish to join this Chinese Mandarin evening course in January 2014 or April 2014, please check your level our by using our online guidelines before enrolling as some basic knowledge is expected.

English Requirements

You will need to respond to instructions and read course documents in English.

What will I learn?

Term 1

Across the three terms of the Chinese Year 1 short course, you will cover:

Topics covered
Formal and informal greetings; introductions; surname and full name; nationality and birth place; country and language; age and birthday; relationship and marital status;

Grammatical structures
Pinyin pronunciation; basic sentence structures; close question word "ma"; other question words "nǎr" and "shéi"; use past tense particle "le"; common measure words; negate verbs with "méiyǒu/ méi".

Learning objectives
*Greeting each other
*Introducing oneself and others
*Asking about nationality and birthday place
*Talking about countries and people
*Exchanging information on language
*Asking about age and marital status
*Paying compliments
*Responding to comments

Term 2

Topics covered
Numerals; telephone numbers; time expressions; appointment and opening hour; family, friends and occupation; days and dates; plans and duration;

Grammatical structures
Question word “jǐ”; sentence structure “cóng…dào”; the use of “yǒu”; affirmative/negative question structure “ hǎo bu hǎo/xíng bu xíng”; present continuous particle “zài”; use “huì” to indicate future tense;

Learning objectives
*Exchanging telephone number
*Asking and telling the time
*Discussing daily routine
*Making enquiry on opening hour
*Talking about family and asking about someone's family
*Discussing job and work place
*Discussing schooling
*Talking about travelling plans

Term 3

Topics covered
Jobs and occupation; weather and seasons; transportation; locations and public places; directions and positions; currencies and prices; shopping;

Grammatical structures
Using “zài” as preposition; question words "shénme shíhou” and duōjiǔ for time and duration; use “háishì" for alternatives; distinguish the use of "kàn”, “kànjiàn” and “kàn de jiàn"; ordinal numbers; question word "duōshǎo" and its difference with “jǐ”; common measure words;

Learning objectives
*Making enquiry after someone
*Expressing pity or gratitude
*Describing weather
*Discussing favourite seasons
*Making recommendations on travelling
*Talking about means of transportation
*Asking for directions
*Asking and telling prices
*Buying fruits
*Giving suggestions on buying gifts

Teaching and Assessment

The emphasis of this Mandarin Chinese short course is on listening and speaking. The lessons focus on language that is required in authentic situations. Pinyin is used throughout the course.

Classroom activities of the course will include: role-playing, class room discussion, pair and group work, work on pronunciation and intonation as well as grammar in context.

Listening to audio clips and watching videos are an important element in our lessons. More comprehensive grammar exercises and reading texts are generally set as homework.

All evaluation will take place in a relaxed and informal setting.

Recommended Reading

Course book:

Students are advised to purchase their own copy of the book.

Discover China Student Book One (Discover China Chinese Language Learning Series) Paperback – 30 Aug 2010

Work book (optional):

Discover China Workbook One (Discover China Chinese Language Learning Series) Paperback – 27 Sep 2010

Leads To...

Having successfully completed the Mandarin Beginners Year 1, you can progress to the Chinese Mandarin Beginners Plus (Year 1) short course.

Career Outcome

At the end of Year 1 (Beginners) students are expected to be able to understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. They should be able to introduce themselves, people they know and things they have. They are able to interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Application Deadline: