1. Undergraduate
  2. Postgraduate
  3. Research Degrees
  4. CPD
  5. Short Courses

Chinese Mandarin Lower Intermediate (Year 3) Short Courses

Choose a start date

Key information

Course code:

This intermediate level course will help you to develop fluency in the Chinese Mandarin language, understand grammatical structures and gain knowledge of Chinese culture.

Why choose this course?

Delivered over ten weeks, this Mandarin Chinese evening course will enable you to communicate with more variation and fluency, so you feel confident in most everyday situations with Chinese Mandarin speakers. It will also broaden your understanding of the Chinese culture and way of life.

The course consists of one evening class a week for a total of 30 weeks; spread across three modules, the Chinese Mandarin Lower Intermediate short course is ideal for those with various commitments or working full time.

All of our language short courses are taught by qualified native speakers and delivered at City, University of London’s main campus, in the heart of the capital.

Course overview

On this Lower Intermediate Mandarin Chinese short course you will learn new structures and vocabulary around different topics to extend your range of expression. You will build on and advance your listening, speaking skills as well as reading and writing skills using Chinese characters.

You will learn new structures and vocabulary around different topics to extend your range of expression. You will build on and advance your listening, speaking skills as well as reading and writing skills using Chinese characters.

Is it the right level for me?

The Chinese Mandarin Lower Intermediate (Year 3) course is ideal if you have completed the Chinese Mandarin Refresher (Year 2) course or you have post GCSE level experience of Chinese Mandarin.

This course consists of three modules taught at progressive levels, starting with Module One in October. We only advise joining Module Two or Module Three if you are already familiar with the content from earlier modules (see the What will I learn? section below for module content). You can check your level using our online guidelines.

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

Please note that some topics of the Chinese Mandarin Year 1 short course will be revised at the beginning of the academic year. The course outline below is only a guide and topics will be studied according to students' needs and progress.

Module 1

Topics covered

  • Chinese language learning experience;
  • Impression of China;
  • Trip planning; holiday;
  • Health;
  • Get-togethers and socialising;
  • Chinese and Western food.

Grammatical structures

  • Using "得" to link a verb and an adverb;
  • Making comparisons using " 比…..得多";
  • "的" as the past particle and to introduce a noun clause;
  • End of sentence "了";
  • Using "什么"in negative sentences;
  • Difference between "并且" and "和";
  • Noun clause signalled by "的";
  • "去" as a direction indicator;
  • "把" sentence;
  • Words indicating procedures and sequences.

Learning objectives

  • Talking about learning experiences;
  • Describing a holiday location;
  • Giving reasons for doing or not doing something;
  • Explaining some health problems;
  • Telling a cooking recipe;
  • Discussing dining etiquette.

Module 2

Topics covered

  • Chinese traditions;
  • New Year celebration;
  • Interests and hobbies;
  • Education and studying abroad;
  • Employment;
  • Applying for a job.

Grammatical structures

  • Using "才" and "就.";
  • Using the continuous particle "正在" ;
  • The end-of-sentence "了";
  • Sentences of comparison and contrast;
  • Using verbal phrases to modify a noun;
  • Shortened forms;
  • Passive voice introduced by " 由";
  • Conditional sentence introduced by "如果……的话".

Learning objectives

  • Greetings on New Year's Day;
  • Talking about traditions;
  • Expressing preferences of literature;
  • Talking about football match;
  • Writing a letter;
  • Discussing student life;
  • Talking about job market;
  • Making a job application.

Module 3

Topics covered

  • Transport and environment;
  • Computers and the internet;
  • Marriage and children;
  • Social reform and changes.

Grammatical structures

  • The formal passive voice marker "被";
  • Informal passive voice markers;
  • Notional passive voice;
  • Use of "得 děi";
  • Complex structures "不但….而且" and "不仅….还";
  • "了" as potential compliment of a verb;
  • "得 de" before a verbal phrase or clause; Complex patterns such as "宁愿…也";
  • Differences between "问", "让", "叫" and "请";
  • "把" sentence;
  • Using "虽然….但是"

Learning objectives

  • Talking about different transport;
  • Discussing the benefits of riding a bike;
  • Going to the internet bar Sending emails;
  • Comparing the changes in perception for marriage;
  • Preparing for a wedding;
  • Discussing successful township and village enterprise.



Prerequisite knowledge

The Chinese Mandarin short course is ideal if you have one of the following:

  • successfully completed Chinese Mandarin Beginners Refresher Year 2 short course
  • approx. 60 hours prior formal study
  • ability to carry out an elementary conversation; talk about yourself; your daily activities and your hobbies; say what you like or dislike
  • knowledge of the present tense and common adverbs of frequency
  • have a notion of the perfect tense.

Modules are taught at progressive levels, starting with Module One in the autumn (October).

If you wish to join Module Two of the Chinese Mandarin short course (in January), you must have completed Module One or be familiar with the content taught in Module One, specified in the What will I learn? section.

If you wish to enrol on Module Three of the short course (in April/May), you must have completed both Module One and Module Two or be familiar with the content taught in these two modules, found in the What will I learn? section.

Please check your level by using our online guidelines before enrolling.

English requirements

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

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

The emphasis of the Year 3 Chinese Mandarin short course is on listening and speaking. The lessons focus on language that is required in authentic situations.

Classroom activities will include:

  • role-playing;
  • classroom discussion;
  • pair and group work;
  • work on pronunciation and intonation;
  • grammar in context.

Games and character writing practice will help to learn effectively with fun. 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

Recommended reading

Colloquial Chinese 2: The Next Step in Language Learning (Colloquial Series)

  • ISBN-10: 0415328187

Business Chinese 20 Essential Topics

by Yinghong Huang and Carrie Wei

  • Publisher: Cypress Book
  • ISBN: 1845700260