Why study Mandarin Chinese - Is Mandarin Chinese difficult to learn? In many ways, Mandarin Chinese
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Why study Mandarin Chinese?
Chinese is the most widely used language, with over 800 million
speakers. One in five of the world’s population speaks a form of
Chinese. Mandarin Chinese is the official language of the People’s
Republic of China, which is extensively used throughout the world.
The most popular reasons for learning Chinese Mandarin are:
• Economic growth in China
Knowledge of mandarin Chinese gives you greater advantages in the increasingly competitive business world.
• Rich history and culture
China has 5000 years of history and culture. By learning Mandarin Chinese, you are able to investigate deeper this
ancient civilization as well as to take up a different approach of looking at the world.
• Career opportunities
China’s place is becoming increasingly important and China is more accessible than ever; learning Mandarin Chinese
will bring you greater potential and opportunities in your future career.
Is Mandarin Chinese difficult to learn?
In many ways, Mandarin Chinese is much easier to learn than European languages. Here are some features which
make Mandarin easier:
� no subject/verb agreement � no plurals � no conjugations � no tenses � simple numbering system which is applied to dates and time expressions � simple conditional sentences � simple prepositions
Do I have a chance to visit China?
Yes, students taking Mandarin Chinese as a minor will be given the opportunity to study intensively in China for at
least half a year. We currently send our students to four Chinese universities, they are:
• Beijing Language and Culture University
• Fudan University (Shanghai)
• Tsinghua University (Beijing)
• Sun Yen San University (Summer school)
We are very happy that our students have greatly benefited from such collaboration and the international exchange
programmes. One of our students has provided us with the following feedback:
"Hearing the language every day and seeing it written all around me
definitely helped to improve my language skills. Speaking with the locals
and bartering with the taxi drivers who are always surprised when
westerners speak their language was the perfect opportunity to practise
first-hand all that I had learnt. My time in Shanghai has definitely
changed me. I am much more confident as I now know I can cope in new
and challenging situations. Speaking Chinese and knowing something
about the culture will surely help me to stand out to employers who are
expanding and looking for candidates with skills appropriate to the
modern world of business. I cannot wait to go back!"
Intensive Mandarin Chinese Course outline
Teaching and learning methods
Six hours per week of practical language classes involving both
whole-group and small group / pair-work activities with emphasis on
communicative settings, use of visual aids and audio/video
recordings, use of language laboratory where appropriate
This course provides an introduction to the Chinese language and culture. No previous knowledge of Mandarin
Chinese is required. The course aims to develop basic listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, which lay a
foundation for further study. The course will also aim to develop strategies for coping with daily situations. By the
end of the academic year, you should be able to:
• Read and write basic Chinese scripts, Hanzi (Chinese characters).
• Understand and write short dialogues in Chinese, for example, memos and letters.
• Understand basic expressions and conversations in Chinese in selected daily situations.
• Convey basic daily conversations such as introducing oneself, making invitations and asking about locations in
This module will build upon the knowledge acquired in Intensive Ab Initio Chinese (Mandarin) I & II. The emphasis is
on the acquisition of a sound grammatical knowledge and more complex grammar for communicative competence
and developing further the aural (listening and speaking) skills to cope with various daily situations. The course will
also aim to equip you with more complex language structures and strategies, while revising and consolidating past
knowledge. You will be given opportunities to work in a group as well as individually.
Year 3 – China Year Abroad
This course will build on the knowledge acquired during residence abroad. It will develop the advanced listening and
speaking skills in Chinese, will also enhance your reading and writing skills to express yourselves in Chinese with your
research topics. A major aspect of the course will be autonomous work on the production of an extended oral
presentation relevant to your discipline or any aspects of Chinese society or culture. The course will also consolidate
your skills on job interviews and the preparation of your CV in Mandarin Chinese.