ULCH51010 - LEAP Chinese 1

  • Credits: 20
  • Pre-requisite: This unit is suitable for those who have never studied Mandarin Chinese or Cantonese before.
  • Co-requisite: Open to students not following Honours courses in Chinese. Not open to Mandarin or Cantonese Chinese speakers. If you are studying a Modern Languages Degree, either single or joint honours, please refer to the course unit selection guidance, which includes information about eligibility for LEAP units, on your programme structure.
  • Taught during: September to May (full year).
  • Timetable: Timetable for the course


This course is for absolute beginners. It is designed for those who wish to attain a basic understanding of the Mandarin Chinese language covering four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. It aims to introduce students to the basics of language structure and the basics of Chinese grammar. Students will also acquire limited vocabulary to be able to read simple texts and conduct a basic everyday conversation in key areas of everyday communication in a Mandarin-speaking country. Students will learn ‘Pinyin’ (pīn yīn), the phonetic system of the Chinese language which will also be used in the assessment. Students will also be introduced to simplified Chinese characters.

The course provides students with a solid foundation for further language learning.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Handle some of the basic grammatical structures of Chinese;
  • understand and read some familiar and daily expressions used in common everyday situations and write simple messages;
  • communicate orally at a basic level in a limited number of common everyday situations;
  • have some understanding and knowledge of ways of Chinese life and culture.

By the end of the course, students should be able to perform at Level A1 of the Common European Framework.

Transferable skills

Pair and teamwork, focussed listening, informal presentations, language awareness, cultural appreciation.

Teaching and learning methods

One three-hour seminar per week, delivered through blended learning which integrates on-campus and online instruction as necessary. This will also include online digital learning available via Blackboard and supplemented by extra online resources to aid students in their independent learning.

Teaching hours

69 hours (3 hours per week) including assessment time

Independent study hours

140 hours (not including assessment time)


Four pieces of assessed work as follows:

  • Semester one: Week 12- Written Exam 30% 
  • Semester two: Week 11- Listening 10% & Written Exam 30%; week 12 - Oral Exam 30%

If government or university guidance requires assessment to be held online, then Listening Exam may be assessed alongside the Oral Exam

Nature and timing of feedback

Feedback will include a combination of:

  • Informal ongoing oral and written feedback resulting from homework and class-based learning activities;
  • Formal written feedback will be given following every assessment.


Dr Ablimit Baki Elterish

Taught by

See timetable

Maximum entry

22 per group

Set texts

New Practical Chinese Reader Vol 1- Liu Xun. Textbook ISBN: 978-7561942772 ; Workbook ISBN: 978-7-5619-2622-2

Recommended texts



ULCH51020 LEAP Chinese 2


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