ULCH51010 - LEAP Chinese 1 (A1)

  • Credits: 20
  • Pre-requisite: This unit is suitable for those who have never studied Mandarin Chinese or Cantonese before.
  • Co-requisite: If you are studying a Modern Languages Degree, either single or joint honours, please refer to relevant guidance about eligibility for LEAP units on your programme structure.
  • Taught during: Both semesters (September to May).
  • Level of attainment: (A1) By the end of the course, students should be able to perform at Level A1 of the Common European Framework.
  • Timetable: Click here


This course is for absolute beginners. It is designed for those who wish to attain a basic understanding of 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 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 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 team work, focussed listening, informal presentations, language awareness, and cultural appreciation.

Teaching and learning methods

One three-hours or two 90 minutes seminars per week, delivered through blended learning which integrates on campus and on-line instruction as necessary.

This will also include online digital learning available via Blackboard and will be 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).


All assessments are summative.

Non-credit students and members of the public need to be aware that written exams will not take place during lesson time.

Semester 1

  • Written exam; 30% weighting; held in university's semester 1 exam period in January

Semester 2

  • Listening exam; 10% weighting; held in week 11
  • Speaking exam; 30% weighting; held in week 12
  • Written exam; 30% weighting; held in university's semester 2 exam period in May/June

Dates to be confirmed.

Nature and timing of feedback

Feedback will include a combination of informal ongoing feedback resulting from class-based learning activities and formal written feedback given following summative assessments.


Dr Ablimit Baki Elterish

Taught by

Susan Tamin

Maximum entry

23 per group

Set texts

New Practical Chinese Reader Vol 1- Liu Xun.

Textbook ISBN: 978-7-5619-2623-9; Workbook ISBN: 978-7-5619-2622-2


ULCH51020 - LEAP Chinese 2 (A2)