Language Centre

Evening classes

Chinese (Mandarin)

Registrations open on 15th September in our online store

This course is intended for learners with minimal or no knowledge of Mandarin Chinese. The aim of the course is to help students acquire and develop basic Mandarin language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). Students will learn the Chinese sound system (the four tones) and character components in written Chinese. Each session will involve a variety of interactive practice activities. Teaching is communicative with regular opportunities for pair and group-work. Class work emphasises listening, speaking and the practice of sentence structures; self-study consists of reviewing work done in class and practising language skills as advised by the tutor.


Some of the topics covered are:

  • Introductions – including name, where you are from, polite requests
  • Family
  • Numbers
  • Colours
  • Time – hours, days, months
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Jobs
  • Eating & drinking
  • Places: shops, important buildings
  • Simple Directions
  • Daily routine

On completion of the full 20 weeks students will be able to:

  • Communicate in Mandarin in a range of simple everyday situations such as introducing oneself or shopping
  • Understand a simple dialogue or narrative in Mandarin such as greeting each other
  • Understand Chinese character writing
  • Read and write up to 150 simple Chinese characters
  • Have a general understanding of Chinese culture, people and their way of life

Registrations open on 15th September in our online store.


This course is for those who have completed a Chinese Level 1 course or have some basic knowledge of Chinese, including the ability to read and write pinyin and some Chinese characters. Ideally, learners starting Mandarin 2 will already be able to recognise around 100 to 150 Chinese characters. However, the textbook supporting the course will help those who have little knowledge of characters and are able to express themselves orally. Reading, writing, listening and speaking skills will be developed in a wider range of areas and conversations will be more structured. Learners will move toward an intermediate stage, making way for more complex interactions in a Mandarin-speaking environment. 


Some of the topics covered are:

  • Invitations & appointments
  • Hotels & services
  • Going to the doctor's
  • Intentions & plans
  • Activities & progression
  • Renting a house
  • Compliments & well-wishing
  • Directions, travel & holidays
  • Changing money at the bank
  • Giving one’s opinion
  • Buying a train ticket

Some grammar points covered are:

  • Modification of nouns (the use of 的)
  • Modal verbs
  • Comparison sentences
  • Interrogative sentences
  • Expressions of duration
  • Expressions for frequency of action
  • Measure words
  • The reduplication of verbs and adjectives
  • The particle guo 过 indicating past experience
  • The particle le 了 indicating change of situation
  • Zai 在and zheng zai 正在indicating ongoing actions
  • A summary of prepositions and adverbs

This course is based on Contemporary Chinese Vol. 2 (Wu Zhongwei). Sinolingua, 2014; ISBN 978-7513807319.

The tutor will also give extra hand-outs for different topics and exercises.

On completion of the full 20 weeks, learners will be able to:

  • Cope in situations related to travelling, such as buying tickets, booking hotel rooms, asking for directions
  • Order food in a restaurant and give own opinion
  • Rent a house or room
  • Change money at the bank
  • Go to the doctor’s
  • Talk about their holidays
  • Talk about their future plans
  • Give compliments
  • Introduce themselves to native speakers
  • Read simple signs and instructions
  • Write sentences related to daily life