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SOAS Language Centre

Chinese for Cantonese Speakers Beginners Course

Duration: One-year course with 3 terms, 12 weeks per term, 2 hours per week


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Mode of Attendance: Part-time

Fees: Course fees quoted are per term of 12 weeks.

The course aims to develop participants’ competence in understanding and speaking Mandarin Chinese (putonghua). This course is devised specifically for students who are Cantonese speakers and familiar with Chinese characters (able to read newspaper articles).

Term 1 of the course concentrates on pronunciation and basic sentence structure using Hanyu Pinyin to enable students to learn standard Mandarin. Basic dialogue and vocabulary will be introduced. The focus will shift to vocabulary and discussion in Mandarin in the following two terms. The core textbooks are A New Course in Mandarin Chinese - Elementary and Intermediate with books and CDs by San Lian Publications. The textbooks are specially compiled to help Cantonese speakers to learn to communicate in Mandarin. 


The course is taught in English and Chinese Language and includes coverage of the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing and a good balance between understanding the systems of Chinese Language grammar and vocabulary, developing the skills of comprehending and producing Chinese Language in speech and writing, guided practice in language usage and use and authentic communicative activities. Class size is limited to fifteen to allow intensive interactive practice with individual feedback and advice on progress.




Our course materials page shows you what you need to buy for this course. Course materials are not included in the course fee and can be purchased from the SOAS bookshop bookshop@soas.ac.uk

Language Centre How To Apply


You can view our short course timetables here.

You can enrol:

Not a complete beginner?

If you are not a complete beginner, you will need to complete an assessment for course placement, allowing us to decide which course is right for you.

To apply for an assessment please complete our Needs Analysis Form (pdf; 187kb) and send to the relevant email inbox where a Course Officer will contact you for scheduling.

Course Fees and Discounted Rates

An overview of our Short Course Fees and Discounted Rates.

If you are eligible for a discount, you will not be able to complete your transaction on the Online Store. You will need to bring a paper Application Form (pdf; 35kb) , including your Staff/Student card for us to make a copy of, after which we can process your application at the discounted rate.

Returning students

If you are a returning student, you will have received a letter informing you of the procedures for rejoining prior to the start of the registration period. You can pay using any method indicated above. Returning students, if they are continuing onto the course indicated as the progression course, do not need to be assessed.