SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Chinese Beginners TERM 1

20 hours ( 2 hours per week for 10 weeks)

2016 Entry requirements

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  • Overview
  • Syllabus
  • Materials
  • Fees and funding
  • Apply


Mode of Attendance: Part Time

This course is one of a large number of Chinese language courses and activities available at SOAS Language Centre. Cantonese for Beginners runs over three terms.

The course is aimed at a wide range of students with a general interest in Cantonese. No prior knowledge of Cantonese is required as the course is aimed at the complete beginner.

A communicative approach is used in teaching: all four skills (speaking, reading, listening and writing) are practised, with a particular emphasis on the development of speaking skills. Students engage in interactive language activities, participating in group and pair work according to a syllabus based on systematic grammatical progression. Students will also be offered guidance in self-study and will be set optional homework tasks.

On completing the course, students will be able to communicate in basic, everyday situations, including greetings, daily activities, finding one’s way, telling the time and date, making simple purchases, ordering a meal, etc. Students will also be able to understand simple oral and written texts and ascertain specific information on everyday topics. They will, additionally, have gained insight into Cantonese-speaking life, culture and society.

After completing Term 1, students are eligible to join Term 2, then Term 3.

Course outline

Term 1
  • Greetings and farewells
  • Names and titles
  • Nationalities and languages
  • Days, dates and someone’s birthdays
  • Time and daily routines
  • Addresses and telephone numbers
  • Cantonese pronunciation: initials, finals, tones
  • Sentence word order
  • Questions forms
  • Negative forms



Fees and funding


Language Centre How To Apply)

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; 33kb) 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; 107kb) , 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.