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SOAS Language Centre

Chinese Elementary 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 is designed to further develop the language skills in Chinese based on the beginners course. The course again consists of three terms (each term consists of 12 weeks) with a continued focus on developing listening, spoken and reading skills of the course participants. By the end of the course, participants should be able to communicate freely in daily life situations, to describe some events and to express their own ideas and views while engaged in discussion in a limited range of topics. They will be introduced to a further 440 characters and about 750 words over 36 weeks.


The course is taught in English and Chinese and includes coverage of the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing and a good balance between understanding the systems of Chinese grammar and vocabulary, developing the skills of comprehending and producing Chinese 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.

The course uses the third and fourth volumes of "Chinese in Steps". Course participants will learn 22 characters per lesson and are expected to spend at least 2-3 hours each week outside the class on preparation. Homework is set each week and there will be regular informal assessment and an end-of-term exercise towards the end of each of the three terms.



Course materials, if not supplied, are not included in the fee but can be purchased from SOAS bookshop bookshop@soas.ac.uk. Please see under the syllabus tab for course content and materials.

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.