SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Postgraduate Certificate / Diploma in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

Programme Code: POFD0002

Start of programme: Monday 10 October 2016

3 Terms During Academic Year 2016-2017

Mode of Attendance: Full-time


This SOAS Language Centre programme of professional development leads to highly sought after and widely accepted post-graduate qualifications (Certificate and Diploma) in teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. These awards have contributed substantially to the professionalising of Chinese teaching in the UK and elsewhere and to the recognition of the expertise of teachers of Chinese as a Foreign or Second Language.

The Certificate in Teaching Chinese is designed:

  • to meet the rapidly growing demand in the UK and elsewhere for trained and qualified teachers of Chinese as a foreign language.
  • to equip trainees with the knowledge and skills which will enable them to teach Chinese to a broad spectrum of Chinese learners in UK, European and worldwide educational contexts.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching Chinese is designed to:

  • equip trainees to be able to deal professionally with the teaching of Chinese in different contexts and through the integration of different varieties of the Chinese language.
  • familiarise trainees with the theoretical principles underlying the content and design of instructional materials and teaching/testing techniques.
  • provide trainees with the knowledge and skills and the supported teaching practice to enable them to teach Chinese using the latest communicative methods.
  • show trainees how to create coherent and progressive schemes of work and design effective and efficient lesson plans that are adapted to students’ learning needs.
  • show trainees how to analyse empirical data in order to evaluate second language learners’ performance objectively and how to describe achievement and proficiency levels using appropriate terminology.
  • enable trainees to fulfil supervisory and pedagogical lead roles, such as those of syllabus designer, course co-ordinator, teacher mentor and materials developer.

Graduates will be qualified and well-prepared for teaching Chinese in higher education in the UK, Europe and other parts of the world, for teaching Chinese at private institutions or companies, for fulfilling administrative or consultative roles in educational organisations and for undertaking commissioning and editing in companies which create and market Chinese language courseware.

Term Dates

Term 1: Monday 10 October 2016 - Friday 16 December 2016 (10 weeks)
Term 2: Monday 9 January 2017 - Friday 17 March 2017 (11 weeks)
Term 3: Monday 20 March 2017 - Friday 23 June 2017 (11 weeks)

NB: Term 3 covers a 3-week Easter break 3 April - 21 April

The overall learning required is full-time, though attendance in sessions at SOAS is not required 5 days per week. The course requires attendance on normally three days per week, depending on assignments set and appointments to observe live teaching, which may be on an evening or on a Saturday. The overall learning required is full-time, though attendance in session at SOAS is not required 5 days per week. The days where no presence at SOAS is required are to be devoted to lesson planning and materials preparation, writing of self-reflections and peer appraisals, readings of theoretical applied linguistics and teaching theory books/journal articles, self-access learning, specified VLE learning activities, guided independent study, assigned homework tasks and completion of formal assessments.  The programme is very demanding and students will be expected to spend at least 20-30 hours of study outside of class every week.


The Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching Chinese is equivalent to 3 post-graduate level course units carrying 135 CATS credits.
The Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching Chinese is equivalent to 1.5 post-graduate level course units carrying 67.5 CATS credits.
Trainees take compulsory courses in two main areas.

1. Principles and Practice in Communicative Language Teaching for Chinese:

  • Chinese Applied Linguistics (0.5 unit)
  • Language Awareness, Methods and Techniques in Teaching Chinese (1 unit)

2. Knowledge and Skills for Second Language Teaching:

  • Theories of Language Learning and Acquisition (0.5 unit)
  • Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching and Language Assessment (1 unit)

Teaching Practice

A key component of the course is the opportunity for live observation of experienced teachers, followed by teaching practice of Chinese with different types of student groups, covering a range of levels. Trainees will be observed and assessed in teaching Chinese, including the quality of lesson plans and teaching materials they have created, competencies in using a range of different communicative teaching techniques and ability to create rapport and establish a co-operative learning environment.

All our teacher trainers are expert classroom teachers themselves. Have a look at one of them teaching and see the kinds of classroom skills you will learn to use yourself.


The following is a typical timetable but may be subject to change each term. On non-teaching days, trainees will work on independent assignments set for submission or recommended for independent study by the course tutors.

Day/Time Topic
11.00 - 13.00:
14.00 - 16.00:
Knowledge and Skills for Second Language Teaching
Language Awareness, Methods and Practice in Teaching Chinese
11.00 - 13.00
13.00 - 14.00
Teaching Practice
Feedback and Learning for Teaching

Trainee Evaluation

Sarah - Student Evaluation

Our teacher trainees are always very positive about the quality of the teacher training programmes at the Language Centre. This is what Sarah, a recent graduate from the Chinese Teacher Training programme, had to say about it:

"This course is unique and down-to-earth; it will equip you with all the practical and realistic knowledge you need for you career in teaching Chinese. I am really glad I enrolled on this course and it has been an amazing experience for me to study at SOAS Language Centre."


PG Diploma in Teaching Chinese: £7,200.00. The Diploma programme fees can be paid in two instalments:

by the start of the course in October: £3,600.00
by the end of the second week in January: £3,600.00

We offer a 5% discount to those who pay the full course fee for the whole year by the end of October.

To qualify for a Tier 4 VISA, all overseas students must pay their course tuition fees in full upon accepting their offer.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must normally have a first degree or equivalent, preferably in Chinese language or a related area. Candidates must pass a SOAS Language Centre test of Chinese language competency. Candidates must have a command of English equivalent to IELTS 6.5. The SOAS Admissions page gives more information about English language requirements.

Candidates will be accepted onto the programme subject to a satisfactory interview with the programme convenor. The English level of non-native English speaker applicants can be assessed as part of the interview. Arrangements can be made for telephone/Skype interviews.

Applying for the Programme

Enrolment onto our Teaching Certiicate/Diploma programmes is by PG Application Form (pdf; 108kb) The completed form and supporting documentation (personal statement, transcripts or certificates from relevant previous study, evidence of English Language level and at least two references) should be sent to the Language Centre by post or e-mail.

We cannot accept payment in cash, or credit/debit card payment by telephone.

For Overseas applicants, you will need to apply for a student visa. To start this process, see our guidelines page.

Closing Date for Applications: 

Overseas Applicants - Friday 23rd September 2016
UK and EU Applicants - Friday 7th October 2016

If you need any further information please contact the Centre Director:

Anne Campbell

Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4882