SOAS University of London

China & Inner Asia Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures

Elementary Spoken Hokkien (Minnanyu, Taiwanese)

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2019/2020
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Full Year

This module introduces spoken elementary Hokkien, also known as Minnanyu or Taiwanese.


At least one year of intensive Mandarin Chinese. The module is intended primarily for students with a good grasp of Mandarin grammar and pronunciation, and a reading ability of a minimum of 300 characters.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module, the student should be able to hold a simple conversation in Hokkien and function adequately in standard social situations requiring the use of Hokkien.


Total of 20 weeks teaching with 3 hours classroom contact per week.

Method of assessment

One essay (2,500 words) 20% to be submitted on day 5, week 1, term 3; a mid-year oral (10 mins) held in week 2, term 2, 30%; a final oral (20 mins) held in week 3, term 3, 50%.

Language lifeboat

Year 1 students who are in danger of failing a language open option can be permitted to discontinue the module from the end of term 1 and enroll instead on an essay-based 'Studies' module. Students must have attended 80% of the open option classes to be eligible. The Studies module will be assessed by two 2500 word essays.

Suggested reading

  • Klöter, Henning: Written Taiwanese. Leiden: Universiteit Leiden, 2003. 
  • Li, Charles N., Sandra A. Thompson: Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1989. 
  • Lin, Shuang-fu: A Grammar of Disjunctive Questions in Taiwanese. Taipei: Student Book Co., 1975 
  • Ramsey, S. Robert: The Languages of China. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1987. 
  • Norman, Jerry: Chinese. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1988. 
  • Weingartner, Frederic F.: Tones in Taiwanese. Taipei: Ching Hua Press, 1970.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules