SOAS University of London

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

Intermediate Modern Chinese Language: Reading

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2020/2021
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Full Year

This module aims at improving students’ command of Modern Chinese by focusing on the teaching of reading comprehension skills that are crucial for the students’ academic work through both reading and practical use. Using Chinese newspaper articles as well as selected modern literary texts, the students will develop skills of processing and analysing information, develop their vocabulary in a more systematic manner, learn about the contexts of those materials and how they might be employed in academic research.


Your language skills would need to be the same as students returning from their second year abroad in Beijing and equivalent to UG students on the module Chinese 301A: Intermediate Modern Chinese Language (Reading).

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  1. Read newspapers and relevant academic publications;
  2. Master varied discourses;
  3. Use the target language with improved accuracy;
  4. Enhance their cultural understanding of important social issues in contemporary China    


Total of 20 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom in language classes.  There will be an additional 5 hours of seminars over the duration of this module.

Scope and syllabus

Reading materials include newspaper articles and selected modern literary texts. The mix of materials and the order in which they fall will vary from year to year according to pedagogical needs. Topics will include current affairs, environmental issues, economics, politics, culture, and others.

Method of assessment

One two-hour written examination taken in May/June (50%); reading comprehension exercise of 1,200-1,500 characters passage (5%); a translation exercise of 450-600 words (5%); reading comprehension exercise of 1,200-1,500 characters (5%); a translation exercise of 450-600 words (5%);  a translation exercise of 1,000 -1,200 words (30%).

Suggested reading

  • Chinese adolescence issues x 2 texts (articles related to education, how teenagers cope with academic stress, etc)
  • Chinese media and popular culture x 3 texts (articles on social media, censorship and soft power)
  • Chinese politics and economy x 3 texts (nationalism, economic development, consumerism, wealth gap, social polarisation and democracy)
  • Chinese environment (challenges and measures) x 2 texts
  • Selected literary texts (short stories, essays, etc)

These readings will be sourced from various textbooks, literary anthologies, newspapers, magazines, internet websites, etc, and will be provided to the students through Moodle. 


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules