SOAS University of London

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

Advanced Modern Chinese Language: Reading and Writing

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Full Year

The module is designed to develop and consolidate the reading and writing skills of the student. It aims to prepare the student to handle authentic texts in various forms and from various sources; to write effectively and appropriately in Chinese; to demonstrate an effective understanding of the structures, registers, etc. of the target language; to demonstrate a critical understanding of the cultures and societies of Chinese and Chinese speaking communities; to understand a wide range of lengthy, complex texts likely to be encountered in social, professional or academic life, identifying finer points of detail including attitudes and implied as well as stated opinions; to understand and interpret critically different forms of written language including abstract, structurally complex, or highly colloquial literary and non-literary writings. The student will deal with authentic texts in the following ways:

  • summarise the main points of Chinese texts in English and in Chinese;
  • summarise the main points of English texts in Chinese;
  • respond in writing to the issues, arguments and views expressed by the author or authors in one or different texts on the same topic;
  • translate into English (with and/or without the help of dictionaries and online resources).

The student will take the initiative to read self-selected texts (with accompanying assignments) in addition to what has been selected by the teacher for the module.


Intermediate Modern Chinese Language: Reading and/or Intermediate Modern Chinese Language: Grammar and Writing (or equivalent e.g. HSK5).  This course will be taught along with Chinese 401B: Advanced Modern Chinese Language (Reading and Writing).

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

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

  1. read authentic texts in general media coverage;
  2. communicate information, ideas and arguments cogently and coherently in writing;
  3. gather, process and evaluate critically information from a variety of sources;
  4. be an effective and self-aware independent learner.


Total of 22 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week consisting of a 2 hour lecture.

Scope and syllabus

Main themes and topics are:

  • The Chinese language in a linguistic approach
  • Current affairs
  • Social issues (e.g. problems and development in rual and urban China)
  • Traditional religions (in China)
  • Historical events/figures
  • Men of letters (and excerpts from their works)
  • China and Chinese in Western perspectives

Method of assessment

One two-hour written examination taken in May/June (40%); assessed homework (15%); end of term 1 test and end of term 2 test (15%); composition from 1500 to 2000 characters based on selective readings in Chinese and at least 3 articles of same topic (30%).

Suggested reading

Articles from

  • 人民网
  • 中国青年报 / 中青在线
  • 新浪
  • 南方周末  
  • BBC中文网
  • 金融时报 
  • 中央日报
  • 华南早报
  • 星岛日报


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules