SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Beginners Chinese (Mandarin) Term 2&3

An Introduction to Elementary Mandarin Chinese

One year of three twelve-week terms

2018 Entry requirements

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Mode of Attendance: Part Time

Part of the range of Chinese language learning courses and activities at SOAS Language Centre in London.

The course is designed to provide an introduction at a reasonable pace over three terms (each term consists of 12 weeks) in basic Chinese with the emphasis on developing practical listening, speaking and reading skills.

By the end of the course, participants should be able to communicate within a limited range of daily life situations. They will be introduced to 430 commonly used Chinese characters and about 700 words in the simplified form in 36 weeks. The course also includes instruction on the use of a Chinese dictionary and on basic word processing in Chinese.

The course uses "Chinese in Steps", a series of textbooks developed within SOAS Language Centre. The course is initially taught in English with a gradual increase in the use of Chinese as the language of instruction in class. The focus of the course is on listening and speaking, with a balance between communicative activities, structure practice, reading and some writing skills. Homework is set each week and there will be regular informal assessments and a progress test at the end of each of the three terms. Course participants are expected to spend a similar amount of class time outside the class on preparation, homework and revision. Class size is limited to fifteen to allow intensive practice.


Not a total beginner? Please see our page on course assessments.




Our course materials page shows you what you need to buy for this course. Course materials are not included in the course fee and can be purchased from the SOAS bookshop


Classes will be held at the Bloomsbury or Kings Cross campus of SOAS on one evening a week from 6.30pm to 8.30pm for 36 weeks, divided into three 12-week terms (with additional weeks where public holidays displace a class session). 

See our online store to book a place on this course.

Fees and funding


How To Apply

Please click here for details on how to apply.