SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Postgraduate Certificate / Diploma in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

Programme Code: POFD0002

Start of programme: Monday 7 October 2019

3 Terms During Academic Year 2019-2020

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.
  • provide trainees with the knowledge and skills which will enable them to teach Chinese using the latest communicative methods
  • equip trainees with the essential knowledge and skills which will enable them to teach Chinese using the communicative approach 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 various commonly used communicative teaching methods and techniques.
  • develop trainees' competencies in the design and effective use of instructional materials and learning activities for Chinese as a foreign language.
  • show trainees how to create coherent and progressive schemes of work and design efficient, effective and interactive lessons that are adapted to students’ learning needs.
  • show trainees how to evaluate second language learners’ performance objectively and how to describe achievement and proficiency levels using appropriate terminology.

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 7 October 2019 - Friday 13 December 2019

Term 2: Monday 13 January 2020 - Friday 27 March 2020

The final week is intended for revision, catch-up and assessment

Easter Break is 30 March - 20 April 2020

Term 3: Monday 20 April 2020 - Friday 26 June 2020

Trainees are advised to allow a final week for any extra sessions that may be needed for catch-up Teaching Practice and should not book any return flights before Saturday 4th July to be safe.

The mode of training is full-time and intensive. Though attendance in sessions at SOAS is not normally required 5 days per week, applicants should be aware of the demands on their time of the course sessions and of the required independent study. The course typically requires attendance on 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 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 materials (books/journal articles, online sources, etc.) on applied linguistics and teaching methodology, self-access learning, specified VLE learning activities, guided independent study, assigned homework tasks and completion of formal assessments. Participation in Teaching Practice classes with SOAS students is also required as part of the course. The programme is very demanding and trainees are expected to be good independent learners who will spend at least 20-30 hours of study outside of class every week.


Trainees take compulsory courses in two main areas.

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

  • Chinese Applied Linguistics
  • Language Awareness, Methods and Techniques in Teaching Chinese

2. Knowledge and Skills for Second Language Teaching:

  • Theories of Language Learning and Acquisition
  • Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching and Language Assessment

The course sessions will take place over three days per week in the daytime, but excluding Friday. The exact days and times of the sessions will only be known in mid-September when room allocations are confirmed.

We recommend that you buy and refer to as an introduction to communicative teaching the following, which although written for would-be English language teachers, has all the same basic principles that can be applied to the teaching of any language.

Harmer, J. (2015) The Practice of English Language Teaching 5th Ed London: Pearson

Teaching Practice

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

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

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."


Diploma in Teaching Chinese: £7,900.00.

The Diploma programme fees can be paid in full before the start of the programme or - for Home/EU fee students only - as two equal instalments:

- the first to be received by by Friday 2th September: £3,950.00

- the second to be received by Friday 14th February: £3,950.00

We offer a 5% discount to those Home/EU students who pay the full course fee for the whole year by the start of the programme.

Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa must pay their total tuition fees for the Diploma programme in full upon accepting their offer and the full fee cannot be discounted.

Students who do not proceed to Term 3 and complete the whole Diploma programme but wish to exit, having obtained the Certificate, may have their fees reduced pro-rata. No refunds of fees paid can be made if trainees drop out of the course before completion of the Certificate stage.

We hope that all trainees will complete the 3-term programme leading to the major qualification: the Diploma. Past experience has shown that Diploma graduates find it much easier to obtain good teaching positions. The running of the Diploma Phase in Term 3 is dependent on there being a viable number of trainees for teaching practice to be accomplished successfully: this is normally 8 trainees, though it may be varied at the discretion of the Programme Convenor.

Students enrolling on this programme are not eligible for funding through the UK Student Loan Company.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must normally have a first degree or equivalent, preferably in Chinese (Mandarin) language or a related area, though it is a ‘conversion’ programme and applicants with previous studies or work experience in other fields are welcome – the main thing is that you are open-minded and willing to learn.

Candidates will be accepted onto the programme subject to a satisfactory admissions interview with the programme convenor. Candidates must pass a SOAS Language Centre test of Chinese language competency. Overseas candidates must have a command of English equivalent to IELTS 6.5 which may be assessed by SOAS staff. 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 the SOAS Language Centre Application Form - Teacher Training Certificate & Diploma (msword; 102kb) . 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 addressed to the Chinese Teacher Training Administrator:

Mr Matthew Oryang
Language Centre, SOAS
22 Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4771

Payment can be made by bank transfer or credit/debit card. We cannot accept any payments in cash.

Overseas Applicants who need to apply for a student visa should start the visa application process, including the steps necessary to fulfil all the financial requirements, as soon as possible and not delay. For advice on the process of obtaining a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa, please see our guidelines page.

Application Deadlines

Enrolment of overseas students closes on Friday 13th September, though you should contact us now to secure a place. The number of students per class is limited and places are filling up very quickly.

While visa regulations allow students to arrive up to 10 days after the course start date, this is not recommended. Ideally, students should be in London to start the programme on 8th October.

All overseas applicants need to have started the process of obtaining a Tier 4 Student Visa already, i.e. getting the financial information ready with the required funds in their bank account so that visas and arrival in the UK are not delayed.

Applications from Home/EU students not requiring a study visa may be accepted up till Friday 20th September, but only if places are still available – later applications will be deferred till the following year 2020-21.

Whilst attending the teacher training programme at SOAS Language Centre, trainees, like all SOAS students, will abide by the code of conduct of the institution, which may be found at:
Participants are also protected by the professional standards of the institution, which operates a transparent and accessible complaints procedure, which may be found at:

Every effort is made to ensure that the information given about our programmes is accurate and up to date. However, some changes may become necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. In such circumstances, SOAS will: (i) endeavour to keep any changes to a minimum; (ii) take all reasonable steps to minimise disruption; and (iii) keep trainees informed appropriately by email advising of where to seek further information if required.

Please contact the Language Administrator if you have any questions about our Terms and Conditions before you apply for the course.

For further information about applying and enrolling for the programme, please contact the Chinese Language Administrator, Mr Matthew Oryang:

Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4771

If you need any further information about the programme, please contact the Programme Convener, Dr Yu-Feng (Yvonne) Chi:

Dr Yvonne Chi
SOAS Language Centre
22 Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG