SOAS University of London

Elementary Chinese Listening Materials

Contact: Yan Cui
Department: SOAS China and Inner Asia Department
Link: Elementary Chinese Online Listening Materials  


Materials have been produced for teaching Chinese listening skills to first-year Chinese students at the Department of Languages and Cultures of China and Inner Asia.


The materials are used in the Language Lab Class to develop learners’ linguistic and communicative competence throughout the whole of the first academic year. The language functions and linguistic knowledge are closely related to the teaching programme of the BA Chinese course and also provide some of the latest useful vocabulary and expressions. The materials include sound files, still pictures and film clips. They show native speakers Chinese in authentic environments; this helps learners both to learn and to understand effectively the target language and Chinese culture.

Twenty-three lessons are designed to be used for twenty-three available teaching weeks, each week containing three hours of teaching. Each of the twenty-three lessons has four stages, which focus on certain linguistic forms and language functions and are followed by exercises designed to integrate receptive and productive skills.

The aural and visual materials aim to shorten the distance between classroom language teaching and society outside the class and to provide opportunities for students to develop their language sub-skills, e.g. to use existing information to deduce the meaning of unfamiliar words with communicative value, to understand utterances made by different Chinese native speakers at normal speaking speed in authentic contexts. The exercise sheet and transcript are in both full-form characters and simplified characters to serve the students’ needs. A sheet for different tasks is distributed in Language Lab Class. The visual material provides learners with target language culture and language background in order to see how Chinese native speakers use language in real communication, for example: exchanging information, seeing a doctor, interviewing people, shopping, etc.

Products, Outputs & Outcomes

The materials have been published both as a text book (with accompanying CD) and are available online.

Cui Yan presented a paper and published an article on the teaching materials.

  • Cui Yan. 2008. Listening training at elementary level in English environment. In George X Zhang (ed.): Chinese Language Teaching and Learning: Theories and Practices - Applied Chinese Language Studies II. Selected Papers from the British Chinese Language Teaching Society 2007 and 2008 International Symposiums. London: Cypress Book Co. UK Ltd.
  • Cui Yan. 2009. The creation and usage of Elementary Chinese Listening. Presentation at a Language Event 18th February 2009.