This Mandarin Chinese course is designed for non-Chinese speakers, who have had 90 - 120 hours of Mandarin lessons or instructions, for them to further develop their communication abilities in Chinese. On completing the course, they will be reaching a milestone on their learning path, able to communicate well in Mandarin in a consistent and natural manner. They will be able to enjoy themselves when they are travelling in the Greater China Region, or when they are living in a Chinese speaking environment.
The learning medium is pinyin, a Romanisation system of Chinese, which is widely accepted in the world. As the sentence structures are kept simple during this course and vocabularies relatively small, pinyin continues to be a viable alternative to Chinese characters. However, students should understand that, after this course, using pinyin as the only means of learning Chinese will be a mistake. Foundation Chinese writing courses are offered separately, using the Chinese Reading and Writing series.
Mandarin Express Basic Level B focuses on speaking and listening, further improves students’ overall Chinese comprehension, and sheds lights on some Chinese cultural practices and beliefs. The content of this Chinese course is very interesting and highly relevant. Centring around ten important topics, including brands, description of places, age group and sports, this course expands the scope of what students can express, and helps them speak with confidence. Interviews and experience sharing are at the heart of class activities. Fascinating short stories improve students’ overall Chinese comprehension and provide great topics for classroom discussions.
In the Work Book provided, listening exercises are particularly weighted, that 60% of the exercises are tightly controlled listening exercises, which contain close to zero new words. These controlled exercises are very effective to improve students’ listening abilities, especially at this Chinese course, where many of the listening exercises feature longer Chinese texts at a natural speed of native Mandarin speakers. These controlled and targeted listening exercises are very challenging and also very rewarding, producing lasting learning results and benefiting students’ future Chinese studies immensely.
Evaluation of Progress
Students are assessed based on their articulations of ideas and experiences, and their interactions with the teacher and with others in the class, in aspects of language usage, active participation, and willingness to help.
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