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Chinese 1

Target group
Start level
Target level
Language of instruction

Type of course

The course can be taught in-person or online. At 'timetable & registration' you find an overview of our courses.

In a classroom course, the teacher and all students are present in the classroom. To be able to participate online, you are advised to use a headset with microphone.To check that everything is working properly, please use: Quick Tech Check.

It is not possible to switch between courses once the course has started.

Course description

For the Chinese 1 course no prior knowledge of the language is required. Chinese is a tonal language which makes that the meaning of a word changes if  you pronounce a syllable in the word in a different tone. Attention is paid to the different components of the characters and the structure of the Chinese language. In this course the topics covered include: introducing yourself; talking about study and work; expressing an opinion. The necessary grammar is explained and ample attention is paid to vocabulary. All skills are covered: speaking, writing, reading and listening. Attention is also paid to the cultural context of the countries in which the language is spoken.

After completing this course, you will be able to understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. You can introduce yourself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details. You can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

The course makes use of the digital learning environment BrightSpace. Within this learning environment you will find the homework and additional learning materials. Course participants are expected to prepare the lessons at home (approximately two hours per lesson).

The course is concluded with a test. A certificate is awarded if the test is completed successfully and the participant has attended 80% of the lessons.

Course material

  • Contemporary Chinese 1 Textbook. Sinolingua. ISBN 9787513806176. Chapter 0-2.
  • Contemporary Chinese 1 Characterbook. Sinolingua. ISBN 9787513806190.
  • Contemporary Chinese 1. Exercise book. Sinolingua. ISBN 9787513806183.
  • Set of 2 MP3 Discs, Sinolingua. ISBN 978-7-88785-128-4, available via mingyabooks.com

The textbook Contemporary Chinese 1 consists of 8 chapters and corresponds to a complete level of the CEFR/ERK. The aim of this book is to guide you to level A1. The content is divided into three courses. After the course Chinese 1 you will reach level A1.1, after following Chinese 2 level A1.2 and after Chinese 3 level A1.3  (A1).

The course material is not included in the course price. Course participants are required to purchase the course materials (including the set of 2 MP3 discs) themselves in advance. 

Target group and admission requirements

The course is intended for adults with a higher education diploma, including both students and staff members of Leiden University, as well as interested parties who have no connection to Leiden University.

The course is open to any person aged 17 or older with a completed secondary school education. There are no entry requirements with respect to knowledge of Chinese. A basic knowledge of English is required.

Other information

  • The maximum number of participants for an online course is 16 and for a classroom course is 18.
  • The course load is 56 hours. On request a Course load declaration form can be issued. The student should enquire with their department whether course participation can be converted into credits.
  • The holiday periods can be found in the Academic Language Centre's academic calendar.
  • If classes are cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, they will be added on to the end of the course. Please take into account courses may end later than scheduled.
  • The course level is indicated with the help of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
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