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Study information

Mandarin Chinese for Cantonese and Heritage Speakers

Module titleMandarin Chinese for Cantonese and Heritage Speakers
Module codeFLM3930
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Yan Wen-Thornton (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

As a speaker of a dialect of Chinese (e.g. Cantonese, Hakka, Min, etc.) in Hong Kong, Guangdong, Fujian etc. or outside China (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand etc.), this module will help you develop your existing knowledge and aural/written skills in Mandarin Chinese. You will improve your accuracy in standard Mandarin Chinese and achieve a higher level of competence in both speaking and writing skills. Simplified Chinese characters will be taught and assessed. This module is taught in Mandarin Chinese.

Module aims - intentions of the module

In this module you will improve your oral fluency and written accuracy in Mandarin Chinese using simplified Chinese.  More specifically, you will:

  • Review and consolidate the standard Mandarin pronunciation system and increase your knowledge of Chinese idioms and phrases to produce complex texts for academic and specific purposes.
  • Present opinions and participate in discussions in class on a range of topics.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of Chinese culture, history, and literature through the study of aural, written and visual resources.

This module is offered to Chinese dialect speakers (e.g. Cantonese), Chinese speakers who reside outside mainland China and those who speak Chinese at home or as a community language.

In order to register, you will be required to attend an interview.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate competence in researching and analysing Chinese-language material with minimal direction from the teacher.
  • 2. Communicate fluently, both orally and/or in writing, on complex topics in Mandarin Chinese, using language flexibly and spontaneously for social and professional purposes.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Develop standard Mandarin Chinese with accurate pronunciation and intonation.
  • 4. Give a structured oral presentation informed by research of Chinese-language material, on selected topics in a formal style.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Work pro-actively with others as part of a team, react and adapt to some unexpected situations as appropriate and solve problems effectively.
  • 6. Makeformal presentation by presenting coherent arguments and expressing and defending opinions on a range of topical and abstract issues confidently and precisely.

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • The Evolution of Mandarin Chinese and Pinyin system and Mandarin pronunciation/intonations.
  • Introduction to the writing system of Simplified Chinese characters.
  • Cultural comparison between East and West.
  • Chinese history and modern Chinese society.
  • Chinese literature and Chinese art.
  • Confucius and Confucianism.
  • Chinese news and world news.
  • Laozi and Taoism.
  • Technology and the Internet.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching66Language classes
Guided Independent Study234Consolidation of learning; learning activities are supported by various media, including audio-visual resources, and, where appropriate, computer software. The module is taught in Mandarin Chinese.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
6 formative tasks Variable1-6Written and/or oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In-class test (Writing)201.5 hours1, 2Written (and oral upon request)
Group Presentation2020 minutes (approx. 8 mins per individual)2-6Written (and oral upon request)
Individual Presentation2015 minutes2-6Written (and oral upon request)
Research Essay403000 Simplified Chinese characters1-2Written (and oral upon request)

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
In-class test (Writing) - 1.5 hoursWritten exam - 1.5 hours1, 2Referral/Deferral period
Group presentation - 20 minutes (approx. 8 mins per individual)Individual presentation (approx. 8 minutes)2-6Referral/Deferral period
Individual Presentation (15 minutes)Individual Presentation (15 minutes)2-6Referral/Deferral period
Research Essay (3000 Simplified Chinese characters)Research Essay (3000 Simplified Chinese characters)1, 2Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certified reasons judged as acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

There is no course book for this module and a study pack posted on ELE weekly.

Key words search

Mandarin, Chinese, Advanced, Cantonese

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

Interview to establish level of native / near-native Chinese language skills

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date