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Getting started with Chinese 3
Getting started with Chinese 3

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Welcome to Getting started with Chinese 3!

Little by little you will be improving your ability to make more sophisticated conversations and to understand more complex language structures in a variety of different scenarios. You will also find out related cultural information about China and other Chinese-speaking countries.

Each week comprises 3-4 hours of interactive activities, explanations and tips about language learning. It is a good idea to keep notes either on paper or electronically on your preferred digital device so that you can keep track of your progress. At the end of each week you will have a quiz section with questions to revise what you have been learning and check your progress. Each week has consolidation and extension activities, and you will be encouraged to build your own language notebook little by little. You will also be able to add your personal reflections using our online note boxes and decide how you can best go about memorising and practising key phrases and characters.

One important thing to do before you start is to take some time to decide how you will allocate your time to your studies. Learning Mandarin Chinese, like learning any language, is a gradual process; it’s often described as a ‘marathon, not a sprint.’ Little and often is the best approach, so if possible, spread your 3-4 hours over the week, rather than devoting one whole afternoon or evening. This will give you plenty of opportunities to revisit vocabulary and language structures, to revise quickly what you did last time, and above all to practise and consolidate. This is the best way to learn vocabulary and perfect your pronunciation and tones. You can also look at the ‘Pronunciation Guide [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] ’ to improve your accuracy and tones. If you are keen to learn characters, you can make paper flashcards or use some apps such as Quizlet to make digital flashcards. If you are not quite sure about how to type Chinese characters or use Chinese fonts, visit ‘Enabling Chinese fonts and typing characters’.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • describe objects and people, including one's appearance and state and be able to indicate a change of state
  • recognise the Chinese concept of beauty
  • form comparisons freely using bǐ 比 and the adjectives studied
  • recognise some character head components as well as four-character idioms
  • understand register in the Chinese language.