Languages at Leicester

Mandarin Chinese Beginners Fast Track (Level 1)

This is for you if you have no prior knowledge of Mandarin (or so little that you effectively want to start again from scratch). You will learn basic skills to enable you to make yourself understood and to find out information in everyday situations. Fast Track courses enable you to complete the level in just one term, instead of two terms.

Key information

New course starting October 2024

  • Course: Saturdays 10.00am - 2.30pm*
    Delivery: On-campus (face-to-face)
    Lengths: 10 weeks (60 learning hours)
    Fees: £250 

This course requires a minimum of 8 and it can have up to a maximum of 16 students. The course fee includes all tuition, access to Blackboard, handouts and any tests/exams, but not a textbook. 

Term runs from October to December. The full course comprises 60 learning hours. Lessons are four hours long and take place once a week. *There is a half hour lunch break.

Enrol now

Entry level

No previous knowledge of Mandarin is required - the course is suitable for absolute beginners.

Course content

  • Chinese Pinyin - the system of transcribing Chinese sounds phonetically using the western alphabet
  • Greetings and addressing people
  • Visiting people
  • Countries and nationalities
  • Contact information: what’s your name, telephone number
  • Talking about family: family members, marriage
  • Time and date: shop opening times, train departure times
  • Everyday activities: what do you want to do today?
  • Personal interests
  • Asking the price
  • Personal opinions
  • Holidays


  • Chinese Made Easy: Textbook Level 1: Simplified Characters (2006) by Yamin Ma and Xinying Li.

There isn’t a University bookshop, however The European Bookshop holds our book list and offers a 10% discount to all our students.

It is not essential to bring a course book to the first class. The tutor will discuss book requirements in class and advise you of the best places to obtain the book if required. With some languages there is the option for us to order text books on behalf of a class.

Our approach

This course is taught in Mandarin Chinese and English. Our programme aims to develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing as well as cultural awareness. It provides a good balance between understanding the culture, vocabulary, writing system (characters) and grammar structures of the Mandarin Chinese language and enhancing communication and interaction. It supports comprehensive and productive skills in speech and writing through authentic based activities and guided practice in the use of Mandarin Chinese language. Students will be encouraged to seek opportunities to learn and practise the four skills outside the classroom taking advantage of learning resources provided by tutors and the programme. Lessons are planned to allow intensive interactive practice with individual feedback and advice on progress.

Progression route

Upon completing the Beginners Level 1, you can progress onto the Post-beginners Level 2.

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