Languages at Leicester

Mandarin Chinese Beginners (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.

Key information

Course started January 2023

  • Course: Thursdays 6.30pm - 8.30pm
    Delivery: On-campus (face-to-face)
    Timeline: Resumes 4 May - ends 6 July 2023
    Lengths: 10 weeks (30 learning hours)
    Fees: £110

You are welcome to join this course, which started in January 2023, provided that you have previous knowledge of the language to learn and progress with the current group.

The online course is taught in a small group. It requires a minimum of 8 and it can have up to a maximum of 12 students; while the on-campus requires a minimum of 8 and it can have up to a maximum of 16 students. Course fee includes all tuition, access to Blackboard, handouts and any tests/exams, but not a textbook.

Courses started online will remain online throughout.

Please note that courses taught On-campus could be moved online if the Covid-19 situation prevents face-to-face teaching, and for as long as it is required. This decision will be made by the Government and/or the University of Leicester to guarantee the safety of students and staff.

Terms run from October to December and from January to March. The full course comprises 60 learning hours. Lessons are two hours long and take place once a week. When enrolling you are committing to the full 20 weeks. There is the option to pay for the full course in one payment or two instalments. You are welcome to join in the second term of a course if you have previous knowledge and experience of the language.

Alternatively, you can join a Fast Track Beginners course.

Enrol now

Entry level

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

Course content

Term one

  • 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

Term two

  • 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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