Chinese for Non-Chinese Language Background Students I

Spring 2021 (3 credits)

Students who would like to enroll in this course should refer to the Guidelines for Chinese Course Selection. For enquiries, please email

Course Description

This is a credit-bearing Putonghua course designed for UST undergraduates of non-Chinese speaking background and exchange students from overseas who have no prior Chinese learning experience.
The course aims:

  • to introduce Chinese language and culture to students through practice with particular emphasis on oral communication;
  • to help them develop confidence and competence in listening and speaking for daily Putonghua communication; and
  • to facilitate their vocabulary acquisition through learning activities incorporated with high frequency Chinese characters.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • acquire a basic knowledge of Putonghua phonology.
  • identify the tones, initials and finals of Hanyu Pinyin.
  • use Hanyu Pinyin to master Putonghua pronunciation daily communication.
  • recognize around 100 most frequently used Chinese characters.
  • understand and use a range of words and expressions commonly used in daily communication.
  • understand simple Chinese sentences and written texts about everyday conversations.
  • point out common grammatical mistakes and make appropriate corrections.
  • understand a range of words and expressions commonly used in daily communication.
  • understand simple Chinese sentences and everyday conversations.
  • conduct conversations in Putonghua for social purposes including:
    • greeting and getting to know each other.
    • introducing oneself, friends and family.
    • asking for and giving personal information.
  • use numbers in various contexts to achieve different purposes including:
    • asking for prices and bargaining.
    • asking for phone numbers and making phone calls.
    • telling the time and date.
    • talking about schedules and timetables.
  • order food and drinks when eating out.
  • talk about likes, dislikes, interests and hobbies.
  • make appointments by phone calls.
Chinese culture
  • Chinese traditional holidays.
  • Chinese food and drinks.
  • Chinese 12 zodiac animals.

Course Contents & Schedule

Week Unit Content
1-4 Unit 1: Getting to know each other
  • Greeting and getting to know each other.
  • Introducing oneself, friends and family.
  • Asking for and giving personal information.
  • Assessment one
    5-9 Unit 2: Daily activities
  • Asking for prices and bargaining.
  • Asking for phone numbers and making phone calls.
  • Telling the time and date.
  • Talking about schedules and timetables.
  • Assessment two
    10-13 Unit 3: My favorites
  • Ordering food and drinks when eating out.
  • Talking about likes, dislikes, interests and hobbies.
  • Making appointments by phone calls.
  • Assessment three

    For more course materials, please visit the link below:

    Course Assessment

    Assessment Content Percentage
    Assessment 1 pronunciation 10%
    listening 10%
    Assessment 2 oral 1 15%
    listening 10%
    Assessment 3 oral 2 15%
    listening 10%
    grammar 10%
    character recognition* 5%
    Essay of around 1000 English words Chinese culture* 5%
    Participation 10%
    Total 100%

    Learning resources

    Free Chinese learning Apps


    Study in China

    Beijing 北京

    Beijing Language and Culture University, 北京语言大学
    Beijinga Foreign Studies University, 北京外国语大学
    Peking University, 北京大学

    Shanghai 上海

    Shanghai International Studies University, 上海外国语大学
    Fudan University, 复旦大学
    Shanghai Jiaotong University, 上海交通大学

    Guangzhou 广州

    Sun Yat-sen University (中山大学)
    Jinan University (暨南大学)

    Travel in China

    China Travel Guide and Top Travel Destinations


    Students are expected to attend classes, and attendance will be taken. There is no need for students to provide any written documentation in case of your absence. Any student who is absent for 20% of total classroom contact hours will receive a fail grade (The attendance of add/drop period also count). Being late consistently will also negatively affect the final grade.


    Course Leader: Min NUO
    Instructors: Min NUO
    Emma RAO