Putonghua I for English Speakers

Co-ordinator: Xin Liang
Xin Liang

Course Information


This is a non-credit bearing elementary course for English speakers. 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

Graduate Attribute
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
  • recognize around 100 most frequently used Chinese characters
  • understand a range of words and expressions commonly used in daily communication
  • understand simple Chinese sentences
  • point out common grammatical mistakes and make corrections
  • understand simple everyday conversations
  • conduct conversations in Putonghua for social purposes including :
    • greeting and getting to know each other
    • introducing oneself and others
    • asking for and giving personal information
  • use numbers in various contexts to achieve different purposes including :
    • asking for phone numbers and making phone calls
    • telling the time and date
    • talking about schedules and timetables
    • asking for prices and bargaining
  • talk about likes, dislikes, interests and hobbies
  • make appointments
  • order food and drinks when eating out
International Outlook
  • appreciate aspects of Chinese culture, such as:
    • Chinese traditional holidays
    • Chinese food and drinks
    • Chinese 12 zodiac animals

Course Contents

The following contents are covered:

  • Basic knowledge of Putonghua phonology
  • Greeting and getting to know each other
  • Introducing oneself and others
  • Asking for and giving personal information
  • Asking for phone numbers and making phone calls
  • Telling the time and date
  • Talking about schedules and timetables
  • Asking for prices and bargaining
  • Talking about likes, dislikes, interests and hobbies
  • Making appointments
  • Ordering food and drinks when eating out
  • Recognizing 60-70 most frequently used Chinese characters


Courses are usually held in the Spring semester.
Enrollment details can be found here.
Click here for registration.


Students are expected to attend 80% classes, and on meeting the attendance requirement, each participant will be awarded an Attendance Certificate.

Course Instructors

Co-ordinator: LIANG XIN

Course Materials

The course uses materials developed by the Center for Language Education, the online part of which are shown below:

Supplementary Resources


Study in China

Other places

Travel in China