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Mandarin Chinese Program Curriculum & Teaching Standards

Comprehensive Study for Accelerated Mandarin Chinese Learning!

  • Teaching Methods and Focus
  • Mandarin Curriculum
  • Chinese Language
        Proficiency Levels
  • Placement Test
  • Mandarin Chinese
        Teachers
  • Chinese Teaching Materials
  • Teaching Topics
  • Certificate
  • Combining Classrooms with Additional
        Multi-Media Learning Tools
  • Student Development Assessment and
        Quality Assurance Team
  • Proven Track Record
  • Links to the other related pages for
        this program
  • Mandarin Curriculum 

    The Mandarin Chinese language programs incorporates all aspects of the Chinese language including, speaking, reading, writing, listening, grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, phonetics and pronunciation, with a constant focus on Chinese culture, business and way of life.

    To enable students to advance in all aspects of the Mandarin Chinese language, classroom curriculum is divided into four main areas: Phonics & Interactive Spoken Chinese, Listening Comprehension, Grammar & Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension & Writing.

    Phonics & Interactive Spoken Chinese
    Focuses on phonetics and developing accurate pronunciation skills and being able to communicate clearly and effectively

    Listening Comprehension
    Focuses on developing listening skills, and the ability to discern sound and tone patterns, and to comprehending Putonghua spoken conversations

    China Business Program Grammar and Vocabulary
    Focuses on Chinese grammar fundamentals, such as sentence patterns and structures, punctuations, and word usage; as well as understanding and making use of Chinese idiom expressions and vocabulary. Also, focuses on teaching the Chinese character writing method by introducing the fundamentals of the radical system, brush stroke and stroke order.

    Reading Comprehension and Writing Composition
    Focuses on developing reading comprehension and writing composition skills, and increasing vocabulary recognition and speed with which all this is done.

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    Chinese Language Proficiency Levels  

    Summary of the 6 Chinese Language Proficiency Levels:

    Chinese Language Proficiency Level Chinese Characters Approx. Time to Complete Level Approx. Time to Complete Level from Total Beginner Brief Description of Course
    Total Beginner
    (Level 1)
    0 - 400 12 - 20 weeks 20 weeks Learn basic Chinese skills for listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and how to communicate using basic survival Chinese.
    Upper Beginner
    (Level 2)
    400 - 800 Learn more advanced Chinese language skills and be able to conduct daily life conversation using simple.
    Elementary
    (Level 3)
    800 - 1500 20 weeks 40 weeks
    (1 academic year)
    Learn to communicate with fluency using intermediate Chinese grammar and hold conversations related to Chinese society in general.
    Intermediate
    (Level 4)
    1500 - 2500 20 weeks 1 to 1.5
    academic year
    Learn how to functionally communicate in broad and specific situational contexts with sophistication, while using complex grammar and rhetorical expressions.
    Advanced
    (Level 5)
    2500 - 3500 20 weeks 1.5 to 2
    academic year
    Learn to communicate using advanced grammar showing depth, insight and precision; and be able to understand news broadcasts & television programs.
    Upper Advanced
    (Level 6)
    More than 3500 20 weeks 2 to 2.5
    academic year
    Learn to tackle highly complex Chinese grammar, form intellectual arguments, and gain proficiency in comprehending upper level Chinese literature.
    Note: The 6 main Chinese language proficiency levels are generally further divided into sub-levels. Students rate of progress will vary based on individual commitment and ability, as well as, the size of class attended. It is presumed that students will likely progress faster in smaller sized class settings.

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    Total Beginner (Level 1) 

    Prerequisite:

    • Total beginner or with little background in Mandarin Chinese and Chinese phonetics with knowledge of less than 400 Chinese characters
    • Unable to communicate on simple and basic everyday topics in Chinese

    Course Aims:

    • Provide solid foundational learning, focusing on teaching Chinese phonetics by incorporating tone exercises to ensure that students learn correct Chinese pronunciation and intonation
    • Help students to begin developing Chinese listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills with the use of pinyin and Chinese characters
    • Introduce the basics of Chinese grammar and simple sentence structures
    • Teach necessary vocabulary and urvival Chinese for students to conduct simple dialogue exchanges for basic daily life requirements and needs
    • Train students on how to write basic Chinese characters by introducing the radical system (Chinese character composition), different types of brush strokes and stroke orders
    • After completion of course, students should be able to engage in basic and simple conversations; recognize over 400 Chinese characters/expressions; and be ready to progress into the Upper Beginner level.

    Upper Beginner (Level 2)  

    Prerequisite:

    • Understand the basics of Chinese phonetics
    • Can communicate using simple and basic sentences and know fewer than 800 Chinese characters/expressions

    Course Aims:

    • Provide more foundational learning to help students improve advanced Chinese pronunciation and sound recognition by focusing on use of proper phonetics and intonation with accuracy
    • Help students improve and further develop their listening, speaking, reading, writing, and vocabulary usage skills
    • Teach students to master the basics of Chinese grammar, while introducing the usage of slightly more complicated sentence structures
    • Assist students to broaden their vocabulary and formulate various consolidated ideas and thoughts in Chinese for daily communication under a wide range of topics
    • Help students learn to write more complicated Chinese characters with focus on using advanced brush strokes and stroke orders and use of proper writing techniques
    • After completion of course, students should be able to engage in everyday conversations; recognize over 800 Chinese characters/expressions; and be ready to progress into the Elementary level.

    Elementary (Level 3)  

    Prerequisite:

    • Know more than 800 Chinese characters/expressions
    • Have a grasp of basic Chinese grammar and sentence structures
    • Can engage in simple everyday conversations using complete sentences

    Course Aims:

    • Help students express and communicate oneself in Chinese with fluency and correct pronunciation
    • Help students learn more complex Chinese grammar and major sentence structures in a systematic and intuitive manner
    • Assist students in comprehending short stories that focus on improving grammar while introducing practical and more advanced vocabulary concerning a number of topics related to culture, history, and society
    • Teach students how to direct a conversation in varied situations according to their thoughts using words in their proper context
    • Teach students basic Chinese idioms, proverbs and colloquial sayings to be incorporated into their daily Chinese communication
    • Further help students develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills to enable better expression of studentís opinions and ideas in a rational and logical manner.
    • After completion of course, students should be able to engage in daily everyday topics with a bit of sophistication; recognize over 1500 Chinese characters/expressions; and be ready to progress into the Intermediate level.
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    Intermediate (Level 4)  

    Prerequisite:

    • Know more than 1,500 Chinese characters/expressions
    • Have a grasp of Elementary Chinese grammar and sentence structures
    • Can engage in daily everyday topics and express oneself with a bit of sophistication

    Course Aims:

    • Establish a finer and more extensive vocabulary background with the aim of enabling participants to functionally express themselves in broad and specific contexts with people from different backgrounds
    • Focus on reading and writing compositions, as well as understanding more complex grammar and sentence structures by learning rhetorical expressions which would enable students the ability to express themselves eloquently in an effective and persuasive manner
    • Help students to become increasingly fluent by doing paraphrasing exercises to retell stories or articles while inciting students to engage in lively debates
    • Introduce more practical situational texts to provide a greater awareness of Chinese culture and society, as well as the use of more sophisticated Chinese idioms
    • Introduce students to advanced writing in various styles including prose, poetry, and business correspondence
    • After completion of course, students should be able to gain a deeper understanding of the Chinese culture, converse on a wide variety of topics in practical and situational context; express themselves in an articulate manner using more complicated sentence structures; recognize over 2500 Chinese characters/expressions; and be ready to progress into the Advanced level.

    Advanced (Level 5) 

    Prerequisite:

    • Know more than 2,500 Chinese characters/expressions, including idioms
    • Have a grasp of Intermediate to Advanced Chinese grammar and sentence structures
    • Have the ability to engage in practical situational context and express themselves using complicated sentence structures
    Course Aims:
    • Teach students higher-level subject matters related to politics, economy, literature, and society, as well as to have in-depth debates and detailed discussions.
    • Class work includes reading newspapers, watching films and documentaries, and listening to news broadcasts enabling students to grasp the meaning of more sophisticated Chinese messages and information while building up higher vocabulary required for intellectual conversations
    • Assist students to use advanced Chinese in order to express their opinions and insights with precisions, vividness, and richness in a very logical and comprehensive manner
    • Teach students how to write formal business letters and correspondences
    • After completion of course, students should be able to discuss general and specialized topics, raise complex questions, and express their opinions clearly; recognize over 3500 Chinese characters/expressions; and be ready to progress into the Upper Advanced level.
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    Upper Advanced (Level 6)  

    Prerequisite:

    • Know more than 3,500 Chinese characters/expressions
    • Be able to read and comprehend newspapers, periodicals and understand radio broadcasts and television programs
    • Can express oneself systematically using appropriate expressions and language norms.
    Course Aims:
    • Help students to become literary scholar with aristocratic knowledge and understand classical Chinese literature and Chinese philosophy;
    • Assist students to gain further proficiency in understanding and expressing in-depth, intellectual comments on news reports, television, and radio broadcasts
    • Provide a practice forum for students to discuss and debate on contemporary issues
    • Help students to develop a solid knowledge and comprehension of Chinese idioms with full and extended knowledge about Chinese culture and language
    • Teach students how to express themselves in a highly academic level, tackling the most complicated and complex sentence structures while being able to summarize and analyze all kinds of Chinese literature
    • Assist students to gain an even better understanding of Chinese linguistic concepts and theories in order to understand modern Chinese language
    • After completion of course, students would be at a highly proficient Chinese level with the ability to discuss and debate on complex issues; recognize over 5000 Chinese characters/expressions; and have a complete and thorough knowledge of the Chinese language.
    Placement Test 

    Students are first placed according to the Chinese language proficiency level they indicate on the application form. At the start of the program and during the morning of the first day of class, students will be tested in the following areas: grammar, comprehension, writing, and fluency. Based on the test results, each student will be placed in a class best suited to his/her current comprehension and fluency level. The classes will be both comfortable and challenging.

    In some cases and depending on the school, students who master a current level quicker than other students may be advanced to a higher level and placed in another class already in progress. This is intended to offer flexibility to meet students' needs and enhance their learning experience.

    Mandarin Chinese Teachers 

    Friendly, professional, and with many years experience, all the Mandarin teaching instructors are native Putonghua speakers. Qualified with a minimum of a university degree related to Chinese language, these teachers are also certified by the Chinese Ministry of Education to teach Mandarin Chinese as a second language to foreigners. Highly trained and active in curriculum development, the teachers are keen to pass their knowledge and help you succeed in learning the Chinese language.

    Chinese Teaching Materials

    Teaching materials, textbooks, and handouts used in classes are carefully selected according to different learning levels, enabling students to develop their Chinese language skills while having fun, as well as be stimulated and challenged at the same time.

    Textbooks, as well as a Chinese-English dictionary, are provided by PRC Study for all full service students. Cassette tapes can be purchased at an additional fee.

    Teaching Topics

    Students at the beginner level will be taught simpler topics, while advanced level students will be presented with more complex and specialized subject matters. Topics covered in the Mandarin Chinese Programs include: Everyday lifestyle situations, current affairs, Chinese history, culture, and society. More advanced students will also be presented with topics related to business and economy, leading up to reading newspapers, periodicals, literature and understanding television and radio programs. Those students at the Upper Advanced level will also be presented with topics related to classical Chinese literature and Chinese philosophy.

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    Teaching Methods and Focus

    PRC Study programs are carefully designed to promote accelerated comprehensive learning through a highly interactive immersion program. Classroom instructions provide a structured learning environment, enabling learners of all levels to achieve expedited progress in Chinese language skills within a short period of time. Out-of-class activities provide insight into China's culture and lifestyle.

    Students are given ample opportunity to practice their Mandarin Chinese speaking, listening, reading and writing skills particularly in smaller sized classes and reinforce by:

    • Classroom settings with creative instructions including use of TV, movies, tapes, role play, etc. One-on-one language tutorials
    • Language Partner Exchange
    • Social, Sporting and Cultural Activities
    • Everyday living in China The goal is to quickly enable students to competently communicate effectively.
    Certificate

    After successful completion of the course the student will be awarded a certificate issued by the university or institution he/she attended. University credits may be received provided the student has met all the requirements by their hometown university.

    Combining Classrooms with Additional Multi-Media Learning Tools

    You ever find that you want more time to learn a language at your own speed and pace In class instructions with real life teachers is an absolute requirement because such classes provide structure in our learning and motivates us. But what happens you are not in class Yes, we offer tutors and language buddies, but it may not be possible to be with them 24 hours a day. In fact, sometimes you may just want to study and learn at your own pace.In that case, PRC Study also has a perfect solution.

    We have proprietary multi-media learning software to compliment our teaching curriculum for which students can use on PRC Study premise during non-scheduled class times. This software corresponds with different Chinese proficiency levels and to the text books and materials which students use in class. You can use the courseware and progress at your own individual comfort and speed to constantly reinforce what you have learned in class. Our multi-media courseware provides an additional benefit in helping students to master Mandarin Chinese as it offers:

    • Practical and academic theme based content
    • Conversational practices using standardized Mandarin in real life situations
    • Simplified and traditional Chinese characters
    • Text based interaction with sounds, pinyin and English assistance
    • Reinforcement of the basic foundational pinyin to help students improve on their Chinese pronunciation and sound recognition
    • Visual impetus to help students learn Chinese character writing and stroke order
    • Motivating quizzes and word differentiation exercises to help build vocabulary, improve comprehension, listening and reading skills, and understanding of Chinese grammar
    • Detailed learning report after drills and will identify language errors in order to gage progress
    • Easy search for word definitions in English and Chinese
    • Mandarin for every day living, as well as Mandarin for business and traveling
    Total Immersion Curriculum

    PRC Study places great emphasis on providing an excellent immersion environment for students to learn Mandarin Chinese and Chinese culture. We offer a 10 components formula for accelerated Chinese immersion learning which includes: 1-on-1 after class language tutorials; multi-media learning courseware; supervised homework support; language exchange program; language lab; use of library and reference materials; electives; social activities, guided tours and excursions; student development assessment and certification; and Mandarin only policy. For more details, please click on Total Immersion Curriculum.

    Student Development Assessment and Quality Assurance Team

    Students' Chinese language development progress is regularly assessed by homework assignments and tests throughout the program. Semester and academic year programs also have formal mid-terms and final examinations. Attendance is mandatory. After successful completion of the course, students are awarded certificates at the end of their study program.

    In addition, PRC Study Quality Assurance team will closely monitor the programs offered by each university or institution to ensure that they are providing the best educational services by giving them student feedbacks.

    Proven Track Record 

    Marius Holzer, Switzerland – MBA Graduate from Insead University

    As a Mandarin beginner with only a short time available to start to study a new language I was looking for an intensive program that adapts to my needs and interests. I found PRC in the internet. I liked their offer and after some email exchanges with a friendly contact I enrolled in a one-on-one tuition (six weeks, four hours a day). It turned out to be the best possible choice for me. The quality of the teaching was beyond my expectations and I'm fully satisfied with my home stay arrangement. Today, after only six weeks of studying Mandarin I leave Beijing with the ability of reading and writing about 800 characters and I'm able t have a simple conversation in a day-to-day context. (Aug 12, 2006)

    Links to the other related pages for this program


    Mandarin Chinese Language

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    HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi)

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