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Mandarin Chinese and HSK Program Curriculum and Teaching Standards

Guidance, Coaching, and Preparation for the HSK Exam

The Mandarin and HSK Program is comprised of two main study components:

Both core components run simultaneously.

HSK Preparation and Training Classes 

The HSK preparation and training classes are taught at Global Village, a reputable organization highly recognized for training students to prepare for the HSK exam. Classes can be held in the mornings, afternoon or early evenings.

The HSK classes offer specific, comprehensive and intensive training on the four test items:

  • Listening Comprehension
  • Grammatical Structure
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Fill-in-the Blanks Section

Full service students will be provided with the HSK Guide, helpful handouts, sample tests and answer keys, accompanied by a cassette tape for the listening section of the sample test. Non-full service students will be required to purchase the textbooks and materials.

The teachers providing the HSK preparation and training classes are all experienced. They are extremely qualified as they are familiar with and knowledgeable about the HSK testing system. They will teach students to best methods and strategies to employ in order to get better scores on theHSK exam.

The HSK teaching instructors will give students simulated HSK tests with instructions on how to handle the exam by explaining the crucial and difficult areas encountered most by students. The aim is to get students familiar with the various test types, master the answering methods, and rapidly improve HSK scoring ability. These classes will help strengthen students' existing Mandarin Chinese language skills and further improve it as well.

HSK Certificate

The HSK Exam only takes place several times a year. When students take the actual HSK Exam, the test results and the HSK certificate will be given to the student by the HSK Center.

Please note that the HSK component includes training preparation classes for the HSK exam only. It does not include participation the HSK exam or the HSK exam fee. For the designated HSK exam dates, please contact PRC Study at [email protected].

Mandarin Curriculum 

The Mandarin Chinese language classes 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, the ability to discern sound and tone patterns, and to comprehending Mandarin spoken conversations

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.

Chinese Language Proficiency Levels 

Summary of the 6 Chinese Language Proficiency Levels:

Chinese Language
Proficiency Level

Chinese Characters

Time to Complete Level

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 grammar with complete sentences.

(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.

(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.

(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.

Total Beginner (Level 1) 


  • 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 "survival" 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) 


  • 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 student's 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.
Intermediate (Level 4) 


  • 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)


  • 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.
Upper Advanced (Level 6) 


  • 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. 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 depending on the school, as a way to offer flexibility to meet individual needs, students who have mastered a current level quicker than other students may be advanced to a higher level and placed in another class already in progress.

Mandarin Chinese Teachers 

Friendly and professional, all of the Mandarin Chinese language teachers are native Putonghua speakers. Holding degrees in disciplines related to the Chinese language, the teachers are also certified by the Ministry of Chinese Education to teach Mandarin Chinese as a second language to foreigners. Highly trained with many years of experience, the teachers are active in curriculum development, and are keen to pass their knowledge and help students succeed in learning the Mandarin Chinese language.

Mandarin 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.

Mandarin Chinese Teaching Topics 

Students may choose to participate in the Mandarin Chinese classes or the Business Mandarin classes. Please note however, that a minimum of 800 Chinese characters / expressions are required for enrollment in the Business Mandarin classes which are only available at the PRC-CIE Academy and UIBE.

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 classes include: Everyday lifestyle situations, current affairs, Chinese history, culture, and society. More advanced students will also be presented with topics related to economy and current affairs, 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.

Topics covered in the Business Mandarin Chinese classes will be similar to that taught in the Mandarin Chinese classes, but the syllabus will be more geared towards learning Mandarin Chinese language as used in a workplace and business situations.

Teaching Methods and Focus

PRC Study's Mandarin and HSK programs are carefully designed to promote accelerated comprehensive learning through total immersion. Classroom instructions provide structured learning, enabling learners of all levels to achieve expedited progress in Chinese language skills within a short period of time while out-of-class activities will give students insights into China's colourful culture and lifestyle.

A highly interactive approach is adopted, with focus placed on giving students ample opportunity to practice Mandarin Chinese speaking, listening, reading and writing skills through:

  • Classroom settings

  • One-on-one language tutorials

  • Language Partner Exchange

  • slocial / Cultural Activities

  • Everyday living in China

The goal is to quickly enable students to communicate competently and effectively using the Chinese language while preparing for the HSK exam.

Mandarin Chinese 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.

Total Immersion Curriculum

PRC Study places great emphasis on providing an excellent immersion environment for students to learn Mandarin Chinese. 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 and ensure that they are providing the best educational services by giving them student feedbacks.

Proven Track Record 

Andreas Fubel, Student, Germany

My Mandarin and HSK program is good. The HSK program I took was conducted very professionally and I am happy I passed the HSK exam. This will definitely be helpful for me in finding a job. The Mandarin language component of the program I attended was also very well-structured. My teachers were very experienced in teaching foreigners.

Marcolien Liefehber, Holland

I always thought that the best way to learn Chinese is to live in an Chinese -speaking country. I have had an incredible improvement in my Putonghua since I have been here, and I found my Mandarin and HSK program to be extremely useful in my advancement in my Chinese language abilities. I am thankful to all my teachers and new friends from all over the world. This is one of the best things that studying abroad can offer you.

Links to the other related pages for this program: 

Mandarin Chinese Language

China Business

Martial Arts


HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi)

Youth Camp

Video Tours

Study Mandarin Chinese in China
Study Chinese Language in China
Learn Chinese Language

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