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Module Number:

LX1400 / LX1402 (self-financing)

Number of Aston Credits:

10 credits

Name of Module Convenor:

Dr Emmanuelle Labeau

Other Staff Contributing to the Module:

Ms Qioachao Zhang

Pre-Requisite(s) for the Module:


Programme(s) for which module is offered: UWLP

Language of delivery:

Mainly Mandarin

Teaching Period when offered:

Teaching Period 1

Normal minimum and maximum intake sizes:


1. Module Learning Outcomes:

This module is an intensive language course, which aims to bring beginners up
to a standard in which they are able to communicate and understand basic ideas
in Mandarin Chinese. The module aims to develop language skills in all four
areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Furthermore, basic grammatical
structures and vocabulary will be integrated into the learning process in
meaningful contexts. The course is organized around interactive and
communicative activities that will allow students to build all skills in the most
effective way. On completion of this module students will be able to:
Knowledge and Understanding (Language and content):
Demonstrate knowledge of the basic grammatical structures of Mandarin
Understand and communicate basic factual information in Mandarin, orally
and in writing
Listen to and understand in detail selected short samples of Mandarin
Read short adapted Mandarin texts aimed at learners of Mandarin
Cognitive and Analytical skills (Language and Content):
Write short passages in Mandarin on a range of practical and descriptive
Extract key information from written and spoken sources

Express opinions about basic topics of daily life

Subject specific/Practical/Professional Skills
Use of basic grammatical structures
Oral and written communication of factual information in Mandarin
Listen and read short text in Mandarin
Transferable skills:
Use relevant reference materials
Organise their own learning with guidance from the tutor, planning and
managing time efficiently to get the most out of independent study
Use a variety of learning aids, in a variety of media, to consolidate learning
Work in pairs or groups
Work independently
2. Module Content:
This module is designed as an introduction to the Mandarin Chinese language for
students with no previous knowledge. The course will help students to develop
strategies for coping with Mandarin in real-life situations. At the end of this course
students will be entitled to take Mandarin for Beginners II.
The module content follows the Languages Ladder framework, provides student
with the basic structures needed at this level, and ensures progression in
language ability and proficiency.
Language purposes and functions
Taking part in simple situations (e.g. greeting/responding to greetings;
expressing thanks; apologising)
Giving simple information
Asking simple questions
Describing (e.g. colour, size, location, possession, appearance)
Giving simple opinions
Following/giving simple instructions
Expressing ability
Using numbers and expressing quantity
Expressing time (e.g. clock, days, months)
3. Method of Learning and Teaching:
Communication in Mandarin will be encouraged from the outset. Classes will be
conducted mainly in the target language, enabling students to learn and practise

the new grammatical structures and vocabulary covered in each session. In order
to develop and consolidate skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing,
classes will be highly interactive.
The course will consist of two hours per week. In addition, several hours a week
should be devoted to Mandarin outside the classroom to do work set by the tutor,
and practise reading, writing and listening skills.
4. How are the total 100 Learning Hours per module achieved?
Contact Hours
Private study


5. Method & Type of Assessment:

The continuous assessment will ensure the development of the key areas of
communicative competence. The assessments cover communicative skills and
grammar, and are equally weighted to reflect the equal importance of each of
these skills.
1 5-min oral presentation and discussion in week 11
Students will prepare a topic in advance, by agreement with tutor, for this
presentation. They will be able to use one page of A4, containing key words only,
to assist with their presentation. The page of notes should be approved
beforehand by the tutor.
1. Continuous assessment :
- A set of independent electronic learning tasks designed to practice grammar
and vocabulary as well as develop all four skills: reading, writing, listening, and
- final portfolio (5 pieces of homework assigned by the tutor during the term) to
be submitted in week 11;
A 30-min class listening test in week 10
A 2-hour exam (grammar and vocabulary exercises, reading comprehension,
and a written composition) examination period), No dictionary allowed.

6. Feedback:
Summative written feedback will be provided as part of the marking process for
the exam. Formative and summative feedback will be given as part of the
continuous assessment (portfolio) and following the oral presentation. Regular,
informal, verbal, formative feedback will be given through the weekly activities.
7. Essential Reading:
Kan Qian (1995) Colloquial Chinese: A Complete Language Course (PB+CD),
2 Edit. Routledge.
Grammar books
Claudia Rose (2004 ) Schaums Outline of Chinese Grammar. McGraw-Hill
Contemporary, Bilingual edition
Martin H. Manser, Zhu Yuan, Wang Liangbi and Ren Yongchang (2004) Pocket
Oxford Chinese Dictionary (Paperback). Oxford University Press
8. Useful electronic resources:
A list of resources is available on Blackboard

Students should note that this printed version of the module specification
contains updated information (as of October 2006) based on the new university
calendar. For confirmation of submission dates, please see list available on
Blackboard (LSS UG folder/ exams), which will also be sent to all students by