UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Mandarin level 1 plus

Prerequisite for entry

Successful completion of Mandarin syllabus level 1 at UCL Language Centre. Basic knowledge of Mandarin Chinese or Cantonese.

Term duration

10 x 2-hour classes.

Aims and objectives

The course aims to build on and strengthen students’ basic knowledge of Mandarin Chinese to feel more confident about pronunciation, listening, reading and writing some Chinese characters to function at a basic everyday survival level. By the end of the course, students should be able to master in writing 100-150 Chinese characters, read words and phrases in the text books in both pinyin and Chinese characters, as well as learn further more about approaching some authentic materials.


  • Shopping
  • Identifying colours, and asking for items
  • Describing a person's appearance and body parts
  • Talking about weather
  • Asking and giving advice for transportation
  • Making plans and invitations
  • Expressing alternatives and preferences
  • Talking about recreational activities

Course content

Main topics/themes to be covered:

  • Time and appointments
  • Directions, and transportation
  • Holiday plans, and daily activities
  • Shopping and colours

Linguistic structures/ Phonetics

  • Confidence with the 4 tones
  • Be familiar with the pinyin pronunciation
  • Further practice on sentence stress and intonation


  • Verb yao4
  • Determiners/ Adverbials: zhe4 and na4
  • Postposition: zai4
  • Particle: le for past tense and present perfect tense
  • Aspectual particle: duo4
  • Modal verbs: kei3yi3, hui4
  • Negative mei2 and bu4
  • Interrogative pronouns:  ji3  and duo1shao3
  • Quantifier; difference between liang3 and er4 for two
  • Conjunction: hai2 shi4 and huo4 zhe3

Learning resources


Discover China: Student's Book One, edited by Chen Xin, Jing Lili , Macmillan.

Bilingual Dictionaries

  • Langenscheidt's Pocket Dictionary Chinese/English English/Chinese
  • Oxford Beginners’ dictionary
  • Macmillan-FLTRP Chinese Character Dictionary



In addition there are supplementary materials for self-study in the Self-Access Centre.