Modern Chinese - Elementary level I

lchin1100  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Modern Chinese - Elementary level I
9.00 credits
120.0 h
Q1 and Q2
Hao Xiaoxia (coordinator);
None, as it is a course for beginners. Together with the course LCHIN1300, it makes up the elementary level of Chinese at the ILV.
Main themes
The course covers every day and familiar topics such as: introducing oneself, talking about family, shopping, telephoning, telling the time, talking about the weather.
Course activities cover the following:
  • Identification and reproduction of the tones of the Chinese language and pronunciation exercises
  • Introduction to pinyin and the transcription of tones
  • Introduction to writing Chinese ideograms
  • Learning a reasonable number of everyday words
  • Construction of simple sentences (orally and in writing)
  • Learning a first series of classifiers
  • Question/answer exercises
  • Reading leant texts aloud
  • Dictation
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

By the end of the course, the student should have acquired:
  • the rules of Chinese writing: the direction of strokes, the roots; how to break down an unknown ideogram, determine the number of strokes and the root
  • pinyin with its tones, pronunciation
  • basic grammatical structures
  • basic vocabulary
  • comprehension of messages relating to simple and familiar situations
  • the ideograms (simplified) taught during the course (+/- 300)
  • the ability to construct simple sentences
  • the ability to ask simple questions and answer them
  • the ability to read simple sentences using the vocabulary learned
This course aims to teach the basics of the Chinese language: pronunciation, the tones, basic sentence structure, writing, its alphabetic transcription, called 'pinyin' (internationally recognised official transcription). Right from the first lesson, the students start to speak and interact in simple and familiar situations, and read and write ideograms
Explanatory note
As the Chinese language does not belong to the family of Indo-European languages, it is not easy to put the course specification information in such a way that fits into the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
The learner of Chinese is confronted with a particular situation throughout the learning process: he/she is looking at a language which seldom has any equivalence with a European language as regards pronunciation ' in addition, Chinese is a tonal language ' and as regards writing, which is not alphabetic but ideographic. This automatically involves learning and memorising each ideogram one by one.   Learning to write is a life-long process for Chinese people too and explains why this is a slow process compared to alphabet-based writing systems. In addition, the learner is faced with a completely different type of grammar, Chinese being invariable. Its grammar, which is nevertheless complex, is unlike the grammar of any European language. These points mean that a different type of teaching and learning method is necessary to overcome the difficulties inherent in learning a language of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages.
Teaching methods
Audiovisual method
Each lesson comprises a mini-scenario presenting the theme of the lesson
The visual support allows vocabulary to be introduced directly in Chinese, without the need to translate.
Each 4-hour lesson is made up as follows: 50% oral, 50% written work. In additional, there is homework.
Evaluation methods
  1. Q1 test (1 partial written exam + 3 oral production tasks during Q1) represents 8 points of the final mark.
  2. Final exam:
    6 points (oral) - oral presentation in class on one of the given topics, 1-3 minutes.
    6 points (written) - two hours
  3. Learners have to obtain 10/20 to be admitted to the elementary level II
Other information
  • The teacher can be consulted during her office hours during the whole academic year.
  • Non-UCL students who take the end-of-year exam may ask for an ILV certificate.
  • HSK Level 1 of the "Chinese Proficiency Grading Standards for International Chinese Language Education" implemented on July 1st, 2021 .
Deux syllabus accompagnent le cours:
  1. Un syllabus d'écriture, reprenant les caractères du cours
  2. Un syllabus de cours, comprenant
    Le vocabulaire et les caractères
    Les textes étudiés
    Fiches culturelles
Des exercices de vocabulaire, de grammaire, les devoirs hebdomadaires ainsi que les fichiers audio de révision sont disponibles sur Moodle.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Master [120] in Ancient Languages and Literatures: Oriental Studies

Master [60] in Ancient Languages and Literatures : Oriental Studies

Minor in Chinese studies

Bachelor in Ancient Languages and Literatures: Oriental Studies

Bachelor in Information and Communication

Minor in Antiquity: Egypt, Eastern World, Greece, Rome