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What is Chinese?

The Chinese language is the group of languages used by Chinese in China and elsewhere, and includes many regional varieties. Mandarin Chinese, in the form spoken in and around Beijing, forms the basis for Modern Standard Chinese, usually called “common language” by the Chinese.

Students who choose Chinese will have the opportunity to connect with a language that is mentally stimulating and interesting, with one of the oldest cultures of the world. All our courses in Chinese are taught by native experienced teachers who are passionate about their subject and promote full immersion, allowing students to quickly develop their communication skills.

How is it studied?

Edexcel A-Level Chinese is taught within the two-year programme for students for whom Chinese is not a first language.

Throughout their studies, students will develop their language capabilities, paying attention to familiar and popular themes as well as learning some of the most fundamental and interesting aspects of the culture of the Chinese-speaking world.

The cultural component plays an important part so A-Level students must study either one text and one film, or two texts. Written examination is offered in a choice of traditional or simplified characters, and the spoken component will be available in both Mandarin and Cantonese.

Edexcel A-Level Chinese is taught in the form of a short ‘Exam Entry Plus’ course for students for whom Chinese is their first language.

How is A-Level Chinese assessed?

Exam Board: Edexcel

Paper Modules Weighting Format
1 Listening, reading and translation 40% Written exam: 2 hours
2 Written response to works and translation 30% Written exam: 2 and 40 minutes
3 Speaking 30% Oral exam: 5 minute prep, plus 16-18 minute exam

What do I need?

A-Level Chinese builds on the knowledge and skills gained in GCSE. A passion for communication and an openness to other cultures is essential for learning a new language. A logical and systematic way of thinking will help you to approach grammar and vocabulary acquisition.

What should I study with Chinese?

Chinese combines well with other languages and with English Language. However, it also complements a variety of other subjects, such as Business or Economics. It will provide an excellent skill for students who are considering careers in management, administration or international relations.

What can I do with A-Level Chinese?

There are many degree courses in which Chinese can be studied alone or in combination with a wide range of other subjects: e.g. History, Business Studies, and Politics. Such courses often offer the opportunity of a year abroad to develop linguistic skills. Students will find that career prospects are enhanced by the possession of one or more foreign languages. But more than that, Chinese provides a skill that students will take with them beyond A-Levels and university. It will provide them with an array of new opportunities, and will develop their ability to engage with and understand other cultures.

Questions about the course

Chinese is my first language, do I need to have A-Level Chinese lessons for two-years?

No. The College offers an ‘Exam Entry Plus’ programme that introduces you to the specification requirements and then delivers preparatory lessons in the five weeks preceding the A-level examinations.

Do I need a GCSE in Chinese to study A-Level Chinese?

If Chinese is not your first language, yes you will need GCSE Chinese at grade C or above.

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