Centre for Continuing Education

Chinese Mandarin Course 1011: Standard (Beginners)

Chinese. Learn Chinese with us.

If you want to learn to speak Chinese, our Chinese classes are ideal for adult learners to enjoy a practical and social experience while you learn Chinese language and culture. Learn Chinese the smart way with Chinese courses at CCE, the University of Sydney.

In partnership with the Confucius Institute
Offered in association with the Confucius Institute at the University of Sydney. The Confucius Institute is based on a partnership with Fudan University, in collaboration with the Office of The Chinese Language Council International in China (Hanban). It is managed by the the Office of Global Engagement. The first to be established in New South Wales, the Institute has attracted thousands of people to its popular Chinese language and culture programs.

Level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

This beginner’s course covers Integrated Chinese Level 1 Part 1, Lessons 1 to 2 and is taught over ten weekly sessions of two hours per week. The content of this course and Chinese Mandarin 1012: Standard is also available over four hours per week in two sessions by completing Chinese Mandarin 101: Intensive (Beginners).

No prior knowledge of the language is required.


  • Introduces the first year of study and 70 vocabulary items.
  • Covers the basics with simple, graded activities on essential topics such as greetings, family.
  • Introduces basic grammatical structures.
  • Positions pinyin close to characters so students can focus on speaking and pronunciation.
  • Introduces the system of character writing---hanzi, as a guide to literacy.


Upon successful completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Master the Chinese phonetic system and read Chinese pinyin with correct pronunciation and tone.
  2. Discuss 70 vocabulary items and recognise around 80 Chinese characters.
  3. Exchange basic greetings in Chinese, introduce themselves and others, and ask and answer questions about personal details such as name, surname, nationality, family members, etc.
  4. Introduce their profession and ask about others' professions in Chinese.
  5. Employ basic Chinese kinship terms and describe a family photo in Chinese.
  6. Deliver a presentation introducing oneself and one’s family in Chinese both orally and in written form.
  7. Gain insight into the Chinese writing system, and skills in writing characters in correct stroke order.


This course covers the following topics:

  • General introduction to Mandarin and Chinese dialects
  • Chinese Pinyin system — 21 consonants, 6 major vowels and 29 compound vowels, 4 tones
  • Practice of pronunciation and tones
  • Review of over 70 Vocabulary items — nouns related to greetings, self-introduction, name, nationality, family, siblings, photo, professions, identities; basic verbs, adverbs, particles
  • Basic grammar — basic sentence structure of declarative sentences, Yes or No questions, special questions, use of adverbs, measure words, particles
  • Basic greetings, self-introduction, asking and introducing name, nationality and family members, describing a photo
  • Chinese writing system — Chinese character categories, basic Chinese radicals, character writing rules, basic stroke order
  • Practice writing 30 characters
  • Introduction to Chinese culture — names and kinship relations etc.

Intended Audience

Suitable for beginner A1 level students. No prior knowledge of the language is required.

Delivery Style

Delivered in the form of an interactive workshop where active participation is encouraged.

Prescribed Text

Both simplified and traditional character versions of the textbook and the two workbooks are available, however the simplified version will be taught in the classroom. Students can also opt for the electronic version of materials.

While the Textbook is required, the Workbook and Character Workbook are optional, but recommended.

In addition to purchasing online, students may also be able to source textbooks from our preferred textbook suppliers.

Textbooks should only be purchased after confirmation is received from us. This usually occurs up to 5 days prior to commencement.

Suggested Textbook Suppliers

The Co-op Bookshop

Become a member and get up to 50% off everything – online, on your tablet or mobile, or in over 60 stores.

Language Book Centre

Take your enrolment confirmation and a copy of this page to the Language Book Centre to receive a 10% discount off the price of the recommended text.

Please note that in some cases, our suggested supplier may not stock your prescribed text. Please check stock availability prior to signing up for any membership.

Please Note

Selected Language and Culture courses that teach spoken language may include use of language immersion (course instruction in the selected language) as part of the training strategy.


  • $100 repeat class ($200 for intensive classes) - Conditions apply
  • Small class size (~20 max)
  • Central location

Language courses are offered in four terms each year during January, April, July and October.

What others say.

  • The course was paced and taught very well. The tutor was very knowledgeable and encouraged us to develop our abilities. There were many opportunities to practise and learn – the other students were all very friendly and enthusiastic!

  • I thoroughly enjoyed Chinese for Beginners, 1011. The course was well-structured, with achievable learning objectives and support. The tutor was excellent and provided good support for students in the class.

  • The course was correctly paced and allowed enough time to learn characters as well as learning to listen/speak.

  • The tutor was amazing. Super friendly and intelligent and made classes fun and engaging.

  • We had an excellent teacher who gave us the confidence to converse in front of the class by the end of the first term. The course structure is solid and the textbook is very good as well. Will definitely recommend this course to my friends and colleagues.

  • The tutor was a fantastic teacher – very enthusiastic and encouraging of student participation, and made the class very engaging.

Chinese Mandarin Course 1011: Standard (Beginners)

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Chinese Mandarin Course 1011: Standard (Beginners)

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Chinese Mandarin Course 1011: Standard (Beginners)

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What others say.

  • The teacher was great, really engaging and encouraging.
  • The quality of teaching and methodology used is excellent. The teacher is a great communicator, very precise on teaching the correct pronunciation, the explanation of Chinese language translated into English made it easy to be understood. From very beginners you can grasp the structure of the Chinese language in a short period of time, thanks to the superb understanding of the Chinese and English language differences. The tutor is highly regarded by all students, and definitely a great asset
  • The tutor was, and is an excellent, highly articulate, energetic, and enthusiastic teacher! Presentation was always varied; they demonstrated insight into, and empathy with students' problem areas and typical language-learning anxieties.