Centre for Continuing Education

Chinese Mandarin Course 101: Intensive (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.

This Chinese course combines Chinese (Mandarin) Course 1011: Standard (Beginners) and Chinese (Mandarin) Course 1012: Standard. It covers Integrated Chinese Level 1, Part 1, Lessons 1 to 5 and is taught over four hours per week in two sessions.


This Chinese course:

  • Introduces 173 vocabulary items.
  • Covers the basics with simple, graded activities on essential topics such as greetings, family, dates and time, hobbies and visiting friends.
  • Introduces essential grammatical structures.
  • Positions pinyin close to Chinese characters so students can focus on speaking and pronunciation.
  • Introduces the Chinese system of character writing---hanzi, as a guide to Chinese literacy.
  • Concentrates on four skills of language: listening, speaking, reading and writing.


This Chinese course covers the following topics and grammar points:

  • Greetings – exchanging greetings and asking about someone’s nationality.
  • Family – Looking at a family photo and asking about someone’s family.
  • Dates & Time – taking someone out to eat on his/her birthday and inviting someone to dinner.
  • Hobbies – Talking about hobbies and would you like to play ball?
  • Visiting friends – visiting a friend’s home and at a friend’s house.
  • The verbs 姓 (xìng), 叫 (jiào), 是 (shì) and有 (yǒu).
  • The adverbs不 (bù), 也 (yě), 都 (dōu), 还 (hái) and 才 (cái).
  • The particles的 (de), 吧 (ba) and 了 (le).
  • The conjunction 那么 (nàme).
  • The modal verb 想 (xiǎng).
  • The preposition 在 (zài).
  • Numbers (0, 1–100).
  • Usage of 二 (èr)/两 (liǎng).
  • Dates and time.
  • Measure words
  • Word order in Chinese.
  • Questions ending with 吗 (ma) and 呢 (ne), question pronouns, alternative questions, affirmative + negative (A-not-A) questions, questions with 好吗 (hǎo ma).
  • 去 (qù) + action.
  • Verb + object as a detachable compound.
  • 一下 (yí xià) and 一点儿 (yì diǎnr) moderating the tone of voice.
  • Adjectives as predicates.

This Chinese course covers Integrated Chinese Level 1, Part 1, Lessons 1 to 5 and is taught over 4 hours per week in two sessions. The content of this course is also available over two hours per week in one session by completing Chinese (Mandarin) Course 1011: Standard (Beginners) followed by Chinese (Mandarin) Course 1012: Standard.

Delivery Style

This Chinese course is 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 Chinese course materials.

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

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

Prescribed textbooks should only be purchased after confirmation is received from us that the course will proceed. This usually occurs up to 5 days prior to class 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 or foreign language dictionaries for your course.

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. Try our Language Proficiency Calculator to work out which language level is right for you.

What others say.

  • When I started my course 3 months ago, I never thought it would be possible to read or write any Chinese Characters at all. I was just going to concentrate on Pinyin and nothing else. I was very wrong! It was a huge surprise when only 5 weeks into my course I was writing my homework in Chinese to introduce my family members. This course is amazing! From the price, to the facilities to the amazing teachers!

  • I really feel I have learned a lot in this course. I started the course out of casual interest but now I find studying Chinese fascinating. I really love the fact that our two instructors wanted us to learn all four competencies – reading, writing, speaking and listening. We were indeed truly blessed to have good instructors. After ten weeks I can really say that my Chinese has now improved.

  • Both of the tutors were wonderful Chinese language teachers. I am amazed at how much I was able to learn in a short course from them.

Chinese Mandarin Course 101: Intensive (Beginners)
University of Sydney (Venue TBA)
$570 inc GST

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