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Suited for

Most students! The aim of these Mandarin lessons is to improve your conversational and integrated skills in Chinese learning. 

Study method

Where we start really depends on your prior exposure (if any) to Mandarin Chinese. For true beginners the first step is to learn basic sounds of the language (represented in the English alphabet using ‘pinyin’). Getting this right to begin with is key — Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language which means that slight variances in inflection can have very different meanings — or at worst, leave you unintelligible! The good news is that unlike English there is a limited number of sounds to learn; you'll be able to pronounce about every word in the dictionary perfectly after several Mandarin lessons.

Whether you're a beginner student or more advanced, every Mandarin class will focus on specific vocabulary, grammar points or texts, while at the same time giving you conversational practice and improving your Chinese.

Learning content

True beginner (equivalent to HSK level1) 
We'll start of by learning Mandarin pronunciation (pinyin), the four tones, the differences between Chinese and English script and some basic vocabulary up to around 150 words.

Beginner (equivalent to HSK level 2) 
We’ll work on the next 150 words within the HSK syllabus (HSK is China's standard test or foreigners learning Chinese — a useful benchmark). These will help you introduce yourself, buy fruit and vegetables, tell the time, talk about days and dates, give and receive directions, get public transport and eat out.

Elementary (equivalent to HSK level 3) 
As your vocabulary broadens, you will find that it starts to be easier to express yourself. The next 300 words include buying daily necessities, shopping in a mall, planning a trip, booking airplane tickets, telephone etiquette and general sports and leisure.

Intermediate (equivalent to HSK level 4) 
At this point you should be able to discuss a relatively large range of topics with native Mandarin speakers. The next 600 words will include topics such as: renting an apartment, visiting the doctor, banking, talking about education, hobbies and interests, and includes vocabulary that will help with traveling in China.

Upper intermediate (equivalent to HSK level 5)
By this point you should be starting to read Chinese newspapers and follow the gist of Chinese TV. We look at advanced topics including finding jobs, international trading, Chinese festivals, but also start to supplement with a range of learning materials outside the Chinese textbook.

Advanced (equivalent to HSK Level 6 and beyond) 
By this point you'll have an excellent command on the Chinese language. We'll start to work on the last 2500 words within the HSK, and the Mandarin course focus will shift away from textbooks to real-world materials.

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