Chinese I

Credits: 1.0
Estimated Completion Time: 32-36 weeks


In Chinese I, students learn the basics of Chinese language by joining native speakers of Mandarin Chinese as they give a lively introduction to the language and its rich culture. Set in their everyday environment, the native speakers take students through a variety of daily scenarios practicing the skills to read, write, and speak Chinese. The course begins by providing a general knowledge of Pinyin, Mandarin Chinese, Chinese dialects, and Chinese characters. After one semester, students will be able to engage in conversation in Chinese including greeting people, introducing themselves to others, and exchanging basic information. Students learn to count from 1 to 1000 and make simple sentences in both spoken and written Chinese. They also learn 160 "magical" Chinese characters and use them in a variety of topics. As students progress, they get to know not only the language itself, but also the culture in which the language takes place and continues to develop.

Major Topics and Concepts

Segment One


  • Greetings
  • Nationalities
  • Numbers 1-1000
  • Family Vocabulary
  • Introductions (names, age, address)
  • Roads and Streets
  • Pets
  • Talking about Friends
  • Telling Time
  • Calendar (Days of the week, months, year)
  • Seasons
  • Holidays and Celebrations


  • Major Cities in China
  • Chinese Names
  • Chinese Families
  • Chinese Zodiac
  • Chinese Festivals


  • Chinese Characters
  • Pinyin
  • Basic Sentence Structure
  • Forming negations
  • Verbs: jiào, yŏu, hái, xing
  • Prepositions

Segment Two


  • Food and drinks
  • Table settings
  • Colors
  • Clothes
  • Hobbies, games, and sports
  • Directions
  • Making appointments
  • Ordinal Numbers
  • Another way to state the days of the week
  • Art
  • Movies
  • Music Instruments
  • Business
  • Asking and describing prices and brands
  • Currencies
  • Electric Appliances


  • Chinese Cuisine
  • 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
  • Traditional Chinese Art
  • Chinese Movies, actors and colors
  • Chinese Companies and Products
  • Shopping in China


  • Describing people and things (adjectives)
  • How to state likes and dislikes
  • Verbs: able to, can, háishi (had better), guò (action happened)
  • Forming Questions 
  • Measure words
  • Expressions: hé…yiqĭ(together with), néngbùnéng (could you?), zuì xĭhuān( like…the most)
  • Adverbs
  • Possessives or properties (de)

Grading Policy

Besides engaging students in challenging curriculum, the course guides students to reflect on their learning and to evaluate their progress through a variety of assessments. Assessments can be in the form of self-checks and comprehension questions, worksheets, assignments, discussion based assessments, collaborative assessments, pre-tests and practice tests, quizzes, discussions, hands-on activities, and module and semester exams. Instructors evaluate progress and provide interventions through the variety of assessments built into a course, as well as through contact with the student in other venues.

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