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Confucius Institute Courses

Confucius Institute Courses in the year

(picture above: At the beginning of our summer course, 2014)

Chinese is one of the major languages in the world, and is used by about 1.4 billion people as the means of communication in daily life. As business and trade between China and South Africa grow over the past decades and the relation is further strengthened, there are frequent exchanges and communications between people in the two countries, and the need for learning Chinese and understanding the culture has become ever strong.

The Confucius Institute at UCT is a joint-establishment between the Chinese Hanban (headquarters of the Confucius Institutes) and UCT, and its main mission is to promote the teaching and learning of Chinese language and culture. In the past three years it has successfully offer the following: 1. credit-bearing Chinese courses through the School of Languages and Literatures; 2. Chinese courses for school students as extra-curriculum courses; 3. various short courses for the community; 4. HSK tests in May and October every year.

In 2014, the Confucius Institute continues to offer the credit-bearing Chinese courses through the School of Languages and Literatures at UCT, and will also offer Confucius Institute courses for the community throughout the year. These are: 1. Spoken Chinese(beginning); 2. Chinese I and II (up to Intermediate Level)

Spoken Chinese (beginning)

This course is designed to meet the growing demand for learning Chinese in South Africa, esp. for people who have come into contact with China, and want to be able to understand and use the language in their communication with their Chinese friends, or those who would like to travel, study or work in China. Anyone who wishes to learn Chinese from the beginning can take the course.

It teaches the standardized spoken Chinese (Mandarin, or putonghua, in Chinese, which means ?the common speech') and simplified characters that are commonly used in mainland China. It begins with the sound system (pinyin) and fundamentals of Chinese characters, and moves on to learn the most useful expressions and common characters in Chinese. After that, it covers topics of conversations in daily life, short passages of reading, with knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.

The contents of the course are: 1. the phonetics (pinyin) of Chinese and practice on pronunciation; 2. basics of the Chinese characters (hanzi) e.g. how they are written in certain orders, and practice writing; 3. about 300 characters and word and situational dialogues in daily life situations.

The course is taught in English, but emphasis is also laid on using and practicing spoken Chinese. The course is suitable for both beginners and those who have the rudimentary of Chinese.

By the end of the course, learners should have a general understanding of the Chinese language, learn about 300 words and characters, be able to understand spoken Chinese on daily topics, and make short conversations accordingly. Learners are asked to make situational dialogues with partners, or make short presentations in Chinese on a daily situation.

Learners are encouraged to take Level 1 of HSK (Chinese Language Proficiency Tests), which are administered by the Chinese Test Center in Beijing, and is made available at the Confucius Institute at UCT twice a year, in June and November. The official score report serves as proof of your level of Proficiency in Chinese.