Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit is open to students with no previous knowledge of modern standard Chinese ONLY. It provides a basic introduction to contemporary spoken and written Chinese (Mandarin or Putonghua). The primary focus is on giving elementary instruction in the various facets of modern standard Chinese: comprehension and speaking, reading and writing. The first few weeks of the semester concentrates on the learning of the Pinyin system (Romanisation). In addition, there is a series of lectures on the key features of both the spoken language and the Chinese script. Successful completion of this unit brings students to the ISLPR Level 1 (International Second Language Proficiency Ratings) or New HSK Level 1 (New Chinese Proficiency Test) or CEFR A1 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the CHNSB Chinese Studies major sequence
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) master Pinyin (which is not difficult for English speakers) and learn roughly 200 characters, 170 words or short phrases, and 40 sentence patterns; (2) speak by imitating sentence patterns learned, and have attained minimum survival proficiency in four basic skills—comprehension, speaking, reading and writing; (3) communicate mainly with simple phrases and sentences (e.g. from greetings to asking for days of the week); (4) recognise and understand a range of short, simple texts that are often heard and seen (e.g. basic Chinese characters as in common street signs); and (5) understand Chinese language in its social and cultural contexts which encourages an understanding of differences as well as the similarities between culture of origin and the culture of the target community.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation; (2) workbook and oral presentation; and (3) examination (including oral and written). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Liyong Wang
Unit rules
WACE Chinese: Second Language CSL 2A/2B or higher.
or CHIN1101 Chinese Beginners 1
Contact hours
Up to 4 hours per week
This unit is designed for students who have no previous knowledge or only a slight knowledge of Chinese. Students with some knowledge of the language should consult the unit coordinator for information regarding the appropriate unit for enrolment.

If you have an 'invalid / breach' in this unit, please complete the online Chinese Placement test:
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.