A Level Chinese (Reformed 2017)

What is Chinese?

Through a multitude of topics, you will learn to communicate at a sophisticated level in the language. At A level, the emphasis shifts to a much higher level where you are expected to offer opinions, to evaluate and to comment on key aspects of the country in which the target-language is spoken. The vocabulary is accordingly at a more demanding level. Chinese is an enjoyable course which enables students to explore in depth various aspects of the recent history, society, culture and, of course, language of the country.

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

An A level in a Modern Foreign Language is an ideal subject whether you are taking mainly sciences, humanities or arts subjects. As China is developing faster than ever, Chinese becomes an increasingly popular subject in the world; many schools, colleges and universities would value the qualification. Any student who has an interest in Chinese culture and language, and who is looking to acquire a skill currently in demand all around the world, would be well advised to take the subject. Also, the huge requirement for native English speaking teachers in China benefits those who have the ambition to pursue a career in China. Through preparations for the oral examination, students find that their debating and interview skills are greatly enhanced. Linguists are highly regarded by employers for their confidence in communicating ideas and presenting themselves. Learning Chinese is therefore a sensible choice if you are targeting Education, Law, Medicine, and Business Administration amongst many other degree courses.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

We study a wide variety of topics including food, travel, tourism, education, youth interests, Chinese festivals etc. You will receive guidance on using a wide range of resources including the Internet, newspapers, TV programmes, tapes and books. All four language skills will overlap and complement each other with continuous reinforcement of grammar to increase confidence in accurate communication. Our Chinese tutors are all native Chinese speakers, which provides an authentic Chinese learning environment. Moreover, Chinese cultural activities such as making dumplings, paper cutting and Chinese brush writing will be organised to raise cultural awareness and interest in the subject. Language students always grow in confidence, become more worldly, and develop a broad understanding of current affairs. The personal enjoyment of being able to speak another language is immeasurable, as well as being able to enjoy the fruits of that cultural heritage.

AS Specification Number
Edexcel 8CN01

Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation
Written examination: 1 hour and 45 minutes. 40% of the qualification. 64 marks

Section A: Listening (24 marks). A listening assessment based on a recording that features Chinese speakers. Students will respond to comprehension questions based on a variety of contexts and sources. Recordings of spoken Chinese will be available in Mandarin and Cantonese.

Section B: Reading (28 marks). A reading assessment based on a variety of text-types and genres where students will respond to comprehension questions.

Section C: Translation into English (12 marks). An unseen passage to be translated from Chinese to English.

Paper 2: Written response to works and translation Paper code: 8CN0/02
Written examination: 1 hour and 40 minutes. 30% of the qualification. 60 marks

Section A: Translation (20 marks). Students translate an unseen passage from English into Chinese.

Section B: Written response to works (literary texts) (40 marks). Students select one question for their chosen literary text. If a student answers a question in this section then they do not complete Section C.

OR

Section C: Written response to works (films) (40 marks). Students select one question for their chosen film. If a student answers a question in this section then they do not complete Section B.

Paper 3: Speaking Paper code: 8CN0/03M/03C
Internally conducted and externally assessed. 30% of the qualification. 72 marks

Total assessment time: between 27 and 30 minutes, which includes a single period of 15 minutes’ formal preparation time.

Task 1 requires students to read and respond to two short texts based on Theme 1 and then hold a discussion. Task 1 is worth 42 marks.

Task 2 is based on a discussion from Theme 2. Task 2 is worth 30 marks.

Students will be assessed on their ability to use a range of language accurately, communicate and interact effectively, summarise and understand written sources in speech, and show knowledge and understanding about the culture and society of the Chinese-speaking world.

 

Reading list

AuthorTitlePublisher
Yip Po-Ching and Don Rimmington Basic Chinese- A Grammar and Workbook Routledge
Yuan, Boping and Kan, Qian Developing Writing Skills in Chinese Routledge
Kan Qian Colloquial Chinese Routledge

A Level

MPW approach to A Level study

This will be a continuation of the approach with AS. Grammar will continue to be practised as well as the linguistic structures. Much of the lesson will be conducted in the target language to develop reading and writing skills. Both oral and essay skills will be developed through regular presentations, debates and discussions. The choice of coursework topics/texts will be made by both tutor and student. Students will develop a wide range of academic writing skills in terms of learning how to construct ideas, structure their essays, and reference cited works correctly, all of which would equip the student for their further education.

A Level Specification Number
Edexcel 9CN01

 

Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation
Written examination: 2 hours. 40% of the qualification. 80 marks

Section A: Listening (30 marks). A listening assessment based on a recording, featuring Chinese speakers. Students will respond to  comprehension questions based on a variety of contexts and sources. Recordings of spoken Chinese will be available in Mandarin and Cantonese.

Section B: Reading (30 marks). A reading assessment based on a variety of text types and genres where students will respond to comprehension questions.

Section C: Translation into English (20 marks). An unseen passage to be translated from Chinese to English.

Paper 2: Written response to works and translation Paper code: 9CN0/02

Written examination: 2 hours and 40 minutes. 30% of the qualification. 120 marks

Section A: Translation (20 marks). An unseen passage to be translated from Chinese to English.

Section B: Written response to works (literary texts) (50 marks). Students must write an extended response on either one or two of the literary texts listed in prescribed literary texts and films. If a student answers questions on two literary texts then they do not complete Section C.

Section C: Written response to works (films) (50 marks). Students who answer only one question on a literary text in Section B must write an extended response on one of the films listed in Appendix 2: Prescribed literary texts and films.

Paper 3: Speaking Paper code: 9CN0/03M/03C

Internally conducted and externally assessed. 30% of the qualification. 72 marks

Total assessment time: between 21 and 23 minutes, which includes a single period of 5 minutes’ formal preparation time.

Task 1 (discussion on a Theme) (30 marks). Students discuss one Theme from the specification based on a stimulus containing a shortstatement.

Task 2, Part 1 (independent research presentation) (42 marks). Students present a summary of at least two of the written sources they have used for their research and give a personal response to what they have read.

Task 2, Part 2 (discussion on independent research). Students answer questions on their presentation and then have a wider discussion on their research. Festivals; Environment (energy, pollution and environmental campaigns).

Reading list

AuthorTitlePublisher
James Kynge China Shakes the World: The Rise of a Global Superpower W&N
Jasper Becker City of Heavenly Tranquillity: Beijing in the History of China Allen Lane
Shapiro Mao’s War Against Nature Cambridge University Press

Students should own a large Collins or Oxford bilingual dictionary.

For full specification details, consult the exam board’s website on www.edexcel.org.uk