A Level Chinese (Legacy)

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

Unit 1: Spoken Expression and Response in Chinese
30% of total AS marks, 15% of total GCE marks. 5 – 6 mins.

Students will be expected to refer to a series of questions printed on the stimulus so that they can communicate effectively in Chinese about the stimulus topic. Students will need to express opinions as well as provide relevant and appropriate information. Each stimulus will link to one of the general topic areas. Candidates will have a 15-minute preparation period.

Unit 2: Understanding and Written Response
70% of total AS marks, 35% of total GCE marks. 2h 30 mins.

The paper consists of listening, reading, writing tasks, eliciting a mixture of response types. The listening section must be completed within the first 45 minutes and recordings will be taken from a broad range of sources. The reading section requires students to read Chinese-language printed materials and to retrieve and convey information by responding to a range of mainly target-language test-types. The writing task will require students to respond to a given stimulus and to response with imagination and accuracy.

General Topic Areas: Food, diet and health; Transport, travel and tourism; Education and employment Leisure, youth interests and Chinese festivals.

Reading list

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

A2 Level

MPW approach to A2 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.

A2 Specification Number
Edexcel 9CN01


Unit 3: Understanding, Written Response and Research in Chinese
75% of total AS marks, 35% of total GCE marks. 2h 45mins

This unit consists of 4 sections, which rewards students for their ability to understand and respond in writing to written Chinese. It also enables them to demonstrate their ability to write in Chinese and promotes knowledge and understanding of Chinese culture and/or society through
focused research.

Section A: Reading (10 marks)
Students will be required to read a piece of authentic Chinese text and to retrieve and convey information from it. To demonstrate that they can do this, they will need to answer a series of questions in Chinese. A maximum of 10 marks will be awarded in accordance with a reading specific mark scheme.

Section B: Translation (10 marks)
Students will be assessed on their ability to transfer into Chinese meaning from a short passage written in English. A maximum of 10 marks will be awarded for quality of language in accordance with the assessment criteria given in Section 3.4 of the unit.

Section C: Essay writing (30 marks)
Students must write an essay in Chinese (250–500 characters) in response to an essay title that links to the reading text in Section A. A maximum of 30 marks will be awarded in accordance with the assessment criteria that reward content and response and quality of language.

Section D: Research-based essay (30 marks)
Students will write in Chinese (250–500 characters) about an area of interest to them and which they have researched in advance. Students will be free to set their own titles for this activity. All research must link to Chinese culture and/or society and to a specific topic area, film or
book chosen from a prescribed list.

A maximum of 30 marks will be awarded for the research-based essay in accordance with the assessment criteria. These reward students for organisation and development, completion of task and quality of language.

General Topic Areas: Food, diet and health; Transport, travel and tourism; Education and employment; Leisure, youth interests and Chinese festivals; Environment (energy, pollution and environmental campaigns).

Reading list

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; a specification related textbook will also be required, details of which will be provided prior to the start of the course.

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