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

Jonathon

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Exeter University (Business Management)

I chose MPW because of the academic support provided by the college, which was instrumental in helping me throughout the challenging nature of my one-year A level courses. The weekly Timed Assignments and assistance provided by the Personal Tutor system helped me in areas I had previously struggled. Playing for the college football team was a great release from the challenging academic nature of the year and it helped me build friendships with other students in the college.

Shivali

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
Leeds University (Dentistry)

The best part about studying at MPW is the friendly, encouraging and supportive classroom environment that MPW provides.  It makes asking for help and reaching your potential easy and enjoyable. The college really helps students to believe in themselves.  The Personal Tutor system is great because it is available for you to use to whatever extent you might need whether that be having weekly meetings or meeting every now and then for a quick catch up to analyse my current progress.  The weekly Timed Assignments have also enabled me to build my confidence in the build up to my exams.  They help you to feel comfortable in an exam environment, as well as enable you to consolidate the material you need to recall in the final exams

Annabel

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AB

Progressed to
Exeter University (International Relations and History)

“Having not achieved the grades I wanted or needed in my A levels at my previous college I decided that retaking would be the best option for me.  I have found the small classes at MPW to be a real asset, and that, coupled with the fantastic teaching, has certainly enabled me to grow academically. Further to this, both the academic support and the university guidance provided by the college have been exceptional.”

Renee

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A

Progressed to
Manchester University (Dentistry)

After failing to get into Dental School last year I lost a lot of confidence and was worried that I might never get into my dream course.  The one-to-one support you get from MPW is so much more efficient compared to the main stream schools and colleges. The individual help you get for applying to University which includes interview support is amazing. No matter if you are a resit or a first time student, no one judges you and as long as you are hardworking and want to be a success.

Jake

Grades achieved at MPW
A*A*A*A

Progressed to
Oxford University (Mathematics)

I joined MPW because I wanted to be part of a close knit community that focuses on helping students attain the grades they are really capable of.  Each student is assigned a Personal Tutor who assists them in all aspects of student life.  I would recommend the individual and personally tailored care given to any student looking to expand their academic horizons.  The encouragement and support has allowed me to aim high and achieve results that I had previously thought weren't possible. 

Cordelia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
King’s College London (Dentistry)

MPW gave me a second chance in pursuing a career in dentistry. The small class sizes and weekly timed assessments gave me and my tutors a clear indication of my progress.  The rigorous teaching schedules, structured and tailored to my personal needs, was exactly what I needed. MPW placed heavy focus on exam technique as the key to achieving the required higher grades. Being able to talk with my tutors at any time in the day was an invaluable aid. It was also clear how much the teachers took a personal interest in the development of each individual student.

Josephine

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
University of Warwick (Management)

I joined MPW having not fulfilled my academic potential during my AS level exams at my previous school. I decided to retake my AS year at MPW and it was the best decision I ever made. The tutors at MPW have pushed me to achieve my maximum potential and have greatly improved my academic performance. The best part of studying at MPW is the weekly timed assignments as they ensure that you continuously review and revise work as well as helping you to make weekly improvements on exam technique.

Olivia

Grades achieved at MPW
A*AA

Progressed to
Bristol University (Dentistry)

Throughout my time at MPW I have been provided with constant support.  The college has prepared me for not only my exams but also the university interviews I attended.  It has been an amazing experience from start to finish.  The friendly and welcoming environment created by the staff and students made it an ideal setting for me to concentrate on achieving my targets.

Alex

Grades achieved at MPW
AAA

Progressed to
University of Birmingham (Law)

I came to MPW with very low self-confidence after under-achieving at AS level at my previous school, and have left with greater confidence about my academic ability and with a definite degree of clarity about what I hope to achieve in terms of my career. My experience at my previous school was that those with Oxbridge potential receive the most support and attention. This is not the case at MPW. I have found that it does not matter about that what the student's potential may be, each student receives the same amount of help to achieve their goals.