GCSE Chinese

The course

By learning a foreign language, you give yourself the chance to see the world in a different way. You can explore a new culture and access films, plays and books as they were meant to be seen and read. You will also increase your employability as there is always a demand for people who can speak more than one language across a very wide range of careers. This course focuses primarily on the natural use of language in authentic situations. There are four common topic areas which you will become familiar. In Out and About, you will cover visitor information, basic weather, local amenities, accommodation, public transport and directions. In Customer Service and Transactions, you will cover cafés and restaurants, shops, and dealing with problems. In Personal information, you will look at general interests, leisure activities, family and friends and lifestyle (healthy eating and exercise). Finally in Future Plans, Education and Work, you will look at the basic language of the internet, simple job advertisements, simple job applications and CVs, school and college, and work and work experience.

What skills do I need?

You need an interest in languages and the culture of another country and its people.

How is the course assessed?

The GCSE assessment is composed of four units. In Unit 1 (Listening and Understanding in Chinese), you will be tested on your ability to understand spoken Chinese. The spoken material heard will include both formal (eg telephone message) and informal speech (eg social interaction). The exam lasts 40 minutes (35 minutes + 5 minutes reading time) and is worth 20% of the marks. 

In Unit 2 (Speaking in Chinese), you must demonstrate the ability to use the Chinese language for different purposes and in different settings. You will be assessed on two speaking activities chosen from the following task types: an open interaction, a picture-based free-flowing discussion or a presentation with discussion following. Each activity lasts 4-6 minutes and the unit is worth 30% of the marks. 

In Unit 3 (Reading and Understanding in Chinese), you will be tested on your ability to understand written Chinese. The examination consists of a number of short texts, notices or news reports in Chinese which include a range of settings and styles, both formal and informal (for example text messages, advertisements, emails). The exam lasts 50 minutes and is worth 20% of the marks.

In Unit 4 (Unit 4: Writing in Chinese), you must demon- strate the ability to communicate in writing for different purposes, demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the Chinese language. Students must apply a range of grammar to inform, describe, give detail, and express simple feelings and opinions in Chinese. The exam lasts an hour and is worth 30% of the marks.


Easy Learning Mandarin Chinese Dictionary
Published by Collins
ISBN 978-0008119515

Edexcel GCSE Chinese Student Book
By K. Carruthers
Published by Edexcel, ISBN 978-1846905179

Exam Board and Specification Code

Pearson-Edexcel 2CN01

Ana Abad Jara
Head of Department