St Bees School

Chinese - Mandarin

Chinese - Mandarin

Course Overview 

The aims of the course are to:

  • Develop the language proficiency required to communicate effectively in Mandarin Chinese at level A2 (CEFR Basic User)
  • Offer insights into the culture and society of countries and communities where Chinese is spoken
  • Develop awareness of the nature of language and language learning
  • Encourage positive attitudes towards speakers of other languages and a sympathetic approach to other cultures
  • Provide enjoyment and intellectual stimulation
  • Develop transferable skills (e.g. memorising, drawing of inferences) to complement other areas of the curriculum
  • Form a sound base of the skills, language and attitudes required for progression to work or further study, either in Chinese or another subject area.

Course Modules 

The subject content is organised in five broad topic areas. These provide contexts for the acquisition of vocabulary and the study of grammar and structures. The study of these topic areas enables students to gain an insight into countries and communities where Chinese is spoken. The five topic areas are:

  • Everyday activities
  • Personal and social life
  • The world around us
  • The world of work
  • The international world

Students will be expected to read and understand a variety of written and spoken texts on familiar topics. They will be required to demonstrate understanding of the main ideas, opinions and attitudes, as well as select and extract relevant details and deduce the meaning of occasional unknown words from context.

They will also have opportunities to write in Chinese on familiar, everyday topics, and to speak the language by taking part in everyday conversations.


How You Will Be Assessed 

All candidates take all four papers.

Candidates will be eligible for grades A* to G.

  • Paper 1 - Listening, 25% (30 marks), Approximately 40 minutes.
    Candidates listen to a number of recordings and answer multiple-choice and matching questions.
  • Paper 2 - Reading, 25% (40 marks), 1 hour 15 minutes.
    Candidates read a number of texts and answer multiple-choice and matching questions as well as questions requiring short answers. Externally assessed.
  • Paper 3 - Speaking, 25% (40 marks), Approximately 10 minutes.
    Candidates complete one role play and conversations on two topics. Internally assessed and externally moderated.
  • Paper 4 - Writing, 25% (45 marks), 1 hour 15 minutes.
    Candidates complete one form-filling task, one directed writing task and one task in the format of an email/letter or article/blog. Externally assessed.

University Courses and Career Paths 

IGCSE Chinese is accepted and valued by leading universities and employers around the world as evidence of academic achievement in the language.

Many universities require a combination of Cambridge International AS & A Levels and Cambridge IGCSEs or equivalent to meet their entry requirements.

As China is becoming the leading economy in the world, students will find that the ability to communicate with over one billion people has major value in the job market. Companies all around the world are striving to tap into the Chinese market, and students immediately differentiate themselves if they can speak Mandarin.