Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024


Department: Centre for Foreign Language Study


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • • Successful completion of Chinese Stage 2, HSK2 or equivalent, subject to approval by the module coordinator. No higher entry Chinese language qualification permitted


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Any Core Language Modules offered as part of the BA Modern Languages and Cultures. Any language module offered as part of the BA Chinese Studies.


  • To review, consolidate and further develop knowledge of main aspects of the Chinese language.
  • To enable students to improve their target language skills effectively.
  • To enable students to communicate competently on a variety of general topics.
  • To foster an understanding of contemporary Chinese society and culture.
  • To develop presentation skills in Chinese.
  • To develop essay writing in different styles.


  • Most functional and notional topics studied at this level will be determined by the main course book. Class materials will be supplemented by online resources
  • Oral activities will promote the basis for developing confidence, flexibility and fluency in conversations.
  • As part of this module students are required to complete a small project which will include an oral presentation.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of this module learners will be able to:
  • demonstrate a reasonable knowledge and understanding of the main Chinese language linguistic principles, structures and registers
  • demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of aspects of the cultures and societies in China gained through the study of cultural products;.
  • demonstrate some knowledge of aspects of Chinese social, economic and political structures;
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of the module learners will:
  • write essays related to both personal and social spheres, expressing and discussing views;
  • enter into conversation and issues related to the topics studied in class;
  • understand and report on the main points of a selection of standard speech and authentic aural passages on the TL current affairs, customs and social issues
  • relate a series of events and take part in semi-structured discussion on current affairs, customs and social issues;
  • apply a range of grammatical principles;
  • make effective use of references material such as grammars and dictionaries;
  • use a range of language learning techniques and skills effectively by independently developing strategies to extend their lexis and knowledge of grammar.
Key Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module learners will be able to:
  • give an oral presentation in the TL;
  • write an essay demonstrating the ability to organise ideas in a logical and coherent sequence in sustained prose and critically analyse arguments;
  • communicate information, ideas and arguments both orally and in writing;
  • gather, process and reference information from a variety of paper, audio-visual and electronic resources;
  • deal effectively with a range of basic situations whilst in China.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • This module is delivered through seminar style classes and multimedia lab sessions.
  • Contact time will be used to introduce new material and provide the students with high quality target language input from the module tutor and multimedia sources.
  • In preparation for each session students will be expected to revise new material and complete formative language exercises.
  • The assessment scheme for this module is designed to test students' level of attainment in language production (speaking and writing) and reception (listening and reading).
  • In order to reflect the continuous nature of the language learning process the module will be assessed by a combination of continuous formative and summative in-course assessment.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 60 three times per week 1 hour 60
Preparation and Reading 140
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Reading and Writing Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written assignment (Term 1) 30% No
Written exam (Week 21) 2 hours 70% Yes
Component: Speaking and Listening Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Presentation 10 minutes 30% No
Individual oral assessment with pre-prepared listening tasks (Weeks 21-22) 15 minutes 70% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Regular homework/assignments will be given to the students to practise and consolidate what they have done in class and to prepare the following session, some of which will be submitted and marked as formative assignments and regular feedback will be given to the students accordingly.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University