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Chinese I: Introduction to Chinese Language and Writing

Code: 105860 ECTS Credits: 12
Degree Type Year Semester
2504012 Spanish and Chinese Studies: Language, Literature and Culture FB 1 1


Mireia Vargas Urpi

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
spanish (spa)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:

Other comments on languages

The subject is taught in Spanish, but Chinese will also be used as much as possible in classes.


Yanjun Xu



Objectives and Contextualisation

The aim of this subject is to provide an introduction to the most basic elements of the Chinese language and develop the four communication skills. It is important that students assimilate its content in order to keep on studying the language in the subsequent term and academic years.

On successfully completing this subject, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Standard Chinese phonological, morphological, lexical, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic structures.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles that govern language variation: traditional and simplified orthographies.
  • Apply linguistic, cultural and thematic knowledge to communicate both orally and in writing in Standard Chinese about topics related to areas of the most immediate relevance.
  • Apply strategies to solve comprehension problems related to areas of the most immediate relevance.
  • Develop autonomous learning strategies.


  • Analyse the phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic, lexical and semantic properties of the Spanish language and the Mandarin Chinese language.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to work autonomously, engaging in self-analysis and self. Criticism.
  • Describe the linguistic foundations on which the standards of Spanish and mandarin Chinese are based.
  • Produce written texts in Mandarin Chinese at a basic level (A1, A2).
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Students must develop the necessary learning skills to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Understand and produce spoken texts in Mandarin Chinese at a basic level (A1, A2)
  • Understand written texts in mandarin Chinese at a basic level. (A1, A2).

Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply lexical, morphosyntactic, textual and rhetorical knowledge and knowledge of linguistic variation.
  2. Apply strategies for producing written texts at a basic level (A1, A2) in different fields and with different specific communicative purposes.
  3. Apply strategies to understand spoken texts in different fields at a basic level (A1, A2).
  4. Apply strategies to understand written texts in different fields at a basic level (A1, A2).
  5. Describe Chinese writing according to the different types of characters.
  6. Describe linguistic aspects of Chinese using a non-specialist informative tone.
  7. Describe linguistic aspects of Chinese using specialised terminology.
  8. Ensure quality standards for your own work.
  9. Identify tools and instruments for autonomous learning of the Chinese language and to solve linguistic problems.
  10. Produce spoken texts at a basic level (A1, A2) (A1, A2) in different fields and for different specific communicative purposes.
  11. Produce spoken texts at a basic level (A1, A2) that are linguistically correct and appropriate to the context.
  12. Recognise basic structures in Chinese and describe them using adequate terminology.
  13. Recognise the communicative intention and meaning of written texts in different field at a basic level (A1, A2).
  14. Resolve interferences between working languages.
  15. Solve problems of intercultural communication.


The subject’s content can be divided into the following types:

Phonological and graphic:

  • pronunciation and distinction of Standard Chinese phonemes, syllables and tones
  • Pinyin transcription system
  • basic principles of writing: character structure identification; division into components (radicals, phonetic and semantic components); stroke order, number and type

Lexical and morphological:

  • identification of basic common radicals
  • identification and writing of a minimum of 250 basic Chinese characters
  • understanding and usage of basic common vocabulary related to everyday life


Grammar and vocabulary

  • numbers
  • word order of Chinese sentences
  • verbs
  • different types of interrogative sentences
  • adverbs
  • country names, nationalities
  • possessive pronouns
  • occupations
  • family members
  • interrogative pronouns
  • adjectives
  • dates
  • sentences without verbs


 Communicative and sociocultural:

  • greetings
  • classroom expressions
  • introducing oneself
  • introducing family members
  • asking about who
  • asking about age
  • writting text messages
  • wirtting addresses
  • describing someone
  • inviting someone
  • expressing dates
  • talking about routines 


Learning activities are organised into three categories based on the degree of student autonomy involved:

Directed activities (90 h): each unit’s content will be explained and there will be exercises involving the four basic skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking), grammar points, vocabulary, translation, revision of previous content, etc. These activities will be carried out individually or in pairs or larger groups.

Supervised activities (51 h): listening and speaking exercises and correction of exercises.

Autonomous activities (150 h): calligraphy, study of characters and vocabulary, preparation and review of texts and new grammar points, correction of exercises, self-assessment.

To achieve the established objectives students must attend class regularly, study new content in advance, carry out exercises and review previous content.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Exercise correction 20 0.8 1, 4, 3, 2, 6, 7, 5, 11, 10, 12, 13, 14
Master class 30 1.2 6, 7, 5, 12
Oral and written comprehension activities 20 0.8 1, 4, 3, 12, 13, 14, 15
Oral and written expression activities 20 0.8 1, 2, 11, 10, 14, 15, 8
Type: Supervised      
Exercise correction 30 1.2 1, 4, 3, 2, 6, 7, 5, 11, 10, 12, 13, 14
Oral and written comprehension activities preparation 15 0.6 1, 4, 3, 13, 15
Written expression activities preparation 6 0.24 1, 2, 11, 10, 14, 8
Type: Autonomous      
Learnt content revision 20 0.8 1, 4, 3, 6, 7, 5, 12, 13
New content preparation 20 0.8 4, 3, 6, 7, 5, 12, 13, 14
Vocabulary, grammar, characters, pinyin, etc. exercises correction 70 2.8 6, 7, 5, 12, 14, 8
Written comprehension activities realization 20 0.8 4, 12, 13, 14, 15
Written expression activities realization 20 0.8 2, 14, 8


Assessment is continuous. Students must provide evidence of their progress by completing tasks and tests. Task deadlines will be indicated in class. 

Assessment activities consist of: 

Portfolio (30%) 

  • vocabulary tests
  • written exercises (handwritten) 

Exams (70%) 

There will be two exams, a mid-term exam and a final exam at the end of the semester. 

In the case of retaking an exam (or retaking or compensating for any other assessment activity), the highest mark that can be obtained is 5/10. 

Related matters

All information on assessment, assessment activities and their weighting is merely a guide. The subject's lecturer will provide full information when teaching begins.


When publishing final marks prior to recording them on students' transcripts, the lecturer will provide written notification of a date and time for reviewing assessment activities. Students must arrange reviews in agreement with the lecturer. 

Missed/failed assessment activities 

Students may retake assessment activities they have failed or compensate for any they have missed, provided that those they have actually performed account for a minimum of 66.6% (two thirds) of the subject's final mark and that they have a weighted average mark of at least 3.5.

The portfolio cannot be retaken or compensated for. Under no circumstances may an assessment activity worth 100% of the final mark be retaken or compensated for. If the final mark is a 5, students will not be able to take on activities to improve their mark. 

The lecturer will inform students of the procedure involved, in writing, when publishing final marks prior to recording them on transcripts. The lecturer may set one assignment per failed or missed assessment activity or a single assignment to cover a number of such activities. 

Classification as "not assessable" 

In the event of the assessment activities a student has performed accounting for just 25% or less of the subject's final mark, their work will be classified as "not assessable" on their transcript. 

Misconduct in assessment activities  

Students who engage in misconduct (plagiarism, copying, personation, etc.) in an assessment activity will receive a mark of “0” for the activity in question. In the case of misconduct in more than one assessment activity, the students involved will be given a final mark of “0” for the subject. 

Students may not retake assessment activities in which they are found to have engaged in misconduct. Plagiarism is considered to mean presenting all or part of an author's work, whether published in print or in digital format, as one's own, i.e. without citing it. Copying is considered to mean reproducing all or a substantial part of another student's work. In cases of copying in which it is impossible to determine which of two students has copied the work of the other, both will be penalised.

More information: http://www.uab.cat/web/study-abroad/undergraduate/academic-information/evaluation/what-is-it-about-1345670077352.html

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Oral and written exams 70% (35% + 35%) 6 0.24 1, 4, 3, 2, 6, 7, 5, 11, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 8
Portfolio 30% 3 0.12 1, 4, 3, 2, 6, 7, 5, 9, 11, 10, 12, 13, 14, 8



Ding Anqi, Chen Xin, Jin Lili (2010) Discover ChinaStudent's book One + workbook. Oxford: Macmillan Education; Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.

Both the textbook and activity book are necessary. The rest of exercises, activities or information for the subject will be poted in the Moodle classroom at: https://cv2008.uab.cat/.

Reference material:

Álvarez, José Ramón. 2000. La pronunciación del chino hablado (putonghua) para hispanohablantes. Taipei: Lanbridge Press cop. 

Casas, Helena; Rovira, Sara; Suárez, Anne-Hélène. 2009. Lengua china para traductores: 学中文,做翻译 (Vols. I i II). Bellaterra: Servei de Publicacions de la UAB. (Materials, 188 i 198), 5a edició. 

Casas-Tost, Helena; Rovira-Esteva, Sara (Eds.). 2015/2021. Guia d’estil per al tractament de mots xinesos en català. Generalitat de Catalunya. Departament de Cultura. Biblioteca tècnica de política lingüística, 2. ISBN: 978-84-393-9241-5. DOI: 10.2436/15.8040.02.1. URL: https://ddd.uab.cat/record/133473

Casas-Tost, Helena; Rovira-Esteva, Sara (Eds.). 2015. Guía de estilo para el uso de palabras de origen chino. Madrid: Adeli. URL: https://ddd.uab.cat/record/180644 

López Calvo, F.; Zhao, Baoyan. 2013. Guía esencial de la lengua china. Madrid: Adeli Ediciones.

Ross, Claudia;Sheng, Jing-Heng. 2006. Modern Chinese grammar: a practical guide. New York: Routledge. 

Yip, Po-ching; Rimmington, Don. 2014. Gramática básica del chino. Madrid:Adeli Ediciones. 

Yip, Po-ching; Rimmington, Don. 2015. Gramática intermedia del chino. Madrid: Adeli Ediciones. 

Other books:

Rovira-Esteva, Sara. 2010. Lengua y escritura chinas. Mitos y realidades. Barcelona: Edicions Bellaterra.

Vicente, Sergi. 2018. Xina Fast Forward. Barcelona: AraLlibres. (también en castellano) 


eChinese Tools: Mil y una herramientas para aprender chino: https://dtieao.uab.cat/txicc/echinese/