Chinese A level

An interesting and useful subject

Chinese is the most spoken mother tongue in the world. In addition to the People’s Republic of China (Hong Kong and Taiwan), Chinese is also spoken in the important and influential Chinese communities of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, Mongolia and Vietnam.

The full A-level is made up of the AS unit plus one more unit at a higher level. AS topics includes: Food Diet and Health, Transport, Travel and Tourism, Leisure, Youth Interests and Chinese Festivals, Education and Employment. Material comes from authentic sources.

A2 focuses on knowledge and understanding of the culture of China, the Students’ ability to transfer meaning from Chinese into English and to produce continuous writing in Chinese. The topics cover Environment and Citizenship and the International Context. There is also an option of choosing a text to study for the exam. This would later be an essay linked to a short Chinese-language stimulus. The unit draws on the following general topic areas: Food, diet and health/Transport, travel and tourism/Education and employment/Leisure, youth interests and Chinese festivals.

Entry Requirements

Chinese GCSE in Chinese Grade C and above.

Course Content

The specification we follow is the Edexcel Syllabus.

How is the course assessed?

The AS unit is worth 50% of the A level. There is no coursework. There will be a 2 hour 50 minute written examination and a 4 – 6 minute oral examination. Both examinations are externally set and assessed. The AS written examination consists of three sections, which test listening, reading and writing. It focuses on acquisition of the language, grammar and vocabulary.

The A2 unit is 50% of the A Level and the A2 examination consists of four sections:

• Section A: You will be required to read a piece of authentic Chinese text and to retrieve and convey information from it.
• Section B: You will be assessed on your ability to transfer meaning from a short passage written in English into Chinese.
• Section C: You will be required to write an essay in Chinese (250–500 characters) in response to an essay title that links to the reading text in Section A.
• Section D: You will write in Chinese (250–500 characters) about an area of interest to you and which you have researched in advance. You will be free to set your own titles for this activity. All research must link to Chinese culture and/or society and to a specific topic area, film or book chosen from a prescribed list.

Where can I go next?

On completing this course successfully in conjunction with other subjects, the student might go on to study a degree in Chinese, Chinese studies, Oriental studies, Languages, Education, Business. In a combination, A-level Chinese can get you to university to study any subject. There is also a chance to work with local communities.
Employment in Business can be easier with A-level Chinese. Students also have the chance of obtaining a place at a university in China to study Chinese or other subjects.

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