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Chinese GCSE

Chinese GCSE

Course Length

One or two years.

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 three common topic areas with which you will become familiar:

  • Theme 1: Identity and culture
  • Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Theme 3: Current and future study and employment
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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 three units. In Unit 1 (Listening), you will be tested on your ability to understand spoken Chinese. The spoken material heard will include a number of questions, which are a combination of multiple-choice, multiple matching, note-taking and gap-fill questions. All three topic areas are assessed. The exam lasts 45 minutes (40 minutes + 5 minutes reading time) and is worth 25% of the marks.

In Units 3 and 4 (Reading and Writing 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, a translation into English). The writing part consists of two open-response writing tasks, each linked to a topic area. There is also a question involving translation of four sentences into Chinese.

The exams last 1h 15 minutes for the writing and 45 minutes for the reading; they are worth 50% of the marks in total. 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 three speaking activities chosen from the following task types: a picture based free- flowing discussion, a role- play and a discussion on two further topics chosen randomly by the examiner. You will need to talk for 10-12 minutes, plus 10 minutes’ preparation time and the unit is worth 25% of the marks.


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

AQA GCSE Chinese Student Book 1
By William Minter and Leah Russell
Published by Dragons Teaching ISBN-13: 978-0-9957157-0-7

Exam Board and Specification Code

AQA 8673

Ana Abad Jara
Head of Department

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