Chinese - Beginners 1 A practical introduction to Mandarin Chinese

Zuli Huang

eTeacher Chinese

The course focuses on speaking in Mandarin Chinese. Students learn basic sentence structures and grammatical rules, and acquire a vocabulary of 400 words used in basic conversation. Course texts are written in Pinyin, the widely-used transliteration system for Chinese characters. This allows students to focus on improving their communication skills, both speaking and comprehension. The class meets once a week and students are required to complete the homework assignments sent by the teacher after each lesson.


No. Lesson Name Lesson Description
1 Hello In this first lesson we will learn Chinese greetings, how to introduce yourself, the two types of sentences and questions ending with “ma”. We will also learn the four basic tones needed for spoken Chinese.
2 Are you Chinese? This time we will learn about the country and nationality. We will learn how to use the verb “to be” and its negative form and build simple sentences. At the end of this lesson, you will be able to have a basic conversation with what you have studied up to now in Chinese.
3 What is your nationality? In this lesson we will continue studying commonly used phrases, like: “May I ask…”? “Thank you”, “You are welcome”, “Sorry”, “It doesn’t matter” and the adverb “all” and where to put it. By the end of the lesson you will be able to ask people what is their nationality and conduct a simple conversation.
4 Can you speak Chinese? Let’s learn about languages. In this lesson we will talk about “be able to” and its negative form. We will learn how to use the verbs “to want” and “to speak” and particle “ne”-“what about…?”. By the end of the lesson you will be able to chat in Chinese about Chinese.
5 What’s this? This lesson will expand our vocabulary with many commonly used nouns; we will learn adjectives like “big”, “small” and “expensive”. We will also learn a new question form.
6 Who are you? In this lesson we will learn the verb “to have” which enables you to tell what you have, what you don’t have and if you have a lot or a few. We will also learn a new and important question word: “who” and some commonly used verbs: “to look, to read, to watch”, “to study” and “to write”.
7 How many books does he have? Let’s count. We will learn numbers from 0-10, which are very important because other numbers are based on them.
We will also learn measure words (classifiers) which are inserted between the number and the item we are counting. Different types of items have different measure words.
8 How much is one book? Let’s count some more. You will see how easy it is to learn numbers from 11-99! We will also learn how to buy things in Chinese. “How many?” / “How much…?”, the adjective “cheap” and the final particle “ba”.
9 How much altogether? Still counting. In this lesson we will learn numbers from 100-1000. We will also learn the verbs “to think”, “to intend to”, “to like”, the adverbs “still / in addition”, “but / however”, “altogether / total”, “in sum”. By the end of the lesson, you will be able to talk about your hobbies and what you like to do.
10 This dog is really big! How to describe things in Chinese: In this lesson we will learn how to describe many items and situations, using a variety of adjectives: “interesting”, “new”, “good-looking”, “thick”, “lovely” and “strange”; the difference between this/that/which and the things we want to describe, remembering to put in the measure words. We will also continue expanding our vocabulary.
11 What about your son? In this lesson we will learn the subordinating particle “de” to express possession, like “my”, “his”, “her”… (family member). By the end of the lesson, you will be able to introduce your family members and say how they are doing.
12 What color is this table? This will be a colorful lesson. We will learn about colors, and how to describe things with colors. We will also learn “or” questions and the difference between yidiar (a little) and you yidiar ((have) a little).
13 Where are you? This time we will learn how to say where you are - “to be at”. We will learn place words: “school”, “office”, “cities” and “restaurant”, the question word: “where” and the verbs: “to do”, “to work”, “to eat”, “to study” and “to travel”.
14 Where will you be tomorrow evening at 8? Here we will learn how to read the clock and use it in our daily activities.
15 What is the date today? When is your birthday? In this lesson we will learn the calendar. We will also learn the verbs “to go there” and “to come here”.
16 Do you know how to use chopsticks? Using chopsticks and making phone calls are two important skills in China. We are going to learn how to do both in this lesson.
17 Why aren’t you coming? Hamburger and green tea: have you ever tried it? Why not? You really should – it's great!
In this lesson we will learn the question "why" and it's answers.
18 On what day do you have free time? Do you want to make an appointment during the week? Let’s learn the days of the week – Sunday, Monday, Tuesday…. and the question “when?”
19 These two cats are Up and down, inside and outside, left and right, front
in the house. and back: after this lesson you will find that you can describe locations.
20 How far is it from Beijing to Guilin? Do you want to go to China? You know it is very far, but exactly how far? One hour by plane? Ten hours? Ask your teacher in Chinese: How far is it from the U.S. to China by airplane?
21 What are you looking for? You are sitting at home and can't find your book? Let’s look for it together. Perhaps you left it on your bed, or maybe it's under the sofa, or in the cupboard?
22 May I use your computer? In Chinese, there are three words which translate as “can”. What is the right way of using each? When do you use them? What's the difference between them? Let’s get that straight.
23 Do you know how to drive? In this lesson we are going to review most of the words, and all the grammar we have learned in lessons 16-22.
24 Where do you live? Where were you born? Where do you live? Where did you put the book? Where should I sit?
In this lesson we are going to learn the verbs that come before the adverbs that describe location.
25 Why hasn’t she come yet? We learned “when”, “where”, “who” and “whose”, so why haven't we learned “how”? Let’s do it now.
26 Where do you come from? We know you are not from China… so where are you from? In this lesson we will learn definite articles like: these, those, which (plural) etc.
27 How do I get to the cinema from here? Are you lost in the streets of Beijing? All you need to do is ask how to get to get to the nearest hospital / mall / post office/ school.
28 How did you come here? In this lesson we will learn the emphasis form of past sentences. We will also learn new expressions like: Long time no see! Not bad (in a positive sense).
29 How is the weather today? Find a Chinese person with whom to discuss the weather in China and in your country. Who knows? Perhaps the weather in the two countries is totally different!
30 Now I already know! In this lesson we are going to review lessons 24-29. Maybe you have already forgotten some of them, but don’t worry, everything will come back!

Course properties

Form of education
Recommended age for informal learning
19-25, 25-45, 45-65, 65+
Learning language
Language acquisition
Course authors
Zuli Huang
eTeacher Chinese
Course cost
IP transfer allowed
Output knowledge, abilities, skills
Have acquired a vocabulary of 400 basic words that will enable them to conduct basic conversations on a variety of topics, including greetings, shopping, orientation, transportation and more. Know all Chinese tones, which are vital to pronunciation. Be able to construct simple sentences in Chinese using basic grammatical structures. Be familiar with the Pinyin transliteration system used to transliterate Chinese.
Entrance test
Groups formation by readiness level
Teachers presence
Tutors presence
Facilitators presence
Training materials forms
video lecture
Interactivity in training materials
Collaborative learning presence
Discussions, forums presence
Webinars, video conferences presence
meetup presence
LMS integration
Learning Analytics
Certification presence
Course time limits
15 (weeks)
Opportunity to enter after start
Learning types (sync/async)
synhronous, asynchronous
Module unit
Course modules number
Personal learning path possibility, course individualization
Special needs support