Conversational Mandarin 

This course is for students without Chinese language background. The course covers four main areas of communication: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. To become proficient in the four areas, discussions on Chinese word processing, Chinese calligraphy, reading Chinese characters, and proper intonation will be tackled. Typing skills are emphasized in this course to give students freedom to identify and use Chinese character in writing.

The sessions will consist of 20% lesson discussions and 80% application as well as practical activities.

Course Objectives:

At the end of the training participants will be able to do the following:

  • Demonstrate effective communication skills in basic Chinese using correct pronunciation and tones
  • Correctly identify 400 of the most frequently used Chinese characters as well as write 250 of the 400 words and understand their origins
  • Demonstrate speaking and writing skills by using the basic grammar structures of modern Chinese
  • Effectively use the Chinese dictionary

Who this is for:

Individuals who deal with Chinese-speaking business partners or colleagues, students, or anyone who wants to learn Chinese for purposes of travel or for any reason

What you will learn:

  1. How to understand the basic concepts of Chinese communication
  1. How to apply and practice proper grammar and other Chinese tonalities
  1. How to identify the different parts of speech in the Chinese language
  1. How to construct grammatically correct sentences that are comprehensible and meaningful
  1. How to monitor the students progress and give feedback that will further develop their training program in speaking Chinese
  1. How to manage conversational Chinese at a fair level of fluency


  1. Increased number of opportunities inside and outside the country through foreign language acquisition
  1. Improved eloquence and fluency in communicating with the Chinese language
  1. Improved Chinese communication skills and exposure to different cultural practices


TalkShop uses Integrated Language Teaching. This means 30% of the course is comprised of facilitator-based discussions while 70% is dedicated to an interactive learning experience through:

  • Practical Role-play Scenarios
  • Guided Dialogues
  • Voice Recording | VTR Sessions
  • Pronunciation Exercises
  • Conversing Using Frozen Expressions
  • Speech to Writing Practice
  • Conversation Drills

Course Outline

I. Zhuyin Alphabet

A. History of Zhuyin Alphabet
B. Modern Uses of the Zhuyin Alphabet
C. The Origin of the Symbols

1. Consonants

      • bā, pá, and mǎ
      • fǎ, dì, and tí
      • nǐ, lì, and gào
      • kǎo, hǎo, and jiào
      • qiǎo, xiǎo, and zhǔ
      • chū, shù, and rù
      • zài, cái, and sāi

2. Rhymes and Medials

      • dà, duō, and dé
      • diē, shài, and shéi
      • shǎo, shōu, and shān
      • shēn, shàng, and sheng
      • ér, nì, and nǔ
      • nǚ, zī, zhī, and sǐ

D. Character Recognition
E. Vocal Tone Recognition

    • Zhuyin
    • Pinyin

II. Vocal Tone and Pronunciation

A. Tonal Marks
B. Vowels a, e, o, and I

    • Pinyin
    • Zhuyin

C. Vowels u and y

    • Pinyin
    • Zhuyin

D. Non-sibilant consonants

    • Pinyin
    • Zhuyin

E. Sibilant consonants

    • Pinyin
    • Zhuyin

F. Vocal Tones

    • Pinyin mā, má, mǎ, and ma
    • Zhuyinㄇㄚ, ㄇㄚˊ, ㄇㄚˇ, ㄇㄚˋ, and ㄇㄚ・

III. Character Structure

A. Stroke Order
B. Identifying Component Strokes
C. Using the Dictionary

IV. Grammar

A. Proper Sentence Structure
B. Reading Order
C. Collective Character Sentence Structuring

V. Simple Sentence Construction

A. Counting

    • Numbers
    • Ranking

B. Common Characters and Usage

    • Intricacies of the character “De”
    • 250 Most Used Characters and Usage

VI. Greetings and expressions of courtesy

  • Appropriate Greetings
  • Surnames, names titles and personal pronouns

VII. Counting and Parts of Speech

  • Syntax: subjects, verbs, objects and prepositional phrases
  • Numbers 0 to 100
  • Interrogative words and asking questions
  • Particles: continuation, question, suggestion
  • Expressing possession
  • Vocabulary relating to topics such as school, home, family, clothing and shopping



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