Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

CHIN131 Introductory Chinese 1

An introductory course in reading, writing, speaking and listening to Chinese for students with no previous knowledge of the language. The paper takes an integrated approach to the skills of language acquisition and includes basic material on the cultural heritage of the Chinese people.

Why study Chinese? The number of people who are learning Chinese as a second language is increasing very rapidly. It is also the second most common language on the Internet. As China is an important business partner of New Zealand, learning Chinese will give you the edge over other candidates for a wide variety of jobs.

Paper title Introductory Chinese 1
Paper code CHIN131
Subject Chinese
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $851.85
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,585.00

^ Top of page

CHIN 101 or CHIN 132 or any other more advanced Chinese language paper.
Schedule C
Arts and Music
This paper is for beginners only and is not available to students who have passed NCEA Level 2 or 3 (or equivalent) in Chinese.  For further information, contact the Programme Coordinator (
Suitable for students specialising in any discipline.This paper is for absolute beginners, and it is designed to set the foundation for your study of Chinese. If you already have some knowledge of Chinese (e.g. you have studied it at secondary school, lived in China or have been exposed to Chinese in a family setting), you may be able to enrol in a more advanced paper (such as CHIN 132 or CHIN 231). Please contact the Programme Co-ordinator for further advice.
Teaching staff
Convenor: Dr Paola Voci
Teaching Arrangements
Lectures: During lectures, we will learn and practise the new grammar patterns and new vocabulary, as well as read the lesson dialogues. We will also introduce other supplementary material (feature films, documentaries, websites).

Tutorials: While lectures will all have an interactive nature, it is during tutorial times, when students are divided in smaller groups, that you will have an opportunity to practise more extensively through both small group or pair activities and individual exercises.
Liu, Xun, ed. Xin shiyong hanyu keben 1 (New Practical Chinese Reader 1) (Textbook & Workbook).
Beijing: Beijing Language and Culture University Press, 2011. (Both available at the University Book Shop)
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Cultural understanding, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
By participating in lectures and tutorials, completing the assigned homework and via other independent learning activities (practice with Language Perfect, meetings with language match partners and exercises based on suggested online resources), students will gain:
  • A basic understanding of the Chinese language structure
  • Elementary conversational skills
  • Basic reading and writing skills
More specifically, the paper's expected learning outcomes include:
  • Learning basic phonetics and tones
  • Fluency in reading and writing the Pinyin system
  • A written vocabulary of about 300 characters
  • The ability to carry out simple conversations on everyday topics (such as the exchange of personal information, family structure, profession, basic physical descriptions of people and communicating place and time)
  • The capacity to read a simple text independently

^ Top of page


First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 14:00-14:50 9-15, 17-22
Tuesday 14:00-14:50 9-15, 18-22
Thursday 14:00-14:50 9-15, 17-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-15, 17-22
Thursday 09:00-09:50 9-15, 17-22
T2 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 9-15, 17-22
Thursday 10:00-10:50 9-15, 17-22
T3 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 9-15, 17-22
Thursday 11:00-11:50 9-15, 17-22