A Level Chinese Tutors

For any would-be students of A Level Chinese, The Profs look at the syllabus, prerequisites and further study options.

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Why study A Level Chinese?

When you learn a language at GCSE level, you gain the basic foundational skills upon which to develop your abilities. GCSE level language study covers basic grammar, vocabulary and common phrases. However, the ability to converse, write, listen and read effectively in your studied language will still be beyond reach. When you progress to AS and A Level, you develop to a point where you can genuinely operate in a second language.

Study A Level Chinese and you will deepen your grammatical knowledge, written understanding and competence and your vocabulary to the point where you can confidently immerse yourself in Chinese culture, arts, society, politics, literature, business and more.

Why learn Chinese?

English may seem to be the lingua franca of the world, but over 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language, whether Mandarin, Cantonese or a regional dialect. Add in millions of second language Chinese speakers and you will see the appeal of this language. With China becoming ever more powerful on the global stage, it is also a great choice for students who have a firm eye on their future prospects for work, travel and study.

If you want to be able to speak, read and write in the language that a fifth of the global population speaks, then it’s time to look at Chinese. It will also give European language speakers a wonderfully enriching, mentally challenging experience.

The first year of study

You will begin your first year of A Level Chinese focusing on your oral accuracy and fluency. Written skills will be challenged with written reports and essays. At the same time, you will deepen your study of Chinese society and cultural appreciation. Most exam boards focus on two key themes which are Chinese contemporary society and its changes, and then Chinese culture. Within these topics, you are likely to study some or all of the following:

  • Chinese family structures, the Chinese population, generation gaps, family planning and demographics
  • Chinese education, business, work and attitudes to work-life balance
  • Chinese traditions and customs, including festivals
  • Modern society and culture, including social issues, trends, books, music, film and more

The second year of study

You will continue to develop your oral and written Chinese skills and add two more focus themes to underpin your language studies. These are usually based upon China’s evolving society and its role on the world stage. The sorts of topics covered here, depending on the exam board, will usually include:

  • Political, economic and social topics, such as internet, environmental protection and trade
  • China’s world place, including modern politics, relations with Europe and the USA and the changing face of urban and rural Chinese life

What prior knowledge is needed to study A Level Chinese?

The best starting approach is to have a high grade at GCSE level or some abilities as a second language or home-spoken language.

How is A Level Chinese assessed?

At AS level there are three exams which cover listening, reading and translation of Chinese into English. Each exam lasts for less than two hours. One tests comprehension, listening, reading and translating Chinese into English. The second will test your understanding of two selected Chinese texts such as a book or film. The final paper is focused upon an oral test and lasts for about half an hour.

At A2 level, there are also three exams. The first paper covers reading, listening and translation to assess your comprehension skills and it lasts for around two hours. Again, the written response exam is the second and it assesses your comprehension of two texts, lasting for anywhere up to three hours. The final paper is an oral exam which lasts for less than half an hour.

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Keen to get ahead with A Level Chinese? Our team of expert tutors are here to help you to succeed, with flexible tuition programmes built around your needs. We offer a variety of services to help students to plan for their education next steps and to achieve their goals. Please contact us to find out more about how we might assist.

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