Where can I learn Chinese?

Remote video URL

Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world. It is the official language of the People's Republic of China and spoken in many other areas in the world. Mandarin is also one of the official languages of the United Nations. China has the second largest economy in the world and is a major trading partner for many countries. Learning Mandarin is important for fields in politics, economics, and international business.

At Renison, our courses include topics such as Chinese history, literature, religion, political and economic systems, and culture. Our small classes can help anyone build a solid language base in Mandarin. 

Complete a Language Diploma

We offer two language diplomas Chinese Language I and Chinese Language II for students enrolled in degree programs or any non- or post-degree academic plan. Students must successfully complete two academic course units (four courses) with a minimum cumulative diploma average of 65%. Diplomas I and II are mutually exclusive. Only one diploma can be granted.

To graduate with a Diploma in Chinese Language, students must declare the diploma on their Application to Graduate form.

CHINA Course Offerings

CHINA Level 100 courses

CHINA 101R - First-Year Chinese 1

An introductory course for students who have little or no prior background in writing, speaking, or understanding any dialect of the Chinese language to develop basic listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Practical oral and written exercises provide a firm grammatical foundation for further study.

(Not open to speakers of any Chinese dialect. Student assessment required)

CHINA 102R - First-Year Chinese 2

With the completion of the study of the rudiments of phonetics (as provided in CHINA 101R), the emphasis in this course shifts to grammar and character writing. Vocabulary will be expanded to between 500 and 700 words.

(Not open to students with native, near-native, or similar advanced ability. Student assessment required)

CHINA 120R - Advanced First-Year Chinese

Equivalent to 101R and 102R but covered in one term. This introductory Chinese course is designed for two major groups of students who have different initial advantages in learning Chinese: 1) students who have substantial aural-oral proficiency but limited ability in reading and writing Chinese characters and 2) those who know characters but cannot speak Mandarin (Putonghua).

(Not open to students with native, near-native, or similar advanced ability. Student assessment required)

CHINA 180R - Conversational Chinese

This course helps strengthen students' speaking and listening competence. Classes are structured around themes, integrating discussions, student presentations, and question/answer exchanges. This structure provides opportunities for pronunciation practice, vocabulary building, and sentence pattern formation, helping students develop oral/aural proficiency in elaborating opinions on socio-cultural topics relevant in a Chinese community.

CHINA Level 200 courses

CHINA 201R - Second-Year Chinese 1

Development of speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. This course and its follow-up (CHINA 202R) include a survey of grammar, complex sentences, and logical stress.

CHINA 202R - Second-Year Chinese 2

The study of Chinese characters receives more emphasis. Grammar instruction includes comparisons and different kinds of complements. The course includes topics of interest to students illustrating cultural differences between China and the West. Upon completion of CHINA 201R and 202R, the student should have a reading vocabulary of 1,600 Chinese characters and have learned about 300 key sentence patterns.

CHINA Level 300 courses

CHINA 301R - Third-Year Chinese 1

A course to consolidate, expand, and deepen the understanding of lexical items and sentence patterns. Besides introducing more vocabulary and grammar, this course concentrates on complex sentences and paragraphs not emphasized in earlier textbooks.

CHINA 302R - Third-Year Chinese 2

A continuation of China 301R to further students' ability to comprehend and communicate at a higher level in Chinese. In addition, the course introduces aspects of Chinese society, highlighting traditional and contemporary cultural life.

CHINA 310R - Chinese for Business Settings

A course to develop comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing of Mandarin specifically related to the Chinese business environment. This course is designed for students who are already familiar with Chinese characters and Mandarin tonality.

CHINA 320R - Chinese in Mass Media

A course to develop Chinese language skills in conversation, reading, writing, and critical thinking in both practical and cultural situations through contemporary films, television programs, newspapers, magazines, and literary works. Selected important issues and themes in Chinese culture and history are considered.

CHINA 390R - Introduction to Professional Translation (Chinese to English)

This course is for students with a strong command of Chinese and English who seek to learn the basics of professional translation between the two languages. Focus is on translation involving government and business documents, as well as news stories.

CHINA 391R - Special Topics

This course deals with advanced topics in Chinese language and literature. Students are expected to have at least an intermediate level of language proficiency.

CHINA Level 400 courses

CHINA 401R - Introduction to Classical Chinese 1

This course examines selected philosophical and historical writings from pre-modern China with an emphasis on introducing the basic vocabulary and grammar of classical Chinese.

(Chinese native or near-native proficiency students may enrol. Student assessment required)

CHINA 402R - Introduction to Classical Chinese 2

Building on skills introduced in CHINA 401R, this course examines selected writings from pre-modern China to develop a deeper understanding of and facility with classical literary Chinese.