HSK IV Mandarin
Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world and one of the six official languages of the UN. Steeped in history, it is different from Western languages in its appearance and sound and it is said that the process of learning Mandarin will enhance the development of your cognitive skills.
With China’s booming economy, having an understanding of Chinese language and culture HSK IV level could give you an advantage in the future. So why not learn a language that has seen thousands of years of history yet is very modern?
You will learn HSK Mandarin alongside your three A levels for two hours a week. The lessons will be conducted mainly in Mandarin and you will also have conversation lessons with a native speaker.
So what is the HSK?
The HSK test is China's only official test of Chinese language proficiency for non-native speakers. Level IV is the equivalent to B2 on the Common European Framework and is comparable to AS level and you will be able to converse fluently with native speakers. It is internationally recognised and it also provides a concrete demonstration of your ability to prospective employers, foreign institutions and other international organisations.
The HSK IV examination covers a range of topics and there are four examinations at the end of the course. Listening (25%) and reading (25%) papers have a range of multiple choice type questions. Writing and usage (25%) and speaking (25%) focus on describing pictures and responding to questions. The context of each test is set in everyday real life situations and the demand on vocabulary is around 1,200 characters.
The topics you will be learning across Years 12 and 13 are: family, young people, education, the media, work and leisure, travel and the environment and Chinese culture.
You could continue your study at university or combine it with business, law or economics. Many UK universities are introducing new courses incorporating Mandarin, reflecting an interest in Chinese language and culture. Although the grammar is relatively simple, students will have to be committed to learning characters.
“A different language is a different vision of life.”