Mandarin, Arts and Culture

Image of the word 'hello' in Mandarin
Image by Nikolai Garcia

Evening Mandarin Chinese course at the University of the Arts London (UAL) Language Centre in London. Learn Mandarin and explore Chinese arts and culture.

Your Mandarin course at UAL Language Centre will expose you to authentic language through listening and reading activities with an emphasis on functional uses. The classes also focus on speaking, pronunciation and reading, and on written communication.

Over the course of the eight-week Mandarin Chinese course, you will explore a variety of interesting topics such as architecture, design, fashion and society, whilst improving your ability to communicate confidently in the language.

The weekly evening classes take place at our High Holborn location, just 3 minutes' walk from Holborn underground station in central London. Classes are from 6pm to 8.30pm one evening a week. The price per eight-week course is £210 and this includes all learning materials.

The course includes a termly cultural experience in collaboration with the UAL Social Programme. 

See the course details section below for the course overview, full syllabus and outcomes by level.

Book onto your course.

Mandarin course dates and fees

Term Three Beginner Part One Wednesday class (May - June 2018)

Time: 6.00 - 8.30pm

Dates: Wednesday 9 May 2018 - Wednesday 27 June 2018 (eight weeks)

Course Fee: £210

Book your Mandarin Beginner Part 1 course

Mandarin Chinese Beginner Part One course details

Beginner Part One Course Overview and Outcomes

Our Mandarin Chinese evening language courses are built around an arts and culture context. You will explore a variety of topics including architecture, cuisine, culture, design, fashion, society and more.

Over the 8 weeks of the Mandarin Beginner Part One course, you will:

  • get an introduction to asking and answering simple questions on familiar topics
  • learn functional language such as ordering food and exchanging personal details 
  • learn vocabulary related to food, the arts, the city, travelling, professions, leisure and your home
  • work on your interactional, listening and speaking skills
  • learn about regional Chinese cuisine, contemporary artists, Chinese cultural and society 
  • learn to recognise familiar words and phrases concerning you, your family, your immediate surroundings, and the topics outlined above
  • look at Pinyin to help you recognise writing as well as practise writing the characters yourself in the form of blogs, postcards and business cards
  • experience the art of Chinese calligraphy using traditional brushes, ink and rice paper.

There is a focus on oral communication and pronunciation as well as using language for functional and practical purposes.

You will be able to take part in Social Programme events which will be announced on a termly basis, in line with the topics in the syllabus and your chosen language of study. The price per eight-week course is £210 and this includes all learning materials.

Book your Mandarin Beginner Part 1 course. 

Course Details

Week number and Session Topic Language Content and Arts and Culture Content*
1. Introduction to Language, Arts and Culture

Language Content:


Talking about Names

Introduction to Pinyin and Tones 

Introduction to Chinese Writing System

Number 0-10

Exchanging Contact Details (Phone and Email)

Arts and Culture Content:

Contemporary Artists

 2. Cuisine and Culture

Language Content:

Number 11-99
Food / Drink Items
Ordering in a Café or a Restaurant
Phrases for daily use
Pinyin: Initials and Finals

Arts and Culture Content:

Regional Cuisines

 3. Art and Politics

Language Content:

Talking About Your Background (Nationality, Where you live)
Y/N questions: use of ‘ma’
Exchanging Personal Details
Chinese characters: recognition

Arts and Culture Content:

Controversial Artists

 4. Urban Spaces Language Content:

Talking about Jobs
Where you study/work
Meeting people and presenting yourself
Use of question words: what, where, etc.
Chinese characters: strokes and stroke order

Arts and Culture Content:

From University To Work
Exchanging Business Cards

 5. Movement and Time

Language Content:

Months, Days, Weekdays and Birthdays
Talking about Family members
Typing Chinese characters
Write an Email to a penfriend

Arts and Culture Content:

One Child Policy
Migrant Workers

 6. Modernism

Language Content:

Numbers 100-9999
Describing a city
Talking about your travel plan
Constructing sentences
Write a Postcard

Arts and Culture Content:

Landscapes: Old And New
Urbanisation in China
Travel Advice

 7. Fashion and Society

Language Content:

Colours and clothing
Shopping for clothes
Use of measure words

Arts and Culture Content:

Gifts and Souvenirs
Fashion and Brands

 8. Design and Architecture

Language Content:

Talking About Your Favourites, e.g. Food, Artist, City, etc.
Public Spaces and signs

Arts and Culture Content: 

Modern structures
Experiencing Chinese Calligraphy

 Book your Mandarin Beginner Part 1 course.

*Note: these are some of the possible arts and culture topics you will cover and they may differ according to student needs and interests.