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Chinese II

Course Overview

This course will continue focusing on teaching students the Chinese language and cultural knowledge, and preparing them to be able to communicate with Chinese people across ethnic, cultural, ideological, and national boundaries, while helping them develop an understanding of Chinese interpersonal behavioral culture and related thought patterns. Through the development of competence in listening, reading, viewing, speaking, signing, and writing, the course aims to train students to function successfully in Chinese culture using Mandarin as their primary language. To reach that goal, students will be required to have both linguistic accuracy and cultural appropriateness.


Upon success completion of the course, students will attain approximately the Intermediate-Low level on the ACTFL Proficiency Scale. They will maintain the linguistic and cultural knowledge introduced in Chinese I, while mastering another 150 characters and vocabulary. They will learn to use correct and appropriate structures and expressions to carry on conversations, read and comprehend authentic reading materials, and write journals on the topics of weather, dining, directions, social gatherings, doctor’s visits, off-campus living, sports, vacation planning, and travel.

Course Content (units continued from Chinese I)

Unit 11: Weather

In this unit, students will learn to describe and compare weather of the four seasons in different places, and discuss what they can do in nice or bad weather, or in different seasons. They will listen to original weather forecasts from Chinese TV channels for listening comprehension, and talk about the weather in different regions of China. The target expressions include comparison structure, “not only…but also,” “is going to/will,” and “(although)…but.”

Unit 12: Dining

This unit will teach students how to order food in a Chinese restaurant, including placing an order, describe dietary preferences and restrictions, ask for recommendations, rush the order, and pay for the meal. In addition to language knowledge, they will also learn informational cultural knowledge about what a typical Chinese meal is composed of, and in what order the dishes will be served in a Chinese restaurant. They will be encouraged to compare Chinese dining culture and American dining culture, including table manners, etiquette, and eating habits. In terms of the target structures, the students will learn to use resultative complements, “not even one/not at all” negative sentences, adjective reduplication, and express doing something “more” or “less.”

Unit 13: Asking Directions

In this unit, students will learn to ask for and give directions, identify locations by using landmarks as references, and describe the distance between places. They will learn the direction and location words, “east,” “west,” “south,” “north,” “front,” “back,” “top,” “bottom,” “outside,” “inside,” and “next to.” In terms of grammar, they will learn negative comparison structure, past participle, “as soon as” sentence, and review the structure of “verb + resultative complement.”

Unit 14: Birthday Party

This unit focus on teaching students how to plan, describe, and throw a birthday party in Chinese context. They will learn two different structures to express duration of time, learn to talk about a series of actions with coherent transition words, use verbal phrases and subject-predicate phrases as attributives to nouns, use “shi 是…de 的” structure to describe or ask about the time, place, manner, and initiator of a known action, and use “verb + descriptive complement.” In terms of cultural knowledge, they will learn how Chinese people celebrate birthdays, and how to look up one’s Chinese animal zodiac.

Unit 15: Seeing a Doctor

This unit teaches students how to describe a common cold, stomach problems, and allergy symptoms, how to read or give instructions on dose and time for taking medications, talk about health insurance and possible time to schedule an appointment with a doctor. In terms of informational cultural knowledge, students will learn how it is like to set an appointment to see a doctor, to get medicine, and pay medical bills in China. They are encouraged to compare the differences in doctor’s visits between the US and in China. They will also learn about traditional Chinese medicine as important Chinese achievement culture, such as acupuncture, fire cupping, moxibustion, and herbal medicine. For grammar structure and expressions, they will learn “start to + verb,” measure word for frequency, ba 把 structure to indicate the subject’s disposition or impact upon the object, and the preposition “to” for having allergy to.”

Unit 16: Dating

In this unit, students learn to ask someone out on a date, accept or gently decline a date, and make arrangements to go out with a friend. They will learn about how to accept and decline in a culturally appropriate way in a Chinese context. The target grammar structures include descriptive complements, potential complements, directional complements.

Unit 17: Renting an Apartment

This unit focuses on the language and culture knowledge about renting an apartment in China. Students will learn to ask about and describe the floor plan of an apartment, describe an ideal dwelling and explain why a place is or is not right for someone, name common pieces of furniture, discuss and negotiate rent, utilities, security deposits, and whether pets are allowed or not. In terms of grammar, students will learn the structure for continuation of action, intensifier for extreme cases, negative potential complements, approximate numbers, and question pronouns for inclusive or exclusive statements.

Unit 18: Sports

This unit discusses popular sports, and teaches students to talk about their exercise habits, and compare some popular sports. Students are encouraged to compare the popular sports in China and in the US, such as soccer and American football. They will also talk about what sports they like and don’t like, and explain the reasons. For grammar structures and expressions, this unit will teach structures for duration of inactivity (negative sentence for continuation of action), “easy/difficult + verb,” continuation of an action that is in progress, accompanying action with the main action, passive-voice sentences with specified or non-specified performer of the action.

Unit 19: Travel

In this unit, students will learn to talk about their plans for the summer break, describe a travel itinerary, ask for discounts, compare airfares and routes, and book air tickets, ask about seat assignments and request meal accommodations based on one’s dietary restrictions or preferences. Students will also learn about Beijing and its famous scenic spots and historical sites, and learn to talk about them in Chinese.

Unit 20: At the Airport

This unit prepares students with the necessary knowledge to function at an airport in China. They learn to use Chinese language to check in at the airport, seeing friends or family off at the airport and expressing good wishes, greeting and picking up guests at the airport, and introducing people to each other when they meet the first time. Students are encouraged to compare what people talk about after not seeing each other for a long time in Chinese culture and in American culture. In terms of grammar, students will learn the different between the three de 的, 得, and 地, ba 把 structure with simple or compound directional complements, difference between “…de shihou 的时候” (when) and “…yihou 以后” (after), hai 还 + positive adjective while reviewing all the previously learned structures associated with hai. Students will also increase their knowledge on the system of kinship terms in Chinese. In Chinese I, they have learned the vocabulary for Mom, Dad, older and younger sisters, older and younger brothers, son and daughter. In this lesson they will learn kinship terms for grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandchildren, brother and sister in laws, son and daughter in laws. Students are encouraged to pay attention to the fact that in the system of Chinese kinship terms, whether the person is paternal or maternal relative is distinguished and indicated in the vocabulary. The cultural and historical background behind it will be discussed.