Chinese language 1 (2019/2020)

Course code
Barbara Bisetto
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
Lezioni 6 Annuale (Lingue e letterature straniere) Daniele Beltrame, Barbara Bisetto

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Esercitazioni linguistiche [cognomi A-L] 3 Annuale (Lingue e letterature straniere) Chunye Niu

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Esercitazioni linguistiche [cognomi M-Z] 3 Annuale (Lingue e letterature straniere) Min Sun

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Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide the basic elements of phonetics, writing and the basic sentence structure of the Chinese language. The aim is to introduce students to the elementary spoken and written Chinese, creating the conditions for an autonomous use of the putonghua (Standard Chinese). At the end of the course the student will be able to interact in simple conversations on daily life, to read and understand short and simple texts and will also have acquired the basic syntactic structures of the simple sentence and the formative principles of the Chinese characters, their classification and their structure. Students at the end of the course will have achieved a level of linguistic and lexical knowledge corresponding to an HSK2 certificate, ie an A2 level in the international classification.


Introduction to phonetics, Chinese writing system, syntax of standard Chinese.
Main topics: Clause types; particles (modal particles and aspect particles); adverbs; pronouns and other substitutes; numbers and classifiers; nouns and noun phrases; verbs and verbal adjuncts; prepositional constructions; verbal complements (complement of result, complement of quantity, complement of duration); special structures (use of 是…的; use of 把; use of 被).
In-class exercises on grammar points and oral interactions, aimed at developing communication skills and widening students' lexicon.
Lectures involve the active participation of students through exercises and linguistic analysis of texts.

Applied language activities on writing, reading, listening and the development of oral proficiency are provided by mother-tongue teachers.

Teng Wen-Hua, Yufa! A Practical Guide to Modern Chinese Grammar, London, Hodder Education, 2011.
Abbiati Magda, Zhang Ruoying, Dialogare in Cinese 1, Venezia, Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina, 2010 (Lessons 1-18).

Additional teaching material will be used and provided by the teacher during the lessons and uploaded on the e-learning page of the course.

Recommended Texts:
Abbiati Magda, Grammatica di cinese moderno, Venezia, Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina, 1998.
Romagnoli Chiara, Wang Jing, Grammatica d'Uso della Lingua cinese, Milano, Hoepli, 2016.

Recommended Chinese-Italian/Italian-Chinese dictionaries:
Casacchia, Giorgio; Bai Yukun, Dizionario Cinese-Italiano, Venezia, Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina, 2013 [only Chinese-italian].
Zhao Xiuying (a cura di), Il dizionario di cinese, Bologna, Zanichelli, 2013.
Zhang Shihua (a cura di), Dizionario di cinese. Milano, Hoepli 2007.

Recommended Chinese-English dictionaries:
Lin Yuan (ed.), The Contemporary Chinese Dictionary. Beijing, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 2002.
Hui Yu (ed.), A New Century Chinese-English Dictionary. Beijing, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 2004.
Kleeman Julie, Harry Yu, The Oxford Chinese Dictionary, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010

Recommended Apps: Pleco Chinese dictionary:

Assessment methods and criteria

The final exam consists of a written test on grammar and writing, a listening test and a conversation in Chinese. Each part of the test has a ten-points worth. Students must obtain at least 6/10 points in each part of the test in order to pass the exam. All the parts of the exam must be passed in the same date: whoever wants or needs to repeat the exam must repeat all of its parts (written test, listening, and conversation).
The details about the test will be published on the e-learning page.

HSK certificates will not be accepted as a substitute for the exam or any of its parts.

At the end of the first semester, i.e. in the winter session of January-February 2020, a mid-term test (score not-registered) will be held on the first half of the programme. The modalities for the examination of the mid-term test are the same as those for the final examination described above. Even in the case of the mid-term test, the examination consists of three parts and students must achieve passing mark (at least 6 out of 10 points) to pass the exam. Students who pass the mid-term examination will need to prepare the second half of the programme for the final exam and the final mark will be the average of the two exams. Those who don't pass the mid-term exam must prepare the entire programme for the final exam.
Students who wish to decline the mark of mid-term exam should express such intention clearly writing from their university email address to the teacher’s university email address, within one week after the publishing date of exam results seen on e-learning webpage of the course.
The intermediate test will be valid for one year, until the second call of the session in January-February 2021.

Since attendance is mandatory, students who don't reach 60% of the attendance will not be admitted to the exam. Between 60% and 75% of the attendance, students must take an additional oral test on grammar topics. To justify non-attendance certificates proving a real and well-grounded reason (health, study or HSK certificates from level 2 to level 6) will be considered. These certificates should be submitted to the teacher before the exam.

Reference books
Activity Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Lezioni Magda Abbiati, Zhang Ruoying Dialogare in cinese 1. Corso di lingua colloquiale Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina 2010 978-88-7543-275-1
Lezioni Teng Wen-hua Yufa! A Practical Guide to Mandarin Chinese Grammar Hodder Education 2011 9781444109139
Esercitazioni linguistiche Magda Abbiati, Zhang Ruoying Dialogare in cinese 1. Corso di lingua colloquiale Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina 2010 978-88-7543-275-1