CN 125 (Elementary Chinese I)

Great WallThis course will allow you to breach another “Great Wall of China”–the language barrier. We will learn the basics of Mandarin Chinese (called Hanyu, Putonghua, or Guoyu) the national language of both the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC, or Taiwan.) During the first two weeks of CN 125 we will concentrate on the sound system and writing system covered in the introductory portion of our textbook. During the remainder of the first semester we will proceed to some of the more basic sentence patterns, vocabulary and characters introduced in Lessons 1-8.

Course Learning Goals (for lesson-specific communicative goals see the course moodle page):

  1. Learn the Chinese Sound System & Pinyin Romanization
  2. Become familiar with the basic strokes and radicals in the Chinese Writing system, and learn to recognize and write approximately 200 characters
  3. Learn basic sentence patterns
  4. Be able to employ all four language modalities (speaking, listening, reading and writing) to exchange basic information about yourself, your family and your studies

Integrated Chinese Level 1 Part 1 3rd Edition (Textbooks, Character Workbooks & Workbooks) Tao-chung Yao et al (Boston: Cheng and Tsui, 2009) The textbooks can be purchased at the Colby College bookstore.

Course Moodle Page (This page includes the course schedule and class materials.  It is open to enrolled students.  E-mail me at if you would like access.)

LRC Resources

  • Tapes accompanying “Integrated Chinese” Level 1 Part 1 Textbook, & Level 1 Part 1 Workbook (3rd edition) can be accessed through the LRC Virtual Listening Lab You may also access the videos that accompany our lessons through the Chinese VLL site.
  • The LRC Chinese Resources Page
  • Instructions on how to configure your computer to download and access MPEG4 files (for the Bihua project among other uses.)
  • Instructions on how to make sound files and send them. (For your oral assignments.)

Internet Resources for Beginning Chinese Language Study