Subject Overview

A Level Chinese
Examination Board: Edexcel

Pearson Edexcel A Level Chinese (spoken Mandarin/spoken Cantonese) has been developed to inspire all students who have an appreciation of the language, literature, film and culture of the Chinese-speaking world.

The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:

  • enhance their linguistic skills and promote and develop their capacity for critical thinking on the basis of their knowledge and understanding of the language, culture and society of the country or countries where the language is spoken
  • develop control of the language system to convey meaning, using spoken and written skills, including an extended range of vocabulary, for both practical and intellectual purposes as increasingly confident, accurate and independent users of the language
  • develop their ability to interact effectively with users of the language in speech and in writing, including through online media
  • develop language learning skills and strategies, including communication strategies to sustain communication and build fluency and confidence
  • engage critically with intellectually stimulating texts, films and other materials in the original language, developing an appreciation of sophisticated and creative uses of the language and understanding them within their cultural and social context
  • develop knowledge about matters central to the society and culture, past and present, of the country or countries where the language is spoken
  • mediate between cultures and between speakers of the language and speakers of English
  • foster their ability to learn other languages
  • equip themselves with transferable skills such as autonomy, resourcefulness, creativity, critical thinking, and linguistic, cultural and cognitive flexibility that will enable them to proceed to further study or employment
  • develop their capacity for critical and analytical thinking through the language
  • develop as independent researchers through the language of study.

Course Content

Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation

2 hours, 40% of the qualification

Section A: Listening
Section B: Reading
Section C: Translation into English

Paper 2: Written response to works and translation

2 hours 40 mins, 30% of the qualification

Section A: Translation into Chinese
Section B : Written response to works (literary texts) – students write an extended response on a chosen set text
Section C: Written response to works (film) – students write an extended response on a chosen set film

Paper 3: Speaking

Total assessment time: between 21 and 23 minutes, which includes a single period of 5 minutes’ formal preparation time
30% of the qualification

Task 1 (discussion on a Theme)

Students discuss one Theme from the specification based on a stimulus containing a short statement.

Task 2, Part 1 (independent research presentation)

Students present a summary of at least two of the written sources they have used for their research and give a personal response to what they have read.

Task 2, Part 2 (discussion on independent research)

Students answer questions on their presentation and then have a wider discussion on their research.

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