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GCSE Mandarin

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Why study Mandarin?

Exam board and specification codes: Edexcel 1CN0 (2017)

Mandarin Chinese is the most common spoken first language in the world, used by about 873 million people. While having any second language is very useful, because of the growth of China, Mandarin is becoming increasingly desirable.

It helps when trying to do business with other countries if you can speak some of that country’s language and to understand some of their culture and traditions. Even the owner of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has learnt Mandarin to help him promote his website in the Mandarin speaking world.

Outside of business, it is a useful language to know for holidays in a large part of Asia.

What is covered by the course?

There are five themes in GCSE Edexcel exam. You will learn all topics and it must be studies in the context of both the students’ home country and that of countries and communities where Chinese is spoken.

Those five themes are:

  1. Identity and culture theme, which includes: Who am I, Daily life, Cultural life.
  2. Local area, holiday, travel, such as holidays: Travel and tourist transactions; Town, region and country.
  3. School: What school is like, School activities.
  4. Future aspirations, study and work: Using languages beyond the classroom.
  5. International and global dimension: Bringing the world together, Environmental issues.

How is it examined?

Students will be assessed in four parts:

Paper 1: Listening and understanding (50 min)

Paper 2: Speaking (24 min)

Paper 3: Reading and understanding (1h 5min)

Paper 4: Writing (1h 25m)

Suggested reading:

Edexcel GCSE Mandarin Student Book, newspapers, magazines and BBC Chinese website.