The Centre

Spoken Mandarin Chinese

Note that the Darwin and online versions may differ in terms of the resources used, as noted below.


Darwin version available now; online version under development


Twelve levels for the Darwin version; the online version will probably be similar

Time required:

Each level has 2 hours per week of classes for 10 weeks;
an additional hour of self study per week is recommended


Click to check scheduling and/or express interest in the Darwin or online programs

Required background:

The lowest level requires no background.
Each higher level assumes the knowledge of spoken Mandarin covered in the preceding level.

Class size:

5 to 10 learners

Resources required:

For the Darwin program a subscription to Great Wall Chinese multimedia material is optional but recommended.
For the online program the resources are still to be determined.


$300 for each level, plus cost of any resources (see above)


This is a foundation course in spoken Mandarin. For absolute beginners in the language it begins with a level that covers basic social interaction in Mandarin, including greetings and how to introduce oneself and others, using basic patterns of grammar for statements and questions. There is a special focus on proper pronunciation and its representation in terms of pinyin transcription, to enable the learner to pronounce anything written in this system of transcription.

The higher levels of this program provide a solid introduction to further social interaction in Mandarin Chinese, including using numbers to discuss age, dates, times and prices, asking and answering questions, making and responding to invitations, requests, suggestions, apologies, and so on. Handling of grammar is developed throughout the program, and proper pronunciation continues to be reinforced throughout the program. While the focus is on spoken Chinese, there is also some introduction to the written language and a some of the Chinese characters most likely to be encountered in daily life in China.

The Centre

Eastern Road Language Centre ABN 34 966 793 223
Copyright © 2013-2016 by Paul Black and Zongmin Chen
Version 1.4. Last modified on 29 January 2017