Mandarin, Arts and Culture

Image of hello in Mandarin
Nikolai Garcia

Evening Mandarin language course in an arts and culture context.

During this 8-week course you will be exposed to authentic language through listening and reading activities with an emphasis on functional and practical uses. The classes focus on speaking, pronunciation and where relevant, on written communication.

Over the course of the programme, you will explore a variety of interesting topics such as architecture, design, fashion and society, whilst improving your ability to interact in the language.

As part of our partnership with the British Museum, you will have the opportunity to attend a unique lecture and gain free admission to the Sunken cities: Egypt’s lost worlds evening exhibition – a new and exciting cultural experience.

To complement the topic taught in week two (Cuisine and Culture) you are also invited to the International Food Festival, arranged in collaboration with the University’s Social Programme. The event will happen once per term in addition to your lessons and is a great opportunity for you to socialise with classmates and other students at the Language Centre. 

Classes take place at our High Holborn building, three minutes walk from Holborn underground station in central London. They take place one evening per week between 6pm and 8:30pm. 

Profile image of In partnership with</br> The British Museum

In partnership with
The British Museum

Dates and Fees

Fee: £225

Mandarin BeginnerFridays (CLOSED)21 October - 9 December 2016 6pm - 8:30pm

International Food Festival: Thursday 27 October 2016, from 7pm onwards.

British Museum Exhibition: Friday 25 November 2016, from 5pm - 7:30pm.

2017 dates:
The Languages, Arts and Culture courses will run again in 2017. The exact weeknights and schedules will be published later in the year.

January 2017 start date:
Starts week commencing 23 January 2017
Ends week ending 17 March 2017

April 2017 start date:
Starts week commencing 18 April 2017
Ends week commencing 9 June 2017

Beginner course overview

Over the 8 weeks of the Mandarin Beginner course, you will be introduced to asking and answering simple questions on familiar topics as well as functional language and vocabulary related to food, the arts, the city, travelling, professions, leisure and your home.
You will work towards improving your interactional, listening and speaking skills, learn to recognise familiar words and phrases concerning you, your family, your immediate surroundings, and the topics outlined above. You will also look at Pinyin and Chinese Calligraphy to help you recognise writing as well as practise writing the characters yourself in the form of blogs, postcards and business cards.
There is a focus of the programme on oral communication and pronunciation as well as using language for functional and practical purposes. 

Beginner course details

LessonLanguage ContentArts & Culture Content

Introducing yourself (Name, Surname)
Exchanging Contact Details (Phone Number, Email)
Number 0-10
Pinyin, Tones
Introduction to Chinese Writing System 

Contemporary Chinese Art & Artists

Cuisine and Culture

Presenting yourself in a Meeting
Exchanging Business Card
Number 11-100
Food / Drink Items
Ordering in a Café / a Restaurant

Symbolism in Food
Regional Cuisines
Art & Food

Art and Politics

Talking About Your Background (Nationality, Where you live)
Exchanging Personal Details
Talking About Your Favourites, e.g. Food, Artist, City

Controversial Works & Artists
Traditional Chinese Art
Art & Politics in Mao’s China 

Urban Spaces

Jobs and Professions, where you study/work
Talking about your institution
Introducing Family members
Write an Email 

Transition From University To Work
Urbanisation In China
The Changing City Landscapes: Old And New

Movement and Time

Planning a Trip
Months, Days and Weekdays
Write a Postcard

Travel Photography
Travel Advice
Transport in China


Describing a city
Talking about your Neighbourhood
Numbers 101-10000
Write a Blog

Migrant Workers With Globalisation
Factories and Pollution
One Child Policy

Fashion and Society

Money and Currency
Shopping for clothes

Aesthetics and Generation
Fashion and Brands

Design and Architecture

Public Spaces
Public Transport
Distance, Time and Cost

Traditional Interiors and Exteriors
Modern Structures
Urban & Rural Habitations