St John Plessington Catholic College


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Head of International Studies 

Mr J McFadden 

Head of Department:

Mr J McFadden




GCSE in Chinese

Programme of study

In GCSE Chinese you will learn to use four main aspects of essential skills for communication in Chinese (and, indeed, in any language): Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

During the course you will cover topics within the following themes: 

Theme 1: Identity and culture

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

How is the course structured? 

The four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing are each worth 25% and are examined at the end of Year 11. Lessons will focus on each of these skill areas, building your vocabulary base and deepening your understanding and application of grammar. It will build on the skills and grammar learned during Key Stage 3 and develop more complex and sophisticated language. 

How will my work be assessed? 

In Chinese GCSE all four areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing will be assessed by separate examinations at the end of Year 11 at either foundation or higher tier. 

The listening and reading units will require you to respond to spoken or written Chinese demonstrating that you can understand and identify key information. In the reading unit you will also be required to translate from English into Chinese. 

The speaking unit consists of a role play, picture based discussion and general conversation lasting from 7 to 12 minutes and will be conducted by your teacher. 

The writing unit involves a series of questions requiring you to demonstrate your ability to structure a response using appropriate vocabulary and a range of tenses. You will also be required to translate from Chinese into English. 

What can these qualifications lead to? 

A GCSE in Chinese is extremely useful for a variety of jobs, not just teaching or translating. For example, you might use these skills in careers such as tourism, web design, medicine, engineering or ICT. If you are considering a career in any of these fields, or if you just want to keep your options open for the future, a GCSE in a language may be just what you need! GCSE Chinese will also count towards the English Baccalaureate. 

If you decide to continue your language learning to university level, you will be given the opportunity to spend time in China. 

A qualification in a language will always look good on your CV, as it tells potential employers or colleges that you can use the four essential skills of communication. It will also prove to be particularly useful as the UK leaves the European Union. Employers have been actively seeking those with foreign language skills to fill a variety of positions in their companies. Chinese is particularly sought after as very few schools offer Chinese to GCSE level and beyond. As a result, the possibility of studying and living in China is very high and can give you the edge in almost any industry.