Mandarin Chinese Language, Culture awareness and Social etiquette for UoL Staff at Beginners


This training is available to all staff, but also to members of the public, with no prior knowledge of Mandarin language (or so little that you effectively want to start again from scratch).

Entry level

No previous knowledge of Mandarin Chinese language or its culture is required. Although it would be beneficial, the course is suitable for absolute beginners.

Training Objective

  • To enable staff to use Mandarin Chinese language at a basic level to break the ice introducing themselves and starting conversations. It would help Chinese students at Leicester to feel welcome and therefore reduce anxiety. The familiarity of the Mandarin language can help to reduce anxieties and provide confidence to carry out conversations in English. Students would feel reassured seeing that staff have an interest in their language and way of life. Moreover, they would be more inclined to trust and follow their advice and instructions.
  • To raise awareness of Chinese culture and customs when engaging with students. Most of the message in personal interaction is carried through body language, gestures, eye contact and the pace and tone of the voice. Hence, choosing when and how to deliver information could help to facilitate communication reducing noise and misinterpretations. A deeper understanding of Chinese culture and demeanours would enable staff to interact and communicate with Chinese students and colleagues in a more friendly and effective manner.
  • To enable staff to experience learning a foreign language and a culture different to their own. This experience would not only foster empathy, but it would also enable staff to identify cultural barriers and find suitable solutions.

Course content

LanguageCulture & social etiquette
Greetings. Self-introduction: Name, nationality, occupation Chinese elements: The great wall. Peking opera Discover Confucius.
Where are you from? Directions Human relationships: Guanxi. Chinese hospitality. The exchange of gifts.
Family members. House. Fengshui. The secret of numbers. Gardens and bonsais.
Food and drink. Chinese breakfast. Fruits and juice. Popular Chinese dishes. Tea or coffee. The elegance of tea. Chinese cuisine-colour of food. Table manners-importance of chopsticks, drink to drunk for business/showing relations.
Health and illnesses. Body parts. Related illnesses. How to keep health. Differences between Chinese and western medicine.
Travel: Transports and weather. Pop culture: Travel abroad. WeChat.
Shopping. Chinese currency terms. Basic sentences for shopping. Fashion. The ultimate luxury products-Chinese people’s favourite.
Social Etiquette.Chinese educational system. Difficulties that current graduates meet. The art of calligraphy. The significance of Chinese painting.
University life. Why Chinese people come to the UK for further study. What difficulties they meet in the UK. Culture conflicts (East & West). Discussion about the facts that staff at University meet.
Question time: open mind discussion. Colours. Revision. Red and yellow to Chinese people.

Our approach

This course is taught in Mandarin Chinese and English. Our programme aims to develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing as well as cultural awareness and knowledge of social etiquette. It provides a good balance between understanding the culture and the language to enhance effective communication and interaction. It supports comprehensive and productive skills in speech and basic writing through authentic based activities and guided practice in the use of Mandarin Chinese language. Staff will be encouraged to seek opportunities to learn and practise the four skills outside the classroom taking advantage of learning resources provided by tutors and the programme. The group size is limited to 12 students and planned to allow interactive practice with individual feedback and advice on progress.

Timetable NEW COURSE 2019

This courses will start in May 2019. It comprises 30 learning hours over one term. Lessons are two hours long and take place once a week.

Tuesdays 4-6 pm
●  10 weeks (30 learning hours), starting 7 May 2019


●  Free to all University Staff**
●  Public: £135* for 10 weeks (30 learning hours), May to July 2019

This course will be taught in a small group: Minimum 6 and maximum 12 students.

*Includes all tuition, access to VLE (virtual learning environment) and handouts.

** UoL Staff are required to complete the training (attending at least 70% of lessons).

Payment and enrolment is done online - please click the enrol now button to register and to go through to the registration process.


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Contact Details


t: +44 (0) 116 252 2662

Language skills on your transcript

Our language courses will be included on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) transcript.

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Language degrees

Modern Languages at Leicester, part of the School of Arts, offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees combining French, Spanish and Italian with each other and with other academic subjects. We also offer degrees in translation and interpreting.

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NEW Courses Summer Term 2019

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2018-2019 Term Dates

Classes run during the University terms and take place during evenings, afternoons and Saturdays:

Term 1: Autumn term (10 weeks)

Monday 8 October – Saturday 15 December 2018

Term 2: Spring term (10 weeks)

Monday 21 January – Saturday 30 March 2019

Term 3: Summer term (10 weeks)

Monday 29 April – Saturday 6 July 2018

Summer School (2 intensive weeks)

Monday 10 – Friday 21 June 2019