Learning Catalog

Mandarin Chinese 1

Mandarin Chinese 1

Credits 1

Competency Group Overview

Meets elective credit


  • Pronoun usage and Geography
    Student will demonstrate an understanding of Chinese pronouns by comprehending and communicating, in written and spoken Chinese, personal information such as names, age, and geographical place of origin.
  • Use of 有 and 还有
    Student will demonstrate an understanding of the Chinese verb 有 (to have) and the conjunctive adverb 还有(and also have) by comprehending and communicating, in written and spoken Chinese, familial information.
  • Interrogative Adjectives
    Student will demonstrate an understanding of the Chinese interrogative adjectives who, what, and/or where by comprehending and communicating, in written and spoken Chinese, information about self, friends, and pets.
  • Number usage through time and date
    Student will demonstrate an understanding of the Chinese number system by comprehending and communicating, in written and spoken Chinese, on topics such as dates and time.
  • Likes, dislikes and two uses of 还是
    Student will demonstrate an understanding of how to express likes and dislikes and the two uses of 还是 ("or", "had better") and by comprehending and communicating, in written and spoken Chinese, on topics such as preferences for colors, clothing, food, and drinks.
  • Question formation-- 吗— and verb + 不 + verb
    Student will demonstrate an understanding of the question forms verb + 不 + verb and 吗 by comprehending and communicating, in written and spoken Chinese, on topics such as hobbies and directions.
  • Superlatives and use of 过
    Student will demonstrate an understanding of formation of superlatives and the use of 过 to express experiences (present perfect) by comprehending and communicating, in written and spoken Chinese, on topics such as Chinese music, art, and movies.
  • Two uses of 的
    Student will demonstrate an understanding of the two uses of 的 (formation of possession and adjectives) by comprehending and communicating, in written and spoken Chinese, on topics such as brands, and products, place of manufacture, and price.





Estimated Completion Time

2 segments/32-36 weeks


Come and join various native speakers of Mandarin Chinese as they give you a lively introduction to the language and its rich culture. Join them in their everyday environment as they take you through different daily scenarios and give you the necessary skills to read, write and speak Chinese.

In this course you will learn the basic Chinese language. After one semester, you will be able to engage in conversation in Chinese including greeting people, introducing yourself to others, and exchanging basic information with others. You will be able to count from 1 to 1000, and make simple sentences in both spoken and written Chinese. You will also learn 160 “magical” Chinese characters, and use them on a variety of topics. As you walk through the units with us step by step, you will get to know not only the language itself, but also the culture where the language takes place and keeps developing.

At the very beginning, we will start by introducing you to a general knowledge of Pinyin, Mandarin Chinese, Chinese dialects, and Chinese characters.


Course Requirements

Besides engaging students in challenging curriculum, VLACS guides students to reflect on their learning and to evaluate their progress through a variety of assessments. Assessments can be in the form of self-checks and practice problems, worksheets, assignments, oral assessments, pre-tests and practice tests, quizzes, discussions, hands-on activities, and module and semester exams. Instructors evaluate progress and provide interventions through the variety of assessments built into a course, as well as through contact with the student in other venues.

Major Topics and Concepts

Segment 1

  • Vocabulary
    • Greetings
    • Nationalities
    • Numbers 1-1000
    • Family Vocabulary
    • Introductions (names, age, address)
    • Roads and Streets
    • Pets
    • Talking about Friends
    • Telling Time
    • Calendar (Days of the week, months, year)
    • Seasons
    • Holidays and Celebrations
  • Culture
    • Major Cities in China
    • Chinese Names
    • Chinese Families
    • Chinese Zodiac
    • Chinese Festivals
  • Grammar
    • Chinese Characters
    • Pinyin
    • Basic Sentence Structure
    • Forming negations
    • Verbs: jiào, y?u, hái, xing
    • Prepositions


Segment 2

  • Vocabulary
    • Food and drinks
    • Table settings
    • Colors
    • Clothes
    • Hobbies, games, and sports
    • Directions
    • Making appointments
    • Ordinal Numbers
    • Another way to state the days of the week
    • Art
    • Movies
    • Music Instruments
    • Business
    • Asking and describing prices and brands
    • Currencies
    • Electric Appliances
  • Culture
    • Chinese Cuisine
    • 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
    • Traditional Chinese Art
    • Chinese Movies, actors and colors
    • Chinese Companies and Products
    • Shopping in China
  • Grammar
    • Describing people and things (adjectives)
    • How to state likes and dislikes
    • Verbs: able to, can, háishi (had better), guò (action happened)
    • Forming Questions
    • Measure words
    • Expressions: hé…yiq?(together with), néngbùnéng (could you?), zuì x?hu?n( like…the most)
    • Adverbs
    • Possessives or properties (de)



The Experiences Pathway allows students to demonstrate mastery of competencies and earn credit through experiences, such as internships, travel, service learning, entrepreneurship, or independent study. Students may elect to meet all competencies in a particular competency group (i.e., English 1 or Economics) or they can master  competencies in multiple discipline areas. Once a student enrolls, a VLACS instructor will work with the student to refine the Experience, identify the competencies that will be met, and determine products that will demonstrate mastery of each competency.

In Experiences students will:

  1. Use google drive.
  2. Meet weekly or every two weeks with their instructor.
  3. Secure an outside expert.
  4. Plan the experience prior to completing it. (Credit is not awarded for experiences completed prior to enrollment and completion of the planning process.)

Here is how to enroll in an Experience.

  1. Identify the course(s) that matches most closely with your Experience.
  2. Click “Enroll Now” from www.vlacs.org or from our learning catalog.
  3. From the enrollment page, navigate to the course that matches your Experience.
  4. Select all competencies that you hope to meet through your Experience. Do not worry if you are unsure of the exact competencies, they can be adjusted.
  5. Select the Experience bubble.
  6. If there are additional competencies from other discipline areas you hope to meet, enroll in these in the same manner.
  7. Your parent/guardian will receive an email asking for approval of your enrollment. This must be completed before we can assign you an instructor.
  8. You will receive a welcome email from your instructor within five days, given that space is available.

Independent Study

By signing up for an independent study, you will be able to direct your own learning, identifying what you want to learn and how you will demonstrate that you mastered your learning objectives.


Internships allow you to gain professional experience, make connections, and become familiar with a career, while working on site with mentors and professionals in a career of your interest.


While travel can be a great experience for learning life lessons, it is also an excellent way to acquire the knowledge and skills that allow you to demonstrate mastery in a variety of competencies.  The world is a classroom and travel experiences will connect your real world experiences to the learning that you seek.

Service Learning

In Service Learning, you collaborate with members of your community to address issues to improve your community. You will connect your service with discipline specific content so that learning can takes place through problem solving and collaboration.


Starting your own business is a great way to learn. This type of experience allows you to engage in an entrepreneurial experience and receive credit for competencies you master through this experience.

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