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Chinese for Elementary School Students, Basic, Part I

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Open to: Grades 2 - 6

Eligibility: CTY-level or Advanced CTY-level math or verbal score required

Course Format: Session BasedSee calendar for session dates and application deadlines.

Course Length: 12 weeks (Early Fall, Late Fall, Winter, Spring, Early Summer, Mid-Summer)

Course Code: CHL1

Course Description


Young students with little or no knowledge of Chinese are introduced to everyday spoken Chinese and the simplified forms of Chinese characters. The characters are used in conjunction with pinyin to reinforce listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. The course takes a fun, interactive approach with course materials appropriate to elementary school children. Lesson topics include introduction to Pinyin, greetings, numbers, proper way of inquiring a person’s age, and talking about family and personal belongings. Cultural knowledge related to lesson topics is also introduced.

Students interact with the instructors and other students using Internet-based software. Course materials include a textbook and a workbook purchased separately by the student.

Biweekly interactive virtual online sessions are held in the evenings (both ET and PT). A school's need to hold daytime sessions for its students will be honored whenever possible.

Separate conversation sessions between each student and the instructor or teaching assistant are arranged individually.

This course has synchronous virtual class meetings and students will also schedule one-on-one virtual meetings directly with the instructor and teaching assistant. View the schedule for class meeting times. Meetings will be recorded for students who are unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts.

Virtual classrooms, and student activities in the classroom, may be recorded and added to the course as an ongoing asset for all class students to review. Students may be invited to interact in CTY community spaces that include students and instructors and potentially specially invited guests that are not enrolled in their course. Videos from YouTube or other web providers may be present in the course. Video recommendations or links provided at end of videos are generated by the video host provider and are not CTY recommendations. Student contributions (e.g., projects, forum posts, etc.) may remain in the course after the student completes the course. These artifacts may be preserved to showcase student work or to continue important conversations.

Materials Needed

A textbook and workbook must be purchased for this course:

Ni Hao, Volume 1 Textbook with Software Download, Revised Edition (Simplified) by Shumang Fredlein, Paul Fredlein

Ni Hao, Volume 1 Workbook, Revised Edition (Simplified) by Shumang Fredlein, Paul Fredlein

Students will also need a headset with microphone.

Detailed Course Information

Course Details

Lesson 1 – Zhongguo (China)

  • Receive brief overview of basic knowledge of China.
  • Learn basic structure of the Chinese language.

Lesson 2 – Ni Hao! (Hello!)

  • Greet teachers correctly.
  • Become familiar with the structure and the functions of Chinese names.

Lesson 3 – Yi Er San (1 2 3)

  • Count from one to 100 in Chinese.

Lesson 4 - Ta Shi Shei? (Who is he?)

  • Identify a third party member.
  • State his or her age.
  • Welcome him or her in Chinese.

Lesson 5 – Zhe Shi Shei De? (Whose is this?)

  • Identify objects used at school.
  • Engage in class room conversations.
  • Do Chinese calligraphy and writing.

Lesson 6 – My Family

  • Use Chinese to introduce student's family or to talk about family.
  • Learn more about Chinese character composition.
  • Learn rules of phonetic spelling.

Technical Requirements

This course requires a properly maintained computer with high-speed internet access and an up-to-date web browser (such as Chrome or Firefox). The student must be able to communicate with the instructor via email. Visit the Technical Requirements and Support page for more details.

Zoom online virtual classroom
This course uses an online virtual classroom which can be used for instructor-student communication if the student has any questions about the course or curriculum. The classroom works on standard computers with the Zoom desktop client and also tablets or handhelds that support the Zoom Mobile app. Students will need a computer with the Zoom desktop client installed to watch any recorded meetings. The Zoom desktop client and Zoom Mobile App are both available for free download.

Most course lectures may be viewed on mobile devices, but in some cases assignments and quizzes must be completed on a desktop or laptop computer.



CTY Online Programs World Languages - Comments and Feedback from Students, Parents, and Teachers



"My son is really enjoying the course. He's been trying to teach his sister, my wife, and me Chinese words and phrases. Yesterday, he was telling all of us how to have entire conversations. I'm impressed by how much he's learned over a short period of time and plan for him to continue studying Chinese through Johns Hopkins. He also likes the interaction with the instructor and the other students over the computer."

"At breakfast this morning, my daughter was using Chinese to tell me about banks and banking, this week's lesson. She got very excited at the realization that she was for the first time thinking in Chinese, not English. It was just for an instant, but nevertheless a happy development. Thank you for helping my child learn so much."

“I enjoy the course very much. The individual attention during class makes it a very enjoyable hour, and the friendliness and relaxed atmosphere make class something to look forward to each week. I can’t wait to continue with the next level!”