Mandarin language for adults, FAQs | 语言和文化学校-成人部,常见问题解答

Group of people in an IT suit

Do you teach traditional Chinese characters or simplified Chinese characters?

The language taught in all our courses is Mandarin, in simplified Chinese characters.

I'm not a student at the University, can I take the course?

Yes. Our 12-week courses are not university-accredited. They're open not only to staff and students at the University of Sheffield, but also to the public from all walks of life.

What is the course fee?

For a 12-week Mandarin evening course with a total of 24 contact hours: 

 £140, standard.  
 £120, concession for senior citizens and University of Sheffield staff and students)

For one-week Survival Chinese Crash Course with a total of 10 contact hours, as a standalone option:

Staff/public: £70
Students/seniors: £60

The Survival Chinese is FREE to attend and mandatory for Beginners 1, part of 12-week Mandarin course.

What is the course structure?

12-Week Mandarin, "Chinese for Everyone", is the main course to follow.  

For the primary course, "12-Week Mandarin: Chinese for Everyone," participants will align with the University semester schedule, attending sessions from Week 1 to Week 12 during Autumn or Spring Semester. These classes take place on Monday or Tuesday evenings, providing a structured learning experience. The "12-Week Mandarin" or "Chinese for Everyone" program encompasses a comprehensive learning journey tailored to individuals at all proficiency levels, ranging from beginners to advanced.

Course Breakdown:

Beginners I: HSK Standard Course and Workbook 1 (Part 1)

Beginners II: HSK Standard Course and Workbook 1 (Part 2)

Elementary I: HSK Standard Course and Workbook 2 (Part 1)

Elementary II: HSK Standard Course and Workbook 2 (Part 2)

Pre-Intermediate I: HSK Standard Course and Workbook 3 (Part 1)

Pre-Intermediate II: HSK Standard Course and Workbook 3 (Part 2)

Intermediate I: HSK Standard Course and Workbook 4A

Intermediate II: HSK Standard Course and Workbook 4B

Advanced: HSK Standard Course and Workbook 5A

Complimentary courses on Wednesday evenings 
Wednesday evenings feature complimentary courses that offer optional and supplementary Chinese tutorial sessions corresponding to each proficiency level: Beginners, Elementary, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, and Advanced. 

Survival Chinese Crash Course 
The Survival Chinese Crash Course is a mandatory component for Beginners 1 and is also available as a standalone option. This crash course is specifically designed for learners with little or no prior knowledge of Mandarin. Conducted twice a year, from Monday to Friday evenings, just before the commencement of the 12-week courses, it serves as a quick immersion providing essential language skills for real-life situations.

When and where? Can I attend online?

The 12-week courses are scheduled on weekday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, aligning with the University Semester dates.

Given that the University operates on a two-semester academic year, participants have the opportunity to enrol in two courses annually.

To accommodate diverse learning preferences, all courses are delivered in a hybrid format, allowing flexibility for attendance either in-person or online.

The physical venue for in-person sessions is Bartolome House, School of Law, University of Sheffield, located at Winter Street, S3 7ND.

For online participation, the courses are accessible through platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet.

How do I register and enrol for the course?

Kindly register and enroll for the courses through the University Online Shop, which typically becomes accessible several weeks before the commencement of each semester.  

University Online Shop:      

Search for "Mandarin" or "Survival"

Teachers are unable to accept payments or cash during classes. All course fees must be settled online through the University Online Shop. For any inquiries regarding course fees, please feel free to reach out to us via email or telephone at 07593502130.

We will consider opening additional classes if we receive more than 20 registrations at the same proficiency level. Conversely, if a course has fewer than five enrolments, we may regrettably need to cancel it due to insufficient numbers. Your understanding and cooperation are appreciated.

Where can I get textbooks?

Textbooks can be acquired either at the Confucius Institute office through the University Online Shop or from other sources in the market.

To purchase books through the Confucius Institute via the University Online Store, please visit: Search for "books" or "Confucius" to find the relevant options.

Once payment is completed, you can pick up the book at the Confucius Institute office, located at 2-4 Palmerston Road, Sheffield S10 2TE.

Alternatively, you have the option to collect the book during the first week of the semester at Bartolome House.

Can I get a refund?

Refunds for course fees, excluding the fees for the attended sessions, are available within the initial three weeks of the semester.

Refunds beyond this period can only be considered under exceptional circumstances.

Can I get a Certificate of Participation for the course?

Students who attend a minimum of 9 out of the 12 classes are eligible to request and receive an Attendance Certificate, confirming their active participation in the course.

I'm an Undergraduate, can the course be counted towards my HEAR scheme?

Yes, subject to the latest updates at the University:

We are part of the University Language for All scheme. If you started your studies at the University of Sheffield before September 2021 and attend at least nine out of the twelve classes, you can apply for the HEAR scheme.

If you started your studies after September 2021, you will now record your extra-curricular activities and experiences in your mySkills portfolio instead of HEAR. You can access mySkills via Career Connect in Muse. 

I am under 18, can I join a Chinese evening class?

The evening courses are typically designed for individuals aged 18 and over. If you have inquiries or would like to explore options for younger learners, please feel free to contact us at 07593502130. We offer courses specifically tailored for young learners on Saturdays.

I speak basic Chinese but have only learned Pinyin before. Are students in your courses required to learn Chinese characters?

A spoken Chinese course with an emphasis on listening and speaking is not currently available. However, the 12-week Mandarin Chinese courses are designed to focus on all four language skills, including reading and writing.

If you are unsure which level is suited to you, please contact us (Tel: 07593502130, or email before registering.

I am a Cantonese speaker and want to learn Mandarin. Which level is for me?

Cantonese speakers often join our classes, and we can provide guidance on selecting a suitable course based on the student’s proficiency in spoken Mandarin and ability to read Chinese characters.

We recommend contacting us via email or by phone at 07593502130 before completing the registration process. This will allow us to better understand your language background and provide personalized advice on the appropriate course level for you.

General guidance is as follows:
As a Cantonese speaker, your background may provide a foundation for learning Mandarin, as both languages share some similarities. However, Mandarin and Cantonese are distinct dialects with differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.

If you are new to learning Mandarin, you might consider starting with a beginner level, as it will cover the fundamentals of the language. This will allow you to build a strong foundation in Mandarin, even if you already speak Cantonese.

If you are already familiar with some Mandarin basics, you might want to assess your proficiency to determine the appropriate level. For example, if you are comfortable with basic conversation and can navigate simple language tasks, you could potentially start at higher levels.

Is the course accredited?

No, all our 12-week language courses are not accredited at the University of Sheffield. However, it is at your discretion and expense to take internationally recognised Chinese Proficiency Tests, specifically the HSK and HSKK (Speaking) tests.

Our 12-week Mandarin language courses are aligned with HSK/HSKK tests, (although taking the test is not mandatory for the course). The Confucius Institute serves as a registered HSK Test Centre, conducting HSK/HSKK tests typically in March, May, and December.

What is HSK/HSKK? A standardised assessment of Chinese language proficiency and serves as a valuable reference for employers and educational institutions.

The HSK test includes listening, reading and/or writing, while HSKK is an oral speaking test. They are open to all ages of non-native Chinese speakers. 

For further details and access to mock exams, please visit our Chinese proficiency Tests page.

Additionally, HSK is a prerequisite for Confucius Institute scholarship, also know as International Chinese Language Teachers Scholarship, enabling individuals who are eligible to pursue studies in China.

Are there any opportunities to study in China?

Yes. If you are eligible, the Confucius Institute Scholarship provides opportunities for studying in China, offering programs ranging from four weeks in summer, one semester, one year, to degree studies at a Chinese university. 

Where can I get more teaching and learning resources?

The Confucius Institute office at 2-4 Palmerston Road, Sheffield S10 2TE, accommodates a Chinese Language and Culture Resource Centre. This centre boasts a comprehensive collection exceeding 8000 items, including Mandarin teaching and learning books, cultural references, audio-visual materials such as films, literary books, children reading books etc.

These resources are available for borrowing from the centre.

Is there a way to find a regular language exchange partner, or experience social learning?

The Sino-English Club (SEC) is a language and culture exchange group that offers a platform for learners and native speakers of Mandarin and English to practice language skills.

Participants appreciate the friendly and informal atmosphere at SEC events, often using the club as a connection to find a regular language exchange partner. Chinese-English language exchange socials take place on Tuesday evenings between 6:30-8:30 pm during the university semester. Additionally, SEC organises several major cultural events each year, celebrating both Chinese and UK festivals.

Follow SEC on Facebook for updates.

My child would like to study Mandarin as well. Do you have Mandarin for children?

Certainly! We offer Mandarin courses designed specifically for children at our Star Mandarin School. These courses are tailored to provide an engaging and age-appropriate learning experience for young learners.

Can I attend Chinese festivals, cultural events and seminars organised by the Confucius Institute?

Certainly! You are welcome to attend Chinese festivals, cultural events, and seminars organised by the Confucius Institute. Most of these events are open to the public.

The Confucius Institute conducts a program of China-related seminars and events throughout the year. Information about these events is typically shared with our students through email networks and social media platforms at the Confucius Institute. Feel free to stay updated and participate in these enriching cultural experiences.

Can I attend Chinese festivals, cultural events and seminars organised by the Confucius Institute?

Certainly! You are welcome to attend Chinese festivals, cultural events, and seminars organised by the Confucius Institute. Most of these events are open to the public.

The Confucius Institute conducts a program of China-related seminars and events throughout the year. Information about these events is typically shared with our students through email networks and social media platforms at the Confucius Institute. Feel free to stay updated and participate in these enriching cultural



Mobile: 07593 502130

A world-class university – a unique student experience

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.