Course Outline of Peking University’s Summer Language Program

Time of the Course:

The Chinese Summer School includes 4 programs which last for 4 weeks (session 1 in July and session 2 in August), 6 weeks and 8 weeks. These 4 programs have 20 class hours per week, 4 class hours (8:00-12:00) every morning from Monday to Friday.


General Objective of the Course:

The objective of the Chinese Summer Language School is to train students’ ability to listen, speak, read, and write, and to improve students’ ability to employ Chinese language under different circumstances. 


Introduction to the Course:

Before the lesson starts, each student needs to take an online Chinese language assessment which tests their Chinese level, and then they will be placed into different classes (basic class, elementary class, pre-intermediate class, intermediate class, and advanced class) according to the assessment results.

There will be no more than 20 students in each class. In order to better make use of qualified resources, a class will be cancelled if the number of enrolled students doesn't reach 8. In that case, students in that class need to transfer to another class or program.

The introductions to the five different classes are as below:

1.Basic Class:

The basic class is primarily designed for students who are learning Chinese from zero. The teaching objective is to develop students’ interest in and cognition of the basic features of the Chinese language and train them in communicating with others in Chinese, satisfying their basic requirements for Chinese in daily communication. The teaching mainly involves Chinese Pinyin, basic Chinese characters and primary expressions in everyday communication, including greeting others, shopping, ordering food, asking directions, talking about hobbies, and other useful expressions in communications.

2.Elementary Class:

The elementary class is primarily designed for students whose Chinese vocabulary exceeds 200 characters. The teaching objective is to enhance students’ ability to listen, speak, read, and write through the study of elementary Chinese grammar and everyday vocabulary so that students can effectively conduct daily communications and satisfy their needs for Chinese in everyday life, which lays a foundation for them to further improve their Chinese ability. The teaching mainly involves basic Chinese grammar and everyday dialogues.

3.Pre-intermediate Class

The pre-intermediate class is primarily designed for students whose Chinese vocabularies exceed 600 characters. The teaching objective is to further improve students’ ability to listen, speak, read, and write and enlarge their Chinese vocabulary so that they can skillfully employ Chinese in their life, studies, and work and express themselves more fully on daily topics orally or in writing.

4.Intermediate Class

The intermediate class is primarily designed for students whose Chinese vocabulary exceeds 1200 characters. The teaching objective is to further enlarge their vocabularies so that they can proficiently employ Chinese to exchange ideas with others on broad social topics through oral expression or in written form.

5.Advanced Class

The advanced class is primarily designed for students whose Chinese vocabulary exceeds 2000 characters. The teaching objective is to further improve the fluency, accuracy, and appropriateness in students’ oral and written communication.



Each of these five classes contain mainly two kinds of courses: Chinese Reading and Writing Lesson (Chinese Lesson) and Chinese Listening and Speaking Lesson (Oral Chinese Lesson).

The Chinese Reading and Writing Lesson mainly teaches students Chinese expressions, grammar, and passage-reading skills, focusing on improving students’ ability to read and write. The course aims to enlarge students’ Chinese vocabulary and improve their writing ability through detailed interpretation and plenty of exercise on key words, grammar, sentence patterns, reading comprehension, and essay writing.

The Chinese Listening and Speaking Lesson mainly teaches students communicative situations and topics in Chinese people’s everyday lives, and the course introduces useful words and expressions in oral Chinese. The teaching method includes but is not limited to sentence patterns exercises, dialogues and discussions in groups, role-playing, and oral reports.

The teaching activities during class mainly include warm-up exercises, new-word learning drills, text reading, grammar explanation, others exercises, and communication tasks.


Textbooks: (Teachers will assign textbooks after students’ entrance according to the program’s duration and students’ ability)

1.Meeting China Series

The Meeting China Series includes 8 volumes, with around 12 lessons per volume, which is best suited for short term (4 weeks-6 weeks) Chinese training. The Meeting China Series’ general textbooks and oral textbooks are divided into baisc level, elementary level, intermediate level, and advanced level. The general textbooks and the oral textbooks of the same level are complementary to each other in words, expressions, grammar, and topics. The textbook is mainly composed of different dialogues. It selects many common scenarios and topics from students’ daily lives, emphasizing the practical employment of Chinese and satisfying students’ needs of communicating in Chinese.

2.Boya Chinese Series

The Boya Chinese Series includes 9 volumes and are divided into elementary level, pre-intermediate level, intermediate level, and advanced level, named respectively as “The starting book” (Ⅰ, Ⅱ), “The accelerating book” (Ⅰ, Ⅱ), “The sprinting book” (Ⅰ, Ⅱ) and “The soaring book” (Ⅰ, Ⅱ).

The textbooks for different levels have distinctive characteristics and objectives. “The starting book” focuses on basic knowledge of Chinese language. “The accelerating book” focuses on training students’ ability to properly employ Chinese under different circumstances. “The sprinting book” aims to improve students’ ability to employ special sentence patterns, common expressions, and to help them integrate their scattered expressions. “The soaring book” shows students the richness and variety of Chinese discourse. The new words involved in the four stages are respectively around 1000, 3000, 5000, and 10000.

3.Oral Chinese Series (Peking University version)

The Oral Chinese Series includes 9 volumes and are comprised of Primary Oral Chinese (Ⅰ, Ⅱ, and the advanced book), Intermediate Oral Chinese (Ⅰ, Ⅱ, and the advanced book) and Advanced Oral Chinese (Ⅰ, Ⅱ, and the advanced book). The 9 volumes develop students’ ability to communicate with others in Chinese with careful selection of materials. The Primary Oral Chinese mainly teaches students common sentence patterns, simple dialogues, and integrated expressions in oral Chinese. In the Intermediate Oral Chinese, main characters with distinctive personalities and speech patterns run throughout the entire book, presenting different aspects of Chinese society. The Advanced Oral Chinese focuses on a typical Chinese family, describing their stories, discussing hot issues, and showing various aspects of Chinese family and society.



Students should attend class on time. Unexcused absences are not allowed. If students cannot attend the class, they should ask for leave beforehand. If students arrive late or leave early 3 times, they will be regarded as one absence, which will result in a deduction of 1 point in the final examination. If students are absent from class because of illness and have a doctor’s note, they will not receive any penalty. If they do not have a doctor’s note or other excused absence, their absence will lead to a grade deduction, with a deduction of 0.5 points. If the student is absent for a quarter or more of the total class hours of the 4/6/8-week course, they will not receive a grade for that course.


Examination and Grade Criterion

The overall grades are composed of three parts: final score, class participation, and attendance. Students who take the Chinese Reading and Writing lesson will be given a written examination near the end of the lesson while those who take the Chinese Listening and Speaking Lesson will be given an oral test. The final score will constitute 40%-60% of the overall grade.

The usual performance includes quiz, homework, dictation, essay and oral report, constituting 60%-40% of the overall score. (The proportion of the final score will vary between different course levels.)