Certificate in Chinese Language courses for foreign students

The Chinese Language Centre

Known for the teaching excellence of its staff and the exceptionally high standards of performance of its students, the Chinese Language Centre offers a wide range of highly popular courses, including a two-year Certificate Course in Chinese Language, Putonghua courses for professionals, Cantonese courses for Mainland and foreign students, as well as Chinese language and cultural courses for international students. By taking advantage of Hong Kong’s position as the cultural cross-roads between the East and the West, the Centre strives to be a world-class hub for the teaching of Chinese as a foreign language and an international institute for research and collaboration in the promotion of Chinese heritage and cross-cultural exchange.

Certificate in Chinese Language Courses

The Certificate Course in Chinese Language may be taken in the Putonghua stream or the Cantonese stream. Its curriculum extends over two years comprised of three terms each year with 15 hours per week.

There are three evening class choices:
1. Cantonese 1 NCS (for non-Chinese speaking students)
2. Cantonese 1 PTH (for students with a foundation in Mandarin or a Mandarin speaking background – this is a NEW addition to our offerings!)
3. Putonghua 1 (for non-Chinese speaking students)

Classes will meet four times weekly after 5 p.m. for three terms over the year, with an additional experiential class included each week by arrangement at various days and times. The experiential classes will bring students to venues where the language is spoken and to various neighborhoods in Hong Kong, guide them in utilizing the language in real-world contexts, and develop their communication skills and appreciation of Chinese culture through lively direct experience.

The courses are intended for those whose mother tongue is not Chinese. They are taught by experienced teachers, who are native speakers of Chinese.

Academic Year (2022 – 23)

Term 1 September 1 – December 2, 2022
Term 2 January 3 – March 31, 2023
Term 3 April 11 – July 7, 2023*
(* Examinations: July 3 – 7, 2023)

* The Certificate of Award will be presented to students upon satisfactory completion of the programme. Upon satisfactory completion of the first year of study, testimonial can be provided to students upon request.

The curriculum

Both Putonghua stream and Cantonese stream consist of the following curriculum, providing balanced training in listening, speaking, reading and writing in Chinese.

Year One
1. Listening Comprehension I
In this course, drills on sounds and tones as well as simple situational dialogues will help students examine the problems that foreign learners commonly have in understanding the language and expand their range of expressions.

2. Spoken Practice
This course aims at enhancing the student’s ability to cope with conversations in everyday situations. The main activities include accurate pronunciation and tones, the practice of sentence patterns and drills of the Romanization system. Students will be trained to use pin-yin in Putonghua stream, and the Jyutping system for Cantonese stream.

3. Reading and writing I
Students learn basic sentence patterns and grammar in modern standard Chinese. About 1,000 commonly-used Chinese characters are introduced. Students are taught how to use Chinese dictionaries and online applications for learning Chinese characters. Composition will be offered in the third term. It helps students develop their ability to write simple paragraphs before moving on to 200-character essays.

Year Two (to be suspended in AY 2022-23)
1. Listening Comprehension II
This course helps students understand different situational conversations, weather reports, news, advertisements and announcements from media, radio and television.

2. Topical Discussions
This course gives students further practice in sentence patterns and natural expressions, storytelling, and enhances their communication skills. Students engage in discussions on special topics ranging from social issues to beliefs and practices in Chinese culture.

3. Reading and Writing II
This course helps students enrich their vocabulary through an intensive study of modern written texts and to master sentence structure and grammar of Chinese. It also provides training in writing well-structured essays and creative pieces as well as writing on practical subjects.

4. Newspaper Readings
This course equips students with the basic skills for reading newspaper articles and enhances their reading comprehension. Specialized terms for various news topics are introduced.


The First Examination is held at the end of the first year and the certificate Examination is held at the end of the curriculum. Both Examinations consist of written papers and oral tests.

Tuition fee
HK$29,900 for each Term, payable in 6 non-refundable installments.

Student Voices 1
“My teacher has a friendly and encouraging manner and tries out new methods to make classes active and interesting for learners.”
Student Voices 2
“As a complete beginner, I was very nervous but I found my teachers patient and knowledgeable. They always encouraged me to speak in the class. It is easier that way to remember and to repeat phrases and words.”
Student Voices 3
“I would like to be able to communicate directly with my business partners. I am happy that my teacher does not only follow the book but that he teaches me also extra words.”
Student Voices 4
“This certificate provides the students with extensive vocabulary, comprehensive grammar and hints of the Chinese culture. Topics are varied and interesting.”

Application – FAQ
Can I apply for 2022 intake now?
Application for admission in September 2022 (FOR YEAR 1 ONLY) will remain open until 12:00 noon, July 31, 2022 (Hong Kong Time).
*Late applications will also be accepted for consideration. Please send your inquiry to Ms Amy Ho at <amyho.clc@hku.hk>.

Where can I obtain an application form?
Application Forms can be downloaded HERE

What documents should I submit to support my application?
The completed form should be returned to our Centre by mail or in person together with
1) the original certified true copy of your HKID card/passport;
2) the original certified true copy of the academic transcripts and examination results*; (*if you aged below 25, an officially certified copy of the document is required;
3) the proof of payment of the application fee HK$300.

What are the admission requirements?
Applicants must fulfill the University Entrance Requirements and English Language Requirements. Please visit
https://admissions.hku.hk/tpg/admissions-requirements for details.
An applicant who has attained the age of 25 years is deemed to have satisfied the minimum requirements for entrance to the University.

Are photocopies of certificates and transcripts acceptable to the University?
The University will ONLY ACCEPT originals or copies of the documents that have been duly declared as true copies before a notary public.

Can I apply for admission as a visiting student?
An applicant who does not satisfy the University entrance requirements may be admitted as a Visiting Student. Visiting Student is not eligible for the award of the Certificate. Fees are the same as those for the regular students.

How do I respond to an offer of admission?
Please return your signed acceptance slip and evidence of payment for the first installment of composition fee following the instructions stipulated in the Offer of Admission letter.

I am a non-local applicant. Can I apply for a student accommodation?
Admission to the University does not provide any guarantee of finding accommodation which remains the responsibility of each student. Information and advice of off-campus accommodation are available at http://cedars.hku.hk .

Point to note:
All non-local student visa applications are processed and determined by the Immigration Department. Approval of applications is entirely discretionary and is subject to changes in government policies. Under the existing immigration policy, this course does not fall within the categories listed under Eligibility Criteria in the Guidebook for Entry for Study in Hong Kong.

Contact us
Chinese Language Centre, School of Chinese
Room 801, 8/F, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus
The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road
Email: amchob@hku.hk