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VCE Languages

Chinese (Second Language) Unit 1 and 2


Year 10 Chinese.

A student is NOT eligible for Chinese (Second Language) and must instead enrol in Chinese (Second Language Advanced) if they have had:

  • 12 months or more education in a school where Chinese is the medium of instruction or;
  • three years (36 months) or more residence in any of the VCAA nominated countries or regions.

The nominated countries and regions are:

  • China.
  • Taiwan.
  • Hong Kong.
  • Macau.

Students must complete application forms giving details of their background in Chinese if they wish to enrol in this course. They may also be asked to present evidence of length of residence in Australia or another country, and school reports for Chinese study completed overseas to VCAA.

The language taught is Modern Standard Chinese, sometimes called Mandarin, Putonghua or Guoyu.

Please note that at Year 11 level, Chinese (Second Language) and Chinese (Second Language Advanced) students are placed in a combined class. The classes are separated at Year 12 level.

Course Description

The units are designed to enable students to:

• communicate with others in Chinese in interpersonal, interpretive and presentational contexts;

• understand the relationship between language and culture;

• compare cultures and languages and enhance intercultural awareness;

• understand and appreciate the cultural contexts in which Chinese is spoken;

• learn about language as a system and themselves as language learners;

• make connections between different languages, knowledge and ways of thinking;

• become part of multilingual communities by applying language learning to social and leisure activities, life-long learning and the world of work.

Areas of Study

Themes and Topics

  • The individual: personal identity, relationships and education and aspirations
  • The Chinese-speaking Communities: history and culture, arts and entertainment and living in a Chinese-speaking community
  • The World Around Us: global and contemporary society, communication and media and the influence of science and technology

Grammar and Vocabulary

  • Formal aspects of language such as phonology, orthography, syntax, morphology and semantics.
  • Linguistic elements and the rules related to them.

Kinds of Writing

  • Students are expected to be familiar with and be able to produce five kinds of writing: personal, informative, persuasive, evaluative and imaginative.


Unit 1 Outcomes

Assessment Tasks

(school-assessed coursework)


Exchange meaning in a spoken interaction in Chinese.


Participate in a conversation, interview or roleplay.

Give a talk to the class about the selected subtopic, asking and answering questions.


Interpret information from two texts on the same subtopic presented in Chinese, and respond in writing in Chinese and in English.


Write a descriptive summary of a film including information from a review of the film.

Listen to a conversation and view a map to write directions.

Read an article and listen to an announcement to write instructions.



Present information, concepts and ideas in writing in Chinese on the selected subtopic and for a specific audience and purpose.


Create a written presentation which may include pictures; this may be supported by media such as Photo Story or PowerPoint.

Write an imaginative children’s story.


Unit 2 Outcomes

Assessment Tasks

(school-assessed coursework)


Respond in writing in Chinese to spoken, written or visual texts presented in Chinese.


Write a personal answer to an email.

Write an informative blog in response to texts.

Respond in a written letter to a radio announcement or editorial.


Analyse and use information from written, spoken or visual texts to produce an extended written response in Chinese.


Describe in writing an experience seen from different perspectives.

Write a reflective article on a cultural insight, such as the attitudes of Chinese-speaking people in Australia and elsewhere to traditional customs.

Evaluate opposing arguments put forward on an issue, such as attitudes to health or the long-term impact of social media on society.

Explain information, ideas and concepts orally in Chinese to a specific audience about an aspect of culture within communities where Chinese is spoken.


Narrate a life story, event or incident that highlights an aspect of culture.

Tell the class a personal or reflective story about a cultural event.

Present and explain an aspect of culture referring to a portfolio or a PowerPoint presentation.



Overall Final Assessment

End of Semester Oral Examination

End of Semester Examination – 2 hours.

Information can be obtained from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia: