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VCE Languages

Chinese (Second Language) Unit 3 and 4


Chinese (Second Language) Units 1 and 2.

A student is NOT eligible for Chinese (Second Language) if they have had either:

  • 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 will also be asked to present evidence of length of residence in Australia or another country, and school reports for study completed overseas to VCAA.

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

Course Description

These 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, syntax, morphology, semantics and character writing.
  • 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 3 Outcomes Assessment Tasks Marks Allocated
(school-assessed coursework)
Participate in a spoken exchange in Chinese to resolve a personal issue. A three- to four-minute role-play, focusing on negotiating a solution to a personal issue.  20
Interpret information from texts and write responses in Chinese. Responses to specific questions or instructions using information extracted from written, spoken and viewed texts on the selected subtopic. 15
Express ideas in a personal, informative or imaginative piece of writing in Chinese.. An approximately 200-character personal, informative or imaginative piece of writing. 15
Total Marks 50


Unit 4 Outcomes Assessment Tasks Marks Allocated
(school-assessed coursework)
Share information, ideas and opinions in a spoken exchange in Chinese. A three- to four-minute interview providing information and responding to questions about a cultural product or practice. 20

Analyse information from written, spoken and viewed texts for use in a written response in Chinese.


An approximately 250-character written response for a specific audience and purpose, incorporating information from three or more texts. 15
Present information, concepts and ideas in evaluative or persuasive writing on an issue in Chinese.  An approximately 300 character evaluative or persuasive piece of writing. 15
Total Marks 50

Overall Final Assessment

Graded Assessment Title Assessment Exam Duration Contribution to Study Score (%)
1 Unit 3 Coursework School-assessed   25
2 Unit 4 Coursework School-assessed   25
3 Exam: Oral component October 15 mins 12.5
4 Exam: Written component November 2 hours 37.5


Reproduced by permission of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia: