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Learning Chinese

BBC Real Chinese is a lively introduction to Mandarin Chinese in 10 short parts. It is a free online course for beginners. Watch the slideshow and listen to the language. Resources include useful phrases with tips on pronunciation and grammar, cultural notes and a short challenge to check what you've learnt. At the end of each slideshow there's a chance to watch a short (approx. 1 min) video clip taken from the TV series.

Chinesepod is a convenient way to learn Chinese that combines audio lesson podcasts, web & mobile study tools and integrated speaking practice with live teachers.

Zapchinese helps you to learn Chinese online with audio and video lessons - free vocabulary, phrasebook and grammar lessons, which are organised according to topics. You can also learn to write Chinese characters by video.

CCTV have 100s of videos available to help with reading and listening, separated into different sections such as Survival Chinese, Growing Up with Chinese etc. Happy Chinese helps with everyday vocabulary and grammar. It is a 116 episode long story involving an American girl who has moved to China and goes through daily activities with a local Chinese family.

This website from Oxford University has free lessons, elementary to advanced level, given by teachers from the University Centre for Teaching Chinese a Foreign Language.
Best Chinese Websites is a comprehensive website with links to other useful Chinese websites. It is designed for teachers and students. Here you will find numerous links that can be helpful in learning Chinese, and about the culture.  

Games, Stories & Music

Visit: Chinese Games

Topics featured:

  • Counting and multiplication
  • Colours
  • Family Tree (kinship terms)
  • Talking Maps
  • Poetry
  • Listen to Chinese stories

Chinese Names  Chinese characters for various themes e.g. Chinese symbols for love, for friend and for dragon.

The BBC Learning Zone is a collection of short video clips, on a range of topics e.g. a day out in the countryside, a typical day in a primary school in China, living in apartment blocks in Beijing.  Also featured are traditional stories e.g. The Hare and the Tortoise, Town Rat and Country Rat. The clips are accompanied by key words in Chinese (pinyin) and English and ideas for classroom use.

Mandarin Tools is a useful tool for online Chinese materials.

Listen to some Chinese Children's Songs and a Concert of Traditional Chinese Music.


The Forbidden City: Beyond Space and Time is the world's first online virtual world dedicated to a country's cultural heritage. This is presented as a three-dimensional replica of the square-kilometre palace grounds called The Virtual Forbidden City. The goal was to create an experience that is as authentic as possible. As visitors explore the Virtual Forbidden City, they can choose to simply observe the buzz of activity, participate in activities that provide insights into important aspects of the Qing dynasty, or even take guided tours that uncover new insights into the stories of the Forbidden City.

Business Studies

The BBC Business website tells of the changing face of outsourcing the success story of a baseball cap factory owner.


Also available on the Global Study Lounge PCs are the Macmillan DISCOVER CHINA audio files.  There is a desktop link to the files which can also be found in L:\Chinese\Discover China 1-3 Audio MP3.

Things to do now

Choose one of the websites to explore.