Chinese 205: Intermediate Chinese for Business Professionals

Goals & Objectives

Students will gain listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in standard Mandarin Chinese, attaining approximately the and will bring them to Intermediate Mid level on the ACTFL/ETS proficiency still, characterized by the emerging ability to narrate, describe, and compare and to handle survival situations. Workplace-specific interactions will comprise the focus of the latter portion of the course. Reading and writing will be focused on simple business-associated functions. Specifically, students will have the opportunity to achieve the following:


Will be able to understand basic conversational exchanges pertaining to a wide range of topics relating to daily life and generic business, such as making phone calls, banking, business introductions, office business, making appointments, using postal services, social interactions, negotiations, arranging travel, consultation, etc.


Will be able to handle successfully a wide range of task-oriented and social functions pertaining to such topic areas as those mentioned above, participating fully to initiate, maintain, and end conversations. Beginning to be able to narrate, describe, compare and contrast, and persuade with some linguistic breakdown.


Will be able to identify key facts and some details in descriptive material on daily life and news events, and carefully written personal communications. Will also be able to discern linkages among sentences in simple connected text. Will be able to understand a range of authentic texts dealing with basic personal and social needs, such as signs, public announcements, and short, straightforward instructions dealing with public life and pertaining to generic business.


Will be able to take notes in some detail, and write notes and simple letters, brief synopses, summaries of biographical data and of work and life experience..

Teaching Approaches

Introduction is focused on developing communicative competence. Focus on language forms (grammar) is placed in a supporting role. To the extent possible, classroom time is structured around communicative tasks designed to increase the learner's ability to function independently in the target language environment.

Sample instructional schedule per unit (5 hours of instruction):

Hour 1:function/theme
brain-storming conversational flow in native language
Hour 2:Dialogue 1; conversation flow/strategies
array of strategic expressions
Hour 3:Practice
Dialogue 2: conversation flow/strategies
Hour 4:Array of strategic expressions
Input phase for following unit
Hour 5:Presentation OR quiz (odd Lesson vs. even unit)
Varieties of scenarios
Cultural points

Topics and Functions

  1. Introduction
    • between partners
    • of company
    • of products
    • of services
  2. Taking taxi, errands in company car
  3. Asking for directions
    • on the street
    • inside a building/department store, etc.
  4. Dining
    • ordering in a restaurant
    • with colleague
    • paying food bills
  5. Banking services
    • opening an account
    • deposit/withdrawal
    • exchanging currency
  6. Renting (residence)
  7. Office supply/facility maintenance/various bills & payments
  8. Office routines
    • sick leave
    • taking vacation
    • asking for transfer
    • promotion
    • resigning
    • arriving late for work
    • documents
  9. Office talk
    • traffic
    • hair
    • dress
    • coffee break
    • asking for/giving a ride
    • working extra shifts
    • bonus
    • workaholic
    • colleague get-together
  10. Communication
    • phone (inquiry: asking for business contact info; talking to person-in-charge)
    • postal/express service
    • fax
    • business email
  11. Calling a meeting
    • small group
    • emergency
    • plenary/whole company
    • direct call vs. pass the message
  12. company meeting procedures(assigning work, work report)
  13. Business trip
    • making itinerary
    • booking ticket
  14. Visa application, renewal
  15. Making appointments (through secretary: Up-low; low-up)
  16. Business resiprocals
    • social
    • party
    • gift-exchanging
    • appreciation gift