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Mandarin Chinese in Motion: Essay-Writing Skills

Improve your knowledge of Mandarin Chinese grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structures to write confident and convincing essays.

Young multi ethnic-group of people discussing about writing an essay.

Mandarin Chinese in Motion: Essay-Writing Skills

  • 4 weeks

  • 2 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Learn Mandarin with National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University

Are you gearing up to write your first essay in Mandarin Chinese? Don’t panic!

This four-week crash course from National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University will give you the skills, knowledge, and vocabulary you need to ace essay-writing in Chinese.

Hone your Chinese grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structures

Before you begin practising writing, you need to refresh your knowledge of essential grammar and sentence structures.

You’ll start the course with an overview of standard word order and sentence patterns to get your brain thinking in Chinese mode.

Get hands-on writing practice and guidance from native speakers

After this introduction, it’s time to get stuck into some writing. In Weeks 3 and 4 of the course, you’ll write one short narrative excercise and one longer essay, giving you a chance to put your new writing skills into practice.

Throughout the course, you’ll get tailored guidance from your course leaders to ensure you have the understanding and tools you need to keep practising in your own time. You’ll finish the course feeling confident and ready to get stuck into your first Chinese essay.

Skip to 0 minutes and 15 seconds Hi everyone, welcome to our course. I’m Lily (I-Ping, Tsai). Now, I would like to share the design concept of this course. The first one is “learning by doing.” To be more clear, at the end of our learning process, we will have a writing activity, which is immediately create a sentence or answer a question, and share the article just after the lesson. A way of learning is to constantly learning, output, give feedback, learn, output, and a give feedback. The second design concept of this course is “write to speak.” Most people learn a language with the main goal of speaking it, but rarely consider writing it.

Skip to 1 minute and 3 seconds Because we used to take writing as a formal way to express our idea, and which make us think writing can help a conversation. However, nowadays we often use spoken language to talk on Internet, and the way we’re communicate on the Internet is no difference from ordinary conversation. People can also give responses and feedback right away. In conclusion, we hope students not only learn how to write, but also be able to speak. Once your keyboard is set up, you can start typing in Chinese, and also start a writing journey. :)


  • Week 1

    Write your first Chinese sentence

    • Welcome to the course

      This activity is a short introduction to what you can expect throughout this course, in terms of structure, content, and workload, and also introduce the basic sentence structure in Mandarin Chinese.

    • Basic Chinese sentence patterns

      Learn the Topic-Comment structure to express ideas in Mandarin Chinese and understand why "she is pretty" is incorrect. Improve your Chinese language skills today!

    • Word order

      This activity will show you the importance of word order in Chinese, how to turn statements into questions, and how to switch to Chinese mode for better understanding.

    • Write a breif self introduction

      This activity covers Chinese word order, translation practice, and writing practice. Perfect for beginners!

  • Week 2

    Write your sencond Chinese sentence

    • Coordinating conjunction words 1

      In this activity, you will learn how to form sentences in Chinese by using conjunctions such as "and," "or," and "but." Join the brainstorming quiz to reinforce your knowledge.

    • Coordinating conjunction words 2

      In this activity, you'll learn how to fix common mistakes with Chinese conjunctions, express "also" and "reason" in Chinese, and discover a mystery conjunction.

    • Write a short message!

      This activity teaches you how to effectively text a message by putting your ideas together. Complete the mission and improve your texting skills!

  • Week 3

    Write your first Chinese essay

    • How to describe people, places and things?

      In this activity, you will learn essential Chinese adverbs and particles, how to use them correctly, and how to enhance your sentences with adverbs.

    • Key Chinese grammar structure - modifiers

      In this activity, you'll learn how to modify nouns, adjectives, and verbs to enhance your writing. Each section includes a writing challenge and a brainstorming quiz.

    • Write a narrative essay

      This activity focuses on enhancing writing skills. Students will learn to organize ideas and complete the mission of crafting a compelling narrative.

  • Week 4

    Write your second Chinese essay

    • How to Express Tenses in Chinese?

      This activity focuses on exploring the unique features of the Mandarin Chinese language. We will learn about Chinese grammar, express time periods, and conduct experiments to enhance their understanding of Mandarin Chinese.

    • Talking about the present, future and past

      This activity covers the feature, including tenses for discussing present, past, and future actions and experiences. We will also learn to talk about completed actions and experiences.

    • Write a Longer Essay - An Unforgettable Day

      The last activity focuses on enhancing writing skills with the theme of "An Unforgettable Day". We will try to organize ideas and put them together to create a compelling narrative.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • the basic Mandarin Chinese grammar patterns
  • a person, object, event, or situation in Mandarin Chinese
  • writing skills on various daily topics

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone hoping to improve their vocabulary and writing skills in Mandarin Chinese.

To get the most out of the course, learners should already have spent a minimum of 100 hours learning Mandarin.

Who will you learn with?

Who developed the course?

National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU)

National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU) was originally founded in Shanghai in 1896 and was re-established in Hsinchu, Taiwan in 1958.

Ways to learn

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$54/one-off payment


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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$54/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 12 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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