You are viewing information for England.  Change country or region.

Elementary Chinese 1: 入门了 rùmén le!

This 16-week online course takes you further on your Chinese-learning journey. The course builds on previous basic knowledge of Chinese that you might have gained from our Beginners Chinese short courses. You will work with audio and interactive text-based materials and have access to a dedicated website, forum and learning advisers. The course has no formal assessment, but you will test your knowledge by completing weekly quizzes. All the audio materials are accompanied by transcripts. The quiz questions, glossary of the key vocabulary, as well as most audio clips, are downloadable.

This course teaches Mandarin Chinese and simplified characters.

After successfully completing this short course, you will receive a digital badge. This can be shared on social media, added to email signatures or act as a certificate.

Standalone study only

This module is available for standalone study only. Any credits from this module cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.


Module code
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

Request your prospectus

Explore our subjects and courses

Request your copy now

What you will study

The course is divided into 16 weeks, each covering language, culture, and reflection. Four of the 16 weeks (weeks 4, 8, 12 and 16) are dedicated to revising what you have learned. In this course, you'll learn how to effectively communicate in a wide range of situations using a variety of language structures, including:

  • asking and telling the time
  • talking about time in relation to everyday situations and habits
  • discussing timetables and schedules for shops and other facilities
  • explaining how long it takes to go somewhere
  • expressing time and other measurements approximately
  • giving more detailed directions
  • describing health issues and seeing a doctor
  • giving advice
  • talking about the present and the future
  • expressing a change in terms of state or condition
  • comparing situations in the past and the present
  • talking about changing money, exchange rates and currencies.

Throughout the course, you will improve your ability to understand spoken and written Chinese and to communicate your own information and ideas. You will acquire a knowledge of the basic structures of Chinese, along with key vocabulary and sentence patterns. Each week comprises 3–4 hours of interactive activities, exercises, explanations and tips about language learning. It’s a good idea to keep notes either in a notebook or on your preferred digital device. There are regular revision weeks and at the end of each week, there is a quiz for you to practise what you’ve been learning.

We look forward to seeing you soon on Elementary Chinese 1: 入门了 rùmén le!

Please note that although this course is non-accredited, it can be used towards the module Making your learning count (YXM130) to gain OU credits.

You will learn

After completing this course, you'll have increased your knowledge and understanding of how to:

  • communicate with speakers of Chinese in a limited range of predictable and simple contexts relating to everyday situations
  • understand and use simple Chinese grammatical structures (for example, questions and statements), and common terms for everyday objects and events
  • recognise and use basic Chinese phrases in formal and informal styles of communication and use polite forms of address and greetings
  • write in Pinyin or/and character forms frequently used expressions relevant to the topics covered
  • show basic intercultural communicative competence, including an awareness of Chinese-speaking cultures and societies.

The course is designed to help you achieve a level of language proficiency equivalent to level A1 of the Council of Europe Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR).

Learner support

You will have access to discussion forums that you are strongly encouraged to participate in as these forums combine self-help from fellow students with input from a language-specialist learning adviser. Other support is available via the StudentHome website and Computing Helpdesk.

Course length

You'll study 3–4 hours per week, for 16 weeks. In total this course will require around 64 hours to complete.

Future availability

This page describes the course that will start in October 2021.

After October 2021, Elementary Chinese 1: 入门了 rùmén le! will open again for registration in January 2022.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations, which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Course work includes:

    No examination
    No residential school

    Entry requirements

    There are no entry requirements for this course.

    However, it's beneficial if you have some basic knowledge of Chinese, similar or equivalent to the language, skills and vocabulary practised in Beginners Chinese 1: 开始吧 kāishĭ ba! (LXC001), Beginners Chinese 2: 开始吧 kāishĭ ba! (LXC002), and/or Beginners Chinese 3: 开始吧 kāishĭ ba! (LXC003).

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact us.

    Course length

    You'll study 3–4 hours per week, for 16 weeks. In total this course will require around 64 hours to complete.


    Start End England fee Register
    30 Oct 2021 Feb 2022 £195.00

    Registration closes 21/10/21 (places subject to availability)

    October 2021 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

    Ways to pay

    Credit/Debit Card – We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron.

    Sponsorship – If this course is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could ask your employer to sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. Your sponsor just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.

    The fee information provided here is valid for short courses starting in the 2021/22 academic year. Fees for short courses starting in the 2022/23 academic year or later may increase in line with the University’s strategic approach to fees.

    What's included

    All learning materials are delivered entirely online. You’ll have access to a course website, which includes:

    • a week-by-week study planner
    • course-specific materials and activities
    • audio content
    • discussion forums
    • support from language-specialist learning advisers.

    Please note the course website closes soon after the end of week 16 and becomes read-only. In read-only format, you can access all materials, but you can no longer complete the weekly quizzes or post in the forums.

    Computing requirements

    You'll need a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of 64-bit Windows 10 (note that Windows 7 is no longer supported) or macOS and broadband internet access.

    Functionality may be limited on mobile devices. For example, voice recorder activities, which are common in language short courses, will not work on iOS/Apple devices.

    Our module websites comply with web standards and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

    Our OU Study mobile App will operate on all current, supported, versions of Android and iOS. It's not available on Kindle.

    It's also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook, however, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you'll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

    If you have a disability

    The course is delivered online and makes use of a variety of online resources. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Disability support website.