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Chinese Ab Initio Written Assignment

Chinese AB initio is a course provided for students that have limited or no knowledge about the Chinese language. Throughout the course, not only will students be able to learn the language basics, but you are also required to learn more about their culture: festivals, customs, lifestyle, etc. At the end of the course, students are expected to be able to communicate sufficiently about everyday life topics such as education, hobbies, travelling, and even current worldwide issues including pollution and phone addiction.


For Singaporean citizens:

The Chinese AB initio is not a suitable choice if you aim to study in a Singaporean university as they require at least Mandarin as a second language (Chinese B SL). Moreover, if you have more than 2 years of experience with learning Mandarin, then you are ineligible to sign up for this course. However, if you are seeking to boost your IB scores and you have at least a bit of knowledge about Mandarin, then you are most welcome.


For foreign students who does not know anything about Mandarin:

The language is a very interesting one to learn, however it might be a very demanding course if you have limited background knowledge about it. On the other hand, this barrier can be solved if you are eager to learn. Plus, everyone around you will also be glad to help you. The benefits of learning Mandarin is that you will be able to communicate with Chinese friends, especially in Hwa Chong International School which has a lot of Chinese students (at the same time you can use this opportunity to learn and apply your knowledge!). Another benefit in my opinion is that you will be able to utilize this knowledge in your career, especially due to the expansion of China.

One thing to take note is that the boundary for grade 7 for Chinese AB initio SL in our time zone is very high – around 86. Therefore, there is no room for careless mistakes.



Course requirements


  • Individual and society:
    • Daily routines, Education, Food and Drink, Personal details, Appearance, Character, Physical Health, Relationships, and Shopping
  • Leisure and Work:
    • Work, Entertainment, Holidays, Media, Sports, Technology, and Transport
  • Urban and rural environment:
    • Environmental concerns, Global Issues, Neighborhood, Physical Geography, Town and Services, and Weather

Text types:

  • Blog entry
  • Diary entry
  • Advertisement
  • Speech
  • E-mail
  • Letter

Grading system:

Paper 1(30%) + Paper 2 (25%) + Written Assignment (20%) + Oral exam(25%) – 100%

For more information: http://www.slideshare.net/liyunlu/language-ab-initio-guide-updated-for-first-exams-2015

Paper 1 is basically a comprehension paper which requires students to read the passages given and answer the questions linked to the passages. It can consist of true or false with evidence, answer the questions, pick the true facts about the passage and fill in the sentences with the given vocabularies. This part of the whole grades is the part which students should aim to get full marks in which is relatively the easiest among the other parts even though questions may not be very straight forward.

Paper 2 requires students to write one short and one long essay. The stimulus will be given and there will be required points that need to be inserted inside the essay (including text type).

The written assignment for Chinese AB initio, students must create a 300 characters Chinese essay about comparing and contrasting cultures between two countries (recommended: your country and China). This would require researching and students must write a piece that strictly associates the factual evidences with culture. Of course, to know whether you are on track, the teacher will guide you throughout your research and writing. Based on my experience, try to finish the written assignment as quickly as possible as during that period of time, you have other assignments that may be more important although it may be quite tiring. Teachers would also be glad to finish the written assignments early as they can concentrate on the oral exam (finishing the written assignments mean that teachers won’t need to stay back after school after that period of time). This does not mean that you should take written assignments lightly as 20% is a big percentage of your marks.

The oral exam is the most challenging one. The first part of the exam is that students will have to comment on a given picture for 1-2 minutes. The teacher will then ask the student questions relating to what you have said or related to the picture for 2-3 minutes. After that, the teacher will ask the student general questions within the topics syllabus for 4-5 minutes including about your written assignment. However, learning for the oral exam will definitely improve other parts of the Chinese AB initio course proportionately.




  1. Try to watch Chinese drama or listen to Chinese music

I know this is something superficial and is something everyone says but consider this tip seriously. Within the mid-year holidays, my friend introduced me to very nice Chinese music. Unconsciously, it helped me improve my Mandarin significantly because by watching or listening frequently, some words will be repeated and you will understand how to use some of the words in a certain context.

  1. Talk to your friends in Mandarin

If you are an extrovert and not shy to make mistakes, this is definitely the fastest way to learn Mandarin. If you are an introvert and embarrassed to make mistakes, at least try to listen to what they’re talking about and ask your friends to translate.

  1. Keep writing

Chinese characters are really burdensome to write at times so it is better to keep reminding yourself about the characters by writing some once in a while. Also by writing, you will tend to know the text types by heart. It is important not to make errors while writing as well, as the markers can deduct based on those mistakes.

And lastly, don’t forget that your teacher is on your side. They may give you lots of worksheets and notes, but in the long run every single one builds towards your success in this subject. With hard work and determination, you are sure to excel.


Contributed by: William Tjen, Krysanne Martis (Class of 2016)

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Published on January 23rd, 2014 | by Chinese Editor

The G12 Chinese AB Initio Written Assignment

This week, the students in G12 Chinese AB Initio class did their final Chinese written assignment (WA) at school. The students were given time to do research and prepare for the assignment before conducting the final assignment.

The students started off by brainstorming for ideas that they can use for their WA topic. With the teacher’s help, they were finally able to come up with a good topic. The following topics were chosen by the students: “Festivals Of China and India“ by Sanjith Nair, “Climate of Shanghai and Jakarta“ by Marsha Neida, “Breakfast food of Shanghai and New Delhi“ by Shruti Dadwal and “Sports of China and Pakistan” by Abdullah Khan.

The teacher played a major role in guiding the students throughout this assignment. The teacher also gave some suggestions on how to find sources and showed the students some sample Written Assignments. This gave the students an idea of what the WA looks like. As part of the preparation process, the students had the opportunity of a trial written assignment two weeks ago. After getting feedback from the teacher and making adjustments, the students completed their final WA.

This week they successfully finished their final WA. All students took around 2 periods which means around 1 hours and 45 minute to complete 300 words. The students were allowed to bring along references from home. They also brought along a Chinese – English Dictionary.

All in all, it was a very well-written assignment and they learnt many new things about the cultures of their home country and China. This enabled them to further connect with Chinese culture through the mastery of the Chinese language.

Tags:Grade 12

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