Chinese Language Courses Australia

The top- ranked Chinese Mandarin courses in Sydney

Course Road Map

6 Levels to Achieve Fluency

HSK is the officially recognised Chinese proficiency test used when applying to study or work in China.

Our Road Map shows the path you can expect to follow when studying with us and how it corresponds with each HSK level.

Elementary (HSK1)

The first step is to build a strong foundation by learning pronunciation and basic sentence structures. Sentence structures are important because they can be entirely different from English. At HSK1, I prioritise familiarising students with pronunciation and structures over building the quantity of their vocabulary.

I explain a lot of these concepts in English, in order for students to comprehend the course content easier. Course content is aligned closely to real-life examples so students can immediately apply it in their daily life. After ~10 weeks, students can expect to engage in basic conversation. Students typically feel a sense of achievement given the progress made.

Vocabulary ≈ 150 words

High Elementary (HSK2)

HSK2 is where I slowly introduce more vocabulary while the sentence structures remain largely the same as HSK1. Students will focus on expanding their vocabulary and incorporating them smoothly into sentences. They will be able to look at a word and know how is pronounced. Different and more complex conversational topics will also be introduced.

At HSK2, students will begin to use Pleco (recommended Chinese dictionary APP) to look up words and learn how to use them correctly in sentences. This is where students start developing an understanding of 汉字 (Hanzi-Chinese characters). Here, I will also introduce relevant aspects of each character. However, for this level, student's main goal is more to “observe”.

A tip I find effective is for students to type Chinese characters on their computer or phone. These exercises will help students consolidate their pinyin spelling and build up their Chinese characters' recognition ability. At the end of HSK2, students will be able to have much richer conversations and will feel a greater sense of achievement.

Vocabulary ≈ 300 words

Low Intermediate (HSK3)

Once students reach HSK3, I’ll increase the difficulty of Chinese grammar. Students will participate in role-playing to develop their conversational skills. This will train them to listen to each other and extract key information from each other’s sentences/questions while figuring out how to respond. This is where we see conversational ability improving rapidly from level 3 onwards. Further, I introduce similar Chinese characters for comparison, demonstrating that Hanzi is not as complex nor difficult as it appears to be.

Vocabulary ≈ 600 words

Intermediate (HSK4)

At HSK4, the form of conversation becomes less reliant on role-playing. Instead, in-class conversations will focus on the ability to express one’s views. I feel it is important for students to preserve their creative thinking abilities in the course of learning a second language. Rather than simply memorising fixed responses from textbooks, I much rather students have the freedom of thought to express their own responses...in Chinese.

Vocabulary ≈ 1200 words

Low Advanced (HSK5)

For my advanced classes, self-expression and the ability to articulate becomes the main form of conversational practice. To train students to develop a clear and concise flow of logic, we build conjunctions into their sentences. When it comes to reading and comprehension, I teach students techniques to read fast within a limited time while maintaining comprehension. This way, students will be able to quickly absorb information from reading materials such as news, rather than getting caught up in trying to slowly figure out what is going on.

In these advanced classes, I will expand students’ vocabulary of current topical areas and help students achieve a higher level of fluency and natural expression. I also progressively introduce Chinese idioms. Students can use these idioms to broaden and increase the richness of their vocabulary.

Vocabulary ≈ 2500 words

Advanced (HSK6)

For my advanced classes, self-expression and the ability to articulate becomes the main form of conversational practice. To train students to develop a clear and concise flow of logic, we build conjunctions into their sentences. When it comes to reading and comprehension, I teach students techniques to read fast within a limited time while maintaining comprehension. This way, students will be able to quickly absorb information from reading materials such as news, rather than getting caught up in trying to slowly figure out what is going on.

In these advanced classes, I will expand students’ vocabulary of current topical areas and help students achieve a higher level of fluency and natural expression. I also progressively introduce Chinese idioms. Students can use these idioms to broaden and increase the richness of their vocabulary.

Vocabulary ≈ 5000+ words

Not sure which level suits you best?

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Student Reviews

How Chinese For Professionals can help you learn Mandarin at any language level:

Recommended for any level

Shelley Tian is an outstanding teacher of the Chinese language and a woman gifted with many capabilities and qualities. Her ability to tailor learning appropriate to the learner's immediate and future needs and interests is particularly impressive. I would highly recommend Ms Tian's services to those at any level of need in learning or enhancing their knowledge, skills and understanding of the Chinese Language.

- Dr Phil Lambert PSM

Hit your learning goals

You won't find a more patient, personable and experienced teacher in Australia. Suitable for all skill levels, Shelley's classes provide the perfect balance between flexibility and structure for you to hit your learning goals. Don't hesitate to give her classes a go!

- Victor Li

Accelerated Learning

I have been studying Chinese on-off for a few years now, mostly self-taught, however since I have joined up with Shelley, my learning has gone to a new level. Shelley was immediately able to pull together all of my prior learning into order & provide me with a clear path for accelerated learning & achieving my goals. It has almost been a year since we commenced on this path & I haven't looked back. Shelley makes the lessons fun & enjoyable, whilst still being able to provide a disciplined & encouraging environment - this is incredibly rare. Our weekly lessons are something I always look forward to & then can't wait for the next! I would highly recommend Shelley's services for anyone wanting to learn Chinese, regardless of any level to commence from.

- Damien Albert