• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Chinese
  • Areas of interest Asian Languages
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Eve Chen
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings

This course offers an introduction to Cantonese with an emphasis mainly on communicative ability and partly on comparison with Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua). It is designed for students who have no or very limited prior knowledge of the Cantonese language. Students will learn the basics of Cantonese in this course, including pronunciation, the Cantonese Romanisation systems, vocabulary and structures for basic communication. Upon completion of the course, students are expected to have high-elementary to low-intermediate Cantonese proficiency and have the confidence to converse in Cantonese on everyday topics such as greetings, asking and giving directions, making phone calls and appointments, telling time, shopping and bargaining, describing weathers and seasons, and similar topics. As Cantonese shares a character writing system with Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua) and the majority of the Cantonese lexicon are identical or similar to the Mandarin equivalents, the focus of this course is on the acquisition of lexical items and syntactical structures that are unique in Cantonese and on the practice of Cantonese speaking and listening. Students are expected to have mastered intermediate level of Chinese grammar and have learned at least 2000 Chinese characters (equivalent to the Modern Chinese 4 learning outcome) before enrolling in CHIN2024.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Articulate Cantonese sounds accurately including finals, initials, complex syllables, and the six tones with the help of the Jyutping Romanisation system.
  2. Use an active Cantonese vocabulary to engage in basic conversation, including a collection of lexical items that are unique in Cantonese.
  3. Demonstrate high-elementary to low-intermediate proficiency in colloquial Cantonese.
  4. Communicate confidently on topics including greetings, asking and giving directions, leisure activities, making appointments, shopping and bargaining, describing weather and seasons, and expressing likes and dislikes.
  5. Develop an understanding of the Cantonese culture and the status of Cantonese in the global context.

Other Information

On successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to engage at an Introductory level of Cantonese.

This course is not suitable for students with native speaker proficiency (may include cognate languages and dialects). Students with previous “language experience or

exposure” are required to undertake a language proficiency assessment to ensure enrolment at the most appropriate level.


Relevant past experience includes:

-       Previous study of the language (both formal and informal, for example but not limited to, at school, or, home, or through online activities, etc.)

-       Being exposed to the language in childhood via a family member or friend

-       Travel or living in a country where the language is spoken

-       The language being spoken in your home (even if you do not speak it yourself)


Students who are not sure if they need to undertake a language proficiency assessment should seek advice from the course or language convenor. Students who intentionally misrepresent their language proficiency level may be investigated under the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 as having failed to comply with assessment directions and having sought unfair advantage. This may results in a penalty such as reduced grades or failure of the course.


Students are not permitted to enrol in a language course below one that they have already successfully completed, except with permission of the language and/or course convener.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Class participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Online Quizzes (3 quizzes throughout the semester, 5% each) (15) [LO 2,3,4,5]
  3. Mid-semester Spoken Test (15) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Vlog Assignment (15) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  5. Essay Assignment (word count: 1000) (15) [LO 3,5]
  6. End-of-semester Spoken Test (15) [LO 1,2,3,5]
  7. End-of-semester Written Test (15) [LO 2,3,4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours in total for both in class time and independent study. 

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed CHIN2017 Modern Chinese 4 or above, or have been permitted entry based on the results of your Cantonese language proficiency assessment (LPA).

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4080
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $5280
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3208 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person View

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions