SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Postgraduate Certificate / Diploma in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

Programme Code: POFD0002

Start of programme: Monday 10 October 2016

3 Terms During Academic Year 2016-2017

Mode of Attendance: Full-time


This SOAS Language Centre programme of professional development leads to highly sought after and widely accepted post-graduate qualifications (Certificate and Diploma) in teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. These awards have contributed substantially to the professionalising of Chinese teaching in the UK and elsewhere and to the recognition of the expertise of teachers of Chinese as a Foreign or Second Language.

The Certificate in Teaching Chinese is designed to:

  • meet the rapidly growing demand in the UK and elsewhere for trained and qualified teachers of Chinese as a foreign language.
  • provide trainees with the knowledge and skills which will enable them to teach Chinese using the latest communicative methods
  • equip trainees with the essential knowledge and skills which will enable them to teach Chinese using the communicative approach to a broad spectrum of Chinese learners in UK, European and worldwide educational contexts.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching Chinese is designed to:

  • equip trainees to be able to deal professionally with the teaching of Chinese in different contexts and through the integration of different varieties of the Chinese language.
  • familiarise trainees with the theoretical principles underlying various commonly used communicative teaching methods and techniques.
  • develop trainees' competencies in the design and effective use of instructional materials and learning activities for Chinese as a foreign language.
  • show trainees how to create coherent and progressive schemes of work and design efficient, effective and interactive lessons that are adapted to students’ learning needs.
  • show trainees how to to evaluate second language learners’ performance objectively and how to describe achievement and proficiency levels using appropriate terminology.

Graduates will be qualified and well-prepared for teaching Chinese in higher education in the UK, Europe and other parts of the world, for teaching Chinese at private institutions or companies, for fulfilling administrative or consultative roles in educational organisations and for undertaking commissioning and editing in companies which create and market Chinese language courseware.

Term Dates

Term 1: Monday 10 October 2016 - Friday 16 December 2016 (10 weeks)
Term 2: Monday 9 January 2017 - Friday 17 March 2017 (11 weeks)
Term 3: Monday 20 March 2017 - Friday 23 June 2017 (11 weeks, including final test week)

NB: Term 3 covers a 3-week Easter break 3 April - 21 April

The mode of training is full-time, though attendance in sessions at SOAS is not required 5 days per week. The course typically requires attendance on three days per week, depending on assignments set and appointments to observe live teaching, which may be on an evening or on a Saturday. The days where no presence at SOAS is required are to be devoted to lesson planning and materials preparation, writing of self-reflections and peer appraisals, readings of materials (books/journal articles, online resources, etc.) on applied linguistics and teaching methodology, self-access learning, specified VLE learning activities, guided independent study, assigned homework tasks and completion of formal assessments.  The programme is very demanding and students will be expected to spend at least 20-30 hours of study outside of class every week.


Trainees take compulsory courses in two main areas.

1. Principles and Practice in Communicative Language Teaching for Chinese:

  • Chinese Applied Linguistics
  • Language Awareness, Methods and Techniques in Teaching Chinese

2. Knowledge and Skills for Second Language Teaching:

  • Theories of Language Learning and Acquisition
  • Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching and Language Assessment

Teaching Practice

A key component of the course is the opportunity for live observation of experienced teachers, and for practice in the teaching of Chinese with different types of student groups, covering a range of levels. Trainees will be observed and assessed in their teaching of Chinese, including the quality of lesson plans and teaching materials they create, the range of their competencies in using a variety of different communicative teaching techniques and their ability to create rapport and establish a co-operative learning environment in class.

All our teacher trainers are expert classroom teachers themselves. Have a look at one of them teaching and see the kinds of classroom skills you will learn to use yourself.

Trainee Evaluation

Sarah - Student Evaluation

Our teacher trainees are always very positive about the quality of the teacher training programmes at the Language Centre. This is what Sarah, a recent graduate from the Chinese Teacher Training programme, had to say about it:

"This course is unique and down-to-earth; it will equip you with all the practical and realistic knowledge you need for you career in teaching Chinese. I am really glad I enrolled on this course and it has been an amazing experience for me to study at SOAS Language Centre."


Diploma in Teaching Chinese: £7,200.00. The Diploma programme fees can be paid in full before the start of the programme or as two equal instalments:

by the start of the course in October: £3,600.00
by the start of Term 2 in January: £3,600.00

We offer a 5% discount to those who pay the full course fee for the whole year by the end of October.

Overseas students who require a Tier 4 VISA must pay their total tuition fees for the Diploma programme in full upon accepting their offer and also receive the 5% discount.

Certificate in Teaching Chinese: £4,800.00. This must be paid in full before the start of the programme and there is no 5% discount.

We hope that all trainees will complete the 3-term programme leading to the major qualification: the Diploma. Past experience has shown that Diploma graduates find it much easier to obtain good teaching positions. Students who have paid for only the two terms leading to the Certificate may continue on the Diploma Phase on payment of the remaining £2,400 by the end of Term 2. The running of the Diploma Phase in Term 3 is dependent on there being a viable number of trainees for teaching practice to be accomplished successfully: this is normally 8 trainees, though it may be varied at the discretion of the Programme Convenor.

Students who enrol on this programme may apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL) to cover all the fees. For further information on this, please follow the link below:

Career Development Loans

* For Self-Funding students only, we offer a 5% discount to those who pay the full course fee at the start of the first term.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must normally have a first degree or equivalent, preferably in Chinese language or a related area. Candidates must pass a SOAS Language Centre test of Chinese language competency. Candidates must have a command of English equivalent to IELTS 6.5. The SOAS Admissions page gives more information about English language requirements.

Candidates will be accepted onto the programme subject to a satisfactory interview with the programme convenor. The English level of non-native English speaker applicants can be assessed as part of the interview. Arrangements can be made for telephone/Skype interviews.

Applying for the Programme

Enrolment onto our Teaching Certiicate/Diploma programmes is by the SOAS LC Certificate & Diploma Application Form (downloadable; in Word). The completed form and supporting documentation (personal statement, transcripts or certificates from relevant previous study, evidence of English Language level and at least two references) should be sent to the Language Centre by post or e-mail addressed to the Chinese Teacher Training Administrator:

Ms Rita Volante
Language Centre, SOAS
22 Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
Tel: +44 (0)20 020 4883

Overseas applicants who need to apply for a Tier 4 visa should start this process as early as possible; see our guidelines page.

Closing Date for Applications: 

Enrolment of overseas students continues till Friday 16th September latest. This deadline will apply only if applicants have returned all application documents correctly and paid the full course fee by Friday 16th September so that the CAS can be sent out by Monday 19th September. This is the last deadline by which the study visa can be obtained in time.

If visas are delayed, students may be accepted onto the course up to two weeks after the start date only. Last joining date: Monday 24th October. If the visa is not obtained in time, students cannot join the course and their place may be allocated to an applicant on the waiting list who does not require a visa. Students arriving late will be expected to do extra work set by tutors to enable them to catch up.

Students not requiring a visa should also apply as early as possible to be sure of getting a place but by Friday September 23rd at the latest. Applications received after this date may be considered at the discretion of the Programme Convener and only if there are places remaining.

Whilst attending the teacher training programme at SOAS Language Centre, trainees, like all SOAS students, will abide by the code of conduct of the institution, which may be found at:
Participants are also protected by the professional standards of the institution, which operates a transparent and accessible complaints procedure, which may be found at:

Every effort is made to ensure that the information given about our programmes is accurate and up to date. However, some changes may become necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and
academic reasons. In such circumstances, SOAS will: (i) endeavour to keep any changes to a minimum; (ii) take all reasonable steps to minimise disruption; and (iii) keep trainees informed appropriately by email advising
of where to seek further information if required.

Please contact the Course Administrator if you have any questions about our Terms and Conditions before you apply for the course.

If you need any further information about the programme, please contact the Chinese Teacher Training Programme Convenor:

Mr Shejiao Xu
SOAS Language Centre
22 Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4883