Chinese Language

Registration in Chinese language courses


All new students with any prior knowledge of Chinese are required to meet with instructional staff for a brief evaluation of their language level. For Fall 2024/Winter 2025 registration, language placement/screening dates are listed here. Please download this questionnaire (pdf) (word) and bring the completed form with you. If you are unable to make any of the screening sessions, please contact Ms. Li Yang to make alternate arrangements. For any questions, please contact the Chinese language coordinator Dr. Kuo-Chan Sun.

Questionnaire PDF / Word

Screening dates


Students who have a background in one of the regional dialects of Chinese such as Cantonese, Toisanese, Hokkien or Hakka, as well as any written knowledge of Chinese are NOT ALLOWED to take CHINA 101.

Students wishing to register in CHINA 101 and 102 should be absolute beginners, with no prior knowledge or study of Chinese language in any dialect. However, the Department of East Asian Studies acknowledges that even absolute beginners have different backgrounds that may affect classroom dynamics. Therefore two sections (A1 and A3, B1 and B3) of 100-level Chinese have been designated for students who, while still beginners, have some prior exposure to Chinese language/culture, specifically through: a) Japanese language; or b) extended family members who speak any Chinese dialect. It has been the department's experience that the aforementioned students find a class with an energetic pace more enriching. If you are unsure of which class to register for or have additional concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Chinese language coordinator for further advising.


Returning Students:

Students continuing in the regular Chinese should register in the next level, preferably in the same section as the year previous. 

For example:learning path
Please note: Students having completed the CHINA 102 B2 stream are highly encouraged to enroll in CHINA 250. CHINA 250 is designed as an enrichment course to enhance further Chinese language studies. This course will especially benefit non-heritage students.

New heritage students:

Students that have a background in one of the regional dialects of Chinese such as Cantonese, Toisanese, Hokkien, or Hakka, as well as some knowledge of written Chinese should register for CHINA 211 and 212 in their first year of study.

Students from a heritage background should speak with the Chinese language coordinator to register in a suitable class.

Students matriculating with Chinese in high school

Students who have completed Chinese Language Arts 30 or 30IB without difficulty (the Chinese bilingual program) should normally register in CHINA 401 or above. Students having completed Chinese Language and Culture 30 or 30 IB without difficulty should normally register in CHINA 201 B2 and are strongly encouraged to register in CHINA 250. However, these are guidelines, rather than guarantees of placement; the Department requires that any student who has undertaken ANY Chinese language study in Canada or abroad, or who has taken any part of their schooling in Chinese, contact the Chinese language coordinator to discuss their course selections before the start of the semester.


"Heritage" and "non-heritage" students

The Department of East Asian Studies recognizes that students wishing to study Chinese come from a multitude of cultural backgrounds. Like other post-secondary institutions in Canada, we divide our learners into heritage and non-heritage students.

It is our goal to provide a fulfilling and fair learning environment by making sure that all students are placed in a class that complements their formal or informal knowledge of Chinese.

Heritage students
  • Students who were born in a non-Chinese speaking country, but were raised in a home where Mandarin or another Chinese dialect was spoken, who speak or merely understand the dialect, and who are to some degree bilingual in English and Chinese. Dialects include but are not limited to: Cantonese, Toisanese, Hokkien, or Hakka
  • Students who were born in a Chinese speaking country whose first language was Chinese, and who have received some, but incomplete formal education
  • Students of non-Chinese origin who have acquired certain level of Chinese language proficiency (especially speaking and listening) by living, studying or working in a Chinese speaking country/region for any period of time
  • Students who have completed formal Chinese language training through a bilingual or high school program in Canada
Non-heritage students
  • Students of non-Chinese origin with no knowledge of Chinese language
  • Students of Chinese origin who do not speak any Chinese dialect and whose parents do not speak any Chinese dialect