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Cambridge IGCSE Chinese - First Language

The Cambridge IGCSE First Language Chinese syllabus is designed for learners whose first language is Chinese. The syllabus develops learners' ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively. They learn how to employ a wide-ranging vocabulary, use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, and develop a personal style and an awareness of the audience being addressed. Learners are also encouraged to read widely, both for their own enjoyment and in order to develop an appreciation of how writers achieve their effects. The syllabus also complements other areas of study by encouraging skills of more general application.

Aims of the Syllabus

The aims are to enable students to-
• Read a wide range of texts, fluently and with good understanding, enjoying and appreciating a variety of language
• Read critically and use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
• Write accurately and effectively using appropriate standard language
• Work with information and ideas in Chinese by developing skills of critical evaluation, analysis, synthesis and inference
• Acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology and linguistic conventions
• Deepen understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture and classical texts.


Content Overview

Cambridge IGCSE First Language Chinese offers candidates the opportunity to respond knowledgeably to a range of reading passages. Candidates will use some of these passages to inform and inspire their own writing and write in a range of text types for different audiences.

The passages cover a range of genres and types, including fiction and non-fiction, and may also include other forms of writing, such as essays, reviews and articles. Learners will have the opportunity to read Classical Chinese prose texts to help to deepen their knowledge of Chinese culture. We encourage learners to become appreciative and critical readers and writers of Chinese.

Objectives of Assessment

1. Reading
Students will be assessed on their ability to-

  • Identify and interpret explicit information and attitudes
  • Identify and interpret implicit information and attitudes
  • Demonstrate understanding of how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers
  • Analyse and evaluate facts, ideas and opinions
  • Select information for specific purposes.
  • Demonstrate understanding of explicit meanings and viewpoints in modern and classical texts
  • Demonstrate understanding of implicit meanings and viewpoints in modern and classical texts
  • Identify and comment on specific ways in which writers use language, form and structure for effect
  • Make relevant responses to facts, ideas and opinions in texts
  • Accurately identify specific ideas, information and/or features in texts and develop them for a specified purpose

2. Writing
Students will be assessed on their ability to-

  • Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively
  • Synthesise information, sequence facts and develop ideas and opinions
  • Use a range of appropriate vocabulary
  • Use tone, style and register appropriate to audience and context
  • Write characters correctly and make accurate use of characters, punctuation and grammar.
  • Produce clear and coherent texts that communicate effectively, sustaining the reader’s interest
  • Synthesise information, structure text to make sequence and development of ideas clear to the reader
  • Choose vocabulary to create effects appropriate to purpose and audience
  • Use form and style suited to purpose and audience
  • Write in paragraphs using varied sentence structures, demonstrating control of syntax and grammar and using accurate character formation and punctuation.



Paper 1
Reading, Directed Writing and Classical Chinese
2 hours 15 minutes
Weighting- 50%
60 marks
Questions will be based on syllabus content. Externally assessed.

Paper 2
2 hours
Weighting- 50%
50 marks
Questions will be based on syllabus content. Externally assessed.

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Cambridge IGCSE Chinese - First Language
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