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Tsinghua Chinese enters Top 50 MOOCs of all time


Class Central, a search engine and reviews site for free online courses, released its updated iteration of Top 50 MOOCs of All Time on Aug 20, with theintroductory Chinese language course Tsinghua Chinese: Start Talking with 1.3 Billion People from Tsinghua University via edX on the list's Humanities category.

Class Central took over 10,000 MOOCs from over 800 universities worldwide into consideration and Tsinghua Chinese: Start Talking with 1.3 Billion People is the only Chinese MOOC on the Top 50 list.

Tsinghua Chinese, which is available on xuetangx.com, the world's first Chinese MOOC Platform under Tsinghua Holdings, takes learners on a journey with Peter (an international student studying in China) and teaches them useful language skills in a story-telling method.


Through many daily dialogues, learners of Tsinghua Chinese can pick up language skills necessary for their life in China and other Mandarin speaking countries.

In order to avoid learners' being able to hear and speak well but unable to read, Tsinghua Chinese is composed of several parts: dialogues (taught through pinyin), listening comprehension exercises (in real-world situations), Mandarin songs, tea time (tips on self-study) and especially Chinese characters (frequently used in daily life).

The characteristics, structure and meaning of Chinese characters are introduced with the help of pinyin, the standard system of Romanized spelling for transliterating Chinese, so learners will find it easy and interesting to understand and study the language.

The course is also a good start toward the HSK Chinese proficiency test for its emphasis on colloquial Mandarin vocabulary used in daily life, highly practical expressions in given Mandarin contexts, listening skills for communicating with Chinese native speakers, and some basic and frequently used Chinese characters.

Instructors of the course are Professor Xia Ding, Associate Professor Xiaoning Wang, Associate Professor Li Lu and Lecturer Yuan Li from the School of Humanities, Tsinghua University. Overseas students also contributed to the video courses.


Professor Wang Xiaoning from the School of Humanities, Tsinghua University, guides learners into the world of interesting Chinese characters.

Tsinghua Chinese is just an introductory course to Tsinghua University's Chinese language curriculum which helps foreigners grasp basic language skills for everyday life in Mandarin speaking countries.

The course offers easy access for foreigners to learn Chinese language and culture and is an excellent model for further innovation in language MOOCs in terms of theory foundation and teaching method.

"If you want to learn Mandarin and be able to use it then this is the course for you. The structure, the professors and the professionalism with which this course has been made is impressive," says the most helpful review on class-central.com.

"The course takes you on a journey at the same time as you are learning together with the main character Peter. And Peter has a small journey that he takes in his dreams. This is definitely a journey worth taking—even if you just want to learn for fun."


Class Central's Top 50 MOOCs of All Time (2018 edition) provides a small but well-reviewed list of courses for learners' reference.