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    I'm Chinese and can speak Cantonese fluently although my writing is REALLY poor. I can understand mandarin if someone else speaks it and can speak a little.

    If I were to do GCSE Mandarin, how would I do that? My school doesn't offer it. How would I take the exams etc.? My mum speaks Cantonese and Mandarin and writes Chinese so she can help me, and I can get a private tutor nearer the time of the tests.

    The only part I would have any problems with is writing and reading.

    Also, would I have to pay to do the GCSE since I'm doing it outside of school?

    Btw, I'll be doing this separate from the school if possible and I'm 13 and am in year 8. Oh and the reason I don't write Chinese is because I moved to England when I was 7 and didn't keep it up.
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    Hello fellow BBC

    You will need to find a school/college which offers GCSE Mandarin, you can study privately at home and just go to the school/college to take the exams. This will probably cost you money though, as it's not your actual school - it's best to find a local place which offers the GCSE and ask them about costs.

    Remember that GCSE Mandarin will be aimed at English people who have no advantage of being Cantonese or having a Mandarin speaking parent. You might even find it a bit too easy. Have a look at the syllabus and judge whether you might be better off skipping straight onto A level Chinese. Hope this helps!
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    my school lets people do gcses in their own language i'm sure you could ask
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    (Original post by SkinnyKat)
    Hello fellow BBC

    You will need to find a school/college which offers GCSE Mandarin, you can study privately at home and just go to the school/college to take the exams. This will probably cost you money though, as it's not your actual school - it's best to find a local place which offers the GCSE and ask them about costs.

    Remember that GCSE Mandarin will be aimed at English people who have no advantage of being Cantonese or having a Mandarin speaking parent. You might even find it a bit too easy. Have a look at the syllabus and judge whether you might be better off skipping straight onto A level Chinese. Hope this helps!
    Hey. Thanks for replying.

    The A level and AS Mandarin would be too hard with the writing section. Would it be worth doing the GCSE at all, since it will be kind of cheating 'cause I knew mandarin when I was little? Not sure if it's my first language as I mainly spoke Cantonese when I was little.
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    (Original post by crazychocx)
    Hey. Thanks for replying.

    The A level and AS Mandarin would be too hard with the writing section. Would it be worth doing the GCSE at all, since it will be kind of cheating 'cause I knew mandarin when I was little? Not sure if it's my first language as I mainly spoke Cantonese when I was little.
    For GCSE it would be okay but put your other subjects before it, and don't do it for a-level because most unis don't count a-levels in languages you already knew
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    (Original post by crazychocx)
    Hey. Thanks for replying.

    The A level and AS Mandarin would be too hard with the writing section. Would it be worth doing the GCSE at all, since it will be kind of cheating 'cause I knew mandarin when I was little? Not sure if it's my first language as I mainly spoke Cantonese when I was little.
    I think a GCSE in Mandarin will be look impressive but I'm not sure if it will help you to become fluent because I don't think it will cover Chinese characters in great detail.

    I definitely think learning Mandarin and writing Chinese will be extremely useful, maybe you could ask your mum and a private tutor to teach you? I speak a little Cantonese and regret not learning more and I wish I learnt Mandarin because China is very successful now.

    My friend who is also British Chinese did GCSE and A level Chinese so you can do it if you really want. My problem with these courses is that they are aimed at non-Chinese people and are probably too simple for us. They teach you things like how to say Mum and Dad and how to do the different tones which, if you're Cantonese, you know anyway
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    (Original post by gomg)
    For GCSE it would be okay but put your other subjects before it, and don't do it for a-level because most unis don't count a-levels in languages you already knew
    Ok thanks!
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    (Original post by SkinnyKat)
    I think a GCSE in Mandarin will be look impressive but I'm not sure if it will help you to become fluent because I don't think it will cover Chinese characters in great detail.

    I definitely think learning Mandarin and writing Chinese will be extremely useful, maybe you could ask your mum and a private tutor to teach you? I speak a little Cantonese and regret not learning more and I wish I learnt Mandarin because China is very successful now.

    My friend who is also British Chinese did GCSE and A level Chinese so you can do it if you really want. My problem with these courses is that they are aimed at non-Chinese people and are probably too simple for us. They teach you things like how to say Mum and Dad and how to do the different tones which, if you're Cantonese, you know anyway
    Thanks for all you help! I decided to just learn to speak and read mandarin online, buy some textbooks, and ask my parents. I might also do a course at my local college as they don't have age restrictions to join.
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    My best mate is doing a Mandarin Chinese course outside of school. He keep himself to himself so I'm unsure of where he studies it. I know he has Saturday classes at this Chinese school, which has 'levels' of ranging abilities, he was in the lowest at the beginning (with youngsters, 5/6 year-olds) but quickly progressed to people of his own age.

    He's 16 and in year 11 so he does have a lot of other GCSE's going on at the moment. I'd recommend asking your MFL (modern foreign language) teacher, preferably head of department, if your school could offer to enter you for the exam (even if no-one teaches it to you, they will assume you know what you're doing).

    I understand that writing and reading are the hardest for you, and yes they should be because you're accustomed to understanding by hearing and not by writing. I'd buy a Chinese GCSE textbook and learn from there, ask your Mum for help and then yes nearer the exam hire a private tutor to go over exam technique.

    It's good to see you're taking a real interest in your education in year 8! When I was in year 8 all I could think of was what game I would play when I got home...
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    (Original post by Dylann)
    My best mate is doing a Mandarin Chinese course outside of school. He keep himself to himself so I'm unsure of where he studies it. I know he has Saturday classes at this Chinese school, which has 'levels' of ranging abilities, he was in the lowest at the beginning (with youngsters, 5/6 year-olds) but quickly progressed to people of his own age.

    He's 16 and in year 11 so he does have a lot of other GCSE's going on at the moment. I'd recommend asking your MFL (modern foreign language) teacher, preferably head of department, if your school could offer to enter you for the exam (even if no-one teaches it to you, they will assume you know what you're doing).

    I understand that writing and reading are the hardest for you, and yes they should be because you're accustomed to understanding by hearing and not by writing. I'd buy a Chinese GCSE textbook and learn from there, ask your Mum for help and then yes nearer the exam hire a private tutor to go over exam technique.

    It's good to see you're taking a real interest in your education in year 8! When I was in year 8 all I could think of was what game I would play when I got home...
    I did go to Sunday classes for Mandarin for 2-3 years but I quit just before year 8 as the teachers were rubbish, they were just relatives of the headteacher or volunteers(they never stayed for long anyway).

    And that's a good idea, I will ask my teacher. Thanks!
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    (Original post by crazychocx)
    I'm Chinese and can speak Cantonese fluently although my writing is REALLY poor. I can understand mandarin if someone else speaks it and can speak a little.

    If I were to do GCSE Mandarin, how would I do that? My school doesn't offer it. How would I take the exams etc.? My mum speaks Cantonese and Mandarin and writes Chinese so she can help me, and I can get a private tutor nearer the time of the tests.

    The only part I would have any problems with is writing and reading.

    Also, would I have to pay to do the GCSE since I'm doing it outside of school?

    Btw, I'll be doing this separate from the school if possible and I'm 13 and am in year 8. Oh and the reason I don't write Chinese is because I moved to England when I was 7 and didn't keep it up.
    Although you understand and speak Cantonese fluently, if you were to do a Mandarin GCSE, would you able to understand and speak it? Listening and speaking are part of the full GCSE!

    I too understand and speak Cantonese fluently, but my writing is appalling as is my reading. However, GCSE covers the simplest things so in terms of reading, I'm completely fine for GCSE.

    Currently, the GCSE writing stands as a controlled assessment unit. However, hearing from news, this may change soon. I'd apply to do it as soon as you can before they decide to change it. If the writing remains as a controlled assessment unit, although this isn't perhaps "right", but all you need to do is ask your mum to help you write it and then all you need to do is memorise it I'm sure she won't mind, since you'd be getting a GCSE out of it! (This might have just been what I did... got an A* in all 4 units )

    The reading paper for GCSE only requires you to understand, therefore you only need to answer in English. Frankly, if you've been living in a Chinese country for the 1st 7 years of your life, even if you haven't kept up with it, I'm sure you still remember things and catching up/revising shouldn't be difficult for you. Anyway, practically the entire paper is multiple choice, and the passages are short and say stuff like "Xiao Ming went to the park on Friday with his brother. They played football. etc." And then the questions will be like, "When did Xiao Ming fo to the park? Who did he go with? What did they do at the park?" And then they'll present to you three pictures and you literally just tick the correct one! It's really quite simple.

    Edexcel is the only board that offers Cantonese GCSE as well as Mandarin GCSE. They also have a vocabulary PDF that they say students should know. I printed it out and tried to learn it. Couldn't be bothered in the end. I knew about less than 1/10 of the whole thing yet I have found all the past papers easy as well as my exam. If you haven't already, take a look at past papers and see if you can do them! Then check them with the mark scheme. That was really all I did in preparation for it!

    If you are doing the GCSE out of school, then yes you'll have to pay for it. But frankly, £35~ is worth it if you can get an extra GCSE out of it! If you can speak and understand, you're already half way there! GCSE's of your mother tongue are practically presents to getting a GCSE.

    Even if you find that you can do the reading but not the writing if it doesn't remain as a controlled assessment, if you can get A* in all the other 3 units and 100 UMS or close, you could very well still end up with an A* even if you get a C for your writing. So don't fret! And an A is still very good! But frankly I think you can get an A* no problem, and this is coming from a stranger who doesn't know you at all!
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    I haven't read the above posts because I'm too lazy, but I got the gist of your first post.

    I'm also a (extremely) fluent Cantonese speaker with both parents who came from Hong Kong. Plus, I go there every year. I did a Mandarin GCSE with the Edexcel Exam Board. You have to write two pieces of coursework on a selection of topics and do a writing and listening exam. In the Edexcel writing paper, they give you both simplified and traditional writing, so reading is SUPER easy. You can read the simplified writing and do the answer the questions in the traditional side if you want. The speaking isn't too bad either, I did pretty well even though I always resort to English or Cantonese just to dodge speaking Mandarin.

    As for the coursework, I talked to my examination officer to sort things out for me. She wasn't very nice at first, talking about qualifications, needing someone, permission from the exam board etc. My tutor sorted that out, so I can't help on that I'm afraid.

    For exam fees and all that, I think it depends on your school. There were two other kids (same age, but everyone's a kid to me) who were also in my group (3 of us to the tutor) that did the exam as well, through their school. Their examination officers weren't as strict and dissuasive. All three of our schools paid for our exams and for inviligators (people who monitor you so you're not cheating), so we paid nothing.

    Hope I helped, if you have any questions, you should quote me so that I get the notification. I'm kind of still unfamiliar with this site.
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    I personally would skip the gcse, find some websites to teach yourself (there'll be loads, it's Chinese after all!), get your mum to help you learn the writing, and since you have such Chinese roots already, you'll breeze the A-level.

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    My school entered me for the exam - can't remember if i had to pay
 
 
 
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