The purpose of this course is to give students some essential background and foundational information before embarking on the study of Chinese. Regardless of where or how the student is going to study Chinese, completion of this course will help ensure success in his/her continued study. Much of the information found here is not covered in most beginning Chinese courses - regardless of where they are taught - and so any students serious about learning Chinese should take this course first.
The course consists of five units: Introduction - a broad sweep of the Chinese language in all its glory; Pinyin - essential information about how Chinese is rendered into the Roman alphabet (the ABCs); Tones - what makes Chinese unique among the commonly spoken languages and is essential for being understood; Characters - the beauty and structure of the written language; Language Structure - how Chinese is put together.
After living and working and studying in Asia for 15 years, I (骆老师 Luò lǎoshī) have been teaching Chinese and Japanese in middle and high school for 10+ years.