Listening contest

Level: Intro

Time: 5 - 10 minutes

Organization: Pair Work

Aim: This activity targets beginner students and helps them increase their awareness on Chinese pronunciation (including some unique sounds in Chinese and different tones). To speak (Chinese) out in pairs decreases the students' pressure to perform, and increases their confidence to speak out. It also builds class rapport among students.

(The example of words is taken from Mandarin Express Intro Level A Student’s Book. Teachers can prepare their own lists of words which target specific pronunciation areas.)

Preparation: This activity can be done at beginning of each class. Teacher tells students: "Let us warm up for today's Chinese class!"


  1. Direct students’ attention to the page. 
  2. Teacher picks one pair of words and reads them aloud.
  3. Then teacher reads one word of the pair and asks students which word it is. Teacher can do another demo if necessary.
  4. Break the class into pairs.
  5. Each student in the pair takes turns to read aloud one word in the list, and asks the other to identify the word.
  6. Teacher walks around and gives help.


Different pronunciation areas:

  • Differentiating four tones
  • Changing a fourth tone into a second tone
  • Changing a first tone into a second tone or a fourth tone
  • Changing a third tone into a second tone
  • Pronouncing the neutral sound
  • Practicing the "r" sound
  • Practicing connections between tones

If you like this class activity, let us know!


April Zhang
Chinese Teacher
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(852) 9739 8065


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