This elective is split into three years, each year constituting a different level of the introduction and
beginner's course to the Chinese language and culture for the business setting. The program will cover the Beginner, Basic and Basic Plus levels. Although the length of the course runs three years, any part (1 year or more) can be taken in isolation, provided it is taken in sequence. Participants will not have the option to skip ahead in the organization of the three-year course, which can and likely will result in classes including first, second and third year mbo level four students.
If at any point an exam of this course has a failed result, the student will not have the option to continue on, but will have to start over with that year of the course or to unenroll entirely from the course.
The course will begin with titles, greetings and a description of proper first-meeting etiquette and will continue with introducing students to topics such as business-oriented banquet manners, introducing colleagues, the Chinese concepts of 'face' and 'guanxi' (networking) and so much more. The course starts with the core tasks of listening and speaking and does not move on to reading and writing until the end of year one and/or beginning of year two. This also ensures that students dropping out or completing their diploma after year one are able to communicate in Mandarin at the most basic level without having been hindered by the cumbersome process of learning to read and write Chinese.
Students will be expected to move up one TOCFL (Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language) level for each year of the course, each TOCFL level being equivalent to one CEFR level, meaning that in the first year of this elective, students will be expected to attain a TOCFL Band A, Level 1 certificate (A1 equivalent), in the second year a Band A, Level 2 certificate (A2 equivalent), and in the third year a Band B, Level 3 certificate (B1 equivalent).
Once again, if students are unable to attain this level of success, they will either need to drop the course or repeat the year.