List of Free Online Chinese Language Courses and Video Lessons

See our list of the top free online Chinese language courses and video lessons. Learn about what courses are available and what topics they cover to find the course that's right for you.

Information on Free Online Chinese Language Courses and Video Lessons

Students don't have to register for these free online Chinese language courses. These courses are available through schools' OpenCourseWare (OCW) system, which were originally on-campus courses but are now available to the public for free. College credit isn't granted, and they may not have access to all course materials, such as language labs. Students may need to download special software, such as media players, to access course material.

Free Online Chinese Language Course List

Utah State University

  • First Year Chinese I allows students to watch videos of seven lectures, then download assignments and grammar sheets applicable to the lesson. Three textbooks were used, which may be voluntarily purchased. Supplemental information includes video lectures, assignments and a grammar sheet. Video writing lessons and a downloadable character writing sheet are also available.
  • First Year Chinese II continues the study of Chinese pronunciation and character writing through video lectures and writing lessons. Students have access to study materials and video lectures from a supplemental textbook.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

  • Chinese I (Regular) is a course in modern Chinese, or Mandarin, that is designed for students with no prior background in Chinese. Basic conversation, reading and writing skills are the focus. Readings from the main textbook are available online for free, and a test study guide is included. Students can access audio files to help with pronunciation, and an online study group may offer additional help.
  • Chinese II (Regular) is a continuation of MIT's Chinese I, where students develop basic Mandarin skills, including pronunciation, fundamental grammar and vocabulary. They will learn the structure of the Chinese writing system and practice reading and writing traditional and simplified character sets. The course textbook is available for download, and additional materials include audio lectures, study materials and sample tests.
  • Chinese III (Regular) builds upon Chinese I and II where students continue to develop aural comprehension, as well as reading and writing abilities. Students can write short compositions in Chinese and work towards fluency in basic conversations. They have access to readings, assignments, study materials with audio practice and video animations for writing Chinese characters.
  • Chinese IV (Regular) completes the first two years of MIT's Chinese program. Students consolidate conversation and grammar usage and read a collection of stories to bolster reading comprehension in the simplified character set. Students can download the textbook for free, along with reading and audio lessons that are included.
  • Chinese V (Regular): Chinese Cultures & Society serves as a continuation for students who have completed Chinese I-IV. Conducted in Mandarin, the course covers Chinese customs, history and culture through readings, compositions and discussions. Students use the textbook and outside resources to develop their language skills. Videos, assignments and study materials are available for download.
  • Chinese VI (Regular): Discovering Chinese Cultures and Societies is also taught in Mandarin. This course emphasizes electronic, human and literary resources to teach students more sophisticated conversational, reading and writing skills. Students explore Chinese culture, history and people through video and audio materials, discussion boards and assignments. Links are also provided to various Chinese websites.
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