Edexcel Chinese GCSE - Guide and quick links

The Edexcel GCSE in Chinese (Full Course) consists of 4 units based on the following skills:
Unit 1: Listening and understanding in Chinese (20% of total course)
Unit 2: Speaking in Chinese (30% of total course)
Unit 3: Reading and understanding in Chinese (20% of total course)
Unit 4: Reading in Chinese (30% of total course)
A full specification (updated Oct 2010) can be found here
Delivery models
How should I be covering the content of the GCSE specification? Edexcel suggest 3 possible models to cover the 2 year course. Detail of which is contained in the Teachers Guide p.6.  
A detailed and editable Scheme of Work is also available with suggested content for lessons. Follow the link in the resources section below.
A table with an overview of details of assessment is attached below. Briefly assessment is as follows:
Unit 1: Listening – examination
Unit 2: Speaking – Controlled assessment
Unit 3: Reading – Examination
Unit 4: Writing – Controlled assessment
What are Controlled assessments (CA)
Controlled assessments take place in the school classroom but are submitted to and are either marked (writing) or moderated (speaking) by Edexcel. A controlled assessment involves students preparing and then carrying out a task. It is similar to course work but controls have been added to ensure that the work is the student’s own.
What are the tasks? For the speaking CA there is a choice.All of the CAs for speaking involve interaction between the student and the teacher. Each student must undertake two controlled assessments and each one must relate to a different task type and one of these must be recorded. Please note the following advice on timings:
·         Presentation followed by discussion: Short presentation (2 - 3 minutes maximum) followed by follow up questions and answers (2-3 minutes). The controlled assessment should last for 4-6 minutes maximum.
·         Picture-based discussion: Students may, if they wish, introduce their picture with a very short introduction (up to 1 minute maximum). The remainder of the time should be spent on questions and answers.
·         Open interaction:An interaction betweena student and teacher that should last for no more than 4-6 minutes. Students should be prepared to ask questions in this task type.
Note that CAs for speaking should be qualitative rather than quantitative and should last for no more than 4 to 6 minutes.Care must be taken to ensure that the teacher does not dominate the interaction.
What student preparation for CA is allowed? Students are allowed to take CA stimulus and notes home to prepare during their up to 2 weeks preparation time, although they should spend no more than 6 hours over the two weeks preparing. Preparation should be individual.
Students don’t have to prepare during lesson time though some preparation is expected as the teacher can clearly supervise this.
Students have a maximum of 6 hours preparation over a maximum period of two weeks - most centres are allocating considerably less time to the 'task-specific preparation period' and more time to the non-task-specific preparation time in which teachers are able to feedback to students. 
Where can I find the necessary documents? Checklists, Speaking CA papers, writing exemplar materials and teacher support books can be found in the Controlled Assessments section of the Edexcel GCSE Chinese homepage.
Any more questions about CA? Please consult the Controlled Assessments Teacher Support Book – speaking  and the Controlled Assessments Teacher Support Book - writing for more details about these assessments. You may also find reference to the following podcast useful.
Content in the new specification
What topics do I need to cover in the new specification? They have changed slightly and now are as follows:
Examination (Reading and listening): 
·         Out and about
·         Customer service and transactions
·         Personal information
·         Future plans, education and work
Controlled Assessment (Writing and speaking):
·         Media and culture
·         Sport and leisure
·         Travel and tourism
·         Business, work and employment
·         Centre-based option
Edexcel have also provided a handy table showing where these fit into the units and the respective knowledge & skills focus for each. The table is attached at the bottom of this article. 
A full description of topics is available in the Teachers’ guide  and the specification.
Scheme of Work: Edexcel has a complete scheme of work available to fit the specification. It is editable too, allowing for teachers to amend as they see fit. This is available for download here.
Course Vocabulary: A complete vocab list is available for download here.
Teachers Guide: Can be downloaded here.
Past papers: The June 2010 examination question papers and marking scheme for the listening and reading units can be downloader from the Edexcel GCSE Chinese homepage. NOTE: You will need be an Edexcel centre with login details to access these documents. Sample assessment materials includingphotocopiable resources can also be obtained from the Edexcel website that feature sample exam papers (that are publicly available).
Listening MP3s: Are available from the exam materials section of the Edexcel GCSE Chinese homepage. Again you will need be an Edexcel centre with login details to access these files.
Textbooks (with links): 
·         Edexcel GCSE Chinese
·         Chinese GCSE (Sinolingua)
·         Kuaile Hanyu
Compatible Software (with links):
·         IQ Chinese
·         Go Chinese
·         AI Speech
KS3 resources to prepare students prior to GCSE:
For more details about GCSE training including booking places, please visit the training bookings page on the Edexcel website. Courses will also be displayed in our own events page.
Either visit the Edexcel website
E-mail Edexcel’s Chinese GCSE specific support at: gcsechinese [at] edexcelexperts [dot] co [dot] uk
We will continue to update this article, but if any key information is missing or out of date, please do not hesitate to contact Pete at info [at] thechinesestaffroom [dot] com