Differentiating IGCSE Chinese: Second Language versus Foreign Language

As a Chinese language teacher, we are often asked about the difference between the IGCSE Chinese 2nd Language and the Chinese Foreign Language. It’s important to understand that these two language exams cater to different groups of students and have distinct learning objectives.

The IGCSE Chinese as a Second Language is designed for learners who already have a working knowledge of the language and who want to consolidate their understanding to progress their education or career. Through their studies, learners achieve a thorough understanding of a wide range of registers and styles and learn to communicate appropriately in different situations. It focuses on the linked language skills of reading, writing, listening and oral communication. Through study of IGCSE  Chinese as a Second Language, learners can achieve a level of practical communication ideal for everyday use, which can also form the basis for further, more in-depth language study.

The IGCSE Chinese as a Foreign Language is designed for learners who are learning Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language. The aim is to develop an ability to use the language effectively for practical communication. It  is based on the linked language skills of listening,  reading, speaking and writing, and these are built on as learners progress through their studies. It also aims to offer insights into the culture of countries where Mandarin Chinese is spoken,  thus encouraging positive attitudes towards language learning and towards speakers of other languages.

Generally speaking, the IGCSE Chinese as a second language is more difficult. If your kid already has a certain foundation in Chinese, then you can choose the IGCSE Chinese as a second language. If your kid hasn’t learned Chinese before taking the IGCSE Chinese course, then choosing the IGCSE chinese as a foreign language may be a more feasible choice.

If your kid needs assistance in IGCSE Chinese exam, sign up for a free trial class via the form on this page, and we will be happy to help.

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