Chinese Continuers

NESA documents

Stage 6 Chinese Continuers syllabus

Assessment and reporting in Continuers Stage 6

Support materials – including past HSC papers

Advice for students

HSC examinations in Continuers language courses – advice for students (DOCX 86KB) – generic advice to support students of the Continuers course to prepare for the oral and written HSC examinations.

Text types in Continuers

What are ‘texts’ (text types)?

‘Texts’ (text types) are various forms of spoken and written language, such as articles, conversations, letters and so on. Each text type varies in its characteristics of format, style, and language. In the Chinese Continuers HSC written examination, the following text types are specified for production:

  1. article
  2. diary entry
  3. email
  4. letter
  5. message
  6. note
  7. notice
  8. postcard
  9. recount
  10. report
  11. script of an interview
  12. script of a speech/talk.

Note: In the oral examination, you participate in a conversation.

In the written section of the HSC examination, you are required to produce 2 different styles of writing:

  • the first style is informative or descriptive
  • the second style is reflective, persuasive or evaluative, and could require you to explain or justify a point of view.

Using the correct text type and including the correct style of content is important.

Sample tasks and practice questions

Past HSC papers can be downloaded from the NESA website.

Some past HSC questions have been used as sample tasks in this document.

For each task, identify the following:

  1. What is the purpose?
  2. Who is the audience?
  3. What is the context?
  4. What is the required text type?
  5. What is the style?

The ‘texts’ (text types)

1 – article

Purpose

  • to sustain an argument
  • to describe
  • to inform, persuade, amuse or entertain

Structure

  • titles/headings (if appropriate)
  • development of ideas/arguments
  • sequencing and linking of ideas
  • statement of conclusion or advice

Language features

  • range of tenses (for example 过去/现在/将来)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the article)

Sample question

Write approximately 250 characters in CHINESE. You have been invited to make a contribution to the school’s Chinese magazine. Write an article in which you reflect on your high school graduation day.

2015 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2015

2 – diary entry

Purpose

  • a personal reflection on a theme, place or situation

Structure

  • date (2009年6月29日、晴)
  • development of ideas/arguments
  • sequencing and linking of ideas

Language features

  • written in the first person (keep the tone/perspective of the character from whose perspective you are writing)
  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal register

Sample questions

Write approximately 250 characters in CHINESE. You have just helped a friend to make a decision about what to do during the Christmas holidays. Write a diary entry in which you reflect on this.

2016 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2016

Write approximately 250 characters in CHINESE. You are graduating from high school this year. Write a diary entry to reflect on the value of high school life.

2018 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 13(b) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2018

3 – email

Purpose

  • to use technology-based methods of communication
  • to send greetings
  • to retell events
  • to inform
  • to seek a response

Structure

  • email conventions (you are not usually required to write an email address in the exam)
  • specific details without elaboration
  • salutations and endings – less conventional than a normal letter
  • statement of conclusion or advice (for example谢谢,祝好,再见,盼复)

Language features

  • language can be descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • informal or formal register (be consistent throughout the email)

Sample questions

Answer the following question by writing approximately 90 characters in CHINESE. You are graduating from your high school. Write an email to your friend in China, describing what your favourite teacher has done for you.

2016 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2016

Answer the following question by writing approximately 90 characters in CHINESE. You have missed a week of school because you have been sick. Write an email to your Chinese teacher telling him/her about your absence and to arrange how you can catch up.

2017 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017

4 – letter

Purpose

  • to communicate in writing with acquaintances, friends or family
  • to inform, amuse, persuade

Structure

  • salutations (for example尊敬的,亲爱的)
  • letter conventions (for example寒暄:近来好吗?/正文)
  • date and signature at the end

Language features

  • subjective language (for example近来好吗?我今天给您写信是因为….)
  • descriptive, factual, judgemental, emotive or persuasive, depending on context
  • formality of language will depend on relationship with audience (for example, letter to a friend or letter to a newspaper)

Sample questions

Write approximately 250 characters in CHINESE. You are concerned that your grandparents are missing out on the benefits of modern life. Write a letter to persuade them to modernise their lifestyle.

2014 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2014

Write approximately 250 characters in CHINESE. You have found a photograph of yourself with a friend who you have not seen for a number of years. Write him/her a letter reflecting on that time of your life.

2017 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 13(b) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017

5 – message

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to request
  • to instruct
  • to remind

Note – the difference between a message and a note is that a message can vary in type, such as voicemail message, text message, email, social media post.

Structure

  • succinct (short and to the point)
  • general statement, description, procedure
  • lack of descriptive detail

Language features

  • shorter than a standard letter
  • frequent use of colloquial language (does not necessarily mean informal register)

Sample question

Write 90 characters in CHINESE. You were invited to a friend’s birthday party but for some reason you did not attend. Write a message of apology.

Adapted from 2004 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (b) (6 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2004

Note: This question is now worth 5 marks.

6 – note

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to request
  • to instruct
  • to remind

Note – the difference between a message and a note is that a message can vary in type such as voicemail message, text message, email.

Structure

  • succinct (short and to the point)
  • general statement, description, procedure
  • lack of descriptive detail

Language features

  • shorter than a standard letter
  • frequent use of colloquial language (does not necessarily mean informal register)
  • formality of language will depend on relationship with audience (for example, friend or boss)

Sample questions

Answer the following question by writing approximately 90 characters in CHINESE. Write a note to your Chinese teacher asking for an extension of time for your assignment.

2013 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 13 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2013

Answer the following question by writing approximately 90 characters in CHINESE. You are studying at a school in China and looking for a flatmate to move in to your place to share the costs. Write a note to put on the school noticeboard.

2018 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 12 (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2018

7 – notice

Purpose

  • to inform
  • to seek a response (for example looking for a pen pal or looking for a roommate to share accommodation)

Structure

  • heading/addressee
  • specific details without elaboration
  • statement of conclusion or advice (for example giving contact details)

Language features

  • language can be descriptive, factual, emotive or persuasive depending on context
  • informal or formal register

Sample question

Write 90 characters in CHINESE. A famous sportsperson is going to visit your school and make a speech. Write a notice for the noticeboard.

Adapted from 2009 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 12(a) (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2009

8 – postcard

Purpose

  • to provide information, amuse or entertain
  • to retell events and experiences (for example who, where, what, when)

Structure

  • salutations (尊敬的,亲爱的)
  • brief description or message
  • formulaic ending (祝好/此致敬礼!)

Language features

  • descriptive language
  • personal impressions

Sample question

Write 90 characters in CHINESE. You are travelling overseas with your friends. Write the postcard that you send to your parents on the third day of your trip.

Adapted from 2009 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 12(b) (5 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2009

9 – recount

Purpose

  • to inform or entertain
  • to retell past events or experiences
  • to retell a series of events

Structure

  • introduction/orientation (set the scene – who, what, where, when)
  • events sequenced in chronological order
  • closing statement

Language features

  • often told in the first person (我)
  • descriptive language
  • often told in past tense (for example做了,吃了,玩了)
  • time words to connect events (for example从…到…,之前)
  • words which tell us when, where, with whom and how
  • linking words (for example先,然后,最后,首先,再)

Sample question

Write approximately 250 characters in CHINESE. You have just visited a country town with your family. Write a recount of one day you spent there.

Adapted from 2008 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 13(a) (6 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2008

Note: This question would now be worth 10 marks, based on the number of characters.

10 – report

Purpose

  • to present information about a class of things (to classify) OR
  • to describe the way things are
  • to organise facts
  • to draw conclusions

Structure

  • general statement or classification
  • series of paragraphs that describes
  • logical progression
  • concluding statement or summary

Language features

  • supporting evidence, such as statistics, examples
  • factual
  • language specific to the topic
  • objective language
  • linking words (for example先/然后/最后, 第一/第二)

Sample question

Write approximately 250 characters in CHINESE. You are the head of the SRC (Student Representative Council) in your school. Based on the results of a survey you have conducted, write a report to the principal recommending improvements to the running of the school canteen.

2010 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 14(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2010

11 – script of an interview

Purpose

  • to find out information (for example a story or a response)
  • to communicate ideas, opinions and attitudes
  • to draw conclusions

Structure

  • salutations
  • clear idea of the purpose of the interview (我们今天就…话题采访您一下)
  • question and response sequence (if writing horizontally, initials followed by a colon can be used, for example A: and B:)
  • use of filler expressions (for example啊,嗯)
  • conclusion (for example感谢您今天来参加我们的采访)

Language features

  • question forms (by the interviewer)
  • register – use polite language (for example 请,您,谢谢)
  • transition strategies when switching topics (optional, for example您对…有什么看法?)

Sample question

A journalist from Hanzi magazine has interviewed you about why you are learning Chinese. Write the script of the interview. Write approximately 250 characters in Chinese. (Not from a past HSC examination.)

12 – script of a speech/talk

Purpose

  • to communicate ideas, opinions and attitudes
  • to entertain
  • to persuade
  • to welcome
  • to thank

Structure

  • salutations (for example女士们/先生们,尊敬的来宾,同学们/老师们,大家好!)
  • introductory statement of purpose (for example很高兴今天我有机会和大家一起分享…)
  • ideas and information organised and linked
  • concluding remarks (for example谢谢大家!)

Language features

  • choice of expressions to engage the audience
  • descriptive words
  • range of tenses
  • usually subjective language (this depends on the context)

Sample question

Write approximately 250 characters in CHINESE. You have just returned from a 12-day camp where you were not allowed to use any electronic devices. Write a speech to be delivered at the school assembly in which you reflect upon your experiences at the camp.

2012 Higher School Certificate Examination, Chinese Continuers, Section III, Question 14(a) (10 marks) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2012

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