Chinese Pronunciation: Initials and finals


  1. Chinese sound system (
  2. Initials practice (
  3. Initials practice (learnnc)
  4. Finals practice (
  5. Simple finals (learnnc)
  6. compound finals (learnnc)
  7. nasal finals (learnnc)
  8. bingo-pdf
  9. initial-and-final-sounds-charts
  10. Chinese Sounds from MIT


(courtesy of MIT creative commons license)



Activity 1

Make up bingo sheets for your class- can be just initials or finals, or both mixed. Teacher then says the sound, and student has to cross off their bingo card. Student can then play against each other in a group, if they have access to the cliackable sound files above.

Activity 2

Ask students to access the sound files above, to practice. Once they are confident, they have to record themselves and upload to your online classroom (under “assignment”). Either peer-check, or teacher check.  (teacher can also check the files and see which sounds students are struggling with, and address that in the next lesson).


Activity 3

Create a set of flashcards for the sounds- either one set for teacher or (preferably) one per table/ student. As a warmer/ filler/ closer the teacher can either hold up the card and students have to respond, or students can practice in small groups or pairs (also good if students have finished an activity ahead of others).


Activity 4

Fun game! To get students to notice the difference between aspirated and non-aspirated sounds, ask them to hold a thin sheet of paper in front of their mouth. Ask them to pronounce b/p, t/d, z/c, zh/ch, j/q, g/k etc and then tell you what happens to the piece of paper (it should move on the aspirated sounds, not the others).


Activity 5

Ask students to stand up, stick a post-it note with a final/ initial sound on their back (one per student). They have to ask other students “am I  XXX” until their sound is confirmed, they they sit down. They can only ask once, then have to ask another student.

Extension: teach them words with each target sound. Students can then ask “am I chi?”

Extension: students have to ask in Chinese.

Activity 6

Print large images of difficult sounds around the room. Play/ say the sound. Students have to point to the sound and say it.

Alternative: students can run to the sound image (can get very out-of-control quickly, so best kept as an after-school activity!).