CNTO: Cantonese Language Courses

The University of British Columbia is the only Canadian university to offer a comprehensive, for-credit Cantonese language program.

The UBC Cantonese language program now has its own web site:

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Winter 2017

CNTO301 Basic Cantonese I Sections

Elementary level (part I) course in Cantonese for non-heritage learners with no prior exposure to or background in Cantonese. Focus on training for basic listening and conversational skills in Cantonese.

CNTO303 Basic Cantonese II Sections

Elementary level (part II) Cantonese for non-heritage learners. Continuation of CNTO 301. Focus on training for basic listening, conversational, and reading skills.

CNTO311 Basic Cantonese for Mandarin Speakers Sections

Basic oral and presentation skills in Cantonese. This is an accelerated course that covers content and topics similar to CNTO 301 and CNTO 303, but is structured specifically for heritage speakers of Mandarin.

CNTO401 Intermediate Cantonese I Sections

Intermediate lower level (part I) Cantonese for non-heritage learners.

CNTO451 Advanced Cantonese through Popular Culture Sections

Popular culture in Hong Kong from media such as television, cinema, popular music, literature, social media, etc., through advanced authentic Cantonese listening and reading materials. Open to non-heritage and heritage speakers of Mandarin and/or Cantonese.

 Why study Cantonese?

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Why do you like teaching Cantonese?

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Why should students learn Cantonese?

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What makes the course special?

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In the media

卑詩大學亞洲研究學系過新年,大家一齊打麻雀! [OMNI Cantonese—BC]

Coaching Cantonese in Canada─Raymond Pai bridges cultures and generations [CUHK]


Raymond Pai is Lecturer of Cantonese at UBC. He teaches all levels of Cantonese courses and collaborates with the local community and organizations on various projects related to Cantonese and its culture. He received his MA in Linguistics and TESOL certificate from Brigham Young University. Having taught Chinese at the Defense Language Institute and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, he also worked as a certified translator and interpreter in California, and currently is the Cantonese examiner for the University of Arizona. A native of Hong Kong, Raymond’s research and teaching interests include language learning motivation, language technology and testing, and psycholinguistics. He is also a performer in music and theatre both locally and on stages across the globe.