Random thoughts on the language.
Pinyin is meant for you to know how to pronounce the word.
To write a Chinese character, you use various strokes. These strokes have names and ways how to write them. It is a very fine form of art.
The Chinese language has 4 different tones. A word may have the same pinyin spelling BUT will bring different meanings depending on the tone used.
If I understand this correctly, to be at a certain level of mastery of the language, you need to know a certain number of words. This means you need to memorize thousands and thousands of words. I think I am beginning to see why young children have loads of homework pertaining to the writing exercise.
The current OUMH1403 course is aimed at students to know basic communication – to listen and speak. Knowing how to write and read Chinese characters is a more advanced lesson but students are welcome to delve into the language and steer through the course in any way they wish. Maybe this is the pathway I am looking for as a motivation to sit for the HSK exams.