This paper examines the main approaches to the creation of modern foreign language courses”. The authors analyzed approaches to teaching Chinese language, existing in Russia and abroad. Presented results were already obtained in the process of implementing an educational project of the Higher School of Economics named "Speak freely". According to the results of this work authors selected the methodological approach that best suits the purpose of the course. It has been found an effective solution to combine these approaches in a single discipline "Practice of verbal communication in Chinese", that mainly aimed at developing students' communicative competence.