Mandarin Chinese Courses

Chinese I

This course introduces the standard (Mandarin) Chinese phonetics system (Pinyin), basic grammatical structures, and functional daily language use. The course emphasizes the training of all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) and develops an understanding of socio-linguistics and the socio-cultural factors that are important to cross-cultural communication. Students will also learn how to type Chinese. [One credit.]


Chinese II

This course continues to emphasize the training of all four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) begun in the first year. Students will also develop a more sophisticated understanding of socio-linguistics and the socio-cultural factors that are important to cross-cultural communication. Besides continuing to work with basic grammatical structures and functional daily language, students will learn and practice Chinese calligraphy. [Prerequisite: Chinese I. Advanced study available. One credit.]


Chinese III

This course reinforces what has been taught in Chinese II and continues the development of the four major language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) by introducing new and more sophisticated language structures and vocabulary. Students develop conversational skills by participating in discussions and role-playing. Compositions in Chinese are a regular part of the curriculum. [Prerequisite: Chinese II. Advanced study is available. One credit.]


Chinese IV

This course reinforces what has been taught in Chinese III and continues the development of the four major language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Intensive conversation, writing, and translation are required. This course places a particular emphasis on building vocabulary. Writing skills progress to include descriptions, storytelling, and the integration of extended vocabulary and sentence structure. [Prerequisite: Chinese III. Advanced study is available. One credit.]


AP Chinese Language and Culture

This course introduces advanced language structures, grammar, functions, and related cultural knowledge. Chinese remains the only language used in class. The reading broadens the range of students’ vocabulary and their understanding of the content, as well as improving students’ language skills. It is designed to provide students with opportunities for a deeper understanding in specific areas or topics and to broaden their cultural understanding. Supplementary materials will also be used to help students prepare for the AP Chinese Language and Culture exam. [Prerequisites: Chinese IV Advanced or III Advanced with departmental approval. One credit.]


Chinese Cultural Studies

This course is an introduction to Chinese culture, including social life, thought, history, literature, music, and fine arts. It is designed to deepen students’ immersion in the Chinese language and culture through the study of literature, film, music, theater, arts, and current events in Chinese communities worldwide. It helps students further develop their Chinese language skills through the study of various topics. Students are provided with opportunities to apply the language knowledge they have learned in class to real world experiences. Developing appreciation and awareness of the Chinese cultures is an integral theme throughout the course. In semester one, emphasis is placed on the major cultural and social developments from prehistory to the twentieth century that are relevant to an understanding of modern China. The second semester helps students understand more about the lifestyles of modern Chinese people and the philosophies that guide their lives. Students also acquire an in-depth glimpse into modern Chinese culture. The readings include stories, essays, and plays, mostly by leading writers of recent decades. The course also includes movie adaptations of these writings, radio and TV broadcasts. Students will produce research projects based on specialized readings or different topics. The research projects will be presented both orally and in written form throughout the two semesters. During Spring Break, students will engage in a real-world immersion experience in Chinese life, language and culture by traveling to the Chinese-speaking world and focusing on a community service project. This course is most appropriate for non-native Chinese students who have successfully completed AP Chinese Language and Culture. [Prerequisites: Chinese IV Advanced or departmental approval. One credit.]


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