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Chinese 101

CHNS101: Elementary Chinese I

Prerequisites: 2.75 GPA, and approval by the Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

Credit Hours: (4)

Balanced emphasis is on listening, speaking, reading, and writing for beginners. This course has been approved for credit in the Foreign Languages Area of the Core Curriculum.


Detailed Description of Course

· Situations and intentions covered include: greetings, commands, numbers, simple introduction of oneself and friends; the classroom, the school, the dorm, the family, the restaurant; personal qualities, nationality; daily routine; personal information on forms; ownership; birthdays, and holidays.

· Vocabulary is limited to basic objects, common measures, numbers 1-99, name of immediate family members. Use of common verbs and adjectives in the present time frame: “shi(4), you(3), zai(4)” as in “Wo(3) shi(4) zher(4).”

· Cultural sections focus on: international college students studying and traveling in China, cultural differences, and background information regarding Chinese society, history, local customs and national holidays.

· Grammatical structures include: gender, number; personal pronouns, possessive adjectives, articles (also negative); basic verbs, and word order.

· In the first week of semester, instructor will introduce an overview of Chinese language including a brief description of Chinese dialects; the fundamental rules of learning the Chinese script, the basic strokes, the five tones; the character components, and their historical development. Students will spend the rest of the semester learning and practicing their pronunciation, basic conversation skills, and writing Chinese characters.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Class instruction targets communication practice utilizing the situations, intentions, vocabulary, culture, and grammar introduced in a given chapter. Other activities include: singing songs; doing skits; playing Chinese games; explaining grammar and vocabulary; practicing pronunciation, listening comprehension exercises; translation, writing, and grammatical drills. Class is conducted both in Chinese and English depending on the level of students’ Chinese language comprehension.


Student Goals and Objectives of the Course

Speaking and listening goals (standardized ACTFL proficiency criteria):

Having successfully completed this course, the student will be able to make short statements utilizing simple formulaic utterances, ask simply questions and communicate minimally with learned material. Students will produce oral speech using isolated words and learned phrases with predictable areas of need. Even though students’ pronunciation and tones are often faulty, students are minimally able to recombine learned oral elements slowly. As regards listening skills, students will be able to recognize learned material and isolated words and phrases when strongly supported by context and at a very slow speaking pace. Students will be able to comprehend some words and phrases from simple questions, statements, high frequency commands, and courtesy formulae about topics that refer to basic personal information or the immediate physical setting.

· Reading and writing goals (standardized ACTFL proficiency criteria): Students will be able to identify learned material without assistance and to understand some new material when strongly supported by cognates, context, or dictionary assistance. In writing, students will be able to produce isolated words and phrases from learned material and will be limited to producing the most basic grammar in graded sentences.

· Students will be able to analyze a number of basic cultural similarities and differences between the United States, China and Taiwan. These comparisons students make between their own and other cultures will help students realize how diverse cultures can be.

· Students will, in class conversations, with native speakers, and in readings, acquire knowledge about some historical, but mostly current global issues that are in the news and that are having a significant social, economic, or political impact.

· Students will achieve a degree of competence in a foreign language and culture.

Students will be able to:

    a. demonstrate language skills appropriate to the level of study

    b. analyze similarities and differences between their own and the target cultures

    c. explain contemporary international issues from the perspectives of their own and the target cultures


Assessment Measures

Speaking progress is evaluated in class and in oral interviews. Written homework assignments provide a basis for the evaluation of writing progress. Listening and reading comprehension and grammatical accuracy are tested in quizzes, chapter tests, and on the final exam. In most of these testing situations, students will also either demonstrate or further expand (in the case of new linguistic excerpts containing new cultural topics) their familiarity with cultural topics and current global issues. Students’ success in using Chinese will therefore demonstrate not only their linguistic abilities but also their cultural competence to anticipate, identify, and to simulate the use of different cultural perceptions and behaviors through the new language.


Other Course Information

To supplement linguistic and cultural encounters in class, students are expected to participate in some extracurricular activities such as the celebration of Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, and conversation with native speakers, watching Chinese language movies, and inquiring about Chinese cultures by means of the multitude of media available as informational resources. Chinese 101 is for beginners in the Kirk Scholar Program and students who have had no more than two years of Chinese in high school.

The course is designed to attract students who have 2.75 GPA and are interested in learning the Chinese language and culture. No specific majors are required.


Review and Approval

Date Action Reviewed by
February 2004 Revised Philip Sweet