The Chinese curriculum at DU is designed to develop students' overall language proficiency, literary fluency and cultural comprehension in an increasingly multilingual and globalized environment. With an emphasis on language as a critical tool for understanding and exploring cultural tradition, the mission of Chinese program involves two intertwined fields: to help students achieve linguistic fluency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and to enhance the student?s ability to understand the Chinese socio-cultural customs; and, by doing so, to promote the student?s ability to effectively communicate with their Chinese counterparts within real-world situations.
To achieve the above pedagogical goals, the instructors in the Chinese program primarily employ communicative approaches and methods in teaching Chinese. The instructors not only provide the students with authentic and comprehensible Chinese language materials suitable to each grade level, but also lead the students to actively experience the presented material in meaningful ways. In our communication-oriented classrooms, the learning process involves not only providing students with vocabulary and grammatical structures, but also enabling students to generate meaningful interactions in the target language. To facilitate the student's learning, we not only adopt up-to-date audio-video teaching materials and technology; but also encourage and help students to practice age-old traditional methods of learning Chinese, such as poem recitation and calligraphy.
The Chinese program offers instruction of modern Chinese from beginning to advanced level. Both the First and Second Year Chinese consist of a sequence of three classes, and each sequence lasts one quarter. (CHIN 1001-2-3 and CHIN 2001-2-3). The chief goals of these lower-division Chinese courses are to develop the student?s functional oral skills so that they are able to communicate with Chinese speakers, and to comprehend texts written in learned vocabulary, or with the help of dictionaries. These causes are taught in Chinese whenever possible, using the pinyin Romanization system and full form characters. Classroom activities include recitation, individual oral presentations and group skits, role playing, watching film clips, listening comprehension exercises, practicing calligraphy, and occasional field trips. Major means of assessment include daily homework, weekly vocabulary quizzes, in-class oral presentations and one-to-one interviews with instructors, midterm and final examinations.
Upon completion of CHIN 2001-2-3 sequence, students could either choose to study in China or, to take CHIN 3101: Chinese Conversation and Composition, an intermediate-to-advanced level class that focuses on conversation and composition. The goals of CHIN 3101 are to refine the students' spoken and written ability to ensure that they are sufficiently prepared to take content-based, advanced level classes.
The Third and Fourth Year Chinese courses are designed to accommodate various needs of students returning from studying in China and/or who intend to pursue the Minor in Chinese. These classes, all structured in the one-quarter time frame, study various content-based materials in Chinese. The chief goals of these advanced courses are to bring the student's four abilities into a greater balance and a higher level of proficiency, to introduce students to major narrative forms in modern Chinese. We thus work to develop bilingual-bicultural management skills for those who intend to work in the business and government sectors, as well as to build a foundation for those who will pursue graduate studies in humanities and social sciences. Advanced classes are taught exclusively in Chinese and the activities include: in-class discussions and debates, individual and group project presentations, acting out short plays, interviews, movie watching and field trips. The primary means of assessment for advanced students of Chinese include weekly vocabulary quizzes, essays, oral debates, term projects involving the elements of research, writing, oral presentation, data analysis, and using of audio-visual material.
The Third Year Chinese courses include: CHIN 3101: Chinese Conversation and Composition, CHIN 3102: Advanced Chinese Conversation and Composition, CHIN 3200: Business Chinese, CHIN 3300: Chinese Culture and Society in Transition; and CHIN 3500: Readings in Modern Chinese Literature.
Fourth Year Chinese consists of a sequence of classes under the title of CHIN 3700: Special Topics in Chinese. Offered on a rotating basis, this sequence of classes include: Chinese Society in Transformation through Camera?s Lens, Modernity and Chinese Urban Cinema, Woman Writers in 20th Century China, and From Testimony to Allegory: Cultural Revolution and its Representation in Multimedia.
On special occasions and with the permission of the Chinese program coordinator, students are allowed to take a maximum of 4 quarter hours of Independent Study (CHIN 3900)