Course Description and Procedures

This course is a continuation of Beginning Chinese II or the equivalent. The goal of this course is to train you to function successfully in Chinese culture because we assume that you are interested in interacting with Chinese people in a way that will permit you to pursue professional goals in some segment of a Chinese society. This means we expect you to learn how to present yourself in a way that a Chinese person will find comfortable. To do this, you will have to perform, which is the focus of this course. Whether you are speaking, reading, or writing, your daily performance will be the crucial factor in how well you do in this class. You are by now accustomed to performing in Chinese in class: we’ll continue to build on this until you are comfortable using the language in front of strangers.

We endorse performance-based learning and assessment; if you do what we ask of you on a daily basis, you will learn Chinese. Our evaluation (i.e., your grades) will be based on your daily performances, including doing certain amount of what is known as “cold reading” where a student is given an authentic, unseen text to read and discuss.  This has become an important tool for the most intermediate and advanced students. It raises student confidence that they can deal with different kinds of texts in real life without preparation.  

So be conscious of the slight difference in how we taught Beginning Chinese in that we expect certain amount of material to be self-taught. The basic language training you have received should enable you to teach yourself about new vocabulary and grammar that are explained in English in the textbook; it is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what transpires in class and raise questions if you do not. The more you take into your own hand, the higher your chance of doing well in this class.