This class is a course in Chinese language for non-Chinese speakers participating in the Language Intensive Program. It is designed for those students who have studied Chinese for between two to three years (four or five semesters or six to eight quarters). The course will begin with a series of intensive “foundation building” sessions which not only give students communication tools that are immediately useful in their daily life but which also consolidate previously learned fundamentals of the Chinese language. It is designed to further challenge and enrich the language skill sets of students whose proficiency is approximately at the advanced Chinese level. Students will acquire over 2000 new words, the ability to correctly utilize several hundred sentence and grammar patterns, and gain proficiency in reading newspaper articles and Internet posts. All of the course content is related to contemporary issues in China, Chinese history, Chinese literature, and Chinese culture. The class emphasizes higher-level speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students will acquire several new skills in the class, including: (a) how to interview native speakers of Chinese; (b) the ability to discuss social issues like “Children beggars,” “Sex on college campuses,” and “Care for the elderly”; (c) the ability to write essays based on specific topics, especially write script and make their own films; and (d) the skills needed to make effective presentations in Chinese. By the end of the semester students should be able to easily express their opinions and to be able to hold discussions with native speakers of Chinese on a range of topics related to society, politics, and the economy. (10 Credits)
Research has demonstrated that study abroad can enhance every aspect of language ability. One of the most important general findings of this research is, however, that study abroad is most beneficial for the development of abilities related to social interaction. Students who go abroad can learn to do things with words, such as requesting, apologizing, or offering compliments, and they may also learn to interpret situations calling such speech acts in ways that local people do…In short, and logically, study abroad has been show to enhance the aspects of communicative competence that are most difficult to foster in classroom settings (IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication, p. 6).
Students who enter this level are able to accomplish everyday needs required to live in a new culture. In this course, students will develop independence and autonomy so that, when communication does break down, they have enough tools at their disposal to resolve these challenges on their own. Students should welcome correction and guidance from their instructors, hosts, and others in the community as they progress. They will also begin to recognize their own and their peers’ errors.
By the end of this course, students will begin to converse at a rate of speed approaching normal conversation. They will be creative, spontaneous and self-reliant as they solve problems, interpret texts, negotiate, express their opinions, likes and dislikes in the culture. Although students will still make errors and experience communication breakdowns, they are much more likely to resolve these on their own. Students will understand a variety of colloquial expressions and slang, and will be able to understand a wider variety of native speakers from different backgrounds. By the end of this level, students will be capable of achieving the learning outcomes outlined below.