Chinese Language in Context: Novice Abroad III

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Course Information
Chinese Language
Terms offered: 
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 

This course builds upon the skills introduced in Novice Abroad II as defined by the IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication

Additional student cost: 



This class is intended to be a course in Chinese language as part of IES Abroad Shanghai Program for students who have studied Chinese at least two semesters. The lessons of these about three months encompass many new sentence patterns, more than 500 new words, as well as activity objectives.

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).

Student Profile

This course is designed for students with a basic foundation of the language. Students who can already use a few basic words and phrases, and who can understand very simple requests and responses are appropriate for this level. Students entering this course are also able to read and interpret the basic meaning of simple sentences and phrases in class—at times relying on pinyin--and may recognize a limited range of characters in the community. Students who have studied the language in high school or  college but never continued to build their skills may find this level appropriate. The language assessment process will determine the appropriate level for each individual student.

This course builds upon the skills introduced in Novice Abroad II. By the end of the course, the successful student will have built a solid basic foundation in the five skills: intercultural communication, reading, writing, listening and speaking to accomplish a variety of everyday needs in the host culture as described in the learning outcomes below and should be capable of entering the Novice Abroad IV.

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students will be able to achieve some of the outcomes for the Novice Abroad level as defined by the MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication. The key learning outcomes from the MAP are summarized below:

  1. Intercultural Communication
    1. Students will be able to meet simple everyday needs using verbal and non-verbal communication, and they will be able to use compensatory strategies when they do not know the word or expression (paraphrasing, repetition, talking around the point, body language etc.).
    2. Students can recognize some appropriate and inappropriate expressions and behaviors in the host language.
    3. Students will be able to distinguish between many simple representations of formality and informality in the language.
    4. Students will identify some differences between cultural stereotypes and generalizations between the home culture and the host culture.
    5. Students will start to make informed comparisons between their host culture and the home culture.
  2. Listening
    1. Students will be able to understand many simple statements, requests, descriptions, and questions in specific cultural context relevant to them (hosts’ interactions, Center interactions, studying, shopping, transportation, meals), and within a familiar environment at times.
    2. Students will be able to use context to understand the gist of some basic spoken language they overhear, including some standard television programs, simple exchanges between others, and basic announcements.
  3. Speaking
    1. Students will be able to use simple phrases appropriately in everyday situations with increasing accuracy (home, the IES Abroad Center, and the wider community).
    2. Students will be able to express simple needs by asking questions, and get what they need in uncomplicated, everyday situations.
  4. Reading
    1. Students will be able to identify and understand words and simple sentences relevant to their studies and with a broader understanding of the writing system covered explicitly in class.
  5. Writing
    1. Students will be able to write short texts about concrete topics, such as themselves, their families, their friends, their likes, dislikes, plans, experiences and their daily routines.
    2. Students will be able to send simple emails and text messages.
    3. Students will be able to write with increased accuracy, although using some native language structures.
Method of presentation: 

Audio-lingual method and communicative approach, PowerPoint, field trips

Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Midterm exam - 10%
  • Final exam - 10%
  • Quizzes and Presentation - 15%
  • Homework - 20%
  • Attendance - 15%
  • Participation - 15%
  • Dictation - 15%


Every day you start with 100 points(including field trips and Chinese class activities).

  • Late within 10 minutes, no deduction from your score.
  • Late between 10 and 30 minutes, 30 points will be deducted.
  • Late over 30 minutes, 50 points will be deducted.
  • The same rule applies to leaving class early.
  • Unexcused absences will result in 0 points, and from the third absence onward, every absence will result in degrading the final course grade by one-third,e.g. from B- to C+.


Every day you start with 100 points (including field trips and other Chinese class activities)

  • If you actively participate in the classes and the class-related activities or field trip, you will receive 100 points.
  • If you do not participate actively, certain points will be deducted accordingly.


A dictation is worth 100 points

  • If you are late or absent, you will probably miss it, and, therefore lose the 100 points.
  • For an absence(with a doctor’s note or center director’s written approval), you can make up the previous dictation with your instructor or the language coordinator on the same day. However, you will receive, at most, 70 points for a make-up dictation.
  • After the third unexcused absence, that day’s dictation will be 0 points.


Every homework is worth 100 points.

  • If you do it carefully and hand it in on time, you will receive 100 points.
  • If you finish it rashly with a careless attitude, certain points will be deducted accordingly.
  • If you forget to do the homework or hand it in, you are required to hand it in the next day, and you will receive at most 70 points.
  • If you forget to do the homework or hand it in more than two days late, you will get 0 points.

Grading System



































Required readings: 
  • Integrated Chinese: Textbook Simplified Characters, Level 1, Part 2 Simplified Text (Chinese Edition) (Chinese) 3rd Edition