Chinese Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad I

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



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 five semesters. The lessons of these two months encompass many new sentence patterns, more than 200 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

Students entering this level must be able to fulfill the learning outcomes of the Novice Abroad level, as defined by the IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication. Specifically, they should already be able to express themselves on a variety of concrete, everyday topics and meet their basic needs in the language. Depending on their academic background, their mastery of the four basic skills—reading, writing, speaking and listening—may be uneven.  Although students may have been exposed previously to certain competencies taught at this level, they need additional practice and instruction to move toward mastery of these competencies. 

As students gain more self-awareness and self-confidence, they will attempt more in the community. Paradoxically, this means they may also experience more miscommunication and frustration. Reading and writing require effort, and many students will need to make a special effort in this regard. Students will also develop cultural awareness and skills to work through the challenges of adaptation in the local culture and learn to celebrate their successes.  They will begin to appreciate the value of these language and intercultural skills. 

This course builds upon skills introduced in Novice Abroad. By the end of the course, the successful student will have begun to develop some communicative and cultural self-confidence necessary to attempt moderately complex tasks in the language, as described in the learning outcomes below.

Learning outcomes: 

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

Students who are placed in this level should be capable of achieving the outcomes in the Novice Abroad level as defined by the IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication.

By the end of the course, students will be able to achieve some of the outcomes for the Emerging Independent 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 solve many daily troublesome situations and meet needs with limited help.
    2. Increasingly, students will be able to make informed comparisons between the host culture and the students’ home cultures.
    3. Students will be able to distinguish and begin to imitate verbal and non-verbal communication that reflects politeness, formality, or informality.
    4. Students will be able to recognize some patterns of intonation, their meaning, and cultural implications.
  2. Listening
    1. Students will be able to understand some interactions of increasing complexity (media, speeches, music, conversations, etc.), especially if the speaker is used to interacting with non-native speakers.
    2. Students will be able to understand many direct requests, questions, and basic conversations on familiar and concrete topics.
    3. Students will be able to recognize some regional differences in speech on a basic level.
  3. Speaking
    1. Students will be able to talk about persons and things in their immediate environment, as well as their plans and their experiences, and they can provide a limited amount of supporting details.
    2. Students will be able to address and attempt to resolve moderately complicated situations involving familiar subjects.
    3. Students will be able to produce tones and pronunciation patterns with increased accuracy.
  4. Reading
    1. Students will be able to read passages and short texts (notes, detailed instructions, etc.) on familiar topics covered in class and understand their general meaning.
    2. Students will be able to support their understanding of texts through the use of context, visual aids, dictionaries, or with the assistance of others in order to facilitate comprehension.
  5. Writing
    1. Students will be able to communicate with some effectiveness through notes, emails, and simple online discussions and chats.
    2. Students will be able to write short essays on concrete topics of limited levels of complexity with some reliance on the communicative patterns of their native language.

Method of presentation: 

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

Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Mid-term exam - 10%
  • Final exam - 10%
  • Quizzes and Presentations - 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






































Corresponding Learning Outcome(s)

Topic 1

  1. Functional:
    1. How to introduce oneself
    2. How to introduce hobby and spare time
  2. Grammatical:
    1. “Not only..., but also..."
    2. “Besides...,”
    3. Modal Complement "verb/adjective + structurally auxiliary word + complement"
  3. Vocabulary:
    1. Words about self-introduction,
    2. Word about hobby and spare time
  4. Culture:
    1. Cultural taboos in Chinese daily life
  • Greet and introduce oneself to Chinese people, and pay attention to the cultural taboos in Chinese daily life. 
  • Survey andreport about Chinese opinion to bargain and different bargainmethods


I. A, D


Ⅳ. A

Topic 2

  1. Functional:
    1. Sport and health related exercise in China
    2. Build body in gym
  2. Grammatical:
    1. ” Compare with B, A also…”
    2. ” as long as…,…”
  3. Vocabulary:
    1. Words about sports and health
  4. Culture:
    1. Different sport habits between China and US
    2. Learn a few movements of Taijiquan(Shadow Boxing)
  • Go to a park to talk with the aged who do Morning exercise, and learn Taijiquan from them.
  • Learn how toplay Chinese chess

I. a

II. a

Ⅲ.a, b


Topic 3

  1. Functional:
    1. Talking about festival
    2. How to make a request
  2. Grammatical:
    1. No matter what happens, the
    2. outcome will not change
    3. A structure to express one of the two alternatives must be chosen.
    4. In the process of …
    5. Basic form of imperative sentence
  3. Vocabulary:
    1. Words about Mid-Autumn Day
  4. Culture:
    1. The customs of different Chinese traditional festivals
  • Interview language partner
  • Make acomparison between TV and Internet 

I. a, b, d

II. a, b

Ⅲ.a, b

Ⅳ.a, b

Topic 4

  1. Functional:
    1. Make a travel plan
    2. Describe your trip in China
  2. Grammatical:
    1. Different kinds of “ba”structures, which means to deal with something.
    2. Use conjunction to express orders;
    3. “first..., then...., at least........"
    4. The structure to make a proposal;
    5. “You’d better........"
    6. Use interrogative pronouns to express full negation;  
  3. Vocabulary:
    1. Words about travel and book tickets
    2. Words about tourist attractions
  4. Culture:
    1. The legend of the folk festivals
  • Make your Golden week travel plan, and try to book tickets by phone.
  • Go to Luxun Park to see the Mid-Autumn Lantern Festivals and interview other visitors.
  • Presentation: Describe the tourist attractions you visited during the Golden Week.


I. a, b, c

II. a, b

Ⅲ.a, b



Topic 5

  1. Functional:
    1. Compare China and US Education
  2. Grammatical:
    1. Only if...
    2. Passive tense
    3. Even...not alone
    4. Necessity
  3. Vocabulary:
    1. online shopping
    2. delivery
    3. after sale
  4. Culture:
    1. Online shopping festival
    2. Boom of online shopping
  • Do real online shopping
  • Interview a Chinese person to know their shopping habit
  • Readings
  • Essay



I. a, b, c

II. a, b

Ⅲ.a, b



Topic 6

  1. Functional:
    1. Chinese characters
    2. Evolvement of Chinese characters
  2. Grammatical:
    1. Turn to be…
    2. Take…as
    3. Compound complement起来,下去
  3. Vocabulary:
    1. Chinese character strokes
    2. Forms, symbol
    3. Influence
  4. Culture: Chinese calligraphy
  • Language activity
  • Essay

I. a, b, d

II. a, b


Topic 7

  1. Functional:
    1. Talk about family and “The only child” Policy in China
  2. Grammatical:
    1. With….
    2. In someone’s opinion
    3. Meanwhile
  3. Vocabulary:
    1. Education
    2. Generartion
    3. Reason, opinion, model
  4. Culture:
    1. Chinese education system
  • Class discussion: Education in China and America
  • Readings



I. a, b, d

II. a, b

Ⅲ.a, b




Topic 8

  1. Functional:
    1. Talk about love and marriage
  2. Grammatical:
    1. The structure used to express hopes
    2. The structure used to explain necessary condition; "only if ...,”
  3. Vocabulary:
    1. Words about describing one's strengths and weaknesses
    2. Words about love and marriage
  4. Culture:
    1. Compare different views of marriage and love between Chinese and American.


  • Visit blind date market and communicate with Chinese people 
  • Watch a few sections of TV show “If You Are The One", and Compare different views of marriageand love between Chinese and American. 


I. a,

II. a, b

Ⅲ. a, b

Ⅳ. a, b


Topic 9


Final Exam

  • Study guide
  • Language activities



Required readings: 
  • Integrated Chinese: Level 2 Part 2 Textbook (Chinese Edition) (Chinese) 3rd edition Edition