Chinese

Undergraduate

The Chinese program offers four levels of courses. In addition to intensive training of skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, the program emphasizes the connection between curriculum and career and tries to create opportunities for students to use their acquired language skills in daily life and to learn other subjects.

Program Overview

Fourth level Chinese courses are designed with the concept of “using Chinese to learn” and a specific subject to be studied in Chinese (such as film, journalism, and business).

The department has a summer intensive language program at Peking University and a spring abroad program at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics through the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA).

You may choose to complete the minor in Chinese or the major in East Asian Studies for which language study is a principal component.

Happening at Mount Holyoke

Stories from Chinese Alums

Courses and Requirements

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 16 credits:

At least two 300-level Chinese language courses8
At least two additional Chinese language courses at the 200 level or higher8
Total Credits16

Additional Specifications

  • Independent studies (ASIAN-295 or ASIAN-395) do not count toward the minor.
  • Language courses that are not taken at Mount Holyoke must be approved by the head of the Chinese program at Mount Holyoke College to count toward the minor.
  • Courses taught in English do not count toward the minor.

Course Offerings

ASIAN-212 Second Year Chinese I

Fall. Credits: 6

Asian 212 is the first semester of the second-year Chinese course. This is an intensive course to consolidate and expand students' competencies in the four fundamental areas of language learning--speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students will improve their oral fluency, study more complex grammatical structures, and enlarge their vocabulary. Emphasis on facilitating daily-life interactions will be supplemented and expanded by increasing discussion of broader issues in society. Students will develop a deeper and broader understanding of relevant aspects of Chinese culture. This course is conducted mostly in Chinese. Learning is supplemented by online learning resources, out-of-class language partner sessions, Language Resource Center Question and Answer sessions and the Chinese Language Table.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
L. Xu, Y. Wang
Prereq: ASIAN-111 or equivalent. Coreq: ASIAN-212L.
Advisory: Contact Lisha Xu, lxu@mtholyoke.edu, for placement.

ASIAN-213 Second Year Chinese II

Spring. Credits: 6

This course continues Asian Studies 212, Second Year Chinese I. A continuing emphasis on the facility in daily life interactions will be supplemented and expanded by increasing discussion of broader issues in society, including education, employment, etc.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Y, Wang, L. Xu
Prereq: ASIAN-212 or equivalent. Coreq: ASIAN-213L.
Advisory: Contact Lisha Xu, lxu@mtholyoke.edu, for placement.

ASIAN-310 Third Year Chinese I

Fall. Credits: 4

This course helps students to build linguistic and communicative competence in Mandarin Chinese through reading, discussing, and writing about authentic texts. Newspapers, essays, and short stories will be the teaching materials for the course. An interactive approach will be incorporated into the curriculum to improve students' conversational skills. The class will be conducted mostly in Chinese, and class hours will be supplemented by individual work in the Language Resource Center.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
A. Kao
Prereq: ASIAN-213 or equivalent.
Advisory: Contact Lisha Xu, lxu@mtholyoke.edu, for placement.

ASIAN-311 Third Year Chinese II

Spring. Credits: 4

This course continues Asian Studies 310, Third Year Chinese I, in helping students build linguistic and communicative competence in Mandarin Chinese through reading, discussing, and writing about authentic texts. Newspapers, essays, and short stories will be the teaching materials for the course. An interactive approach will be incorporated into the curriculum to improve students' conversational skills. The class will be conducted mostly in Chinese, and class hours will be supplemented by individual work in the Language Resource Center.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
A. Kao
Prereq: ASIAN-310 or equivalent. Coreq: ASIAN-311L.
Advisory: Contact Lisha Xu, lxu@mtholyoke.edu, for placement.

ASIAN-312 Newspaper Reading and Journalistic Practice in China

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course advances students' Chinese reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills by studying journalistic reports on the most pressing issues in China and the U.S. It also introduces the formal expressions, writing styles, and terminology commonly used in Chinese media. In addition, the course intends to help familiarize students with various media channels and agencies, understand the challenges of journalistic practice in the internet age, and enhance students' critical thinking and analytical stills by broadening their perspective and comparing Chinese and English media sources. Conducted mainly in Chinese with the addition of relevant English materials.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
L. Xu
Prereq: ASIAN-311 or equivalent.
Advisory: Contact Lisha Xu, lxu@mtholyoke.edu, for placement.

ASIAN-314 Learning Chinese Through Film

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will improve students' four communication skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) by studying contemporary Chinese films, including several prize winners/nominees by internationally acclaimed directors such as Zhang Yimou, Li An, and Chen Kaige. The class will watch the films and then use the synopses and selected dialogues from the scripts as reading materials to facilitate both linguistic and cultural learning. Social and cultural issues reflected in the films will be discussed. The class will be conducted mainly in Chinese.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
L. Xu
Prereq: ASIAN-311 or equivalent.
Advisory: Contact Lisha Xu, lxu@mtholyoke.edu, for placement.

ASIAN-313 Advanced Chinese Reading

ASIAN-313SH Advanced Chinese Reading: 'Reading Chinese Classics: 17th Century Short Stories'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 2

In 17th-century China, an effort arose that challenged Neo-Confucian moral values and legitimized human desire. This trend is best reflected in the fictional writings of Feng Menglong, Ling Mengchu, and Li Yu. Daring and earthy, their stories deal with many aspects of mundane life in urbanized communities, portraying social customs with local colors. Under these writers' pen, individual struggles for survival, love, and sexual desire coexist with social vicissitudes caused by war, famine, and politics. This course intends to help students better understand the urban life and human relations of 17th-century China and gain knowledge about the huaben genre and its influence on later pre-modern fictional writings. Course works include readings and writings in Chinese, and translation from Chinese to English.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
L. Xu
Prereq: ASIAN-312, ASIAN-314, or ASIAN-315. Native Chinese speakers who have taken a 100- or 200-level course on China, contact instructor for permission.
Notes: Taught in Chinese

ASIAN-315 Business Culture and Communication in China

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

An advanced speaking- and writing-intensive Chinese course focusing on Chinese business communication and culture. Will further improve students' Chinese proficiency and oral communication by using Chinese as a tool to investigate topics in business and business culture in China. As well as the textbook, the course will make use of a variety of supplementary materials, including some in English. Through lectures and other activities, students will gain experience and comfort in reading and discussing business news, producing analytic and technical forms of business writing, translating business-related documents, and other skills for future work in China.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
The department
Prereq: ASIAN-311 or equivalent.
Advisory: Contact Lisha Xu, lxu@mtholyoke.edu, for placement.
Notes: Taught entirely in Chinese.

Contact Us

The Department of Asian Students helps students explore the rich and extremely diverse cultures of Asia, home to some 60 percent of humanity.

Denise Falk
  • Academic Department Coordinator

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