Learn Chinese through Film (ASIAN-314-01)

Film Clap Board Graphic

Instructor: Lisha Xu

Study advanced Chinese and China’s social life and customs through selected contemporary Chinese films produced by internationally acclaimed Chinese directors.

Prerequisite: AS311 or equivalent ability. A fourth-year Chinese language course at the 300 level, this course is designed with the concept of “using Chinese to learn.” In it, a group of selected Chinese films are used to facilitate students’ learning of Chinese language and culture.

These films include some well-known works produced by internationally acclaimed directors such as Yimou Zhang, An Li, Kaige Chen, Ti-anming Wu, and Yang Zhang. The movies tell stories about ordinary Chinese people’s lives in both urban and rural areas in the social, historical, and cultural contexts of 20th-century China. They are also rich in language expression, subject matter, and viewpoints. The synopses and selected dialogues of the movie scripts will be provided as reading materials. The readings and discussions will pay close attention to numerous key social and cultural issues of China at the time such as education in rural areas, family relationships, the Cultural Revolution, China’s transformation during the Reform Period, and actors’ and artists’ real life in the 1920s.

The learning of linguistic skills and the investigations and analyses of Chinese social and cultural issues will be carried out through lectures, group discussions, individual projects, oral presentations, writing assignments, and quizzes. We will also use an online multimedia glossary on Moodle as learning material to facilitate vocabulary acquisition at the advanced level.