Chinese

Donghui He

Wencui Zhao

 

About the Program

The curriculum of Chinese language and literature is designed to help students acquire communicative competence in Chinese and foster an in-depth understanding of Chinese literature/culture. Students will develop oral and written Chinese language proficiency as well as analytical skills through a combination of Chinese language and literature/culture courses.

Learning Goals

  • Communication: Through a sequential series of Chinese language courses and selection of courses in Chinese culture, students will develop a communicative competence in Chinese, measured by what are considered the five proficiencies of foreign language learning: listening, reading, speaking, writing and socio-linguistic familiarity. Advanced Chinese classes also prepare students for the HSK 5 (advanced mid-level) Chinese Language Proficiency Test.
  • Culture: Through an array of Chinese cultural courses, students will be able to situate and analyze modern-day Chinese literature, film, and theatre within China’s evolving cultural tradition. They will also express this cultural literacy through oral presentations and written composition.
  • Critical Thinking: Students will develop critical thinking through engaging with new modes of expression and different perspectives on language and culture which will inspire them to be inquisitive and reflective global citizen.

Advisory Information

Placement Test: Students with previous experiences in Chinese language studies are required to take a diagnostic placement test, which matches them to the course suitable for their level. Placement exams in Chinese consist of both written and oral components. Please contact Professor Donghui He to arrange the test.

Programs of Study

Courses

Credits 4

An introduction to the sounds and structures of modern Chinese and a foundation in conversation, grammar, reading, and elementary composition.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Prerequisites

Prerequisite for Chinese 106: Chinese 105; or consent of instructor.

Credits 4
Fees
Varies; estimated course fees and international airfare will be announced when offered.

Course offered as part of the Whitman Summer Chinese Studies program. Taught in either China or Taiwan over a period of four weeks by Whitman-selected instructors and supervised by the Whitman faculty member who is resident director. This course teaches conversational Chinese based on the vocabulary and sentence patterns the students have learned from Chinese 105 and 106, plus new phrases the students will need living and studying in China or Taiwan.  Classes meet three hours per day, five days per week, for a total of 60 hours. Requirements: daily homework, weekly tests, and a final exam covering listening comprehension and spoken Chinese.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Prerequisites

Chinese 106 or equivalent; and admission to the Whitman Summer Chinese Studies program.

Credits 4

Modern spoken and written Chinese. It provides the student with the opportunity to communicate in Chinese, and read Chinese materials.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Prerequisites

Prerequisite for Chinese 205: Chinese 106.

Prerequisite for Chinese 206: Chinese 205, or equivalent.

Credits 4
Fees
Varies; estimated course fees and international airfare will be announced when offered.

Course offered as part of the Whitman Summer Chinese Studies program. Taught in either China or Taiwan over a period of four weeks by Whitman-selected instructors and supervised by the Whitman faculty member who is resident director. This course teaches conversational Chinese based on the vocabulary and sentence patterns the students have learned from Chinese 205 and 206, plus new phrases the students will need living and studying in China or Taiwan. Classes meet three hours per day, five days per week, for a total of 60 hours. Requirements: daily homework, weekly tests, and a final exam covering listening comprehension and spoken Chinese. 

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Prerequisites

Chinese 206 or equivalent; and admission to the Whitman Summer Chinese Studies program.

Credits 4

Continued practice with spoken and written Mandarin Chinese. The students practice conversational skills, read cultural and literary materials, and write essays.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Prerequisites

Prerequisite for Chinese 305 and 306: Chinese 206 or equivalent.

Credits 4
Fees
Varies; estimated course fees and international airfare will be announced when offered.

Course offered as part of the Whitman Summer Chinese Studies program. Taught in either China or Taiwan over a period of four weeks by Whitman-selected instructors and supervised by the Whitman faculty member who is resident director. This course teaches conversational Chinese based on the vocabulary and sentence patterns the students have learned from Chinese 305 and 306, plus new phrases the students will need living and studying in China or Taiwan. Classes meet three hours per day, five days per week, for a total of 60 hours. Requirements: daily homework, weekly tests, and a final exam covering listening comprehension and spoken Chinese. 

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Prerequisites

Chinese 306 or equivalent; and admission to the Whitman Summer Chinese Studies program.

Credits 4

Chinese 405 is a theme-based advanced Chinese language course. Students explore aspects of Chinese culture and society along with language learning. The course advances students’ cultural and linguistic competence in Chinese through reading, translation/writing, and topic-related discussions informed by cultural comparisons. This course introduces the syntax of written Chinese in addition to a comprehensive review of grammatical structures used in conversational Chinese. Students will learn to articulate their cultural experiences and reflections in socio-linguistically appropriate forms in both formal and informal contexts, oral and written forms. Students may take the course twice for credit when topics change. Course taught in Chinese. 

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Prerequisites

Chinese 306; or consent of instructor.

Credits 4
Faculty
He

Chinese 406 advances the student’s knowledge of Chinese language and culture through the study of authentic texts, both fiction and non-fiction. Students will deepen their knowledge of the diversity and nuances of Chinese culture, and finetune their ability to interpret and analyze Chinese texts as well as articulate their response and reflections. Students can take the course twice when different texts are selected. Course taught in Chinese.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Prerequisites

Chinese 405; or consent of instructor.

Credits 4

This course reads representative works of contemporary Chinese literature and television drama in Chinese. Students will read texts slightly above their comfort level without resorting to translations. Drawing on works by Chinese, Taiwanese, and Hong Kong authors, this course surveys the entire Chinese-speaking world and its vastly different historical, cultural, geographical and social norms embedded in literary texts. The class combines brief lectures with group discussions, peer tutorials, and student-instructor consultations. Means of evaluation include book reports, presentations and examinations.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Prerequisites

Chinese 406 or equivalent; or consent of instructor.

Credits 4

As a branch of applied linguistics, translation is widely used as a pedagogical tool for foreign language acquisition and a means of cross-cultural exchange. Translation is used in this course to develop students’ abilities to navigate multiple cultural and linguistic boundaries, as well as to improve their problem solving skills. The course is designed for students who have completed Chinese 305 or the equivalent as an additional venue for Chinese language acquisition as well as for international students who want to improve their writing in English. This course will introduce a broad range of theoretical approaches to translation as a form of cultural and linguistic exchange while focusing on hands-on experience in Chinese-English translation. It is composed of a lecture component, a substantial amount of translation exercises and group/class discussion. May be taken for credit toward the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies major.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Prerequisites

Chinese 305.

Credits 1 Max Credits 4

See course schedule for any current offerings.

Distribution Area
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Credits 1 Max Credits 4

For students who have completed Chinese 406 or equivalent and who desire further studies in Chinese language, literature, or culture. With guidance from the instructor the student may choose readings which interest him or her, discuss them in conference with the instructor, using Chinese as the language of discussion, and/or submit written evidence of his or her work. 

Prerequisites

Chinese 406; and consent of instructor.

Credits 4

Designed to further independent research leading to the preparation of an undergraduate honors thesis in  Chinese. Required of and limited to senior honors candidates in Chinese major.

Prerequisites

Admission to honors candidacy.

Credits 4

Since the 1920s, the rise of cinema has reinvented the Chinese artistic sphere, providing artists and producers alike with a modern medium of expression. While the emergence of a movie-going culture has created new audiences in a shifting society, the stories and their subject matter have been largely carried over from literature. Currently, over 65% of Chinese films are adapted from literary works, a statistic that suggests Chinese literature as an extension as well as reinterpretation of the culture’s literary tradition. This class will discuss literary works and their movie adaptations comparatively. By considering both types of media, it will analyze the emergence of the new cinematic tradition while fostering a debate over the emergence of the 20th and 21st Century Chinese identity. May be taken for credit toward the South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Film and Media Studies major or Chinese minor.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Textual Analysis (TA)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)
Credits 4

Nearly all important literary experiments and movements in contemporary Chinese culture and literature refashion the image of the young generation.  This image often serves as the vehicle for cultural revolution and offers a window into major genres and structures within contemporary Chinese culture. This course explores the conceptions and formulations of the “new generation” through selected writers, playwrights, and artists, and in relation to larger socio-historical, cultural and geopolitical movements. This course will expand students’ understanding of youth culture to include a wide array of aesthetic and political appropriations within different frameworks, developing a nuanced understanding of changing cultural constructions of the youth beyond the traditional binary of the alternative and the oppositional. May be taken for credit toward the South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies major or the Chinese minor.

Distribution Area
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Textual Analysis (TA)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Global Cultures and Languages (GCL)
Students entering Fall 2024 or later: Writing Across Contexts (WAC)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Cultural Pluralism (CP DIST)
Students entering prior to Fall 2024: Humanities (HU DIST)