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Language Programs

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Chinese

Chinese Language Program Director: Lin Zhu (lzhu4@tulane.edu)

The Chinese language program at Tulane provides instruction in Mandarin Chinese, the official language of Mainland China and Taiwan that is also spoken in Singapore, Malaysia, and other countries around the world. This program is designed for students with no prior knowledge of Chinese, and we also welcome students with a previous language background who wish to improve their Chinese proficiency. Students who complete the sequence will be able to speak, understand, read, and write Mandarin Chinese at an advanced level. The program is designed to equip students with the necessary linguistic tools and intercultural competence to prepare students for their future career, study, and life in Chinese-speaking communities.

Chinese Language Courses

Chinese Course Descriptions

  • ASTC 1010 - Beginning Chinese I: A learner-centered course designed for students with no previous knowledge of the Chinese language. It aims to develop students’ elementary communicative skills and knowledge of the Chinese language and culture, using Chinese language as the media of instruction. By the end of the semester, students may reach the proficiency level of novice-mid/high in interpersonal speaking, listening and reading, novice-high in presentational speaking, and novice-low in writing based on the ACTFL's (the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages) proficiency guidelines. Students are expected to master the pinyin pronunciation system, have the ability to write and type basic Chinese characters, create with language, handle simple survival situations and develop a basic social-cultural awareness of the Chinese society.
    • Textbooks: Cynthia Y. Ning and John S. Montanaro. Encounters: Chinese Language and Culture, Student Book1. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012. Access to the companion website
  • ASTC 1020 - Beginning Chinese II: Designed for students who have completed ASTC 1010 or equivalent. It is a learner-centered course designed for students with some prior exposure to the Chinese language, including pinyin system and basic conversational skills. It aims to develop students’ communicative skills in Chinese language and increase students’ socio-culture awareness of the Chinese society, using Chinese as the language of instruction. By the end of the semester, students may reach the proficiency level of novice-high/intermediate-low interpersonal communication and intermediate low in listening and presentational speaking and novice-mid in writing based on the ACTFL's (the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages) proficiency guidelines. Students are expected to handle simple survival situations and increasingly create with language under novel situations. Students are also expected to read authentic texts and type sentences and paragraphs.
    • Textbooks: Cynthia Y. Ning and John S. Montanaro. Encounters: Chinese Language and Culture, Student Book1&2. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012. Access to the companion website
  • ASTC 2030 - Intermediate Chinese I: Designed for students who have completed ASTC 1020 or equivalent. A learner-centered course designed for students with some prior exposure to the Chinese language. It aims to further develop students’ communicative skills in Chinese language and increase students’ socio-culture awareness of the Chinese society, with the Chinese as the media of class instruction. By the end of the semester, students may reach the proficiency level of intermediate-low to intermediate-mid in interpersonal communication mode; intermediate mid in presentational speaking mode, listening and reading; novice high-intermediate mid in writing based on the ACTFL's (the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages) proficiency guidelines. Students are expected to create languages using complex sentences and connected speeches and communicate on topics covered and handle simple survival situations. Students are also expected to read longer authentic materials, and to read/write paragraph-length texts.
    • Textbooks: Cynthia Y. Ning and John S. Montanaro. Encounters: Chinese Language and Culture, Student Book2. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012. Access to companion website
  • ASTC 2040 - Intermediate Chinese II: Designed for students who have completed ASTC 2030 or equivalent. The second part of a yearlong course in Intermediate Chinese. The second part of a yearlong course in Intermediate Chinese. This course is for students who have successfully completed Chinese 2030 or its equivalent. At the end of the semester, students will achieve ACTFL Language Proficiency level intermediate mid in interpersonal speaking and intermediate high in presentational speaking, reading, writing, and listening. Students enrolling in Intermediate Chinese II should be able to converse on topics relevant to daily life and develop extensive reading and writing skills for authentic materials in Chinese. Students are expected to be fully engaged in class activities, and begin to develop autonomy in learning from external materials outside the classroom. Students should have formed a good learning routine including previewing and reviewing before/after each class by themselves, as well as reading and writing Chinese texts with minimal help.
    • Textbook: Cynthia Y. Ning and John S. Montanaro. Encounters: Chinese Language and Culture, Student Book3. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012. Access to the companion website
  • ASTC 3050 - Advanced Chinese I: (3 hour in-person meetings + 1 hour asynchronous learning time): Designed for students who have completed ASTC 2040 or equivalent. This course is suitable for those who have approximately Intermediate Mid-level based on ACTFL standard and have obtained prior knowledge of Mandarin Chinese, preferably with the equivalent of two years’ intensive Chinese learning experience. The course aims to continue improving students’ Chinese social-cultural awareness and communicative competence, including four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The goal of proficiency for this course is equivalent to Intermediate High based on ACTFL guidelines. Students are expected to be fully engaged in class activities, and to acquire the skills to learn on their own outside the classroom.
    • Textbook: Cynthia Y. Ning and John S. Montanaro. Encounters: Chinese Language and Culture, Student Book 4. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012. Access to the companion website
  • ASTC 3060 - Advanced Chinese II: (3 hour in-person meetings + 1 hour asynchronous learning time): Designed for students who have completed ASTC 3050 or equivalent. This course is suitable for students who have approximately Intermediate Mid-High level proficiency of Chinese, preferably with the equivalent of two years’ Chinese learning experience. The course is function-based, and it aims to continue improving students’ Chinese communicative and presentational competence. The goal of proficiency for this course is equivalent to emerging Advanced Low based on ACTFL guidelines. The aim is to equip students to be not only speak, but also compose texts that meet the required functions for advanced level, including making comparison, narration, report, description, etc. Students are expected to be fully engaged in class activities, and also acquire the skills to learn on their own outside the classroom. The skills required for self-teaching includes the ability to look up references, make inferences based on contextual means, and find resources for external input.
    • Textbook: Phyllis Zhang, Developing Chinese Fluency. Cengage Learning Asia. 2010
  • ASTC 3065Issues in Contemporary China: (3 hour in-person meetings+ 1 hour asynchronous learning time): is designed for students who have completed ASTC 3060 or equivalent. It will focus on developing students’ advanced language skills in Mandarin Chinese as well as knowledge of contemporary Chinese culture and society. Students are expected to listen, watch and read multi-media materials about modern Chinese society. The topics include population explosion, housing, education, employment, etc. By the end of the course, students are expected to reach Intermediate high to Advanced low (being able to narrate, describe in paragraph length) (as defined by ACTFL proficiency guidelines) in interpersonal and presentational communication, especially on social-oriented abstract topics.
    • Textbook: Duanduan Li; Irene Liu. Reading into a New China I: Deciphering a Changing Society (2nd edition). Cheng & Tsui. 2017
  • ASTC 4070 – Designed for students who have completed ASTC 3065 or equivalent. It will focus on developing students’ advanced language skills in Mandarin Chinese as well as knowledge of contemporary Chinese culture and society. Students will be reading and discussing selected texts on several key issues including love, gender equality, marriage, family, investment and urban consumption in class. In addition to the selected texts, students will learn through abundant authentic materials such as photos, music, news, mini movies, short videos, etc.
    • Textbook: Duanduan Li; Irene Liu. Reading Into a New China II: Deciphering a Changing Society. Cheng & Tsui. 2017
  • ASTC 4080 - Advanced Chinese Media Literacy: Designed for students who have completed ASTC 4070 or equivalent. It will focus on developing students’ advanced language skills in Mandarin Chinese as well as knowledge of contemporary Chinese culture and society. Students will be listening to, watching or reading multi-media materials from the media on modern Chinese society, including nation, business, crime, education, lifestyle, sports and entertainment and expatriate. By the end of the semester, students are expected to gain the vocabulary that help to improve Chinese media literacy and become comfortable in understanding media Chinese in text and in audio/video format, in sharing news stories and one’s opinion on a given piece of news, discuss the content and analyzing the social impact and cultural meaning of an event reported by the media.
    • Textbook: Li, Wen-chao Chris. Josephine H. Tsao. Chinese Media Literacy. Routledge. London and New York. 2016
  • ASTC 4350 – Chinese Literature and Culture: Designed for students who have completed three years of mandarin Chinese, ASTC-3065, or its equivalent. It is aimed at improving students reading and writing proficiency in the language through the study of the writings of Chinese authors. Students will read, discuss, and write about short stories written in the contemporary period.
  • ASTC 4360: Special Topics in Chinese Language, Course Limit: 4

Japanese

Coordinator: Saeko Yatsuka-Jensen (syatsuka@tulane.edu)

The Japanese language program is comprised of two semesters each of Beginning (ASTJ 1010, 1020) and Intermediate Japanese (ASTJ 2030, 2040), where students focus on learning grammar and writing systems. These courses are available every term. Students also have the option of taking an advanced course focusing on speaking offered in Fall (ASTJ 3050,) and Spring (ASTJ3051.) Furthermore, the program offers Composition and Presentation 1 and 2 (ASTJ4060, ASTJ4070) where the students will learn the specific presentation manners and writing styles according to the topics and audience.

The Japanese program trains the students in language skills and various cultural and social aspects so that they may go on to pursue graduate studies, employment in Japan, or other Japan-related fields. Students are encouraged to study abroad in Japan either during the summer months or for a semester or two during the school year.

Japanese Language Courses

Japanese Course Descriptions

  • ASTJ 1010 - Beginning Japanese I: Introduces students with no prior knowledge of the Japanese language to elementary grammar and the phonetic syllables of hiragana and katakana. Students should be able to build simple descriptive sentences, do self-introductions, and understand common greetings by the end of the semester. Heavy emphasis is placed on oral and aural skills.

  • ASTJ 1020 - Beginning Japanese II: Continues with a focus on more elementary grammar as well as introducing approximately 50 simple kanji characters. Students will gain a better understanding of how to use various postpositional particles, construct comparative and superlative sentences, make requests, learn the counting systems, and be able to discuss the daily routines of themselves and others.

  • ASTJ 2030 - Intermediate Japanese I: Students will continue to extend their vocabulary and build their kanji knowledge, learning an additional 80-100 characters. The grammar focuses on more complicated sentence construction and use of clauses, compound verbs, expressing desires, likes, and dislikes, as well as learning past tense, potential tense, and giving suggestions, making offers, and asking for and giving permission. Students begin learning to read authentic Japanese materials such as advertisements, web pages, etc.

  • ASTJ 2040 - Intermediate Japanese II: Focus is on the special and specific usage of particles, certain auxiliary verbs, mastering the present continuous and past continuous tenses, the use of conditionals, suggesting inference, uncertainty, and reasons. Students also learn strategies for direct and indirect quoting of ideas and thought, expressing opinions in an appropriate manner, and making negative and affirmative requests. Students learn approximately an additional 150 kanji characters.

  • ASTJ 3050 - Advanced Japanese Speaking I

    Advanced Japanese Speaking I and II courses focus on speaking while solidifying the grammar, vocabulary and kanji foundation the students already built. The courses aim at improving the students’ communication skills for conducting practical conversations, (including the ability to manage speech levels properly,) for stating opinions, giving explanations and making a presentation. The courses are taught in Japanese and the students are asked to speak only in Japanese during the class. Although the main focus is speaking these courses also expands the students four areas of language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) as well as socio-cultural knowledge they need for communication.

    The topics students for 3050 will explore and have discussions, debates and presentations are:

    1. Geography of Japan–geography, a local delicacy, touristic places, events, festival and old tales.
    2. Japanese Speech Style–abbreviated style, contracted form, inversion, written style, spoken style, and gender difference in speech.
    3. Japan’s Technology–robot technology, imported words, Internet dictionary.
    4. Spirituality in Sports–traditional martial arts, mind, skill, and body in sports, club sports, the senior-junior relationship in sports.
  • ASTJ 3051 - Advanced Japanese Speaking II

    Advanced Japanese Speaking I and II courses focus on speaking while solidifying the grammar, vocabulary and kanji foundation the students already built. The courses aim at improving the students’ communication skills for conducting practical conversations, (including the ability to manage speech levels properly,) for stating opinions, giving explanations and making a presentation. The courses are taught in Japanese and the students are asked to speak only in Japanese during the class. Although the main focus is speaking these courses also expands the students four areas of language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) as well as socio-cultural knowledge they need for communication.

    The topics for 3051 are:

    1. Japanese Food–instant ramen noodle, fast food, and sushi.
    2. Religions in Japan–religions, religious customs, events, faith, mythology.
    3. Pop-Culture–Japanese pop-culture, Manga, Osamu Tezuka, onomatopoeia and blood type.
    4. Traditional Performing Arts–Kyogen theater
  • ASTJ 4060 - Advanced Japanese Composition and Presentation I

    Advanced Japanese Composition and Presentation courses are taught in Japanese and the students are asked to speak only in Japanese during the class. These two Advanced Japanese Composition and Presentation courses focus on five areas of language skills:

    1. Building a strong hand for speaking topics.
    2. Acquiring skills to deal with the unexpected situations and problems.
    3. Mastering different speech styles.
    4. Customizing writing style according to the occasion and audience.
    5. Identifying and using the idioms that the native speakers often use but the grammar textbooks rarely introduce.

    ASTJ4060 and 4070 are consisting of the preparation week and followed by the presentation week. The students will complete one topic in two weeks. In the preparation week, new vocabulary, expressions, cultural norms that are necessary for the assigned topic are introduced. In the presentation week, first, the students will present their essay as a dress rehearsal and have critiques and discussions in class to improve their work. Then in the following class, the students will have a final presentation for a grade.

  • ASTJ 4070 - Advanced Japanese Composition and Presentation II

    Advanced Japanese Composition and Presentation courses are taught in Japanese and the students are asked to speak only in Japanese during the class. These two Advanced Japanese Composition and Presentation courses focus on five areas of language skills:

    1. Building a strong hand for speaking topics.
    2. Acquiring skills to deal with the unexpected situations and problems.
    3. Mastering different speech styles.
    4. Customizing writing style according to the occasion and audience.
    5. Identifying and using the idioms that the native speakers often use but the grammar textbooks rarely introduce.

    ASTJ4060 and 4070 are consisting of the preparation week and followed by the presentation week. The students will complete one topic in two weeks. In the preparation week, new vocabulary, expressions, cultural norms that are necessary for the assigned topic are introduced. In the presentation week, first, the students will present their essay as a dress rehearsal and have critiques and discussions in class to improve their work. Then in the following class, the students will have a final presentation for a grade.