College may be the first opportunity you have to study Chinese. So, forget the myth that you have to start learning another language in childhood. College can help young adults become faster and more effective language learners than small children. With a little imagination and hard work, Chinese studies at Lafayette can lead to an amazing study-abroad experience. And for each additional year of language studies, research shows a wide range of benefits, including improved verbal and math scores on entrance exams (GREs, MCATs, LSATs). Advanced language studies lead to greater opportunities for admission to graduate and professional schools and greater access to career-oriented jobs.
The Major & Minor in Asian Studies
Courses in Chinese
CHN 101 Elementary Chinese I
This course aims to develop fundamental listening, speaking, reading, and writing abilities in Mandarin Chinese. Students examine approximately 250 new words and more than 30 grammar patterns. Mastery of Pinyin pronunciation is an essential part, and students are trained with computer-based exercises, especially character typing. Class activities may also include practicing calligraphy, singing songs in Chinese, making dumplings, and watching film shows to enhance students’ understanding of Chinese language and culture.
CHN 102 Elementary Chinese II
This course will help students continue to develop fundamental skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing of Mandarin Chinese based on 101 class training or equivalent. Students will learn 200 new words and more than 30 new grammar patterns. Mastery of Pinyin pronunciation is still an essential part, and students are to be trained with more frequent computer-based exercises. Class activities also include calligraphy competitions and Chinese movie shows to enhance students’ understanding of Chinese language and culture.
Prerequisite: Chinese 101 or equivalent
CHN 111, 112 Intermediate Chinese I & II
Review and expansion of basic grammar and vocabulary and continued development of familiarity with Chinese characters are stressed in this course. Attention is given to developing reading and conversational skills for a deeper understanding of the diverse cultures of the Chinese people.
Prerequisite: Chinese 101, 102 or equivalent proficiency
CHN 211 Advanced Chinese Conversation and Composition
This course is designed for students who have completed four semesters of Chinese study or demonstrate equivalent language proficiency. The course emphasizes vocabulary building, advanced reading comprehension, and an increased degree of conversational fluency. Short expository essays on various contemporary social topics are composed in class to help students understand the changing China of today.
Prerequisite: Chinese 112 or equivalent proficiency
CHN 231 Chinese Civilization
This course presents the fundamental features and highlights of Chinese civilization from the Neolithic age down to the 20th century. It explores the origin, transformation, and continuity of this long-standing culture, discussing varied aspects in philosophy, religion, political institutions, and literature and arts. Students also explore certain areas of Chinese culture that are becoming transnational interests, such as Buddhist practice, geomancy, and medical tradition. No prior knowledge of China or Chinese language is required. All works are read in English translations.
CHN 290, 291 Independent Study
These courses are intended to expand the student’s basic capabilities in the four linguistic skills – listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Enrichment of written grammar review with emphasis on the expansion of vocabulary and stylistics will be stressed, as will be the examination of cultural and contemporary issues through use of texts, films, television, music, and the internet.
Prerequisite: Chinese 112 or equivalent
Please see the Lafayette Course Catalog for official descriptions of the Chinese courses and other subjects offered by the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures.
Please see the Course and Exam Schedule for a current list of courses and times, including special-topics courses not listed in the permanent Course Catalog.
Sidney Donnell, Department Head
404 Pardee Hall
Markus Dubischar, Assistant Head
423 Pardee Hall
Joli Mellett, Department Secretary
410 Pardee Hall
Foreign Languages and Literatures
413 Pardee Hall
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 330-5656 (fax)