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. 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.
Requirements for the Minor in Chinese
Comprised of five courses (or fewer, if students obtain advanced placement) beyond Elementary Chinese (101-102). Following successful completion of Advanced Chinese 212, minors are required to take at least one 300-level course in Chinese or, in consultation with a faculty adviser in Chinese, another subject with a significant Chinese-language component. At least three Chinese courses must be completed on Lafayette College’s home campus in order to obtain the minor.
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 I
Through a diversity of materials on various topics, students will concentrate on greatly expanding their skills in understanding and using modern Chinese in a broad variety of cultural contexts. The course is open to students who have successfully completed four semesters of Mandarin at Lafayette or who can demonstrate equivalent proficiency. Students will receive advanced training in four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing).
Prerequisite: Chinese 112 or equivalent proficiency
CHN 212: Advanced Chinese II
Through a diversity of materials on various topics, students will concentrate on greatly expanding their skills in understanding and using modern Chinese in a broad variety of cultural contexts. The course is open to students who have successfully completed five semesters of Mandarin at Lafayette or who can demonstrate equivalent proficiency. As a continuation of Chinese 211 or its equivalent, students in Chinese 212 will receive advanced training in four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing).
Prerequisite: Chinese 211 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 twentieth 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 the 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
CHN 311: Contemporary China I
Through a diversity of authentic materials in various media such as newspapers and periodicals, this course greatly expands students’ Mandarin proficiency in all four skills while deepening their understanding of the social and cultural issues facing China today. Students’ language skills will be enhanced through intensive reading, discussion, presentation, debate, and essay writing. The course is open to students who have successfully completed six semesters of Mandarin at Lafayette or who can demonstrate equivalent proficiency.
Prerequisite: Chinese 212 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.
Michelle Geoffrion-Vinci, Department Head
426 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)