21G.107 | Fall 2014 | Undergraduate

Chinese I (Streamlined)

Instructor Insights

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course 21G.107 Chinese I (Streamlined) as it was taught by Min-Min Liang in Fall 2014.

This course, in combination with 21G.108 Chinese II (Streamlined), constitutes the elementary level of the streamlined Chinese sequence. Taught entirely in Chinese, the course is designed for students who have basic Chinese conversational skills, but who lack a corresponding level of literacy. The focus of the course is on learning standard language usage, reading in both full and simplified characters, and writing. 

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

  • Develop Chinese literacy skills
  • Increase Chinese speaking proficiency

Meet the Instructor

In the following video, Min-Min Liang shares her academic background and teaching experience.

Meet the Instructor: Min-Min Liang

Instructor Interview

"When I first started, I knew one [teaching] method. I thought it was best to drill the students… to make them repeat. But throughout the years I realized they could say certain things, but they could not have a conversation… so I think I’ve evolved. Right now, the main [focus] for me is to have a welcoming environment to help students speak the language, not to talk about the language."
—Min-Min Liang

In the following videos, Min-Min Liang describes various aspects of how she teaches 21G.107 Chinese I (Streamlined).

English-language Videos Chinese-language Videos
Instructor Interview: Philosophical Approach to Language Teaching 中文快班的教學哲學 / 中文快班的教学哲学
Instructor Interview: Teaching Heritage Learners in a Streamlined Language Course 教導具華語基礎的學生 / 教导具华语基础的学生
Instructor Interview: Teaching with Lingt Technology 使用Lingt於課堂教學 / 使用Lingt于课堂教学
Instructor Interview: Assessing Students’ Language Learning 評量學生的語言學習 / 评量学生的语言学习
Instructor Interview: Incorporating Authentic Text Going Forward 未來教材的更新與展望 / 未来教材的更新与展望

Curriculum Information


Placement test and permission of instructor

Requirements Satisfied



Every fall semester


The students’ grades were based on the following activities:

  • 30% Class performance (attendance [5%], promptness [3%], preparedness [5%], class report [7%] , and participation [10%])
  • 25% Writing (Written assignments [20%] and end-of-term essay [5%])
  • 5% Lingt assignments
  • 30% Bi-weekly tests
  • 10% Vocabulary quizzes and dictations

Instructor Insights on Assessment

Student Information


18 students

Breakdown by Year

Mostly sophomores

Breakdown by Major

Mostly computer science and engineering

Typical Student Background

Students tend to be heritage language learners. Most are advanced-beginners, with a speaking level of intermediate-low. Prior to the course, many cannot read or write Chinese. Some attended “Chinese School” once a week during their childhoods, but most have forgotten what they learned during these experiences.  Many students want to learn Chinese in order to be able to converse with family members who do not speak English. They also seem to value the advantage that fluency in multiple languages offers them in a society that is becoming more globalized.

Ideal Class Size

Having fewer than 20 students in the class allows students to have more speaking opportunities. This is important because students tend not to speak Chinese outside of class. To get the most of the course, they need to speak frequently during each class session.

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In Class

  • Met 3 times per week for 50 minutes per session; 39 sessions total; mandatory attendance.
  • Several class sessions were devoted to learning about the sounds of the language and the ways in which these sounds are represented in the pinyin system of transcription. Character writing was also introduced.
  • Textbook lessons began during the fifth week of the course.
  • Classroom activities included discussing the content of the texts, short reports and performances based on the texts, practicing relevant grammatical patterns, sight reading of supplementary materials, and daily quizzes.

Out of Class

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2014
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Course Introduction
Activity Assignments
Written Assignments
Instructor Insights