21G.108 | Spring 2015 | Undergraduate

Chinese II (Streamlined)


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 3 sessions / week, 50 minutes / session

Course Description

This course, along with 21G.107 / 157 Chinese I (Streamlined) offered in the previous fall, form the elementary level of the streamlined sequence, which is intended for students who, when they began the sequence at beginning level, had basic conversational skills (gained, typically, from growing up in a Chinese speaking environment), but lacked a corresponding level of literacy. The focus of the course is on standard usage, on reading in both traditional and simplified characters, and on writing. The course is conducted entirely in Chinese.

Characters and Pinyin

Students are expected to be able to read texts written in either the traditional or simplified sets of Chinese characters, and are free to choose either one in writing.

Required Learning Materials

  1. There are two versions of this textbook:
    1. A simplified character version:
      Li, Duanduan. _A Primer for Advanced Beginners of Chinese, Simplified Character: Vol 2. (_Daxue Yuwen / 大學語文/大学语文). Columbia University Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780231135856.
    2. A Complex character version:
      Li, Duanduan, et al. A Primer for Advanced Beginners of Chinese Vol. 2. (Daxue Yuwen _/ 大學語文/大学语文)_. Columbia University Press, 2002. ISBN: 9780231125574.
      You may purchase whichever one you prefer.
  2. Additional handouts distributed in class.
  3. Supplementary audio-visual materials [Note: Not provided on OCW due to copyright restrictions.]
  1. There are two versions of this textbook:
    1. DeFrancis, John, ed. ABC Chinese-English Dictionary. University of Hawaii Press, 1996. ISBN: 9780824817442. (Regular)
    2. ———. ABC Chinese-English Dictionary. University of Hawaii Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780824821548. (Pocket)
  2. Yuan, Boping, and Sally Church, eds. The Starter Oxford Chinese Dictionary. Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780198602583.
    [Note:This is a handy starter’s dictionary, with good definitions and clear format.]
  3. Manser, Martin H., ed. Concise English-Chinese Chinese-English Dictionary. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780195911510.

[Note: This dictionary has more entries than the previous dictionary, and is with English-to-Chinese.]

  1. Many online resources, available in Tools / Resources.


Classroom activities will include discussing the content of the texts, using the texts as the basis for short role playing and presentation, practicing some of the relevant grammatical patterns, and almost daily quizzes.

Writing: You will be asked to learn a selection of the characters introduced in the lesson, but not all of them (see “Dictations” in “Grading”). And you will be asked to learn to recognize both simplified and full form characters from memory. For writing, you may choose one, full form or simplified, as you prefer.


A = 100–94; A- = 93–90; B+ = 89–87; B = 86–83; B- = 82–80

C+ = 79–76; C = 75–70; C- = 69–60; F = below 60

Class Performance (Attendance 5%, Preparedness 5%, and Participation 10%) 20%
Written Assignments 20%
Lingt Assignments 5%
Online Project (BFA) 5%
5 Tests 25%
Group Presentations 10%
End-of-term Essay (a 2-page Double-spaced typewritten paper using Microsoft Word; 16-point font Or no less than 4 full pages, using the calligraphy sheet provided in Study Materials instructions on how to input Chinese characters using pinyin is available in Tools and Resources.) 5%
Dictations and T / F Preview Questions 10%

Attendance and promptness is assumed; more than three unexcused absences (a week’s worth) lowers your grade one letter; significant lateness will add up to absences—Twice during the semester, if you are late for class without telling your instructor in advance. If you miss a quiz in the beginning of the class, you are allowed to take the quiz at the end of the class.

Other factors may come into play, for example improvement versus stagnation or deterioration over the course of the semester, and progress relative to starting level. Academic Integrity is extremely important in this class. Cheating on homework and tests, and plagiarizing will be reported.

There are No Make-Ups for quizzes and tests if you do not notify your instructor about your absence first but however, your lowest two quiz grades will be dropped. If you cannot take the quizzes on time, you should talk to the instructor to make arrangements for you to take the quizzes before your classmates do.

There is no final examination this term.

Homework handed in late will not receive full credit. You will lose one point per day of lateness. (For example: 9 out 10 points if you turn it in next day)

End-of-term Essay

Grading (5% of class grade):

  • Content: 2 points (convincing / engaging)
  • Degree of sophistication of the language: 1.5 points (when appropriate, incorporate the grammar, sentence patterns, and vocabulary of the textbook into your essay)
  • Over-all structure: 1.5 points (pay attention to coherence and cohesiveness; make sure each paragraph has a focus and the paragraphs relate to one another in a logical way)

Due: By the last day of classes. E-attachments are accepted. E-submissions will be acknowledged by email. Early submissions are welcome.

Length: No less than 2 full double-spaced typewritten pages using Word with 16-point font and 1-inch margins, Or no less than 4 full pages using the calligraphy sheet. Do not try to fill up the pages by adding spaces between characters or lines—the content is more important. Learn to install Chinese IME (Input Method Editor) and input Chinese characters (find the link under the section of Tools and Resources ) with pinyin if you do not already know how.

Topic: You have three options.
Option 1: Cóng Zhongguórén Zhòngshì de Pǐn’gé Kàn ZhongGuó Wénhuà
Based on what you have learned from the textbook (you may also use examples in Vol. 1 of Dàxué Yuwén), summarize some of the characteristics of Chinese culture by looking at the qualities (=pǐn’gé) Chinese people value highly.

Option 2: Zhongguórén Duì Shìjiè de Gòngxiàn
Using examples from the textbook (you may also use examples in Vol. 1 of Dàxué Yuwén), write about the contributions Chinese have made to our world.

Option 3: Creative writing

Advice on Approaching the Class

Engaging in a language class should not feel like a chore that you resent having to do. If it does, you should probably do some serious thinking about why you are enrolled. A foreign language is a discipline to be studied with attention and dedication. It requires a high level of concentration, and a systematic, steady approach. It is, in fact, a never-ending process, which involves a consistent accumulation of data (vocabulary) to be applied within a complex framework (grammar). As such, learning a language is often frustrating and so it should be dealt with patiently. But the results provide lifelong satisfaction. If you approach this course by wondering how little work you can do and still get by, or if you approach this course by thinking only about what grade you are getting instead of what you are learning, then you will not succeed. If, however, you approach this class with dedication and a positive attitude you will be rewarded with the satisfaction that comes from the genuine acquisition of knowledge and skill.

Presentation Rubric

Presentation Style (Overall) Smooth transitions; comprehensible with very few minor errors in grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation; consistently maintains good eye contact, appropriate speech rate and volume. Transitions mostly smooth; comprehensible with infrequent errors in grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation; almost always maintains good eye contact, appropriate speech rate and volume. Transitions fairly smooth; comprehensible with noticeable errors in grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation; eye contact, speech rate and volume adequate. Transitions awkward; nearly or completely incomprehensible; eye contact, speech rate and volume inconsistently maintained.
Group Participation All team members worked together efficiently and effectively. Most team members worked together efficiently and effectively. Students needed occasional teacher assistance to work together efficiently and effectively. One or two students did all the work; little or no group interaction.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2015
Learning Resource Types
Activity Assignments
Written Assignments