Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 3 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Course Description (HASS-D Language Option)

This is the second semester of the intermediate level sequence intended for students whose conversational ability exceeds their reading and writing skills. Focus is on reading and writing, as well as broadening conversational skills and control of standard pronunciation, for students with background in conversational Chinese. Lab work is required. On completing this course, students should be able to speak the language with standard pronunciation, to converse with some fluency on everyday topics, as well as on some specialized topics, to read edited, as well as authentic texts, in simplified or traditional characters with suitable fluency, and to be able to write composition on certain topics. The class consists of a combination of practice, reading, discussion, dictation, composition and feedback, net exploration via the web, and presentation. This course is conducted in Mandarin.

All participants will be expected to write a four-page paper in characters with the words, expressions, and patterns learned. Topic for the paper will be given out in April. All students are expected to give a 15-minute power point presentation in pairs on their research on China. Right after the mid-term, all participants should also choose your research partner and a research topic. There will be a small fee for Xeroxed materials, paid towards the end of the semester.

Learning Material Recording

All the students registered for this class should listen to the recordings on line or go to the LLARC to listen to the recordings, and do the assigned work. Detailed assignments will be on each week’s schedule.


  • Reading and discussion of grammatical problems from the texts.
  • Active practice through class conversation.
  • Work with sentence-patterns and exercises from the texts.
  • Practice in reading, comprehension, and translation using the texts and other sources.
  • Writing in Chinese using available computers.
  • Exploration of changing China, using available resources (e.g. network, library, Chinatown, etc.)
  • Supplementary video or film presentations in Chinese, as available.
  • Interview Chinese people you know.
  • Detailed weekly schedules will be handed out in the last period of each week. These indicate what will be covered in class and what you need to do each day to prepare.

Students' Responsibilities

Students are expected to preview, read the assigned reading(s) and study the assigned characters before class, and to participate actively in class discussions. Students will be expected to hand in assigned homework on the date due.

Grading Criteria

Evaluation will be based on class performance, bi-weekly quizzes, a mid-term, a comprehensive final, and a final oral test.

The weighting of the various factors is, roughly, as follows:

Class Performance

Class Attendance
Class Preparation
Class Participation
Assigned Homework

By-weekly Quizzes 20
In-class Dictation 10
Mid-Term 20
Power Point Presentation 10
Four-page Paper 20

Factors involved in the Class Grade include being on time and prepared, completing written assignments carefully and on time, and participating enthusiastically in class activities. Other factors may come in to play, e.g. improvement versus deterioration over the course of the semester, and progress relative to starting level.

  • No make-up quizzes, mid-term, and final presentation unless you have permission from the lecturer beforehand. If you are sick or unable to attend class because of unexpected situations, you should telephone the teacher at his office, leave a message or email him.
  • Homework handed in late will be corrected but receive no credit.
  • Attendance in this class is extremely important. If you were absent for three times without any permission from your teacher, your final grade will be reduced by one whole step (e.g.: B to C).
  • Your lowest quiz will be dropped.

Advice on Approaching the Class

Learning a foreign language shouldn't feel like a chore. If it does, you should probably do some serious thinking about why you 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 foreign language is often frustrating and so it should be dealt with patiently. But the result provides lifelong satisfaction. If you approach this course by wondering how little work you can do and still get by, or if you approach this class 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, I guarantee that you will be rewarded with the satisfaction that comes from the genuine acquisition of knowledge and skill.