This course is for those who have taken second year Chinese or have the equivalent from elsewhere. The objectives include achieving the ease with which to communicate with the native speakers in writing and speaking, and developing the skills to deal with original and authentic materials such as song lyrics, children rhythms, short poems, jokes, idioms, etc.. This means, among other things, that the working language for this class is Chinese. We would also like you to construct a cultural identity that enables you to participate in various aspects of Chinese society.
Cultural identity is often achieved performatively. If your tones are off, if you are unable or unwilling to enunciate words, or if you don’t recognize words and idiomatic expressions, then your diminish your presence and existence in China. Try respecting the language you are learning by actively speaking it and by overcoming your deep resistance to the Chinese language. This requires that you consciously identify with the needs of the culture you wish to understand; gradually how you perform shapes and becomes who you are, and the language finally becomes yours.
You are expected to come to class fully prepared. Preparation includes going over the new vocabulary on your own, reading the grammar points for each lesson, listening to the audio recordings of the lesson at least once, and working on the homework and exercises in the textbook. We go over all of these in class as well but only on need-basis. The majority of the time in class shall be devoted to language practice and performance such as quizzes and presentations, for which you will receive grade.
In a way, you need to take initiatives and adopt your own approach to teaching materials because the students in this class tend to have different levels of proficiency and linguistic backgrounds, some that just came back from abroad and other who have not yet been abroad. We conduct dictations, assign homework, proctor tests as usual to ensure that true learning takes place even if the content of the material may be too easy for one and too difficult for another. So think of this class as a tutorial with more than one person in it, but participate as if you are the only one there so the instruction has to make sense to you. The more you take into your own hand, the higher your chance of doing well in this class.
To ensure some continuity, we’ll adopt the textbooks as follows:
|Reading Into A New China: 《变化中的中国》Volume IDuanduan Li, and Irene Liu; Cheng & Tsui Company, Inc., 2010ISBN:978-0-88727-627-9|