Chinese Program

Welcome to the Hendrix Chinese Program! Our Chinese program provides students with courses to learn basic and essential Chinese language skills, as well as a variety of academic courses and extracurricular activities, to begin, continue, or broaden their foreign language and cultural experiences while at Hendrix.

Mandarin Chinese is the national language of mainland China and Taiwan. Chinese is the most widely spoken and written first language in the world—close to 1.5 billion people, more than one fifth of the world's population, grow up speaking and reading Chinese as their native language. As China has become the world's second largest economy and the fastest growing economy, China is increasingly important to United States national security, foreign relations, trade, and climate change policy. As a result, Chinese language skills are now essential for careers and advanced study involving China in business, education, journalism, and diplomacy.

Learning Goals for the Chinese Program

The goal of our Chinese language courses is to develop various communication skills in Chinese, including listening, speaking, reading and writing. Meanwhile, the Chinese literature courses, which are taught in English, aim to encourage aesthetic appreciation through the study of literary texts, such as poetry, novels, and film. Both Chinese language and literature courses introduce students to a wide range of Chinese cultures and promote global awareness. 

First-year Language Courses

The first-year Chinese language courses are an introduction to the Chinese language and culture. Students in introductory Chinese classes will be able to:

  • Communicate in Mandarin Chinese on a basic level
  • Be familiar with the basic structure of Mandarin Chinese
  • Master the elements of Mandarin pronunciation
  • Master the principles of Chinese character writing
  • Be familiar with the basic assumptions of Chinese culture that underlie communication

Second-year Language Courses

The second year Chinese language courses are a continuation of the first-year courses. Our goals are to develop students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing proficiency in intermediate Chinese. Specifically:

  • Build up vocabulary, expressions, and grammatical structures for a wider range of daily communication.
  • Understand Chinese contemporary culture that underlie communication
  • Listening and speaking: Able to engage in the oral exchange in various informal and daily situations.
  • Reading: Understand the meaning of short passages on topics in everyday life by using vocabulary knowledge, background knowledge, and possibly some contextual clues.
  • Writing: Able to write a series of sentences to describe, explain, compare and state an opinion.

Third-year Language Courses:

The third-year Chinese language courses function as a bridge to authentic Chinese texts.  The goals of the courses are to improve the abilities of oral and written expression, as well as to continue improving listening and reading comprehension.  Specifically:

  • Continue to build up vocabulary, expressions grammatical structures and use them appropriately.
  • Distinguish between spoken and written forms of Chinese.
  • Further the understanding of Chinese culture and contemporary Chinese society.
  • Listening: Understand face-to-face, non-technical speech in controlled contexts and familiar topics in everyday life
  • Speaking: Engage in conversation and discussion on general topics, to express and defend your ideas in clear, connected discourse.
  • Reading: Understand the gist of written passage on social issues and be able to summarize the main ideas in short sentences or phrases.
  • Writing: write cohesive and coherent short prose at passage level.

Chinese Literature Courses:

The Chinese literature courses introduce students to various genres and forms of Chinese literature in different historical background. Our goals of the Chinese literature courses include:

  • To develop a general knowledge of Chinese culture through literary texts, including poetry, novels, film, etc.
  • To appreciate the general features of Chinese literature, film and popular culture in a comparative context.
  • To acquire greater facility in reading, discussing and interpreting literary texts, textual or audio-visual, as “literature”
  • To learn to appreciate literature at an aesthetic level.