Beginning Chinese I (Chin 001)
Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures
The George Washington University
[Offered every Fall Semester and somtimes in the first summer session as well.]
This is the first course in Beginning Chinese, which aims to lay a solid foundation for the students in the study of the Chinese language and culture. Students will learn the basics of the sounds, grammar, vocabulary and Chinese characters, and also important cultural aspects. After completing this course, the students are expected to take Beginning Chinese II in the spring semester.
This course is designed for beginners, i.e. students with minimal formal study of Mandarin Chinese. Students who have taken some Mandarin Chinese classes in the past, either in high school, or in China, and students who have had exposure to the Chinese languages (Mandarin, Cantonese, or any other Chinese dialect), either in a family setting or other cultural settings, need instructor approval before taking this course..
Student Learning Objectives:
At the end of this course, students should be able to
Blackboard: course materials such as syllabus, weekly course schedules, character sheets, extra homework assignments, announcements and communications, textbook audio and video files will be posted. .
GWU language center: there will be native speakers as tutors in the language center located in Phillips Hall 211 to help students with their pronunciation, conversation and writing characters.
Smart classrooms: slideshows will be used in class on a regular basis. Most will be available on Blackboard.
This course consists of two lectures and two drill sessions each week. Lectures meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Drill classes meet on Mondays and Wednesdays.
The lectures will be devoted to grammar explanation, grammatical drills, translation exercises, writing characters, and quizzes, although a fair amount of communicational tasks will also be carried out in these lectures.
The drill sessions will be used for conversation drills only. Students will participate in various speaking and listening activities to enhance their ability to understand and communicate in Chinese with the correct pronunciation and intonation.
Homework: there will be daily homework assignments either from the online workbook, or designed by the instructors.
Character sheets: There will be two character sheets every week on Monday and Wednesday.
Chinese journal: students will write a journal in Chinese characters every weekend.
Weekly quiz: there will be a quiz each week in the Thursday lecture.
Unit Test: there will be 2 unit tests. Each unit test consists of an oral test and a written test.
Final Exam: there will be a final exam which will consist of an oral test and a written test. The oral test will be a Chinese skit. The written test will be comprehensive, including materials covered throughout the semester, but with emphasis on the most recent materials.
Attendance and participation: students are expected to attend all classes on time. Absences and tardiness will result in lower grades. Students should also be well-prepared for each class, and take active part in class activities.
Preparation and participation: 15%
Character sheets: 5%
Weekly quizzes: 15%
Unit Test: 20%
Final Exam: 25%
The corresponding letter grades are:
>= 94 A [90, 94) A-
[87, 90) B+ [84, 87) B [80, 84) B-
[77, 80) C+ [74, 77) C [70, 74) C-
[67, 70) D+ [64, 67) D [60, 64) D-
Attendance: students should make an effort to attend each class as they can. Each student is allowed 3 undocumented absences. Beyond that, each absence will result in a reduction of 0.5 point from your final grade. Fifteen times of absences will result in a failing grade. Absence with legitimate reasons must be accompanied by proper documents. Absences related to religious holidays can be excused if prior notice is made to the instructor.
Tardiness: students should attend each class on time. Arriving more than 15 minutes late would be regarded as half an absence.
Homework: all homework assignments should be submitted by the due date. If made up within one week, grade will be discounted by 10%. Students should not ask a tutor or anyone for a specific answer to a homework assignment question. Sharing answers among students is not allowed, and it would be regarded as plagiarism.
Make-up quiz/test: generally no make-up quiz or test will be given for undocumented absences. If students have a legitimate reason for absence, advance arrangements need to be made before any absence occurs to ensure that a make-up test can be scheduled. No make-up test for the final exam will be granted, unless a schedule conflict occurs with other exams.