The Center for Language Studies has been offering Chinese for more than twenty-five years. Our summer intensive Chinese program strikes the perfect balance between fostering oral immersion and building a strong foundation in reading and writing. During seven weeks students live in Chinese, speaking to their peers and teachers in class, at meal times, during cultural excursions and activities. A significant amount of time is also devoted to learning to read and write Chinese characters, as they can open up doors to broad areas of Chinese culture. For over three thousand years, Chinese characters have played and continue to play a significant role in Chinese culture through art, literature, history, politics, anthropology, and philosophy.
One of the clear advantages of our program, and one which students consistently value highly, is the daily interaction with exceptional instructors. The Chinese instructors, much like their students, leave their families and homes behind in order to teach at Beloit, and they have decided to do so with one purpose in mind—to help their students gain a year’s worth of language training in seven weeks. Time spent in the classroom is one of the most valuable aspects of our program; however, instructors do far more than teach. They live in the same residential halls with the students, share lunch and dinner with them at the Chinese language tables, provide outside tutorial sessions in the evenings, and participate actively in the Chinese cultural programs and events.
100 - 105A. First-Year Chinese I, II (four semester credit hours each). Students of first-year Chinese receive an intensive introduction to Mandarin. Class sessions establish a solid foundation of conversational, reading, writing, and listening comprehension skills. Traditional characters will be taught. A cultural component is interspersed with the daily language studies.
110A - 115A. Second-Year Chinese I, II (four semester credit hours each). The second-year intensive course is designed for students who have completed one year of formal training (or its equivalent) in both written and spoken Mandarin. Through oral/aural exercises and graded reading sections, the course amplifies the material taught at the beginning level. After a thorough review of basic Mandarin grammatical structures and vocabulary, students add more complex and simplified characters to perfect their skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. In the process, students transfer knowledge gained from the character-pattern learning approach of first-year Chinese to work with original Chinese texts drawn from literature, history, politics, and business.
200A - 205A. Third-Year Chinese I, II (four semester credit hours each). A course in conversation and composition, third-year intensive Chinese increases proficiency in the four language skills, by developing fluency in expression through reading, writing, and speaking Chinese. The course introduces students to a range of authentic materials, including essays, short stories, and newspaper articles in both simplified and complex characters. The course also provides personalized instruction through selected readings in literature and the social sciences.
210A - 215A. Fourth-Year Chinese I, II (four semester credit hours each). This intensive course is designed for advanced students who want to master their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills, as well as their competence in Chinese history, literature and culture, politics, and business. Students continue their learning of advanced vocabulary and usage of more complex sentence structures. Besides, this course enhances students’ social-linguistic sensitivity and awareness to help them use more cohesive devices in their discourse on a wide range of topics at an advanced level.
In past years the Qi Shu Fang Peking Opera Company has visited our campus for educational demonstrations and performances. On the first day of their two day visit, the performers talk to students about their training regimen, demonstrate training exercises, and provide insights into the everyday life of a Peking Opera performer. On the second day, the actors perform excerpts from famous Peking Opera shows. Students are able to watch the performers apply their intricate makeup prior to the performances and ask questions about the Peking Opera.
Students have also traveled to Chicago's vibrant Chinatown to celebrate the Chicago Dragonboat Festival. Held at Ping Tom Park, the festival includes races in replica dragon boats and several Chinese variety performers. Participants ate lunch and dinner at authentic Chinese restaurants in Chicago. The excursion culminated with a calligraphy workshop hosted by Andy Chan, the President of the Chinese Artists Association of North America.
Third-year Chinese, since Summer 2013
"I have been teaching Chinese at Beloit for four summers now. I keep coming back to CLS and would like to recommend it to everyone I know for its strong learning atmosphere and the feeling of being a harmonious cultural community. This intensive program provides teachers chances to not only teach students language but share their experience and cultural knowledge in and out of class. The language classes with abundant practice and all the cultural activities together like the Chinese dinner night, the trip to Chinatown, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese chess and so on involve the whole Chinese language team and enhance the teaching effectiveness. The experience, knowledge and friendships gained at CLS last me well beyond the summer and will continue to enrich me for life."