Chinese Language Program

Chinese major/minor advisor: Janet Xing

The Chinese Language Program at Western Washington University provides students with the opportunity to become competent communicators in Chinese language and culture, shared by 1.3 billion people, approximately one-fourth of the world’s population. The programs offers Chinese language courses at all levels as well as courses in Chinese culture and a study abroad program. Students may choose to major in Chinese Language & Culture, or take a Chinese minor. The major is designed to develop advanced proficiency in Chinese language and culture, with the goal of positioning students competitively in this increasingly globalized world. Its curriculum focuses on training students in both communicative skills and cultural awareness, essential for future success in China- or Chinese- related career paths, whether in business, education, public service or technology.  Students who have taken one or two year Chinese are encouraged to study Chinese abroad. 

Please visit our Study Chinese Abroad website for more information. If you have any questions regarding the Chinese program, please email the coordinator of the program Julian Wu.

Chinese Major Scholarship

This scholarship has been made possible by the generosity Jim Golden. Find out more about his desire to promote the study of Chinese.

Course Offerings

Visit WWU ClassFinder to view the days, times, and openings for courses during the academic year.

Core Courses

To be taken in sequence, Fundamentals of the modern standard language (Mandarin): pronunciation, grammar, aural comprehension, reading, and speaking.

Credits: 5

Grade Mode: Letter

To be taken in sequence, Fundamentals of the modern standard language (Mandarin): pronunciation, grammar, aural comprehension, reading, and speaking.

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 101 or equivalent

Credits: 5

Grade Mode: Letter

To be taken in sequence, Fundamentals of the modern standard language (Mandarin): pronunciation, grammar, aural comprehension, reading, and speaking.

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 102 or equivalent

Credits: 5

Grade Mode: Letter

GUR Attributes: BCOM

To be taken in sequence. Review of the fundamentals of the modern standard language (Mandarin); emphasis on acquisition of oral and written vocabulary; intensive reading and discussion in Chinese of graded materials in modern Chinese (Mandarin).

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 103 or equivalent

Credits: 5

Grade Mode: Letter

GUR Attributes: BCOM

To be taken in sequence. Review of the fundamentals of the modern standard language (Mandarin); emphasis on acquisition of oral and written vocabulary; intensive reading and discussion in Chinese of graded materials in modern Chinese (Mandarin).

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 201 or equivalent

Credits: 5

Grade Mode: Letter

GUR Attributes: ACGM

To be taken in sequence. Review of the fundamentals of the modern standard language (Mandarin); emphasis on acquisition of oral and written vocabulary; intensive reading and discussion in Chinese of graded materials in modern Chinese (Mandarin).

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 202 or equivalent
Credits: 5
Grade Mode: Letter
GUR Attributes: ACGM

(summer only)

This course provides an intensive study of the intermediate level of Chinese language and culture. Students will develop their Chinese communicative competence in Chinese society/culture, Chinese people and how to deal with cultural differences in different social/cultural settings. The pre-departure reading assignments will prepare students to take a full advantage of the study tour and classroom activities in Beijing and Kunming so that they will improve not only their language skills but also gain a better understanding of the Chinese society and culture that they would otherwise not be able to accomplish in regular WWU classrooms.

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 103

Credits: 15

An introduction to the principles used in the formation and history of Chinese characters and their relations to Chinese culture. The components of the characters are analyzed and compared with the new, simplified forms. Reading materials and class discussion provide practice in reading and writing characters. Calligraphy sessions provide opportunity to learn theories and principles of writing characters in 4 different styles (seal script, clerical script, cursive script and regular script).

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 101
Credits: 5
Grade Mode: Letter

An individualized course of study not available through or replacing existing curriculum, to be arranged between one matriculating student and sponsoring faculty member. All academic policies and registration deadlines apply. Directed Independent Study courses cannot substitute for General University Requirements and are not eligible for tuition waiver.

Credits: 1-15

Designed to help students achieve the third-year (intermediate-high) Chinese proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, It focuses on students’ Chinese skills in communication with expressions of abstract ideas, and in comprehension of multiple-paragraph texts of complicated grammatical structures and broader vocabulary. After a successful completion of the 300 sequence, students will be able to converse with native or near-native Chinese speakers on every-day topics in a variety of settings using tonally accurate, syntactically complex, and lexically appropriate language. Students will also be able to understand linguistic variety of regional/national usages within Chinese cultures. Taught in Chinese.

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 203
Credits: 5
Grade Mode: Letter
GUR Attributes: ACGM

Designed for students to achieve the third-year (intermediate-high) Chinese proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, this course focuses on developing students’ Chinese skills in communication with expressions of abstract ideas, and in comprehension of multiple-paragraph texts of complicated grammatical structures and broader vocabulary. After a successful completion of the 300 level Chinese series, students will be able to converse with native or near-native Chinese speakers on every-day topics in a variety of settings using tonally accurate, syntactically complex, and lexically appropriate language. Students will also be able to understand linguistic variety of regional/national usages within Chinese cultures.

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 301
Credits: 5
Grade Mode: Letter
GUR Attributes: ACGM

Designed to develop abilities to speak, understand, read, write and translate typical Chinese in business and economic settings from both linguistic and cultural perspectives. While focusing on the Chinese language that is used in the business world, this course will also introduce related business and economic climates, practices and customs of Chinese-speaking communities.

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 302
Credits: 5
Grade Mode: Letter
GUR Attributes: ACGM

This course is designed to acquaint students with values and viewpoints of Chinese cultures and societies through review and discussion of major grammatical elements and genre types in Chinese. Students will also compare Chinese and English grammar and cultures and compose essays to reflect their interlingua and intercultural communicative competence.

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 203 or instructor permission
Credits: 5
Grade Mode: Letter
GUR Attributes: ACGM

Designed to introduce students to different aspects of Chinese culture through film, this course focuses on how an informed understanding of China's cultural heritage can help students make better sense of China's present in the global context as well as give students some clues of where China may be headed in the future. Through class discussion, presentations and group projects, students explore major issues in contemporary Chinese culture, such as philosophy, religion, political power, authority, economy, customs, family bond, friendship, lifestyles, arts, literature, martial arts, etc. Repeatable with different topics up to 10 credits including the original course.

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 203 or instructor permission
Credits: 5
Grade Mode: Letter

(summer only)

This course provides an intensive study of the advanced level of Chinese language and culture. Through in-depth examination of Chinese social issues, such as marriage, education and employment, students will not only gain a comprehensive understanding of how Chinese people advance their life style along with their country’s economic advancement but also physically experience these changes. The pre-departure reading assignments will equip students to take a full advantage of the study tour and classroom activities in Beijing and Kunming so that they will improve their language and cultural competence that they would otherwise not be able to accomplish in regular WWU classrooms.

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 203

Credits: 15

An individualized course of study not available through or replacing existing curriculum, to be arranged between one matriculating student and sponsoring faculty member. All academic policies and registration deadlines apply. Directed Independent Study courses cannot substitute for General University Requirements and are not eligible for tuition waiver.

Credits: 1-15

This course is designed to serve as a capstone course for students who major in Chinese Language and Culture. It provides students with the opportunity to apply and integrate both linguistic and cultural knowledge that they have acquired from each course in their program of Chinese study at Western. It is also intended to develop students’ consciousness as a global citizen and their communicative ability to compete successfully in the global workforce.

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 302 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.
Credits: 5
Grade Mode: Letter

This course is designed for students to gain a comprehensive understanding of the structure and usage of Mandarin (Modern standard) Chinese. Through class discussion, reading materials, and a research project, students explore all core areas of Chinese language and linguistics: phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, as well as dialect variations. Students will be guided step by step to conduct research on aspects of Chinese language and linguistics effectively.

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 301 or LING 310 or instructor’s permission
Credits: 5
Grade Mode: Letter

Students selected for tutoring must dedicate four hours per week to provide help to other students primarily those enrolled in 100-200 levels of Chinese courses. Permission may also be given to assist with other Chinese courses completed with outstanding achievement. Students may be requested to lead group sessions or work with students individually. Expertise in Chinese grammar or linguistics is desirable. S/U grading.

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 301; CHIN 430; and instructor permission.
Credits: 2
Grade Mode: S/U

The course is designed to help students develop a better understanding of the current theories and practice of Chinese language pedagogy and acquisition, to become acquainted with the National Standards (the five goal areas: communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities and the three communicative modes: presentational, interpretive and interpersonal) and the teaching materials and methodologies in five major content areas of Chinese language learning (i.e. the pronunciation system, characters, sentences/grammar, discourse, and culture). Students will be given opportunities to design/develop teaching materials (including both language and cultural components) for different levels of classes and to strategize and articulate their courses based on assessment guidelines. This course may also be used as Linguistics 402 for linguistics majors.

Prerequisites & Notes: CHIN 202
Credits: 4
Grade Mode: Letter

A survey of the characteristics of the Chinese language. A study of the relationships among Chinese culture, contemporary society and language variation.

Credits: 3
Grade Mode: Letter
GUR Attributes: ACGM