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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Chinese (CHNS)

CHNS 411 (IL) Chinese Written Characters (3) This course aims to establish a solid foundation of students' Chinese orthography and prepare students for continuing study in subsequent Chinese courses.

CHNS 411 Chinese Written Characters (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

This course aims to equip students’ knowledge and skills of Chinese orthography through both cognitive and meta-cognitive approach of learning, where it is expected to lay a solid foundation for students’ continuing study of subsequent Chinese language courses. Students will learn and apply radical and component-building approach to synthesize their already-acquired characters, and further learn approximately 500 additional characters. Characters selected for study in this course are based upon the references of HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) Level V and TOP-Huayu (Test of Proficiency- Huayu) Intermediate level. Building upon these characters, students will further expand their vocabulary volume through character association strategy and extensive reading. Cooperative learning approach will be largely incorporated to promote in-class active learning, such as developing and sharing character learning strategies through keeping learning journal, group reading, discussing cultural connotations of selected amount of characters, etc. Students will also learn the origin, history and evolution of Chinese characters through textbook reading and multimedia materials learning, such as DVD and You Tube video clips that help visualize the evolution process of selected characters for demonstration.

Instructional Objectives (what the student is expected to learn; what skills s/he will develop):
1. Understand the origin, history and evolution of Chinese characters
2. Develop and apply strategies on learning Chinese characters
3. Familiarize with available resources that assist Chinese characters learning and memorizing
4. Strengthen and synthesize students’ existing knowledge of Chinese orthography
5. Learn approximately 500 new characters
6. Expand vocabulary volume derived from the acquired characters
7. Expand reading experience by reading semi-authentic and authentic articles that are constituted of the acquired characters
8. Strengthen listening and speaking skills of the target language through intensive in-class discussions and lectures

General Education: None
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2013
Prerequisite: CHNS 110 or the equivalent

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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