The Shippensburg University Department of Foreign Languages will now offer Chinese 101 beginning in fall 2013.
Until now, the university has only offered Spanish, French and German as foreign languages.
“Chinese 101 will cover 200–250 characters of traditional and Pinyin writing, tones and cultural items such as food, music, traditional celebrations and social norms.
Although all the linguistic skills will be covered, the emphasis will be on oral proficiency,” modern language department Chairperson José Ricardo said.
This will be the first time SU will be offering Chinese classes. Japanese was offered at one time as another language option.
Although Chinese will be offered as an elective next semester, the class will not count toward any foreign language requirements that students are required to obtain for certain majors.
If the class is successful, there is a possibility it will be offered as a Category B class in the future.
SU decided to offer Chinese courses because there has been some demand from students to offer the language.
Some students specialize in international management and want more experience with foreign languages.
Chinese is increasingly popular because the U.S. does a large amount of commercial trading with China.
Learning Chinese could potentially help students in the future by helping them to understand the U.S. relationship with China.
In addition to the recent demand for Chinese classes by students, the course will also help students who will major in international studies.
This will be offered as a major as of Fall 2013. The major will offer a concentration in Asian studies.
“We are hopeful that the Chinese courses will attract some of these students,” Ricardo said.
Reginald Heefner will teach Chinese 101. Heefner has a bachelor’s degree in Chinese language.
Heefner is also currently pursuing a master’s degree from Middlebury College.
He has also received training at SU in foreign language teaching methods and is trained in teaching standards mandated by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
Chinese 101 will essentially serve as a test run this fall.
If the course is popular and the course goals are reached, the department of modern languages intends on submitting a proposal to offer the course on a permanent basis.
They intend to offer classes up to Chinese 103 in the future.
The Modern Language Department will gauge the level of success by measuring students’ level of competency.
The goal is that at the end of Chinese 101, the students will be at least novice-mid level.
This way, they can move to Chinese 102 and attain novice-high. They will then move on to Chinese 103 to reach intermediate-low.