Students begin their introduction to Chinese by focusing on the four key areas of foreign language study: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The course represents an ideal blend of language learning pedagogy and online learning. Each unit consists of a new vocabulary theme and grammar concept, reading and listening comprehension activities, speaking and writing activities, multimedia cultural presentations, and interactive activities and practices which reinforce vocabulary and grammar. There is a strong emphasis on providing context and conversational examples for the language concepts presented in each unit. Both Chinese characters and pinyin are presented together throughout the course and specific character practices are introduced after the first quarter. Students should expect to be actively engaged in their own language learning, become familiar with common vocabulary terms and phrases, comprehend a wide range of grammar patterns, participate in simple conversations and respond appropriately to basic conversational prompts, analyze and compare cultural practices, products, and perspectives of various Chinese-speaking regions, and take frequent assessments where their language progression can be monitored.
The course has been carefully aligned to national standards as set forth by ACTFL (the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages).