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Courses in Kunming

All students are required to take the One-on-One Tutorial and the Kunming Studies classes as well as two elective classes selected from the choices below.  All students will have 16 hours of classes per week.

Elective course offerings are based, in part, on enrollment, requireing a minimum of three students. Each course will have a maximum of 8 students. Depending on your language level, you may be required to enroll in Everyday Chinese.

(Just click on a course title below to see the course description.)

One-on-One Tutorial 一对一专题研究 (Required)

The one-on-one is designed to bring the student’s four language skills to a higher level through exploring in-depth on a topic of the student’s own choosing.  The course emphasizes discussing and exchanging ideas with the teacher, reading authentic materials, mastering the terminology related to the chosen subject, and writing well-researched essays. As they progress in their studies, students are expected to be able to discuss their subject in greater and greater detail. Students are also expected to prepare formal presentations on their subject. In their presentations, students are expected to express their ideas clearly and are to use key terminologies skillfully and appropriately. Students also write research essays, and are expected to write with clarity, accuracy, and depth. The course is also combined with topic related class trips whose frequency depends on the course topic.

4 hours per week
Texts and materials prepared by School in China faculty

Kunming Impressions 昆明印象 (Required)

The goal of this course is to help students gain a better understanding of Kunming by conducting an in-depth study on a variety of readings and field trips which cover many aspects of the city and its outlying areas, such as local businesses, the history of the region, local and provincial governments, tourism, environment, minority lives, family life, education and religion. Students will spend significant amount of time exploring topics out in the city, as well as time in the classroom working with a teacher and classmates.
4 hours per week
Texts: Reading materials compiled by Middlebury School in China

Yunnan Minorities’ Studies 少数民族研究

This course takes advantage of Kunming's diverse ethnic population of twenty-five minority ethnic groups as students become familiar with contemporary ethnographic research within Yunnan. This class will incorporate visits to villages and NGOs that work with minority groups, along with classroom discussion. The topics include religions, weddings and funerals, bilingual education, and economic impact on indigenous cultures. Advanced students only.
4 hours per week
Text: Compiled by School in China faculty

China’s Environment and Development 中国的环境与发展

This course takes advantage of Yunnan University's Institute of Ecology and Geobotany and its well-established programs in Environmental Studies for YNU students.  The course surveys environmental challenges of modern China, as well as how it confronts the country’s rapid development.  In addition to this general survey, the course pays particular attention to the particular surroundings and challenges of Yunnan Province. Students will discuss topics such as food safety, water pollution, biodiversity, clean energy, and environmental policy. Local experts will attend the class to discuss their projects and research. Advanced students only.
4 hours per week
Texts: Compiled by School in China faculty

Business Chinese 商务汉语

This course aims to enhance students' language skills in a business context and to promote their understanding about the business environment and culture in contemporary China. The text is developed from real business cases from real multinational companies that have successfully made inroads into the Chinese market.  The second part of the course will provide an overview of China's changing macro-environment, while real business cases let us examine individual Chinese companies and their development in the new millennium. By the end of the semester, students are expected to 1) enhance their cultural awareness of contemporary China and the Chinese business world; 2) gain vocabulary and fluency in Chinese in order to function more confidently and comfortably in real business settings; 3) access business news and information in Chinese; 4) give business presentation in Chinese.

Textbooks: Business Chinese for Success (成功之道), Peking University Press, 2003; Thirty Years of China Business, CITIC Press, 2007.

Introduction to Chinese Newspaper Reading 报刊阅读

In this class, students will learn the expressions and sentence patterns that are customarily used in Chinese newspapers and periodicals. Students will be trained in the basic skills required for reading Chinese newspapers. Discussion plays a key role in this class, as students will be required react to the contemporary issues they will be reading about.
4 hours per week
Text: Materials compiled by School in China faculty, additional primary source materials.

Contemporary Issues in China 当代社会话题

This class uses the popular 2009 TV series Woju 蜗居 as a background to discuss contemporary social issues. Students will discuss topics such as the real estate market, urban migration, young people’s perspectives on love, and urban modernization. This class will also teach current vocabulary and idioms, with a focus on common verbal expressions. By the end of the semester, students are expected to understand modern Chinese social issues and be able to discuss their opinions using a variety of words and sentence structures.
4 hours per week
《当代社会话题》, compiled by the School in China faculty

High Intermediate Chinese 高级汉语进阶

This course is designed to bridge the gap between the intermediate and advanced levels of Chinese and is designed specifically for those students who are less confident in communicating with locals in Chinese.  Mastering advanced-level sentence patterns and vocabulary, building a habit of speaking Chinese with good grammar, discussing contemporary social topics of China confidently, and expressing complicated ideas with ease are the goals of this class.  The classes are divided into lectures, drill sessions, and individual tutorials. 

5 hours per week
Materials selected by the faculty at each site.

Classical Chinese 古代漢語

Introduction to Classical Chinese

This course is recommended for advanced students only. The fall semester course focuses on the learning of the syntactic structure and grammatical function words in Classical Chinese. During class students translate texts of Classical Chinese into modern Chinese paying particular attention to the content and philosophical implication of each. In the spring semester students will read a wide selection of wenyan texts that sample the classics of ancient Chinese thought, including Confucius' Analects, the Daoist texts Laozi and Zhuangzi, Mohist arguments against war, Sunzi's The Art of War, and Legalist writings on law.  Students will also learn to punctuate wenyan texts (which were originally unpunctuated) and compose sentences or short paragraphs in wenyan. All class discussion will be conducted in modern Chinese.
4 hours per week
Text: Language of the Dragon, Cheng & Tsui, vol. 1 or 2, as appropriate.