It is the Chinese Language Center's philosophy that you cannot isolate a language from the culture that lies behind it. Therefore, our aim with cultural courses is to bring students into contact with a variety of aspects of Chinese culture in a lively and active way.
We ultimately hope that some students may develop a lasting interest in one of the many facets of this culture.
Our program offers nine levels of Mandarin (Level 1 - 9). We place great emphasis on the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing in all of our required classes. To further cater your individual needs, we offer numerous electives, ranging from Taiwanese, Simplified Characters. Business Chinese and Word Processing, to Chinese Literature, Chinese History and Culture, which will enable you to have a total educational experience that is tailor-made for you. We use Modern Chinese as the main textbooks for study, and we mainly focus on traditional Chinese characters.
Here is a complete list of our course titles. The courses opened each quarter are determined upon the feedback provided by our students in our questionnaire.
More About Cultural Courses
More About Other Courses
More About Cultural Courses
More About Other Courses
More About Cultural Courses
More About Other Courses
No living room is complete without it, each local museum has at least a few rooms filled with them. One of the unique features of Chinese is the pride its users take in the written form of their language. The four treasures of study (brush, paper, ink stick and ink slab) are still today an important subject from elementary school through high school and far beyond them. This course teaches you the basics of calligraphy, the highly-valued art of writing.
Though very different from its western counterpart, Chinese traditional painting plays an equally important role in the world of Chinese art. This course will introduce some of the basic themes: flowers, bamboo, landscapes, animals and their symbolism, while students get a chance to try their hands at their own work of art.
Chinese Knotting or Chinese Macrame
Based on over a dozen basic knots, Chinese macrame has evolved from the purely practical to an intricate craft. Originally used to decorate sedan chairs, parasols, dresses, mirrors and fans of the upper class, macrame has known a revival since the 1980s when new variations on the old theme of knotting were added.
An essential tool in the daily life of every Chinese person, standard name chops can be machine made, though the real thing is always carved by hand. Both the material and the calligraphic carving are important to produce a fine chop. In this course you will get the tools and the professional advice to produce your very personal signature in stone or wood.
Originally a royal pastime, closely linked to the invention of paper, paper cutting evolved into a widely popular folk art that at its best combines the features of Chinese painting, embroidery and sculpting.
Rice Dough Figures
Using dough made of water, wheat, glutinous rice flour, salt and food coloring and a small wooden stick, a skilled folk artist can create vivid miniatures of storybook characters and animals. Participants in this course may try out their own skills at animals or their own creations.
Without a proper introduction any Chinese opera may end up to be a long-winded affair in which heavily made-up characters sing and recite lines that no one understands, actresses use their fans and sleeves in curious ways, young guys do neck-breaking acrobatics, while a seemingly makeshift orchestra makes a lot of noise. This course may help you to understand that behind this theatrical facade lies a synthesis of music, dance, art and acrobatics.
Chinese Music and Musical Instruments
The pentatonic structure of Chinese music makes it very distinctive from its western counterpart. Starting with the music that accompanied the rituals in the time of Confucius, music has developed into a vehicle for a wide range of feelings.
Examples of the four kinds of instruments (blown, bowed, plucked and struck) will be introduced.
Taiwanese Opera and Puppet Theater
Quite distinct from its Beijing-originated counterpart, Taiwanese opera has always kept a more populist characteristic. The teacher will explain how its rules are as complex and the acting as demanding to the actors as in Chinese opera.
Taiwanese puppet theater got renewed interest from the West since the movie The Puppet Master (Hou Xiao-xian) won international acclaim (Jury Prize, Cannes, 1993). This course will introduce the basic rules and the different heroes and villains of Taiwanese puppet theater.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
With a tradition of over 2,000 years, Chinese medicine is an art in itself. Just walk into a traditional herbal pharmacy and be amazed by about the content of all the drawers, vials and jars behind the counter. Our specialist will introduce the principles of a healthy diet and acupuncture.
Regarded as the most valuable of the precious stones, jade has often been regarded as an everlasting symbol of Chinese civilization. The teacher will explain some of the essential qualities of good jade, while you get to see and touch old pieces of jade that date back to as early as the Shang dynasty.
Feng shui and Qi are some of the most typical Chinese concepts gradually finding more and more followers in the west. It is all about being aware and in tune with yourself and your environment: the combination of interior and exterior space, light, sounds, smells, materials, furniture arrangement, etc. and how they affect your mental and physical energy. Learn to understand the philosophy of feng shui and how everything has qi or the ability to affect you.
Estimated at over 5,000 spread all over the island, temples are a typical cultural feature, with a broad variety of architectural styles. Ranging from Buddhist to Taoist to ancestral and folk religion, and to be found everywhere from the city to the countryside, temples are an essential part of the Taiwanese landscape. Our architecture expert will explain the different styles and the meaning of the folk culture elements that are applied to decorate the temples
Chinese and Taiwanese Cinema
Asian movies have come a long way: from the standard kung fu flicks with badly synchronized sound and no storyline at all to the worldwide success, both artistically (Red Sorghum, Raise the Red Lantern, Farewell to my Concubine, City of Sadness) and commercially (The Wedding Banquet, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Our expert will illustrate the importance of the Fifth Generation in the Mainland, the New Wave in Hong Kong and Urbanism in Taiwan.
Whether you are very rational or not, it is hard to deny that fortune tellers and soothsayers play a role in most societies in whatever form it may be. This course will initiate you in the different kinds of Chinese fortune telling: the Chinese zodiac, the eight diagrams, feng shui, face reading and palm reading. So make sure you have washed your hands before you come to class, or you will never know clearly what the future holds in store for you.
In a civilization where people meet each other with the question Have you eaten yet?, food cannot but play an all-important role. This course will give you real hands-on experience with the preparation of a classical Chinese dish, namely fresh spring rolls.
Mahjong is a game that evolved from two popular Chinese games, a domino game invented during the Northern Song Dynasty (1120 A.D.) and a card game (called Ma Diao) that was very popular during the Qing Dynasty (1644 –1911 A.D.). Right now it's a game that is traditionally played around Chinese New Year. The basic rules of a good mahjong game will be explained and illustrated.
Traditional Tea Ritual
Wherever Chinese people gather, there will be some kind of tea close at hand. A civilization that has produced an extensive compendium called the Tea Classic as early as 780 AD, regards this brew as its national drink. Sample some of the tea that our teacher will serve you in the traditional style and learn about the different qualities of each flavor.
Chinese Chess (Xiang qi)
According to recent research, both Xiang qi and Backgammon evolved from an ancient Chinese game called Liu bo that was invented some 3,500 years ago. This predecessor of Western chess, with its palace, elephants, guards, and cannons, is easy to learn, but difficult to play. The teacher will initiate you in the basic movements and some strategies.
Often misinterpreted as a kind of martial arts only that allows one to be a bully, Chinese kung fu is much more than that, because there is a basic distinction between internal and external kung fu. Whereas most western athletes reach their zenith somewhere in their early thirties, kung fu can be practiced by both young and old alike. This course will introduce the basics of different styles of kung fu.
Required courses focus on all four skills, introducing new characters, vocabulary items and grammatical patterns, while giving you a chance to practice all of these in a variety of ways. These courses use “Modern Chinese” as the main text for study.
Whether it is for required or for elective courses, the Language Center systematically tries to use up to date text materials and, when avaliable, audio-visual components. A copy fo all of these materials is available at the resource library in the office for your review.
For electives, you can choose freely in any combination from the same level as the required course or one level higher or lower, as long as the total of weekly hours doesn't exceed 15. For example, if you are in Level 4, you can select electives in levels 3, 4, and 5. That's more than 6 electives to choose from!
Be prepared to spend a significant amount of time outside the classroom in order to be able to learn effectively. Elective courses cover a very wide range; you can choose courses focusing on pronunciation, radicals, newspapers, Chinese literature, history, philosophy, customs and traditions, computing skills, Taiwanese, simplified characters and others.
Our first week, the course selection period, is a little different from other programs. This is a time for you to roam around and sit in different electives to see what best fits your needs. Talk to teachers and your fellow classmates to get a better feel of each course. We don't want you to sign up for a course merely on the title of it, sit in and get a feel of it.
Our program is divided into two time sections: mornings and afternoons.
Depending on your level, your courses will be either in the mornings or the afternoons.
Each class is 2- hours long.
Mornings (8am – 10am): Levels 1–9 Required Courses
(10am – 12am): Levels 1 –9 Electives Courses
Required Class on Friday morning will finish at 11 :00
Afternoons(1pm – 3pm): Levels 1– 5 Required Courses
Required Class on Friday afternoon will finish at 16 :00
This course features emphasizing abilities of listening and speaking, and topics of teaching are based on ordinary Chinese, and focus on communication in order to make students apply what they have learned. By learning real life Chinese, it raises students’ interest towards Chinese, which makes learning Chinese more fun.
The topics include society, shopping, diet, transportation, house rental, culture, entertainment, etc. With practical topic discussion, interesting interaction and communication, and familiar atmosphere, students are able to learn Chinese happily with our professional teachers.
This course offers 4 levels of Mandarin, and 100 units. Each student is required to take 15 hours of classes per week, and there are 11 weeks of a term. The class time starts from 13:00 to 16:00, from Monday to Friday.
Except using Speaking Mandarin in 1000 Words as the main text for study, teachers will take students out of classroom to practice Chinese according to different topics. Students will be charged other fee, which depends on situations.
2022 Tutorial Hour For Winter Term / 2022冬季班諮詢時間
Our teachers offer Tutorial Hour to assist students with any or many problems, including personal, tutorial, educational, or otherwise.
It’s from 10:00 to 12:00 on Tuesdays. We hope you will all find this very helpful.