Beginning Modern Chinese I

  • CHN 1011, 5 credits
  • Faculty Coordinator: Zhen Zou
  • Sponsoring U of M Department: Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Fulfills U of M Requirements: Meets U of M degree credit requirements, such as departmental major or minor requirements or elective requirements
  • Teacher Applications: Check the Applicant Handbook for details.

U of M Catalog Description

Speaking and reading modern standard Chinese through structured practice.

Class size limit: 20

Sample Syllabus

Student Qualifications

Students enrolling in CHN 1011 should be juniors or seniors in high school, have completed one or two years of Chinese language courses in junior or senior high with a very high level of work, and have the teacher’s recommendation. Qualified ninth or tenth graders may apply to enroll in CHN 1011 if they are in the top 10 percent of their class and if they have the CIS instructor’s approval.

Instructor Qualifications

Instructors apply and are selected by faculty in accordance with the U of M policy governing Academic Appointments with Teaching Functions. Once approved, an instructor is appointed as a Teaching Specialist 9754 (University Job Title and Code) in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Instructor qualifications are determined by the sponsoring University department.

View the Instructor Applicant Handbook for course-specific qualifications and application steps. 

Textbooks

CHN 1011 and 1012: Integrated Chinese, Level One, Parts One and Two, Tao-chung Yao, et. al., Cheng & Tsui Company, 2009 (3rd edition). Approximately $50.00 each through Amazon.com in 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all of the texts and readings specified or mandated by the University of Minnesota? If not, what are some of the choices?
Chinese teachers offering U of M courses through College in the Schools use the same textbooks as their counterparts teaching on the U of M campus. Teachers have choices in the supplementary materials.

Do teachers have a choice in assignments? Are there required assignments?
Teachers are required to cover the material, but they have flexibility in how they cover it. Individual teachers adjust the syllabus to fit their school’s schedule.

Who creates the exams?
CIS Chinese teachers are given lesson tests, midterms, and final exams for the designated textbook to be used in the course. Sound files of all the texts and homework, created for the learning and reviewing of class materials for each course, are provided to CIS teachers. Professional development workshops are organized to create assessment and learning materials for CIS Chinese courses. Teachers are free to modify homework materials to fit their teaching styles and program needs. 

Is there a mentoring system for Chinese teachers new to CIS?
Yes. University of Minnesota’s CIS Chinese Faculty Coordinator (Zhen Zou, zouxx009@umn.edu) mentors CIS Chinese teachers. Experienced instructors also help new teachers get accustomed to teaching the University course. Teachers frequently email one another with questions and share materials with the whole group. New teachers also benefit from an orientation that will familiarize them with the support available through CIS, as well as prepare them for administrative tasks such as registering students and posting grades.

High school class schedules vary: can a teacher in the block system teach U of M Chinese?
All courses offered through CIS have the same minimum number of contact hours as the on-campus sections. Teachers wishing to teach a U of M Chinese course on a block schedule should consult with the faculty coordinator (contact information above) to make sure this arrangement will work.

What happens at typical teacher workshops?
Typical activities at CIS workshops include hearing from University faculty and about instructors’ latest developments in research on language instruction; observing Chinese classes taught by UMN instructors and experienced CIS teachers; reviewing and/or developing student assessment materials and tools; sharing instructional materials; discussing particular content, pedagogy, or assessment of the University course; and receiving updates on CIS program policies and practices.

What happens at typical student field days?
Student field days provide an opportunity for CIS students to meet their peers, learn about the Chinese Flagship Program and scholarship opportunities at the U of M, and explore the Twin Cities campus. The  Chinese field day typically falls on China Day, organized by the U of M's China Center. Some high schools have a field day on U of M’s World Language Day. In the past, China Day included a highly renowned speaker, a visit to various U of M departments related to the study of China, or a visit to the China section of the Science Museum of Minnesota.  

High Schools Offering This Course

Highland Park Senior High School
Minnehaha Academy
Rosemount High School
South High School
Washington Technology Magnet School
White Bear Lake Area High School