Elementary Chinese language courses offered for first time in school’s history

October 8, 2013
Eileen Wu

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — For the first time in University of Wisconsin-Platteville history, students will be able to enroll in and receive credit for elementary Chinese language courses. Chinese Language, or Chinese 1540, is being taught at the university through an agreement between the UW-Platteville Department of Humanities and Confucius Institute, and counts as the first course in a sequence that will satisfy the general education requirement for the foreign languages. 

The goal of this course is to educate students in basic spoken Mandarin and written Chinese language. Students will also have access to the added support of language and cultural events and tutoring from scholars at the Confucius Institute.

Both this course and the next course in the sequence, Chinese 1640, will be offered next semester as well. Having the four-credit Chinese course gives students an alternative to learning Spanish, French and German.

Eileen Wu, Distinguished Scholar and Chinese instructor at UW-Platteville, teaches the new courses. She has also taught non-credit courses in Chinese language for the Confucius Institute and has many years of experience teaching at the college level in China. Wu described the non-credit courses she’s taught at UW-Platteville as “an entertaining and educational outlet for individuals unfamiliar with Chinese culture and language.”

UW-Platteville’s Confucius Institute, established in 2008, is part of an international network of more than 700 Confucius institutes and Confucius classrooms dedicated to enhancing the understanding of the Chinese language and culture around the world. It is the only Confucius Institute in Wisconsin and is also the only Confucius Institute with a partnership with one of the six Universities for Nationalities in China, which are under the administration of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission.

The Confucius Institute sponsors a variety of events celebrating the Chinese culture. One example is the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, which was held in the Nohr Art Gallery on Sept. 16. This festival is a celebration of the full moon and gave students the opportunity to learn Chinese traditions through various stories and sample moon cakes, a traditional Chinese baked good.

Contact: Dr. Terry Burns, Department of Humanities, (608) 342-1880, burnst@uwplatt.edu

Written by: Julian Robinson, student intern, Department of the Humanities, robinsonju@uwplatt.edu



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