UW-Platteville to offer the first credit-bearing Mandarin courses this fall

May 7, 2013

PLATTEVILLE, Wis.­­­ — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s foreign language program, in collaboration with the Confucius Institute, will allow the first credit-bearing Mandarin courses to be held this fall.

“The foreign language program has always wanted to collaborate with the Confucius Institute,” said Dr. Laura Anderson, faculty member in French. “As a group we wanted to expand our curriculum and have UW-Platteville offer a non-western language on campus.”

There will be two credit-bearing courses. The first semester course offered in the fall, Elementary Mandarin Chinese I, will be the preparation for the following course offered in the spring semester, Elementary Mandarin Chinese II, which will fulfill the general education requirement of the language competency. “We wanted to support an elementary course in the fall and an elementary course in the spring that was structured the same with the language lab component, and the same concept of testing and feedback as the rest of the foreign languages we offer,” said Anderson.

The Confucius Institute is charged with supplying the textbooks, interactive CDs and other materials. “The chosen book will offer specifically simplified character versions,” said Mei Reeder, assistant director of the UW-Platteville Confucius Institute. The Confucius Institute will also be a resource for student support.

The course is set up like any other foreign language course, which will include laboratory and lecture sections.

The foreign language program will be responsible for hiring the lecturer to teach the Mandarin course.

Mark White, lead cab design engineer for the international John Deere Excavator, explains the importance for engineers to take non-western language courses. “Part of my job is being a translator for my coworkers, but also managing projects at Chinese suppliers. For UW-Platteville engineers, being able to speak Mandarin Chinese is a crucial aspect of engineering knowledge and quality standards.”

“We want to provide students more opportunities, not just with language, but also the culture aspect, because I believe that language and culture go hand in hand,” said Reeder. “We also hope to introduce the Confucius Institute scholarship to more students on campus after the credit class has launched.”

Written by: Eileen McGuine, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194, mcguinee@uwplatt.edu


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