Chinese is currently spoken by nearly one-fifth of the world’s population, including over one billion people speaking Chinese as their native language. Studying Chinese will prepare students for the opportunities and challenges involving the Greater China region, and to participate in the global socio-political and economic arena. Learning Chinese also opens up a unique window into one of the world’s most ancient civilizations that has roots extending more than 6000 years.
The Department of World Languages at WVU started offering Mandarin Chinese in Fall 2006. In Fall 2008, we added the Chinese Studies Major and Minor to our programs. We offer four levels of instruction in Chinese language courses ranging from beginning to advanced levels. Our language courses are culture-based and student-centered, and they are designed to enable students to become proficient in aural comprehension, speaking, reading, writing and computer word processing in Chinese. The cultural component is interspersed with the daily language studies. We also offer various courses in Chinese culture and literature to enrich the students’ knowledge of Chinese literary and intellectual history. We encourage the students, with the support of generous scholarships, to spend one or two semesters studying abroad in a Chinese-speaking country. Our goal is not only to teach the students Chinese language skills, but also to train them to understand the thoughts and behaviors of Chinese people, and to perform appropriately in a Chinese cultural context. Most importantly, we want to give the students a fun, exciting and rewarding experience learning Chinese!