21F.102 / 21F.152 Chinese II (Regular)

Spring 2006

Canal in Suzhou, 1982.
Canal in Suzhou, 1982. (Image courtesy of Julian K. Wheatley.)

Course Highlights

This course features a downloadable textbook in the readings section, audio lectures in study materials, and extensive information about test materials in the assignments section.

Course Description

This subject is the second semester of two that form an introduction to modern standard Chinese, commonly called Mandarin. Though not everyone taking this course will be an absolute beginner, the course presupposes only 21F.101/151, the beginning course in the sequence. The purpose of this course is to develop: (a) basic conversational abilities (pronunciation, fundamental grammatical patterns, common vocabulary, and standard usage); (b) basic reading skills (in both the traditional character set and the simplified); (c) an understanding of the way the Chinese writing system is structured, and the ability to copy and write characters; and (d) a sense of what learning a language like Chinese entails, and the sort of learning processes that it involves, so students are able to continue studying effectively on their own.

The main text is J. K. Wheatley's Learning Chinese: A Foundation Course in Mandarin, part II (unpublished, but available online). (Part I of the book forms the basis of 21F.101/151, which is also published on OpenCourseWare.)

Chinese Sequence on OCW

OpenCourseWare now offers a complete sequence of four Chinese language courses, covering beginning to intermediate levels of instruction at MIT. They can be used not just as the basis for taught courses, but also for self-instruction and elementary-to-intermediate review.

The four Chinese subjects provide the following materials: an online textbook in four parts, J. K. Wheatley's Learning Chinese: A Foundation Course in Mandarin; audio files of the main conversational and narrative material in this book; and syllabi and day-by-day schedules for each term. The four course sites also have links to a downloadable tutorial program, called flashCube, which offers a handy package of functions for learning textbook material outside of class.

Chinese I (Spring 2006) 21F.101/151
Chinese II (Spring 2006) 21F.102/152
Chinese III (Fall 2005) 21F.103
Chinese IV (Spring 2006) 21F.104

Special Features

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .mp3.

Microsoft® Internet Explorer (version 5.0+) on Microsoft® Windows®:
From VIEW menu select Encoding...Chinese Simplified.

Netscape® (version 7.0+) on Microsoft® Windows®:
From VIEW menu, select Character Coding...Chinese Simplified.

Microsoft® Internet Explorer (version 5.0+) on Macintosh® OS 9 or X:
From VIEW menu select Character Set...Chinese Simplified.

Netscape® (version 7.0+) on Macintosh® OS 9 or X:
From VIEW menu select Character Coding...Chinese Simplified.

Safari on Macintosh® OS X:
From VIEW menu select Text Encoding...Chinese Simplified.

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Julian K. Wheatley

Course Meeting Times

Four sessions / week
1 hour / session


Undergraduate / Graduate

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