Syllabus

Course Description

This course is a sequel to 21F.113 Chinese V (Streamlined). It is designed to further help students develop sophisticated conversational, reading and writing skills by combining authentic reading and audio-visual material with their own explorations of Chinese speaking societies, using the human, literary, and electronic resources available at MIT, in the Boston area and on the web. Some special features of Chinese societies, cultures and customs will be introduced. The class consists of readings, discussion, student presentations and network exploration. The course is conducted in Mandarin.

Required Learning Materials

  1. Authentic reading materials in Chinese (You will obtain all the materials from the instructor. Students, including listeners, will be asked to pay for Xerox costs at the end of the semester.)

  2. Films

Grading

A = 100-94; A- = 93-90; B+ = 89-87; B = 86-83; B- = 82-80; C+ = 79-77; C = 76-73; C- = 72-70; D = 69-60; F = 59-0

ACTIVITIES PERCENTAGES
Class Performance 20% (Attendance 5%, Promptness 3%, Preparedness 5%, and Participation 7%)
Written Assignments 30% (Exercises will be posted on the server)
5 Bi-weekly Quizzes 20%
6 Presentations 15% (5-minute presentations)
Final Essay and Presentation 15% (A 5-page double-spaced typewritten essay using Microsoft® Word; 16-point font and 1-inch margins. 10-minute presentation. Instructions on how to input Chinese characters using pinyin will be posted on the server.)

Attendance and promptness is assumed; more than three unexcused absences (a week's worth) lowers your grade one letter; significant lateness will add up to absences. Absences will count as excused only if you provide a doctor's note or a note from your academic advisor to the instructor.

In the interest of fairness, late written assignments will be graded down 2 (of 10) points for each day overdue.

There are no make-ups for quizzes. If you cannot make the quizzes on time, you should talk to the instructor to make arrangements for you to take the quizzes before your classmates do.

Other factors may come in to play, eg. improvement versus stagnation or deterioration over the course of the semester, and progress relative to starting level.

There is no final examination this semester.

Advice on Approaching the Class

Engaging in a language class should not feel like a chore that you resent having to perform. If it does, you should probably do some serious thinking about why you are enrolled. A language, foreign or semi-native, is a discipline to be studied with attention and dedication. It requires a high level of concentration, and a systematic, steady approach. It is, in fact, a never-ending process, which involves a consistent accumulation of data (vocabulary) to be applied within a complex framework (grammar). As such, learning a language is often frustrating and so it should be dealt with patiently. But the results provide lifelong satisfaction. If you approach this course by wondering how little work you can do and still get by, or if you approach this course by thinking only about what grade you are getting instead of what you are learning, then you will not succeed. If, however, you approach this class with dedication and a positive attitude, I guarantee that you will be rewarded with the satisfaction that comes from the genuine acquisition of knowledge and skill.