The Chinese Language Program at AmherstCollege offers a coherent sequence of Mandarin Chinese courses ranging from the elementary first-year level through the advanced fourth-year classes. Open to both non-heritage and heritage students, our courses take an integrated approach to basic linguistic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Aided by digitalized technology, we emphasize pronunciation, tones, Chinese characters and the basic structure of Chinese grammar. By the end of each year, the classes achieve their specific and consistent goals with regard to the abilities of the students to command the major skills of Chinese.
Ultimately, our curriculum is designed to be academic-oriented, and it gives balanced consideration to a variety of genres of contemporary Chinese with an emphasis on reading proficiency of authentic texts. Supplemented by thesis-related special topic offerings and study-abroad opportunities, we conduct our language Program with the view of collaborating with the non-language Chinese courses, supporting senior thesis works, and promoting appreciation of Chinese culture.