Chinese Language and Literature Courses

This course is designed for students who are of non-Chinese origin and were not raised in a Chinese-speaking environment; or who are of Chinese origin but do not speak Chinese and whose parents do not speak Chinese. The course develops beginning learners’ functional language ability—the ability to use Mandarin Chinese in linguistically and culturally appropriate ways at the beginning level. It helps students acquire communicative competence in Chinese while sensitizing them to the links between language and culture. The Hanyu Pinyin (a Chinese Romanization system) and simplified characters are introduced.

Note: For students who: 1) are of non-Chinese origin and were not raised in a Chinese-speaking environment; or 2) are of Chinese origin but do not speak any dialect of Chinese and whose parents do not speak any dialect of Chinese. Students are responsible for enrolling in the appropriate level and section. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped. All Chinese 1A students are required to attend a weekly half hour tutorial. The required tutorial sections will be scheduled once classes begin.

The course is designed for students who are of non-Chinese origin and were not raised in a Chinese-speaking environment, or who are of Chinese origin but do not speak Chinese and whose parents do not speak Chinese. The course continues to focus on training students in the four language skills--speaking, listening, reading, and writing with a gradually increasing emphasis on basic cultural readings and developing intercultural competence.

Note: Prerequisite of Chinese 1A. If you have not taken Chinese 1A, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class. All Chinese 1B students are required to attend a weekly half hour tutorial. The required tutorial sections will be scheduled once classes begin.

This course is designed specifically for Mandarin heritage students who possess speaking skill but little or no reading and writing skills in Chinese. The course utilizes students’ prior knowledge of listening and speaking skills to advance them to the intermediate Chinese proficiency level in one semester. Close attention is paid to meeting Mandarin heritage students’ literacy needs in meaningful contexts while introducing a functional vocabulary and a systematic review of structures through culturally related topics. The Hanyu Pinyin (a Chinese Romanization system) and traditional/simplified characters are introduced.

Note: For students who: 1) were born in a non-Chinese speaking country but were raised in a home where Mandarin (or Mandarin and another dialect) was spoken but possess little or no reading and writing skills in Chinese; or 2) were born in a Chinese-speaking country and received zero or limited formal education in that country up to the second grade. All students must take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped.

The second of a two-semester sequence introducing students to Chinese literature in translation. In addition to literary sources, a wide range of philosophical and historical texts will be covered, as well as aspects of visual and material culture. 7B focuses on late imperial, modern, and contemporary China. The course will focus on the development of sound writing skills.

This course is designed for students who are of non-Chinese origin and were not raised in a Chinese-speaking environment, or who are of Chinese origin but do not speak Chinese and whose parents do not speak Chinese. The course deals with lengthy conversations as well as narrative and descriptive texts in both simplified and traditional characters. It helps students to express themselves in speaking and writing on a range of topics and raises their awareness of the connection between language and culture to foster the development of communicative competence.

Note: Prerequisite of Chinese 1B. If you have not taken Chinese 1B, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class. All Chinese 10A students are required to attend a weekly half hour tutorial. The required tutorial sections will be scheduled once classes begin.

This course continues to develop students’ literacy and communicative competence through vocabulary and structure expansion dealing with topics related to Chinese heritage students’ personal experiences. Students are guided to express themselves on complex issues and to connect their language knowledge with real world experiences.

Note: Prerequisite of Chinese 1X. If you have not taken Chinese 1X, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class.

This course helps students further develop their linguistic and cultural competence in Mandarin Chinese. It trains students to use Mandarin more appropriately and confidently in speaking, reading, and writing. With the expanded repertoire of Chinese language use and the increased awareness of the differences between cultures and subcultures, students are equipped to negotiate their way in an intercultural environment.

Note: Prerequisite of Chinese 1Y. If you have not taken Chinese 1Y, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class. All Chinese 10Y students are required to attend a weekly half hour tutorial. The required tutorial sections will be scheduled once classes begin.

This course continues the development of critical awareness by emphasizing the link between socio-cultural literacy and a higher level of language competence. While continuing to expand their critical literacy skills, students interpret texts related to Chinese popular culture, social change, cultural traditions, politics and history. Through linguistic and cultural comparisons, students understand more about people in the target society and themselves as well as about the power of language in language use to enhance their competence in operating between languages and associated cultures.

Note: Prerequisite of Chinese 100A. If you have not taken Chinese 100A, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class. All Chinese 100B students are required to attend a weekly half hour tutorial. The tutorial sections will be scheduled once classes begin.

This course is designed for Chinese heritage language learners who have taken Chinese 100XA or an equivalent course. It guides learners to use their Chinese language knowledge and skills to survey portions of Chinese history and society and to comprehend Chinese cultural heritage in economic and socio-political contexts. Students read and analyze texts discussing cross-strait relations, Chinese people’s basic living necessities, and their changing lifestyles and mindsets since the economic reforms in mainland China. They are also introduced to several important historical figures in modern Chinese history and to modern literary works. In addition to the continuous development of reading techniques for communicative purposes, critical reading skills in the heritage language are also developed in order to interpret subtle meanings in texts. Different styles and genres of Chinese discourses in speaking and writing are further explored along with an increasingly sophisticated vocabulary, phrases, and structures. Moreover, students are required to be able to read both simplified and traditional versions of Chinese characters. The development of critical reading and writing skills enables students to understand more about people in the target culture and themselves, about what determines values and actions, and about the power of language.

Note: Prerequisite of Chinese 100XA. If you have not taken Chinese 100XA, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class.

This course is designed for Chinese heritage language learners who have taken Chinese 100YA or an equivalent course. It guides learners to use their Chinese language knowledge and skills to survey portions of Chinese history and society and to comprehend Chinese cultural heritage in economic and socio-political contexts. Students read and analyze texts discussing cross-strait relations, Chinese people’s basic living necessities, and their changing lifestyles and mindsets since the economic reforms in mainland China. They are also introduced to several important historical figures in modern Chinese history and to modern literary works. In addition to the continuous development of reading techniques for communicative purposes, critical reading skills in the heritage language are also developed in order to interpret subtle meanings in texts. Different styles and genres of Chinese discourses in speaking and writing are further explored along with an increasingly sophisticated vocabulary, phrases, and structures. Moreover, students are required to be able to read both simplified and traditional versions of Chinese characters. The development of critical reading and writing skills enables students to understand more about people in the target culture and themselves, about what determines values and actions, and about the power of language.

Note: Prerequisite of Chinese 100YA. If you have not taken Chinese 100XA, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class. All Chinese 100YB students are required to attend a weekly half-hour tutorial. The tutorial sections will be scheduled once classes begin.

This course is designed to assist students to reach the advanced-mid level on language skills and to enhance their intercultural competence. Students read the works of famous Chinese writers. Movie adaptations of these writings are also used. In addition to reading and seeking out information, students experience readings by interpreting and constructing meanings and evaluate the effect of the language form choice.

Note: Prerequisite: Chinese 100B, 100XB, or 100YB. If you have not taken Chinese 100B, 100XB, or 100YB, to enroll in this class you must first take the online Chinese Language Placement Exam and be interviewed. Students are responsible for following the instructions at ealc.berkeley.edu to complete the placement process. They must also accurately inform instructors about their language proficiency level. Any student who enrolls in a class below his/her level will be dropped from the class.

The second half of a one-year introductory course in literary Chinese, continuing the topics from the first semester, and giving basic coverage of relevant issues in the history of the language and writing system. The use of basic reference sources is introduced.

Prerequisites: Chinese 110A

This fast-paced course is designed to help the student reach an advanced-high competence level in all aspects of modern Chinese. It prepares students for research or employment in a variety of China-related fields. Materials are drawn from native-speaker target publications, including modern Chinese literature, film, intellectual history, and readings on contemporary issues. Texts are selected according to the students’ interests. Under the instructor’s guidance, students conduct their own research projects based on specialized readings in their own fields of study. Research projects are presented both orally and in written form.

Prerequisites: Chinese 101 and Chinese 102; or consent of instructor

This seminar provides an introduction to a broad range of Tibetan Buddhist texts, including chronicles and histories, biographical literature, doctrinal treatises, canonical texts, ritual manuals, pilgrimage guides, and liturgical texts. It is intended for graduate students interested in premodern Tibet from any perspective. Students are required to do all of the readings in the original classical Tibetan. It will also serve as a tools and methods for the study of Tibetan Buddhist literature, including standard lexical and bibliographic references, digital resources, and secondary literature in modern languages. In Spring 2018, the seminar focuses on 14th century Great Perfection (rdzogs chen) literature. In particular, we will read excerpts from Rindzin Godem's influential treasure revelation, The Unimpeded Realization of Samantabhadra (kun tu bzang po'i dgongs pa zang thel). Godem's revelation started the Northern Treasures (byang gter) tradition and contributed to the final synthesis of the Great Perfection. The five volumes of The Unimpeded Realization contain a large variety of literature, so we will read texts on Dzokchen contemplation, philosophy, narratives, tantras, severance practice (gcod), liberation through wearing (btags grol) and so forth. To support our understanding of the primary sources, we will read relevant literature in English and discuss it in class, but the main focus will be on reading Tibetan texts.

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor

This course explores popular, realist, and avant-garde literature from mainland China and Taiwan since 1949. We will consider how writers have engaged with the cultural dislocations of modernity by exploring questions such as the presentation of cultural and gender identities and the politics of memory and place. Central to our discussion will be the problem of how literature not only reflects but also critically engages with historical and cultural experience through a variety of genres. A crucial aspect of this course will be the development of skills in close, critical, and historically contextualized reading.

Prerequisites: Chinese 100A or Chinese 100XA (may be taken concurrently)

This course examines the development of Confucianism in pre-modern China using a dialogical model that emphasizes its interactions with competing viewpoints. Particular attention will be paid to ritual, conceptions of human nature, ethics, and to the way that varieties of Confucianism were rooted in more general theories of value.

This seminar is an intensive introduction to various genres of Buddhist literature in classical Chinese, including translations of Sanskrit and Central Asian scriptures. Chinese commentaries, philosophical treatises, hagiographies, and sectarian works. It is intended for graduate students who already have some facility in classical Chinese. It will also serve as a tools and methods course, covering the basic reference works and secondary scholarship in the field of East Asian Buddhism. The content of the course will be adjusted from semester to semester to best accommodate the needs and interests of students.

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor

The period from the dissolution of the Eastern Han in the latter decades of the second century CE to the Sui unification in 581 witnessed the emergence of genres and discursive norms that were to become definitive for much of later tradition of elite writing, including a basic set of assumptions about the often complex relations between mastery of literary or philosophical disciplines and the exercise and projection of political or legitimacy and power. This seminar will be organized around a series of historical “nodes” (courts, salons, social cliques, or religious communities) that saw the rise of influential genres and discursive types, including the more or less definitive formulation of the principal genres of belletristic writing (much of which was also administrative/political in nature), the rise of new models of commentarial practice, a newly energized space of sectarian argument and polemic associated with the rise of organized Buddhist and Daoist communities, and the emerging systematization of the newly consolidated repertoire of literary genres as dimensions of a new language of imperial statecraft, forged particularly in the later “Northern” dynasty courts.

Prerequisite: advanced reading ability in literary Chinese.

This course examines the canonical texts of the late-imperial period, placing them in the context of literary culture of the Ming-Qing. The course focuses on a different set of texts each time it is taught; the aim is to introduce students to the primary issues in scholarship of late-imperial fiction and drama over a period of several years.