Chinese 101 to be offered in the 2020 fall semester


Jordyn Franklin/The Lion's Roar

Chinese 101 is now available for students to take in the fall 2020 semester. This will be the first time the course is offered. Additional courses Chinese 102 and Chinese 314 will also be available in the future.

During the upcoming fall semester, the university will offer Elementary Mandarin Chinese 101 for the first time.

Chinese 101 is the first of two sequential courses that are designed to provide an overall proficiency in the language. Chinese 102 will be offered at a future date.

Lucia Harrison, head of the department of world languages and cultures, explained why the department decided to add the new program.

“Chinese is spoken by nearly one-fifth of the world’s population, including over one billion people speaking Chinese as their native language,” shared Harrison. “Adding Chinese to our foreign language offering will not only expose our students to one of the world’s most ancient civilizations, but will allow them opportunities to participate in the global socio-political and economic future of our society.”

Harrison mentioned that several students expressed interest in learning the language and that they approached her about the addition of Mandarin Chinese courses.

Kiara Johnson, sophomore world languages major, will be taking the class. She shared her motives for wanting to learn Mandarin Chinese.

“Not much other than the fact that is something I want to learn,” said Johnson. “I just have a passion for learning languages in general. I started off with Romance languages, but I found myself very intrigued by other Asian languages.”

While she has been teaching herself for a long time, Johnson expressed excitement for finally being able to learn the language in a classroom setting.

“I thought I was going to have to teach myself, you know, forever, and then they decided to implement this,” expressed Johnson. “I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is so perfect.’ You can teach yourself, but having someone who speaks it and will speak it to you and practicing with other people—I think that’s the most important thing for language in general.”

Johnson emphasized that Mandarin Chinese is a useful language to know. She encouraged anyone who is interested in the class to take it.

“I feel like a lot of people think that it’s more useful to know Spanish or French, but the world is bigger than Louisiana,” said Johnson. “On top of that, there’s more people who speak Mandarin than you think. You need to know how to speak this language. People just feel like it’s not important, but it’s definitely very important.”

Johnson gave advice for those who are apprehensive about learning Mandarin Chinese due to its perceived difficulty.

“Anyone can learn a language, no matter what language it is,” said Johnson. “I thought the same thing before I started learning it. It’s not ‘Oh, this is a hard language.’ It’s ‘Am I willing to put in the work? Am I willing to practice it outside of the classroom?’”

The department will also be offering Chinese 314 – Chinese Culture and Civilization. It will provide a survey of the geography, history, literature, art, music, educational system and economy of the Chinese people. Chinese 314 also fulfills the requirement of a humanities elective, which is compulsory in many majors.

To enroll in either course, students can go to LEONet and add it to their enrollment shopping cart.