Chinese BA

Program Purpose


The Chinese major is a liberal arts program that is designed to develop competence in the Chinese language, literature, and culture. It is designed to serve students who wish to develop an appreciation for Chinese life and society through the language and culture and to develop practical Chinese language skills that may be used for professional purposes. Students in this program develop a sensitivity for and understanding of the peoples of the Chinese speaking world. In so doing students also gain a greater understanding of their own language and cultural heritage. The program is also designed to broaden the thinking and perceptions of students as well as to better understand the contributions and diversity of other peoples. As part of the College of Humanities, the minor seeks to foster an understanding of and respect for the meaning and significance of life as a Chinese. The program also seeks to provide a spiritual foundation for Chinese studies in light of scriptural injunctions to gain 'knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms' (Doctrine and Covenants 88:79) and to 'study and learn, and become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues, and people' (Doctrine and Covenants 90:15).

Curricular Structure

Program MAP and the program's Catalog description: See attached sheets. The Chinese major serves those who have had prior experience in Chinese speaking communities as well as those who are beginning their Chinese language training. During the first two years of instruction returned missionaries are segregated from other students in order to maximize the learning experience. The courses offered and the extracurricular programs at BYU all contribute to the stated goals. Description of co-curricular activities designed to support program goals. Study Abroad at Nanjing University, People's Republic of China The BYU Chinese Section of the Department of Asian & Near Eastern Languages has a long and well established relationship with Nanjing University beginning in 1985. Nanjing University is recognized as one of the top three comprehensive universities in the People's Republic of China. Up until 2003 we maintained an eight week Spring Term program. Beginning in 2004 we discontinued the Spring program and instituted a Fall Semester study abroad program. This expanded program will better serve our students. Student enrollments in the past have ranged from 12-28 students. Students are expected to have at least two years of college level Chinese before applying for this program. Internships For the past six years or so, we have had a relationship with China Regal Cruises in the People's Republic of China. Through the Kennedy Center have sent students to work on cruise ships on the Yangtze River. This has proven to be a challenging, yet rewarding and enriching experience for our students. Over the years students have also participated in a variety of internships in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the People's Republic of China. Often these internships are 'one-time' arrangements. Chinese Flagship Program Four years ago the Chinese Section was awarded a substantial grant from the National Security Education Program of the U.S. government. The purpose of the program is to train students in a variety of disciplines (i.e. political science, history, the sciences, business, etc.) how to function at the advanced/superior level (ACTFL scale, 3/3 FSI scale) within that discipline. Generous scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis. Flagship students generally spend a year on campus in intensive Chinese training, then spend a year in China. The first semester is spent with our existing Study Abroad Program, and the next 4-8 months is spent in an internship related to their field of study. The initial grant has been renewed indefinitely. Foreign Language Student Residence (FLSR) The Chinese House has been a component of the Chinese program for a number of years. Students living in the Chinese House are required to speak the target language exclusively. The program has proven a valuable experience, especially for those lacking experience living in a Chinese speaking community. The FLSR consists of several apartments, each housing five students and one native speaker who participates in all activities including home work, family home evenings, cultural presentations, shopping, and evening meals. Participants make measurable progress in vocabulary, oral fluency, and listening comprehension. Chinese Culture Night Activities Chinese cultural activities are held once or twice a month and may include Chinese films at International Cinema, presentations of other feature films or documentaries about China, guest speakers, cultural demonstrations, and so on. The purpose of these activities is to acquaint students with a variety of aspects of Chinese culture. It has been shown that interest in Chinese cultural issues increases motivation in the language classroom. Chinese Speech Contest An annual speech contest is held to recognize the achievements of our Chinese language students. Students participate at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Entertainment such as skits, comedy, music, and so on is also performed in Chinese.

Major Academic Plan

Undergraduate Catalog

Learning Outcomes


Oral Proficiency (Speaking and Listening)

Speak and comprehend Mandarin Chinese at the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Advanced-Mid level, demonstrating both an ability to negotiate face-to-face interactions in linguistically, socially, and culturally appropriate ways (direct measures 1 and 7) and an ability to listen to and comprehend the main points of spoken Chinese including television and radio news broadcasts at an advanced level (direct measures 2 and 7). 

Courses that Contribute: CHIN 101 CHIN 102 CHIN 112 CHIN 201 CHIN 202 CHIN 211R CHIN 301 CHIN 302 CHIN 311R CHIN 321 CHIN 326 CHIN 347 CHIN 377 CHIN 399R CHIN 443 CHIN 444 CHIN 490R
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Competence
Reading and Writing Proficiency

Read a variety of formal and informal genres of writing at the ACTFL advanced-mid level (direct measure 3) and write notes, correspondence, and short essays at the ACTFL intermediate high level while demonstrating an awareness of literary Chinese writing conventions (direct measure 4). 

Courses that Contribute: CHIN 101 CHIN 102 CHIN 112 CHIN 201 CHIN 202 CHIN 301 CHIN 302 CHIN 321 CHIN 322 CHIN 325 CHIN 326 CHIN 347 CHIN 377 CHIN 399R CHIN 443 CHIN 444 CHIN 490R CHIN 495
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Competence
Analyze Chinese Culture, Literature and Language

Be able to analyze and discuss core aspects of Chinese civilization including classical Chinese language and literature, modern and contemporary Chinese literature and film, Chinese culture, and the Chinese language. (Direct Measures 5 and 6 and Indirect Measure 2) 

Courses that Contribute: CHIN 101 CHIN 102 CHIN 200R CHIN 201 CHIN 202 CHIN 211R CHIN 301 CHIN 302 CHIN 311R CHIN 321 CHIN 325 CHIN 326 CHIN 327 CHIN 343 CHIN 344 CHIN 345R CHIN 346 CHIN 347 CHIN 377 CHIN 399R CHIN 441 CHIN 442 CHIN 443 CHIN 444 CHIN 490R CHIN 495
Linked to BYU Aims: Human knowledge, Competence

Evidence of Learning


Assessment Tools

Direct Measures

1. ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) test administered to students in senior seminar capstone. (Outcome 1)

2. ACTFL-BYU Chinese Listening Test administered to students in senior seminar capstone. (Outcome 1)

3. ACTFL-BYU Chinese Reading Test administered to students in senior seminar capstone. (Outcome 2)

4. ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) administered to students in senior seminar capstone. (Outcome 2)

5. Senior seminar capstone paper. (Outcome 3)

6. Projects, papers, and/or examinations for courses in classical Chinese literature (343, 346, 441, and 442), modern and contemporary Chinese literature and film (342, 344, 443, and 444), Chinese culture (345R), and Chinese language and linguistics (325, 326, and 377). (Outcome 3)

7. End of program exit interview. (Outcomes 1-3)

Indirect Measures

1. Exit survey with questions listing each learning outcome and asking on a scale of 1-7 to what extent each outcome was achieved. The survey will be administered to graduating seniors as part of the senior capstone seminar (outcomes 1-3).

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement


At the department level, the Executive Committee, which consists of the five language Section Heads (Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, and Korean), serves as the department Curriculum Committee. The Department Chair serves also as Chair of the Curriculum Committee. In addition to frequent, unscheduled communications, the faculty of each language section meet regularly under the direction of the Section Head, and the department Executive/Curriculum Committee meets once each month under the direction of the Department Chair. Curriculum review is a regular item on the agenda of meetings at both the section and department level. The Teacher Development Committee, which sponsors teacher development presentations and coordinates the peer review of teaching, also addresses issues related to curricular objectives and assessment. We are in the process of revising benchmark assessment tools used in the past (e.g. a test given to all who complete the minor) and we are exploring additional measures to be completed by each learner at entry and exit. Individual faculty members carry out assignments relating to curricular changes. We are looking at ways to formalize the tracking process. Curriculum review takes place on an ongoing basis, at both the section and department levels, as described above. Initiatives for curriculum change have come both from the Executive/Curriculum Committee and from within individual language programs. Curriculum change proposals are developed and approved at the section level, reviewed and approved at the department level by the Executive/ Curriculum Committee and the Department Chair, and forwarded each fall semester to the College Curriculum Committee. Proposals approved at the college level are then sent to the University Curriculum Committee for approval and inclusion in the catalog.