This course is an introduction to the great language of China, Putonghua. There is no pre- requisite to this initial class. The diligent student will learn the tonal system of Chinese language, Pinyin text, and Simplified Chinese characters. S/he will develop a basic vocabulary featured in chapters designed to teach practicable spoken Chinese. At the same time the student will begin to learn the fundamentals of Chinese grammar. Classroom usage and focused sessions with a private tutor (at least twice a week outside of class time) will assist the student in gaining some basic comfort with the language.
Approximately 25% of class time will be devoted to illustration, practice and memorization of characters. Reading aloud in Chinese language will account for another 25% of the class. Practicing the Writing of Chinese will account for about 12% of the class and Listening to the teacher will consume about 13% of the class.
In the cycle of two weeks devoted to mastering one chapter there will be 2 quizzes on vocabulary and 1 quiz on grammar.
In completing these Four major tasks of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing the student will discover how totally different is this language. S/he will begin to appreciate how a quasi- imagistic language displaces an alphabetic phonetic language. Ordering food, getting to a local destination, bargaining in a shop will be a success moment for the student.