The Chinese Language education at Fei Tian combines Chinese language and culture study that has been systematically organized into many levels. Courses range from beginning level reading and speaking of Chinese to advanced reading of ancient Chinese texts and essay writing. Students are placed in an appropriate level class, irrespective of their grade level, as determined by their abilities in the four modalities of speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
Beginning Chinese & Elementary Chinese
Some of the students in these courses have little or no background in Chinese. Others may be what are called “heritage speakers:” overseas Chinese who are not entirely new to the language and may understand the Chinese that is spoken at home but have little or no literacy. The Beginning and Elementary series of courses introduce and reinforce basic literacy skills across the four modalities: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. These courses give a basic overview of different tones and pronunciation, vocabulary, and skills in reading and writing. Students practice their Chinese through teacher-led or group listening and speaking activities. By the end of this level, students are expected to be able to recognize about 500 Chinese words and be able to write at least a few hundred words. Students must take a basic level Chinese language proficiency exam at the end of the course in order to proceed to the next level.
Intermediate Chinese further develops students’ speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. The goal is to have students reach an intermediate level of proficiency in the language. The language experience is enriched by supplementary materials including videos, newspapers and magazines, and songs as well as Chinese language learning software and online materials. Upon completion of these courses, students should have mastered a vocabulary of about 800 words.
This course series will continue to build the students’ speaking, reading, and writing skills and take them to a higher level of sophistication in the language. The courses at this level are conducted almost entirely in Chinese. Upon completion of this level, students should have mastered a vocabulary of about 1,500 words and can be considered fluent in the language. Students at this level begin to develop their academic Chinese skills. They read original texts and examine the meaning and impact of their readings within the Chinese cultural tradition.
This course series focuses on the ancient style of language used in traditional Chinese texts and poetry. Students are considered highly advanced at this stage. In the Elementary Classical Chinese courses, students study various examples of classic Chinese literature, such as Journey to the West and Romance of the Three Kingdoms as well as the works of traditional Chinese sages. Emphasis is placed on further refining writing skills so that students may express themselves with clarity and precision in the Chinese language.