Chinese Studies Course Description

Course Descriptions
First Year (First Semester)
CHS 101: Elementary Chinese
This course is an introductory course in the study of the Chinese language. It is concerned with the basic knowledge of Chinese phonetics, vocabulary, grammar and characters, which the students need to develop basic listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in the Chinese language.
CHS 103: Chinese Orthography and Pronunciation
This course is designed to deal with the problems the students are bound to encounter while writing and pronouncing the Chinese characters. There are rules that must be observed while writing and/or pronouncing the Chinese characters. The Chinese language does not have an alphabet. It only has strokes; therefore, learners must observe the acceptable sequence for writing the strokes as well as the rules for pronouncing characters formed with the strokes.
CHS 104: Listening Chinese
This course is designed to hone the listening abilities of learners of the Chinese language. It is practical based and will help the students to learn new words and expressions simultaneously. The students would be trained to distinguish the phonetic sounds of the language and also to be able to differentiate one sound from similar ones. It also incorporates listening to audios culled from short passages.
CHS 107: Early Chinese History
This course introduces the students to Chinese history— the world’s longest continuous history. It examines the historicity of the earliest dynasties (Xia, Shang and Zhou), then the two great periods of the Zhou (namely the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period), the amalgamation of China, and ends with a discussion of the dynasties that came after the amalgamation, such as the Tang, Song and Yuan dynasties. It particularly looks at the rise and fall of the dynasties, their social, political and economic organization, etc.
CHS 111: Reading Chinese
A supplementary course to CHS 101: Elementary Chinese, this course aims at improving the students’ ability to recognise and understand Chinese characters. With the aid of short stories culled from real-life situations, the students can improve their reading skills.
First Year (Second Semester)
CHS 102: Modern Chinese History
This course discusses the major historical developments in China since the Opium Wars. The specific developments discussed are: the two Opium Wars (1840-42; 1856-60), the Taiping Uprising, the Boxer Revolution (1898-1900), the May Fourth Revolution, the Xinhai Revolution (1911), the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Communist Revolution (1949). The language of instruction in the course is English.
CHS 105: Speaking/Oral Chinese
This course is supplementary to CHS 101: Elementary Chinese. It aims at using plenty of listening and oral practices to firm up students’ communicative competence (especially speaking ability) with purposive use of the characters, expressions and grammar already learnt.
CHS 109: Conversational Chinese
A supplementary course to CHS 101: Elementary Chinese, this course seeks to create real-life situations in order to help students improve their communication skills in Chinese. Through conversation practices, the students can improve their listening and speaking skills. The course is practical-biased.
CHS 112: Writing Chinese Characters
Writing is one of the four parts of Chinese language skills. It is not only the form of writing but also the basis of Chinese reading and writing. In addition, it conveys Chinese culture. By learning Chinese characters, we can understand the history as well as the developmental process of Chinese characters and experience the special beauty of Chinese characters.
CHS 113: Chinese Measure Words and Numbers
Chinese quantifiers are different from English quantifiers in different ways. This course introduces students to the usage of Chinese measure words and numerals. Most errors in the use of Chinese nouns are attributable to the wrong use of Chinese measure words and numerals. This course will help lay a solid foundation for students in Chinese.
Second Year (First Semester)
CHS 201: Introduction to Chinese Culture
The primary objective of this course is to help students appreciate Chinese culture. Chinese culture is highly resilient. Some of the topics examined are the evolution, resiliency and spread of the culture. By introducing Chinese philosophy, education, inventions, technology, architecture, literature, arts, customs, religions and cultural exchanges between China and the other countries, this course affords students the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the essence and dynamics of Chinese culture.
CHS 203: Intermediate Chinese I
The course involves the study of the oral and written Chinese literature at the intermediate level with special focus on the theoretical elements of the three genres of written Chinese literature – drama, poetry and prose and proper contextual use of the lexical items.
CHS 205: Writing Composition in Chinese
This course surveys the basic theories of composition as an art, including the rudiments of creative writing, different types of composition on selected subjects, topic development of outlines, paragraphs and their significance in the development of composition, logical arrangement of  various parts and paragraphs, and the assessment and appreciation of finished composition.
CHS 209: HSK Level 3
HSK level 3 is one of the Chinese proficiency level examinations organised and administered by the Center for Language Education and Cooperation (the Confucius Institute Headquarters, formerly Hanban). The course prepares the students for the four components of the examination—listening, speaking, reading and writing. HSK is a Chinese proficiency examination/test of non-Chinese-speaking people. It is like TOEFL and  IELTS in the English language.
CHS 211: Writing Comprehension in Chinese
This course surveys the theories of writing fast and accurate understanding. Students practise by reading selected passages, chapters, books and other materials as well as answering questions in the context of works.
Second Year (Second Semester)
CHS 202: Introduction to Chinese Grammar
This course focuses on the rudiments of grammar and sentence patterns and structures of the Chinese language. At the end of the course, students should be able to make sentences in Chinese, that are free from grammatical errors.
CHS 204: Intermediate Chinese II
This is a continuation of CHS 203: Intermediate Chinese I. The aim is to broaden the scope of students’ understanding of the theoretical elements of the three genres of written Chinese literature (drama, poetry and prose) as well as the proper contextual use of the lexical items.
CHS 207: Writing Chinese Essay
Writing is one of the four Chinese language skills. It shows the level of one’s proficiency in Chinese. By learning how to write Chinese essays, one can understand the skills required to construct meaningful essays in Chinese.
CHS 210: Introduction to Chinese Literature
This course glances at pre-modern Chinese literature, focusing on the literature species typical and  representative of different dynasties, for instance, the mystery in remote times, the poetry in the Tang Dynasty, the Ci Poetry in the Song Dynasty, and the prose in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
CHS 212: Practical Translation
This course aims at introducing some foreign language translation theories, especially Chinese-English translation theory, by taking many practices of Chinese-English oral interpretation and written translation. The goal is to enhance the employability of students by deepening their understanding of foreign language translation theories and improve their Chinese-English translation ability.
Third Year (First Semester)
CHS 301: Advanced Chinese I
This course, which is about registers, requires that students learn about 600 technical/specialist new words and their grammatical usage especially in written documentaries or spoken language. It also helps to improve the students’ comprehension reading ability through reading assignments. It is expected that students will be able to read comprehensions within given time frame and also be able to summarize same. Students are also expected to write compositions with the new words to ensure their correct usage in writing.
CHS 303: Advanced Listening Chinese
This course involves a comprehensive development and improvement of Chinese language learners’ listening ability and interest in learning Chinese. Students can attain higher level of learning by hearing content close to the life of the Chinese people, all-round display of contemporary Chinese social life, exploring scientific training system of listening skills, giving prominence to the listening skills of single, double and comprehensive training, taking hearing elements and content of understanding of the practice, deepen the listening skills training.
CHS  304:  Advanced Spoken Chinese
This course builds on CHS 105: Speaking/Oral Chinese, dealing with oral spoken content close to the Chinese everyday life and all-round display of the oral communication of social life in contemporary China. It involves practical exercises, geared towards improving and deepening the spoken language skills training, which is needed to create room for the students to achieve a high level of spoken Chinese.
CHS 306: Survey of China
This course is designed to be a primer on China. It glances at the “facts and figures” of China—geography (location, landmass, climate and natural resources), population (ethnic groups, ethnic policies, demography, population policies), beliefs and cultures, educational policies, social/political/economic organization, membership of international organisations, etc.
CHS 311: Modern Chinese Grammar
This course embraces advanced grammatical functions and usages and the Chinese language expressions with emphasis on grammatical analysis of lexical and syntactic items of the Chinese sentence structures. Detailed and comparative analysis of Chinese grammatical structure and behaviour are taught in this course.
CHS 313: Survey of Chinese Economy
This course discusses the salient issues in Chinese economy since 1949—the advent of planned economy, the Great Leap Forward, the reforms by Deng Xiaoping, market-oriented economy, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), township-village enterprises (TVEs), foreign direct investment (FDI), rural-urban migration, labour policies, social security, income distribution, consumption; public finance and financial system reforms, securities market, macroeconomic regulations and control mechanisms, etc.
Third Year (Second Semester)
CHS 302: Advanced Spoken Chinese II
The course teaches advanced Chinese words, expressions and grammar points. It focuses on students’ expressive ability in passage, so that students can use better words to express complex feelings, accurate opinions and apply the Chinese language decently. The students should know the difference between colloquial and formal expressions. They can choose proper expressions according to the real-life situations.
CHS 305: Advanced Chinese 2
This course builds on CHS 301: Advanced Chinese 1. It requires that students learn about 1000 complex advanced new words from all fields of life, and their grammatical usage. This involves how to apply the words in writing articles or spoken language. The course will also guide the students on strategies to improve the reading comprehensive ability through the reading tasks, so that the students can read articles in required time and summarize the core meanings correctly. It equally involves writing compositions with the given advanced words or themes to make sure the students can narrate the story properly, and express their opinions, comments as well as feelings correctly and accurately.
CHS 312: Modern Chinese Literature
The course basically teaches classical modern Chinese literature. In the course about 10 different types of classical modern Chinese articles in different schools of thought and periods are treated. The meanings of the classical materials are introduced and explained. Students also learn the writing methods and appreciate the artistic achievements.
CHS 307: Language Practice
The course affords the students the opportunity to practise spoken Chinese language and apply same in practical writing. They are asked, for example, to use given words to make sentences; tell stories with given pictures; debate on certain topics; write short stories, requests for leave, expository essays, etc. The semester examination will require students to express themselves for 3 minutes on a certain topic and write an article of at least 500 characters.
CHS 322: Chinese as a Second Language Teaching: Theory and Methods
This course aims to teach students the second language teaching methods especially the methods of teaching Chinese as a second language. The students are introduced to different pedagogical schools of thought and their theories. Students should be acquainted with these schools and know the merits and demerits of each school. Students shall present a 20-minute seminar based on at least 3 kinds of teaching methods.
CHS 308: Modern Chinese Vocabulary
This course requires that the students be taught some HSK 5 words alongside their pronunciation, character, meaning and usage. The students should know that in addition to taking this course, they should attend the HSK 5 tutorial at the Confucius Institute. The students are required to pass HSK 5 in this third year of study, which is one of the requirements for graduation.
Fourth Year (First Semester)
CHS 401: Introduction to Chinese Religion and Philosophy
This course discusses the origins and spread of the four main religions in China, namely Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam as well as the influence of traditional Chinese philosophies, namely Confucianism, Mohism and Legalism.
CHS 403: China and Globalization
The course aims at systematically introducing China’s reform and open-up policy and its significance to China’s economic take-off and social development from the aspects of politics, economy, culture and society. The modern world is fully integrated and globalized. The other topics treated are “Go Global” project, China’s membership of WTO, outward FDI, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Made in China 2025 and One Belt and One Road Economic Belt.
CHS 405: Advanced Chinese III
This course is a comprehensive course of Chinese language. It is designed for students who have already learnt a minimum of 1500 words and many grammatical structures. It aims at making students to learn about 1000 new words through intensive drills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. It further helps students improve their ability in using Chinese.
CHS 407: History of Chinese Civilization
With thousands of years of continuous history, China is among the world’s oldest civilisations and is regarded as one of the cradles of civilization. Chinese civilization is one of the four ancient/oldest civilisations. In this course students learn about not only the progenitors (the Three Emperors and Five Sovereigns) and cradles (the Yellow River and the Yangze River) and organisation of this civilization but also the cultures that formed it (the Hemudu culture, the Daxi culture, the Qujialing culture, the Shijiahe culture, the Hemudu culture,  the Majiabang culture, the Songze culture, the Liangzhu culture and the Wucheng culture), the four great inventions of ancient China and the factors responsible for the spread of the civilization to parts of southeast Asia.
CHS 411: Introduction to Chinese Linguistics
This course introduces the sub-disciplines of Chinese linguistics such as phonetics, lexicology, grammar, character formation, semantics and pragmatics. The development of ancient Chinese linguistics will help students to gain a broad understanding of Chinese linguistics and improve their abilities in using Chinese for communication and research.
CHS 413: Research Methodology
This course teaches the major issues in research, such as induction, deduction, analysis, synthesis, research methods (quantitative and qualitative), frameworks (theoretical and conceptual), ways to collect and analyse data, etc. The goal is to prepare the students for their project work.
Year Four (Second Semester)
CHS 402: Government and Politics of China
This bifurcated course discusses the administrative levels of government (provinces, counties and townships) and their relationship, the arms (or organs) of government (National People’s Congress, Presidency, State Council, Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuratorate and Central Military Commission ), party system, Congress System, the Cultural Revolution, boluan fanzheng, the cult of personality, intraparty power struggle and factions (taizidang versus tuanpai), intergovernmental relations, etc.
CHS 04: Advanced Chinese IV
This course is a comprehensive course of Chinese language. It is meant for students who have learnt no fewer than 2500 words and many grammatical structures. Its goal is to make students further improve their proficiency by learning at least additional 1000 new words through intensive drilling in listening, speaking, reading and writing.
CHS 406: China’s Foreign Policy to Africa
The focus of this course is one of the most contentious topics in contemporary international politics. Africa’s relationship with China has been a subject of divisive debate since the end of the Cold War. The course first of all reconstructs the history of the relationship, which is divisible into these two periods—the Mao era and the post-Mao era. Then it discusses contemporary developments in the relationship since the end of the Cold War, most notably China’s interest in the continent’s raw materials, multilateral frameworks such as FOCAC (under Africa + 1), the Silk and Road Initiative, military cooperation and China’s peace efforts. The course is hoped to enhance students’ knowledge of the dynamics and implications of China’s relationship with Africa.
CHS 409: Modern Chinese Economy
This course discusses the major developments in Chinese economy since the establishment of communist rule in 1949. The preponderance of the discussion is, however, on the developments during the past four decades—Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms (开放改革) and subsequent developments that have followed them.
CHS 412: Introduction to Chinese Morphology
The Chinese language is an isolating language, compared with the Indo-European languages— it is a language lacking of morphologic changes, such as changes of gender, number, case, tense, person of nouns, verbs and adjectives. The language expresses grammatical functions by function words and word order. This course, therefore, aims to introduce Chinese word-building methods (single-morpheme words, compound words), and mainly introducing affix (prefix, suffix), overlapping of words, aspect particle (zhe, le, guo) and word order, etc.
CHS 422: Project (Thesis)
This course is non-interactive in that students are not required to take any class whatsoever. It only requires students to do project work which must be defended as a requirement for graduation.