May 17, 2007 -- Although China is emerging on the global scene and the ability to speak Chinese and understand the culture are increasingly being considered by employers as desirable skills, few high schools offer Chinese language instruction as part of their curriculum.
This year the University of Virginia will offer a pilot program in Chinese to high school students for six weeks of study on Grounds. The class, which will run from June 25 to Aug. 3, will be equivalent to a first-semester college class and students will be able to earn four U.Va. credits for their course of study.
The intensive introduction to Chinese language and culture is geared to rising high school juniors and seniors and provides an opportunity to acquire listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Students learn all the sounds and tones in Mandarin Chinese, basic vocabulary, frequently used characters, pinyin (the standard Mandarin Chinese transcription system) and information about Chinese language, culture and society. Students also will have opportunities to explore Chinese culture by participating in a wide variety of cultural activities including exploring Chinese calligraphy, learning to cook Chinese food, shopping in a local Chinese store where they will be expected to speak only Chinese, and viewing Chinese art in the U.Va. Art Museum.
For more information and an application visit
http://www.virginia.edu/summer/admission/application/hsinst.html or contact Ran Zhao, director and instructor of the 2007 Summer High School Chinese Course at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.