Ming Chuan to offer four-week Chinese class

As people of the world become closer through interdependent economic, social and political relationships, the learning of certain languages has become crucial for success on the global platform.

One of these languages is Mandarin Chinese.

In response to an increasing demand for foreign language skills, Ming Chuan University’s Michigan campus is offering a four-week language class to students.

The class will be taught by Chinese-English bilingual students in the Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language graduate program. Topics include tourism, shopping, campus and business.

Louise Chen, program assistant for Ming Chuan University-Michigan, emphasized the practical nature of the class.

“It’s going to be … conversational Mandarin, to give a flavor of the culture,” she said. “Something you could use to go to the store or to speak with your Chinese friends.”

Chen also emphasized that students aren’t required to attend all class meetings.

“There’s no pressure and there are no exams,” she said. “We just want them to come to learn and have fun.”

Ming Chuan University-Michigan will also be offering a four-credit-hour Mandarin course in fall and Chen said the four-week language class would be an excellent introduction to course material.

Kerry Segel, professor English and coordinator for the Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language graduate program, hopes the language class will encourage students to continue their studies to earn course credit.

 “Chinese is the language of Asia and, after English and Spanish, it’s the most important culture in the U.S.,” he said. “Learning about Mandarin and Chinese culture should be part of students’ future planning.”

“Lots of people learn Spanish during college,” Chen added. “Just imagine if you knew Chinese, too. It’s a great opportunity for your future career.”

According to Segel, Ming Chuan University is the first official university to have a campus at SVSU.

“This is a gateway program that opens up the Chinese mainland to us,” he said. “Students can start here and then go study overseas.”

Segel sees Ming Chuan University’s presence as something that will strengthen all programs offered at SVSU.

He hopes to partner with other colleges so more students have opportunities to learn about Chinese language and culture.

“If students want to be a part of the global society, it’s important to learn about other cultures and languages,” Segel said. “And I believe Chinese is the language that will benefit them the most.”

Each language class will be offered twice per week, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Friday.

Classes run from Wednesday, March 25, to Friday, April 17.

To sign up, email [email protected] or [email protected] or call Chen at x2497.

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