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Curriculum

CURRICULUM

IUP’s goal was to bring spoken and written Chinese language skills to the level of “professional competence”. In practice, this standard has three components: (1) the ability to function effectively in a wide-range of situations in which Chinese is the only medium of communication; (2) language skills deeply enough embedded to resist erosion during extended periods of infrequent use; and (3) sufficient understanding of both the Chinese language and one’s own weaknesses to know how to seek their repair on one’s own.

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Lyman P. Van Slyke

Emeritus Professor of History, Stanford University

1st IUP Executive Secretary, 1963-64;

IUP Field Director, 1964-65;

IUP Executive Secretary, 1965-1996

IUP is an intensive language program for intermediate and advanced Chinese learners. Our admission standards traditionally require a minimum 2 years of university-level Chinese to place into IUP’s core curriculum.

IUP’s academic calendar is based on a structure of 8-week modules. The summer session, therefore, is one 8-week module; semester programs are two 8-week modules back-to-back; and the academic year consists of four 8-week modules.

IUP Programs
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STANDARD IUP CURRICULUM

(3rd Year & Higher)

Individual Tutorial

单班课

Group Class

合班课

Maximum Enrollment
Class Hours per Day

1

3

Contact Hours over 8-week Module

40

120

Total Contact Hours = 160

Grading Standards

  • Attendance = 10%
  • Classwork = 15%
  • Homework = 15%
  • Speech = 10%
  • Midterm = 25%
  • Final = 25%
Academic Credit

PLACEMENT

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Enrolled students complete a placement test on the first day of orientation. This placement test includes a 2-hour written exam, consisting of over 200 questions in listening comprehension, reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, idioms, and classical Chinese. In addition, each student must complete another 15-20 minute oral placement test.

This allows IUP to guarantee students are placed into the proper level(s) of classes. Depending on the individual language learner’s skills and needs, these courses can include different levels of difficulty in different subjects. Some students might be placed in 2 hours of 1-on-1 tutorials each day. This can occur when a student’s language level does not match with other incoming classmates or the student has specific topics he or she wants to study.

Finally, all students will retake the placement test in their final week of coursework so as to demonstrate how much they have improved over their time studying at IUP.

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All Levels

Students in IUP’s standard curriculum take four classes using three textbooks per 8-week module. The placement test and interview will determine students’ actual schedules and textbooks.

4 hours of class per day

Individual attention from your instructor

Small Classes

IUP courses will have no more than three students. Each student will have one hour of one-on-one tutorial every day of the week. Such small classes allow for individual attention from the instructor and ample time for students to exchange ideas with classmates and teachers and delve into meaningful discussions about the topic at hand.

IUP is a language pledge program

Chinese Only Language Environment

All IUP students sign a pledge to only speak Chinese in classes, all program activities, and in IUP’s building. All IUP students must be able to learn Chinese in Chinese.

Fully preparing for lessons is essential for a productive classroom experience

Closed-Book Classroom

Professor Karl Leban of the University of Kansas (IUP Field Director, 1968-69) first instituted the “closed-book classroom” at IUP, a policy that continues to this day. This means that students are not allowed to refer to their textbooks or notes while in class.

Deep dive into a topic of your choice

Student Speeches

Once every module, IUP students are required to prepare and deliver a 5 to 7 minute speech on a topic of their choice in front of classmates and teachers. Instructors work closely with the student to revise and improve their speech. This required assignment gives students multiple opportunities to practice public speaking in Chinese and allows them to learn topics that might not be directly covered in their lessons. These speeches generally take place on the Friday of the sixth week of the module and account for 10% of the final grade.

Integrated Course Tutorial Integrated Course Group Class Listening Comprehension Course Elective Courses

Integrated Course Tutorial

1 hour

Our “integrated” class focuses on one core textbook for one individual tutorial and one group class. The individual tutorial is always scheduled first to ensure that the instructor has time to correct errors and improve the student’s weaknesses before the group class.

  • Start with the lesson text...

    IUP instructors first move through the lesson text, questioning students on the content of the assigned reading.

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  • Practice new vocabulary...

    Once students demonstrate their command of the day’s lesson, IUP instructors use the lesson text as the basis for practicing new vocabulary. Instructors will show the student other contexts in which it is appropriate to use the day’s vocabulary. Students answer questions, craft sentences and participate in short dialogues with their teacher.

  • Focus on student's specific language learning needs

    The comprehensive course tutorial also devotes time every day to strengthening the student’s language weaknesses and addressing student interests.

Integrated Course Group Class

1 hour

Our “integrated” class focuses on one core textbook for one individual tutorial and one group class.  The group class focuses on practicing new grammar patterns and guided discussion between students and teacher on the day’s lesson topic.

  • Start with the lesson text…

    IUP instructors first move through the lesson text, questioning students on the content of the assigned reading.

  • Highlight new grammar patterns…

    Once students demonstrate their command of the day’s lesson, IUP instructors use the lesson text as the basis for practicing new  grammar patterns. Instructors will show students other contents in which it is appropriate to use the day’s grammar. Students answer questions, craft sentences and participate in short dialogues with their classmates.

  • Guided discussion about topics related to the day’s lesson...

    IUP’s goal is to give students the Chinese language skills necessary to engage in serious discussions about a range of topics. Every class seeks to push the students to correctly use new vocabulary and grammar points to delve into meaningful discussions with classmates and teachers.

Listening Comprehension Course

1 hour

Students also take a listening comprehension group course every day. This course using radio broadcasts, news reports, and other audio resources to introduce students to important cultural and political topics. The Listening Comprehension course textbooks include brief introductions to the lesson topic, vocabulary lists, and grammar points, but no written lesson texts.

 

 

  • Start with the content of the lesson…

    IUP instructors first move through the lesson, questioning students on the content of the assigned reading.

  • Highlight vocabulary and grammar patterns…

    Once students demonstrate their command of the day’s lesson, IUP instructors use the lesson text as the basis for practicing new vocabulary and grammar patterns. Instructors will show students other contents in which it is appropriate to use the day’s grammar and vocabulary. Students answer questions, craft sentences and participate in short dialogues with their classmates.

  • Guided discussion about topics related to the day’s lesson...

    IUP’s goal is to give students the Chinese language skills necessary to engage in serious discussions about a range of topics. Every class seeks to push the students to correctly use new vocabulary and grammar points to delve into meaningful discussions with classmates and teachers.

Elective Courses

1 hour

Students at IUP’s intermediate levels will generally be assigned an “elective” that is geared toward addressing the weaknesses in the Chinese language. These courses include pronunciation, reading, writing, grammar, or other essential foundational skills.

  • Start with the lesson text…

    IUP instructors first move through the lesson text, questioning students on the content of the assigned reading.

  • Highlight vocabulary and grammar patterns…

    Once students demonstrate their command of the day’s lesson, IUP instructors use the lesson text as the basis for practicing new vocabulary and grammar patterns. Instructors will show students other contents in which it is appropriate to use the day’s grammar and vocabulary. Students answer questions, craft sentences and participate in short dialogues with their classmates.

  • Guided discussion about topics related to the day’s lesson...

    IUP’s goal is to give students the Chinese language skills necessary to engage in serious discussions about a range of topics. Every class seeks to push the students to correctly use new vocabulary and grammar points to delve into meaningful discussions with classmates and teachers.

Students typically move through the following stages in their time at IUP.

Intermediate

Lower Intermediate Level

Solidifies Chinese language foundation by focusing on shoring up weakness in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, depending on the individual student’s language learning needs

Comprehensive Listening Comprehension Elective

Talks on Chinese Culture

《中国文化丛谈》

Intermediate Chinese 1 uses Talks on Chinese Culture, a core IUP textbook, for discussion of general information about China and academic topics.

Across the Straits

《两岸对话》

Intermediate Chinese 1: Listening Comprehension uses the first part of Across the Straits to develop listening and speaking skills.

To be determined by IUP staff1

IUP instructors will use the results of the placement test and interview to determine which elective course text to assign to students at the Lower Intermediate level.

Middle Intermediate Level

Continue solidification of the Chinese language foundation using some authentic materials and content that begins to introduce academic Chinese

Comprehensive Listening Comprehension Elective

Overview of Chinese Culture

《中国文化面面观》

Intermediate Chinese 2 uses Overview of Chinese Culture, a core IUP textbook, for discussion of general information about China and academic topics.

Across the Straits

《两岸对话》

Intermediate Chinese 2: Listening Comprehension uses the second part of Across the Straits to develop listening and speaking skills.

To Be Determined by IUP Staff

IUP instructors will use the results of the placement test and interview to determine which elective course text to assign to students at the Middle Intermediate level.

Higher Intermediate Level

Authentic Chinese language materials that are slightly edited for accessibility, including glossary, grammatical notes, practice exercises, and discussion points.

Comprehensive Listening Comprehension Elective

Thought and Society

《思想与社会》

Intermediate Chinese 3 uses Thought and Society, a core IUP textbook, for intensive discussions to strengthen reading and speaking skills.

Frankly Speaking

《实话实说》

Intermediate Chinese 3: Listening Comprehension uses Frankly Speaking with a normal rate of speech to develop listening and speaking skills.

To Be Determined by IUP Staff

IUP instructors will use the results of the placement test and interview to determine which elective course text to assign to students at the Higher Intermediate level.

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Advanced

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Lower Advanced Level

Authentic Chinese language materials that are slightly edited for accessibility, including glossary, grammatical notes, practice exercises, and discussion points. Classical Chinese study can begin at this level.

Comprehensive Listening Comprehension Elective Elective Elective Elective

Talk of the Times

《聚焦当代》

Advanced Chinese 1 uses Talk of The Times, a core IUP textbook, to teach use of idioms and difficult phrases in conversation.

Broadcast Selections from "Half an Hour around Noon" Book 1

《午间半小时(第一集)》(广播一)

Advanced Chinese 1: Listening Comprehension uses Discussions of Specialized Topics, Broadcast Selections from “Half an Hour around Noon” Book 1 with a normal rate of speech to develop listening and speaking skills.

Business Chinese for Success

《商务汉语:成功之道》

Advanced Chinese 1: Business Chinese Supplementary uses Business Chinese for Success, to focus on business Chinese reading and communicative competence on business related topics.

Reading China through Newspapers

《报纸上的中国》

Advanced Chinese 1: Newspapers Supplementary uses Reading China through Newspapers to facilitate the understanding of Chinese newspaper for students with intermediate reading ability.

Chinese Film Studies

《中国剪影》

Silhouettes of China is an advanced textbook focusing on the fifth generation of Chinese directors and a representative selection of their films. Lesson texts include scripts and review essays drawn from such films as Farewell My Concubine, To Live, and Infernal Affairs, among others.

Classical Chinese 1

《龙文墨影一》

Advanced Chinese 1: Classical Chinese Supplementary uses Language of the Dragon Vol. 1  to increase proficiency in modern spoken Chinese while studying classical Chinese and learning grammar and frequently-used function words.

Middle Advanced Level

Authentic Chinese language materials, including Classical Chinese as well as primary or secondary sources in the student’s academic, professional, and/or research fields.  

Comprehensive Comprehensive Listening Comprehension Elective Elective Elective Elective

A Stroll through Scholarly Topics

《学术漫步》

Advanced Chinese 2 uses A Stroll through Scholarly Topics, a core IUP textbook, with articles and excerpts of articles written by noted Chinese writers.

Talk of the Times 2

《今时今事》

Advanced Chinese 2 also offers Talk of the Times 2, a core IUP textbook, for students who prefer a course of study focusing on more popular, non-scholarly topics.

Half an Hour around Noon & Media Chinese

《午间半小时(第二集)》与《中文视听说》合订本 (广播二)

Advanced Chinese 2 Listening Comprehension uses A Combined Volume of “Half an Hour around Noon” Part 2 and Media Chinese with a normal rate of speech to develop listening and speaking skills.

Classical Chinese 2

《龙文墨影二》

Advanced Chinese 2: Classical Chinese  Supplementary uses Language of the Dragon Vol. 2 to increase proficiency in modern spoken Chinese while studying classical Chinese and learning grammar and frequently-used function words.

Chinese Criminal Law

《法律基础》:刑法

Uses Fundamental Legal Chinese: Selections from “Discussing Law Through Cases” to explore Chinese criminal law and improve reading comprehension also the ability of talking about law related topics in advanced level Chinese.

Chinese Civil Law

《法律基础》:民法

Uses Fundamental Legal Chinese: Selections from “Discussing Law Through Cases”, to explore Chinese civil law and improve reading comprehension also the ability of talking about law related topics in advanced level Chinese.

Chinese Colloquial Idioms

《汉语口语习惯用语》

Advanced Chinese 1: Colloquial Supplementary uses A Course in Chinese Colloquial Idioms to teach use of idioms and difficult phrases in conversation.

Higher Advanced Level

Authentic Chinese language materials with glossaries, vocabulary lists, and grammar notes, and can also include primary or secondary sources in the student’s academic, professional, and/or research fields.

Comprehensive Listening Comprehension Elective Elective

Modern Intellectual Essays

《名家名篇》

Advanced Chinese 3, using Modern Intellectual Essays, a core IUP textbook, is the only IUP textbook that compiled a series of authentic essays written by well-known Chinese authors. The selected essays have covered many issues that characterize Chinese culture and society. It is the last step for you from reading edited textbook articles to authentic Chinese materials.

Media Chinese 2

《中文视听说(第二集)》(广播三)

Advanced Chinese 2:Listening Comprehension continues to use Media Chinese 2 with a normal rate of speech to develop listening and speaking skills.

Contemporary Chinese Literature

《当代文学选读》

Selected Readings in Contemporary Chinese Literature is an advanced elective text for students interested in the Chinese literary scene. The text includes curated selections of important texts and profiles of the author.

Republican Era Chinese Literature

《民国时期文学作品选读》

Selected Readings in Republican Era Chinese Literature is an advanced elective textbook with selections from influential authors, essays, and books from the Republic period of Chinese history (1911-1949).

Selected Materials Course

1 - 2 hours

Advanced students may also choose to have a 1-on-1 “Selected Materials Course” (自选材料课), using teaching materials that they choose themselves. These courses allow advanced students to benefit from flexible curricula to delve into topics that fascinate them. Students have chosen materials courses on their academic interest, dissertation topic, and areas related to their career and will work closely with the instructor to craft a curriculum around these materials. Selected Materials Courses are designed to help students achieve professional competence in the topic of the course.

Some recent examples of Selected Materials Courses include:

  • Aeronautics and cosmology
  • Analysis of psychological theory and case studies
  • Appreciation of Chinese opera in film
  • Archaeology
  • Chinese bonds and futures markets
  • Chinese agricultural development policy
  • Chinese reality TV research
  • Chinese news and talk shows
  • Collected writings of Mozi (墨子集成)
  • Contemporary Chinese Art
  • Daoism through the Zhuangzi (庄子)and the Daodejing (道德经)
  • Development of China’s renewable energy industry
  • Directed reading of Dwelling Narrowness (蜗居)
  • Directed reading of the Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi neijing)
  • Directed reading of The Three Body Problem (三体)
  • Directed study of Home with Kids (家有儿女) tv series
  • Feminism in China
  • Hong Kong cinema and film industry
  • HSK 6 test preparation
  • Introduction to Chinese Medicine
  • Ming Dynasty local gazetteers and maps
  • Public speaking through TED Talks (China)
  • Reading and writing sports news reports
  • Research materials on Mawangdui (马王堆) archaeological excavations
  • Rickshaw Boy (骆驼样子) by Lao She (老舍)
  • Selected Readings from Caijing (财经) magazine
  • Selected Readings from Southern Weekly (南方周末)
  • Sociology reading course: From the Soil (乡土中国) by Fei Xiaotong (费孝通)
  • The Four Books (四书)
  • Theory of Chinese Opera
  • Three Hundred Song Dynasty Poems (宋词三百首)
  • Three Hundred Tang Dynasty Poems (唐诗三百首)
  • Veritable Records of Emperor Yinzong of the Ming Dynasty (明英宗实录)
  • Xiangsheng (相声, "crosstalk") comedy routines
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WE HAVE AN APP FOR THAT

Thanks to the hard work of IUP alumnus, Phil Lisio (IUP Taipei, ’92, ’93), current IUP students have been using an iPhone app with most of IUP’s core textbooks loaded into the application for the last couple of years.

This handy app syncs IUP text with IUP lesson text audio tracks for an easy way to review the materials for classes. The app also has official IUP vocabulary definitions, particles of speech, and pinyin pronunciation, highlighted in the text and preloaded in flashcard format! In addition, Baidu’s open-source dictionary powers vocabulary functions for words not in the IUP textbook vocabulary lists. Finally, the IUP iPhone app utilizes a basic spaced-repetition function to allow users the ability to flip through flashcards, with words the user marks as “incorrect” popping up more frequently when reviewing vocabulary flashcards.

app Study Resources

app

READY?

Submit your application now!