Chinese at UNCA

Can you guess what's been on my mind all semester?  Chinese.  That's right, Chinese.  Although I studied abroad in South Korea this past summer, I've been studying Chinese since my return. This semester marks the first time that UNC Asheville has offered classes in the Chinese language.  How exciting is that?  I am so happy that we've decided to expand our repertoire to include a language that is as unique as it is relevant; when I saw the fall 2011 course catalog during registration last spring, I immediately signed up for elementary Chinese.  (That, and I needed to take a foreign language to fulfill the foreign language competency requirement for graduation.) 

So, how was the experience?  In a word, intense.  We had to memorize each character, its stroke order, meaning, tone, and Romanization--it's a lot to keep up with!  Over the past few months, I have found myself writing these characters in the margins of my notes for other classes, sometimes inadvertently, as I tried to remember everything.  Now, just because I characterized the class as "intense" doesn't mean that I did not enjoy it.  On the contrary, Chinese class is one of the few classes that I always looked forward to, even on days when we had tests.  The reason for this is our teacher, who is enthusiastic, kind, and truly dedicated to helping us learn.  When learning a foreign language, especially one so different from English, it can often be embarrassing to practice oral communication skills. However, I never felt embarrassed or unwilling to speak in class because our professor is so encouraging and reassuring.  Professor Li created a warm, safe environment for us to explore Chinese, and I am so grateful for the experience.  I really wish I could continue to study Chinese at UNC Asheville, but I am graduating in May, so I have only one semester left before I go.

Coming to UNC Asheville in the future?  Then I'd strongly consider you to try your hand at Chinese.  You'll find yourself thinking of language in a new way, and will encounter a warm community of fellow language learners.  You might also consider completing a minor in Asian Studies while you're at it! 



  • Anonymous says:
    April 9, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Is Chinese being taught at UNCA in 2012-2013 school year? BCS offered Chinese this spring at NBHS and my son is interested in continuing taking Chinese classes. He plans to go to China next summer with the teacher of Chinese who is taking a group.

  • UNC Asheville Office of Admissions says:
    April 10, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    To the best of my knowledge, Chinese will be taught here next year (2012-13). The program is very new, as you may know, but interest is growing on campus. The professor is also teaching a number of other Chinese or East Asian cultural courses, several of which I have taken, and would encourage your son to try if he joins us! Hope this helps answer your question !

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