In the fall of 2004, Wofford College and the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures inaugurated a new program in Chinese Language and Culture. The program, directed by Dr. Li Qing Kinnison, who comes to Wofford from the faculty at Colby College has been supported by a generous endowment given by the Peacock Family Foundation headed by Mr. Grant Peacock, a Greenville, S.C., entrepreneur.
Adding the opportunity for students to understand Chinese language and culture recognizes the increasing importance of China in international affairs as well as the employment advantages for students who know Chinese. With the emerging political and economic importance of China, it will be an advantage for students to understand the culture and to communicate effectively in Chinese, not only for their general citizenship in the world community, but in their careers.
The program in Chinese and the minor in Chinese Studies offers a series of first, second, third, and fourth year language and grammar courses in addition to courses in the history and culture of China from ancient to modern times as well as Chinese literature and film. Both first and second year language courses meet five days per week and introduce students to increasingly sophisticated uses of spoken and written Mandarin. Students will acquire speaking skills and learn basic Chinese characters. These courses will be available to the general public and to students at other local and regional campuses as well as to Wofford students, providing a resource for the community at-large and the international business community in particular. Wofford students will have opportunities to study and to conduct internships in China through Wofford’s foreign study service providers which include the Council for International Education Exchange (CIEE), the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) and the School for International Training (SIT). See The Office of International Programs for more information.
Dr. Li Qing Kinnison, a native of China, earned her bachelor’s in English language and literature while still in China. After moving to the United States, she earned the MA in TESOL (Teaching of English as a Second Language) from Azusa Pacific University in California, and the Ph.D. in linguistics from Michigan State University. Her special interests include intercultural communications, sociolinguistics and second language acquisition.
Dr. Yongfang Zhang, a native of China, earned her bachelor's in Chinese Language and Literature and her first MA in Modern Chinese Language while still in China. After moving to the United States, she earned her MA and Ph.D. in Chinese Pedagogy from Ohio State University. Her special interests include language testing and teacher training.
Perspectives on Learning Chinese
We asked several students who arrived at Wofford knowing no Chinese for their perspective on learning Chinese from scratch. Here's what they had to say.