As the world moves towards a global community, it is extremely important to be proficient in languages other than one’s own mother tongue in order to participate in this development.
The goals of Associate Colleges in China (ACC) include:
- To create an intensive study abroad program where language, culture, and society are combined together.
- To immerse students in an environment which is rich linguistically and culturally.
- To raise students’ Chinese language proficiency to an advanced level so that they can interpret, present, and communicate in Chinese without difficulties.
- To equip students with new linguistic and social skills, broader perspectives, and an appreciation of cultural differences.
- To create and experiment with new and innovative ways of designing program abroad language curriculum and administration for the CFL field.
To achieve above-mentioned goals, ACC will work under the leadership of the ACC Advisory Board in partnership with its collaborator of ten years and ACC host institution, Central University of Nationalities (CUN) or Minzu University. In order to accomplish this goal, we have established four programmatic objectives based on National Foreign Language Standards:
- Communication: Advancing students’ language/culture competency from an intermediate, or advanced, to a superior level through purposeful language use in different linguistic and cultural contexts.
ACC students of Chinese will develop communication skills in Chinese in a variety of authentic and simulated situations with ever-increasing linguistic and cultural accuracy. The program’s language/culture training focuses on preparing students to interact with Chinese citizens in different contexts: we make full use of a number of activities to maximize students’ exposure to Chinese at all levels, including in and out of interactive class activities, innovative teaching methodology, individualized instruction, guest lectures, field trips, project presentations, readings, experience sharing, etc. As is standard for all ACC programming, we implement a Chinese-only policy for students and design teaching materials to target students’ interpersonal , interpretive and presentational skills throughout the program.
- Culture: Expanding students’ culture knowledge in China through first hand experiences in China.
Students will engage in weekly language use activities, term projects, and field trips to different parts of China, during which they will gain direct experience with China’s cultural practices and perspectives. This kind of experience will provide students with direct contact with common Chinese from all walks of life. Through this experience-based curriculum students will not only engage in daily language contact with real Chinese people, but also gain first-hand experience about China’s economic development, educational system, and cultural perspectives.
- Comparison and Connection: Developing self-awareness and cognitive and affective changes in students through the sharing of their experiences with local Chinese.
Students will engage in several reflective processes consciously examining their own assumptions about American and Chinese cultures. Through class discussion, writing assignments, guest lectures and field trips, students will use their Chinese to share their cultural experiences in the US with Chinese people in the local community. Through keeping journals, writing reports, and making public presentations to Chinese and American communities, students will engage in self-reflective activities to examine their own assumptions about American and Chinese cultures. This reflective process of examining their beliefs and values is a powerful tool to help students develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for cultures different from their own. We measure these attitudinal differences with entrance and exit surveys and interviews.
- Community: Develop students’ awareness to international education and global understanding through participating in multi-lingual and Chinese community activities.
Systematic experience-based program curriculum, instruction, and field studies will help students become aware of global and regional issues and needs. Repeated program presentations with fellow students, host institution, and local communities will enable students to become more committed to multi-lingual community and global understanding.