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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

John C. Hamm
CHIN 496
Seattle Campus

Special Studies in Chinese

Topics vary.

Class description

The purpose of this course is to develop advanced Chinese reading skills by working through Chinese texts that have not been modified or supplemented in any way. This quarter (Autumn 2012) we will read vernacular fiction from pre-modern China; the tentative syllabus includes selections from _The Water Margin_, huaben fiction, _Heroic Sons and Daughters_, and Wu Jianren's _Strange Events_. In our reading we will emphasize accuracy of understanding, grammatical precision, and appreciation of style and tone, as expressed through English translation. Through this course you will acquire the tools and develop the skills to enable you to confidently approach unfamiliar Chinese texts. The course is appropriate for beginning graduate students who wish to improve their reading skills, and for advanced undergraduates at the fourth-year level or higher (i.e. who have completed third-year Chinese). The course will be conducted in English.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

We will work through the assigned texts together in class; individual students will be called on in turn to read, offer oral English translation, and explain relevant grammatical structures.

Recommended preparation

Completion of third-year Chinese (CHIN 213 or CHIN 303) or equivalent, and a willingness to "dive in" to authentic readings without the aid of a textbook or vocabulary list. Students will also need to be familiar with, or be ready to acquire, basic terminology and concepts for discussing grammar.

Class assignments and grading

Aside from regular preparation of material for class, there will be written homework assignments and translation-based quizzes and exams.

Grading will be based on class performance, quizzes, tests, and homework.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by John C. Hamm
Date: 06/04/2012