Introduction to Advanced Reading Course on Contemporary China

Hong Li, Ph.D.

Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures

Emory University

This blog is a collection of my teaching materials for CHN402 (Advanced Readings in Chinese II) at Emory University. CHN402 is the second semester advanced Chinese course, devoted primarily to reading a variety of authentic literature and discussing topics related to contemporary Chinese society and social justice. The goals of the course are to increase students’ vocabulary and reading speed, improve their reading comprehension, and enhance their ability to write in formal style Chinese. In addition, the course aims to engage students in reflective activities and discussions about culturally significant issues in China’s recent history and its society today.

Between 2008 and 2012, I have been continuously revising the curriculum for CHN402. The new curriculum for this course adopts a thematic approach, combining authentic readings with multimedia materials, and aiming to improve both linguistic proficiency and cultural understanding. The course covers four themes per semester, and the themes may vary year by year based on contemporary situations in China. In the past five years, I have included the following topics: 1) 教育与升学 Education and Schooling; 2) 生活与奋斗 Life and struggles of the young generation; 3) 城乡剪影 Life in the City and the Countryside; 4) 人事变迁 Changes in Life and Society; 5) 官僚与腐败 Bureaucracy and Corruption; and 6) 文革十年 The Cultural Revolution. The materials for each topic cover a wide range of genres including short stories, essays, song lyrics, news reports, websites, etc.

Each of the topics in this blog includes the following content:

  • Reading Texts: articles, stories, lyrics, etc. Annotations in Pinyin and English are provided.
  • Multimedia: websites, videos, audio, images, etc.
  • Vocabulary Quizzes
  • Exercises: homework assignments, compositions, etc.
  • Teaching Resources: discussion questions, ppt slides, in-class exercises, etc.

To access the contents, click on the tabs and the drop-down menu.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures of Emory University for its financial support. I would also like to thank Leah Churchran, Chase Lovellette, Lee Clontz, and Peter Frolio for their technical assistance.

This blog is still under construction. If you would like to contribute to the blog or have suggestions, please contact me at xiaowenbeijing [at] gmail [dot] com.