Asian Languages and Cultures



Note: The Department Waitlist policy for all courses is 2 Go to the department office to get on a waitlist, and then attend the first class meeting. Policies and procedures for handling the waitlist will be explained there.

Students wanting to begin language study, at a level other than first year, must take a placement exam to be held on January 6.

Courses in South and Southeast Asia (S&SEA) (Division 483)


Culture Courses

250. Undergraduate Seminar in South and Southeast Asian Culture. No knowledge of any Asian language required. (3). (HU). May be repeated with department permission.
Section 003 Bhagavad-Gita: The Activist View of Hinduism.
This class introduces Hinduism to students through an intensive study of this single most important scriptural text, the Bhagavad-Gita. We spend half the time going over the text-in-translation, chapter by chapter. The other half of the class time is devoted to critical issues relating to the text, i.e., history of the text, its transmission, its location within the history of Hinduism, its connections with political/cultural history, its ancient and modern interpretations. The grade is based on class participation, two papers, and two in-class examinations. (Deshpande)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

321. Sikh History II (19th Century-Present). (3). (HU).
The aim of this course is to study the five phases of Sikh history (1800-Present), beginning with the Sikh kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The emphasis will be on religious and cultural transformation that took place under the British Raj. We will examine a series of socio-religious movements of late 19th and early 20th centuries that gave rise to a modern Sikh identity. Particular attention will be paid to the Singh Sabha and the Akali movements. We will also examine the Sikh situation between 1925 and Independence, and will end the course with the last phase of Sikh history in independent India (1947-Present). A particular attention will be paid to the role of the diaspora Sikh community in establishing Sikh self-understanding and examine the issue of Sikh fundamentalism within the context of the rise of Hindu fundamentalism in the present day India. An essay of 3,000 words will carry 30% of the course marks. There will be two tests: a midterm worth 20% and a final worth 30%. The remaining 20% of marks will be allotted to the presentation and participation in tutorial discussions. Texts include: The New Cambridge History of India: The Sikhs of the Punjab by Grewal, The History of the Sikhs, Vol II by K. Singh, and Construction of Religious Boundaries by Oberoi. WL:2 (Singh)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

420. Hindi-Urdu Poetry from 1800 to the Present. S&SEA 206, 316, 366, or 405. (3). (HU).
Section 001 Urdu Poetry.
This course covers different genres of Urdu poetry from the 18th century up to modern times. Students read, discuss, and write about Urdu poetry in Urdu. The course explores salient features of South Asian Muslim society. The tradition of writing and presenting ghazals and other kinds of poetry is examined in its social context. The course tries to answer the question 'what is poetry?' We will examine traditional aesthetic theories and see what are defined as important elements of poetry in South Asian poetics. We will discuss the parda system in South Asian Muslim society and its impact on Urdu poetry, particularly on the Urdu ghazal. We will explore the development of the idea of the feminine in Urdu poetry and compare poetry composed by male and female poets to isolate salient features of both. There will be several quizzes, a midterm, and a final exam. WL:2 (Siddiqi)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

S&SEA Language Courses

102. Beginning Thai. S&SEA 101. (5). (LR).
Standard Thai, the language of Thailand, is typical of several Asian languages in its grammar and tonal pronunciation. The focus of the course is the use of language in everyday situations. Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to conduct conversations dealing with several survival concerns, e.g., introduction, ordering food, transportation, banking, post-office trip, shopping, etc. From the first day of class, students will learn Thai scripts and will be able to read course materials and short passages in Thai at the end of the term. Writing assignments are also assigned. Thai cultures, history, geography, etc., will be offered both in the content of the language lessons and supplementary presentations. Placement test required before registration. WL:2 (Krishnamra)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

104. Beginning Indonesian. S&SEA 103. (5). (LR).
Indonesian is the national language of Indonesia, a country noted for its rich and deep cultural heritage as well as for its remarkable cultural diversity. With its 180 million speakers, Indonesian is the sixth most prevalently spoken of the world languages. The relatively simple syntactic and grammatical structures which characterize Indonesian make it an accessible language for native speakers of English. The elementary course comprises a two-term sequence designed to provide the student with a basic working knowledge of the Indonesian language. The course aims at the acquisition of the four basic language skills listening, speaking, reading, and writing in modern Indonesian. The class emphasizes aural-oral exercises and practice and the learning of culture throughout the course. The text used is keyed to a set of tapes for use in the language lab and concentrates on practical knowledge of the language. Evaluation is based on classroom performance, homework assignments, tests, and a final exam. WL:2 (Sudarsih)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

106. Elementary Hindi-Urdu. S&SEA 105 or 305. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in S&SEA 315 or 365. (4). (LR).
S&SEA 106 is the second course in the first year sequence of Hindi-Urdu courses. Hindi and Urdu are the respective national languages of India and Pakistan. The course meets four hours per week in four sessions. Only the Devanagari writing system (for Hindi) is introduced. Nastaliq (for Urdu) comes in the second year. The course concentrates on developing skills in reading, writing, speaking, and aural comprehension. Evaluation is based on attendance, written homework assignments, quizzes, dictations, and examinations. WL:2 (Siddiqi)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

108. Beginning Tagalog. S&SEA 107. (4). (LR).
Tagalog/Filipino is the national language of the Philippines. Beginning Tagalog is a two-term sequence designed to give the student who has little or no knowledge of Tagalog the necessary basis for learning to speak it and to have an acquaintance with the cultural context in which it functions. Tagalog is particularly interesting in the way it has integrated the broad influences of both Spanish and English into its own syntactic and semantic systems. The oral approach is greatly emphasized in the classroom, using questions and answers and short dialogues to develop active use of the language in the most natural way possible. This is complemented by the use of taped lessons. Evaluation is based on frequent short quizzes, class performance, and a final examination. At the end of the this course, the student should be able to handle brief exchanges in common social situations and to read and write simple dialogues and letters in Tagalog. Text is Conversational Tagalog: A Functional-Situational Approach by Teresita Ramos. Supplementary readings and visual presentations will be provided when appropriate. WL:2 (Agas Weller)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

110. Beginning Sanskrit. S&SEA 109. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in S&SEA 369. (3). (LR).

This course will work toward developing a proficiency with the basic tools necessary to read and write Sanskrit, the classical language of India. Lessons will include study of the script (Devanagari), elementary grammar and vocabulary. The grade will be based on completion of regular homework assignments, weekly quizzes, a midterm and a final exam. (Deshpande)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

112. Beginning Punjabi. S&SEA 111. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in S&SEA 371. (4). (LR).
This course is the continuation of the Beginning Punjabi. It will include reading and writing (Gurmukhi script) as well as the spoken language. Students will be encouraged to begin basic conversation in class. The written aspects of language will be introduced through graded readings and written exercises. The emphasis will be on basic constructions, composition, vocabulary development, and conversational skills. The grammatical parts of speech and inflection will be introduced in this term. A particular attention will be paid toward developing a basic practical proficiency in the language. Students will be introduced to the rich cultural heritage of the Punjab. A video film will be shown to examine the spoken language of the Punjab. Throughout the course the students will be encouraged to communicate in Punjabi language. There will be two tests: a midterm worth 20%, and a final worth 30%. In addition there will be homework assignments worth 30%. The remaining 20% of marks will be allotted to oral communication, dictation, and instructor's own evaluation. Texts: An Intensive course in Punjabi by Bhatia, Introductory Course in Spoken Punjabi by Bahri, and a Reference Grammar of Punjabi by Gill and Gleason. WL:2 (Singh)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

114. Elementary Tamil. S&SEA 113. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in S&SEA 373. (4). (LR).
This course offers an introduction to Tamil cultures, language, land, literature, and introduction to Tamil script. This is one of the two classical languages of India and one among the Dravidian languages with rich literary tradition dated back to 300 BC. This language is largely spoken in Tamil nadu, which is in the southern part of India and also in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, Mauritius, and South Africa. In this course all the basic language skills (writing, reading, speaking, and listening) will be covered. At the end of the course the students will be able to: (1) perceive and reproduce the sounds and their meaning full sequences; (2) form sentences usually from given patterns and lexical itery; (3) converse with the fellow students on specific topics under controlled situations; (4) narrate specified events and topics orally; (5) read simple and graded passages with comprehension; (6) write simple complex sentences and compositions both guided and free. WL:2 (Radhakrishnan)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

116. Beginning Vietnamese. S&SEA 115. (5). (LR).
This course continues and develops the students' proficiency in the four basic language skills listening, speaking, reading, and writing of the only language of more than 72 million Vietnamese speakers. The course emphasizes aural-oral practices and vocabulary building. Supplementary materials distributed throughout the course will provide the students some knowledge of the Vietnamese culture. Students will be encouraged to communicate in the target language, and classes will be largely conducted in Vietnamese. Course evaluation will be graded on classroom attendance and performance, home assignments, tests, and a final examination. WL:2 (Nguyen)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

202. Intermediate Thai. S&SEA 201. (4). (LR).
This course continues and extends the four skills students developed in Thai 201. Reading and discussion as well as written assignments from authentic materials will be covered. Also, discussions on topics interesting to students will be covered in order to increase speaking fluency. Class is conducted largely in Thai. Students are required to actively participate in class. WL:2 (Krishnamra)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

204. Intermediate Indonesian. S&SEA 203. (4). (LR).
The course is aimed at increasing the student's proficiency in the four basic language skills listening, speaking, reading, and writing in modern Indonesian. Although increasing emphasis is given to the development of reading and writing skills, listening and speaking constitute an integral part of the course which is conducted entirely in Indonesian. Vocabulary building and instruction in matters of cross-cultural sensitivity are of great importance. The primary text used is keyed to a knowledge of the language. Supplementary materials introduce the student to reading modern Indonesian literature. Evaluation is based on classroom performance, homework assignments, tests, and a final exam. WL:2 (Sudarsih)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

206. Intermediate Hindi-Urdu. S&SEA 205. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in S&SEA 316 or 366. (4). (LR).
Section 001 and 002 Hindi.
This course is intended to increase students' skills and proficiency in speaking, comprehending, reading, and writing the Devanagari (Hindi) script. Evaluation is based on attendance, written homework assignments, quizzes, dictations, and examinations. WL:2 (Kumar)

Section 003 Urdu. Students are introduced to the Nastaliq (Urdu) writing system. Evaluation is based on attendance, written homework assignments, quizzes, dictations, and examinations. WL:2 (Bashir)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

208. Intermediate Tagalog. S&SEA 207. (3). (LR).
This course is designed to increase the student's proficiency in reading, speaking, understanding, and writing the Tagalog/Filipino language. The format will be as follows: two class hours a week will be devoted to readings and grammar review, one class hour a week will be devoted to guided conversation. Readings will be assigned, and these will provide the framework for the discussion of grammatical points and question-and-answer sessions in Tagalog on the content of the texts. There will be quizzes, written assignments, a midterm, and a final examination. By the end of the term, students should have acquired sufficient competence to handle longer conversations, write letters and brief essays, read certain plays, and (with the aid of a dictionary) newspapers and magazines. Course text is Intermediate Tagalog, Developing Cultural Awareness Through Language by Teresita Ramos and Rosalina Morales Goulet. Supplementary readings and visual aids will be provided when appropriate. WL:2 (Agas Weller)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

214(436). Intermediate Tamil. S&SEA 213. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in S&SEA 374. (3). (LR).
This course is designed to further students skills in speaking and writing, and development of vocabulary as well as increase their proficiency in reading and comprehension. A standard textbook is used, supplemented by HyperCard Tamil software consisting of a sequence of graded dialogues chosen from daily conversations and Tamil movies. Evaluation is based on classroom performance, homework assignments, tests, and a final exam. WL:2 (Radhakrishnan)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

216. Intermediate Vietnamese. S&SEA 215. (4). (LR).
This course continues to develop the students' four language skills speaking, listening, reading and writing in Vietnamese. Although emphasis is given to the development of reading and writing skills, supplementary materials distributed throughout the term will provide the students with knowledge of various sociocultural aspects of Vietnam. By the end of the course, students should have acquired sufficient competence to handle casual conversation, write short compositions, and read Vietnamese newspapers. Evaluation will be based on class attendance and performance, home assignments, tests, and a final examination. WL:2 (Nguyen)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

402. Advanced Thai. S&SEA 401. (3). (Excl).
In this course students will complete the move from material written specifically for foreign language learners to "real" Thai, including such genres as newspaper articles, essays, and fiction. Class discussion of the reading selections and other topics will be in Thai, giving students the chance to acquire more sophisticated oral skills such as those of advancing and supporting opinions and interpretations. Written assignments will advance students' facility at writing Thai. WL:2 (Krishnamra)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

404. Advanced Indonesian. S&SEA 403. (3). (Excl).
The course is aimed at the further development of the students' proficiency in the four basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) in modern Indonesian. The course work is designed to improve the students' command of basic grammatical structures as well as to build advanced vocabulary. Sociocultural orientation will increase the student's familiarity with the important sociolinguistic aspects of Indonesian language use. The course stresses active manipulation of practical vocabulary for both formal and informal language situations. Readings further the student's exposure to modern Indonesian literature. Evaluation is based on classroom performance, homework assignments, tests, and a final exam or project. WL:2 (Sudarsih)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

414(536). Advanced Tamil. S&SEA 413. (3). (Excl).
This course is designed to further the students' skills in understanding the diglossic nature of Tamil and different styles of writing. As well, students will continue to learn about the history of Tamil literature and the land, as well as increase their proficiency in reading novels and modern poetry. A standard set of text books is used. Further, students will be required to listen to and comprehend graded dialogues chosen from daily conversations, public speeches, and movies. Evaluation is based on classroom performance, assignments, weekly tests, and a final exam. WL:2 (Radhakrishnan)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

416(598). Advanced Vietnamese. S&SEA 415. (3). (Excl).
This course aims at improving the students' proficiency in reading and writing, although increasing emphasis is given to text analysis and discussion. A wide selection of materials, ranging from literary books to newspapers, folk stories and other economic and cultural articles, will provide the students opportunities to get acquainted with various sociocultural aspects of Vietnam. Course evaluation will be graded on classroom attendance and performance, homework assignments, and a final examination. WL:2 (Nguyen)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

464. Advanced Readings of Modern Indonesian Texts II. S&SEA 404. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
The course is designed to introduce the student to critical readings of modern Indonesian texts. A reading and speaking knowledge of modern Indonesian is prerequisite. With an emphasis on text analysis, the student is required to produce critical commentaries on (and sometimes translations of) selected passages from a variety of assigned texts. The course is run as a seminar with discussion conducted in Indonesian. Evaluation is based on the written assignments and classroom performance. WL:2 (Florida/Sudarsih)
Check Times, Location, and Availability


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.