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Asian Languages & Cultures Departmental Information
The department offers instruction in the languages, literatures, linguistics, and cultures of China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, including courses in traditional and modern Chinese and Japanese literature, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean civilization, Chinese philosophy, courses in the literatures and cultures of South and Southeast Asia, and a sequence of courses on the religions of China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, South and Southeast Asia. The department offers an undergraduate major in Asian Studies as well as minors in Asian Studies and Asian Languages and Cultures. Undergraduates are encouraged to consult department advisors about appropriate electives, about introducing an Asian component into a plan for the major focused in another department, as well as developing a plan of study leading to a major in Asian Studies.
The Department's core courses in the modern languages of East, South, and Southeast Asia are designed to develop proficiency in the basic skills of speaking, aural comprehension, reading, and writing. To speed students progress toward a working knowledge of the language, intensive work in Chinese and Japanese is usually offered during the summer (students must apply for admission to the summer program).
The faculty and staff in the Department reserve the right to require students with previous background in an Asian language to take a placement test. Students will be placed in language classes according to the Department's best assessment of the student's language skill and previous training. The Department's first-year language courses are designed for students with minimal or no previous exposure to the language in question. Students having previous experience with a language may be required to begin study at a higher level of instruction.
Undergraduates with native or near native ability in Chinese of Japanese should not concentrate in their respective languages in this department. These students, who by background have already completed the language requirements for a major in either Chinese or Japanese, are better served by a major in some other field, such as Asian Studies, English, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, Religion, History, etc. Students who have native or near native command of Japanese and who wish to take language courses required for major in Chinese, are welcome to do so. Students with a language background in Chinese likewise may consider a major in Japanese.
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