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Arizona State University Chinese Language Flagship Partner Program

Arizona State UniversityUnited States

Topic(s): Internationalization
Department:
the School of International Letters and Culture
Funding Source:
Government
Partners:
Higher Ed - Public, Government
Enrollment:
67,000 (2008)
Highest Degree Offered:
Doctorate
Project Contact Information:
Mia Segura
ASU Chinese Language Flagship Partner Program
Wilson Hall Building, 3rd Floor, Arizona State University
Tempe
Arizona
85287-5803
United States
Phone:
001-(480)-965.4232
Abstract

The Chinese Language Flagship Partner Program at Arizona State University (ASU) is a two-year undergraduate program, part of a four year undergraduate degree. It is designed for advanced Mandarin language learners who seek to develop their language skills while pursing degrees in another major. The Language Flagship program leads the nation in designing, supporting, and implementing a new paradigm for advanced language education. The program is a federally-funded and is part of the National Security Education Program (NSEP) at the U.S. Department of Defense. NSEP is designed for universities that are looking for innovative ways to help their students reach advanced levels of proficiency in less commonly taught languages.

During the first year of the two-year language program, students take advanced-level content courses at ASU that are taught in Mandarin. The curriculum is designed to advance students’ language skills through the following three approaches: individual and group projects and presentations; class discussion and debate; and individualized writing tutorials. After completing the first year at ASU, students are required to take classes in their field of study at Nanjing University in China to further develop the language skills. Students then spend another semester participating in an internship program that is arranged by the Flagship Center in Qingdao. The students receive a Flagship Certificate upon successful completion of the program. The goal of the program is to produce graduates with dual strengths in professional-level Mandarin language proficiency and their chosen career domains.

Project Description

The Language Flagship program is a national effort to change the way Americans learn foreign languages. It made up of 23 Flagship centers and programs at institutions of higher education. The Chinese Language Flagship Partner Program at ASU is part of the School of International Letters and Cultures. The program is an intensive two-year undergraduate program designed for upper-intermediate to advance Mandarin language learners, who seek to achieve superior language proficiency while pursuing degrees in the academic major of their choice. The goal of the program is to produce graduates with dual strengths in professional-level Mandarin language proficiency and their chosen career domains.

During the first year of the Chinese language program at ASU, students take advanced-level courses that are taught in Mandarin. The courses relate to issues of Chinese culture, society, and global engagement from the perspective of cross cultural awareness. During the 2010-2011 academic year, the course offerings “Chinese for Professional Purpose”; “Bridging Science, Technology, and Humanities in China”; “The History of Chinese Medicine”; and “Urban Life and Culture in Pre-modern China.” The curriculum is designed to expose students to explicit language strategies to advance their language skills. To reach this goal, the program creates the following three approaches: individual and group projects and presentations; class discussion and debate; and individualized writing tutorials.

After completing the first year of the Chinese language program at ASU, the students will spend one semester at Nanjing University, where they enroll directly in courses of their major, thereby further developing and refining language skills.  The students receive credit through Nanjing University as an ASU study abroad program. The students then spend another semester at Qingdao University participating in an internship program. The credits they earned through the internship program may be applied toward the Flagship Track of the BA major in Chinese at ASU, and most students will also earn a BA degree in their primary major. The students need to take a test and receive a Flagship Certificate upon successful completion of the program.

The Chinese Language Flagship Partner Program at ASU started in 2007 with the first cohort of eight students entering in fall 2008. In the spring of 2009 there were ten students. Flagship students are unique because they represent a wide range of academic majors, such as architecture, business, international affairs, and pre-law.

Project Results

As of July 2009, the Chinese Language Flagship Partner Program at ASU has not completed a full two year cycle. No students have graduated yet from this program. The Flagship Program office is working with the study abroad program at ASU to formulate the internship, with support from the School of International Letters and Culture, the Center for Asian Research, Office of the Global Engagement, and the Office of Study Abroad at ASU.

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