Chinese I

A dinosaur
LecturerYuko KATSUKAWA, Associate Professor
DepartmentInstitute of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 2015 Spring
Recommended for:School of Engineering (1.51.5 hours / session One session / week 15 weeks / semester)

Course Overview

The aim of this course is to comprehensively learn/master Introductory Chinese, and to cultivate fundamental skills by grasping the big picture of Chinese in terms of pronunciation, grammar, and expressions. This "Chinese I" course is a set course with "Chinese II", which are interrelated and complementary to each other. In "Chinese I", we will use a textbook that focusses in particular on grammar. Basic grammar will be explained not only theoretically, but also by learning easy to understand example phrases. By comparing Japanese and Chinese word order and basic sentence structure we will grasp the basic inflexibility of the Chinese language. Furthermore, through the study of Chinese words and phrases, we can get familiar with current Chinese society and the points of view and ways of thinking of Chinese people.

Key Features

Classes will be held keeping in mind the differences between understanding, ability, and linkage in the language and cultural fields. In terms of "understanding" (comprehensive knowledge) in the language area, because it is possible to intuitively "read" Chinese, it is easy to misinterpret and get confused, so we will use repetition to firmly grasp grammar from the introductory level. We will work to recognize "why Chinese is expressed this way" and the working principle behind the Chinese language as well as the fascination of its "expressions."

In terms of "capability" (operational ability) in the language area, we will follow a quiz format until the actual sounds produced match the Pinyin representation of pronunciation, and we will incorporate many readings, shadowing, and practicing in pairs so that we can master the Chinese language sounds. In addition to incorporating the TPR (Total Physical Response) as a part of the course, we teach Chinese that eliminates kanji and Pinyin, bringing students to enjoy learning while moving their bodies (see attached education materials).

In terms of "understanding and capability" in the cultural area, we will browse and search Chinese Internet sites, and introduce a method of Chinese keyboard input from an early stage. We will gather information about current topics happening in China and analyze how those topics are dealt with inside China. I offer a challenge each time through the NUCT (Nagoya University Collaboration and Course Tools) website, and although students complain that this is "annoying and time consuming" every semester, they submit interesting reports each time. In the second semester, there will be group activities that require students to give a presentation in Chinese on a simple theme or explaining a cooking recipe.

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to firmly establish the pronunciation and basic grammar of Chinese, and to improve students’ ability to express themselves. We strive to deepen students’ understanding of the thoughts, feelings, and customs of the Chinese people, as well as experience China as a different culture backgrounded by language instruction using authentic materials. The ultimate goal of this class is the development of independent Chinese language learners who have the motivation to continue learning.


"Issatsume no Chinese -Conversation Class-", Ying Liu, Sachiko Kitayama, Kanoko Matsuda (Hakusuisha)


Will be introduced in the classroom as needed.

Course Requirements

Must be concurrently registered with Chinese II.

Course Schedule

Specific teaching contents are as follows:

Session Contents
1 Pronunciation (1) tones (4 tones)
2 Pronunciation (2) vowels and consonants
3 Pronunciation (3) voiced sounds and unvoiced sounds, other etc.
4 Personal pronouns, the verb "to be", other
5 Demonstrative pronouns, adjective predicate sentences, other
6 Verb predicate sentences, interrogative questions, others
7 Auxiliary verb "to want", yes/no questions, manner of speaking particle "ba", others
8 Classifier (counter words), measure words, WH questions, others
9 The verb "to have" and "having", the verb for indicating location "zai", the preposition "from", others
10 Summary, review

Lecture Handouts

Note: All files are in Japanese. Chinese I


The final grade will reflect both the final test (70%) and attendance and homework (30%). Please pay attention to announcements made by instructors in class. Students who withdraw will not receive credit.

Last updated

October 26, 2015