Thursday, November 18, 2010

Seminar teaches students Chinese language and culture

By Emily Dee
Cardinal Staff

An introduction to Chinese language and culture seminar is being offered to students at Saint Mary’s University who showed an interest in learning conversational Chinese, according to Jim Bedtke, vice president of the college.

Bedtke said the idea came after hearing inquiries from interested students in the past. He then discussed the details of implementing the idea with Dr. Elizabeth Throop, dean of the School of the Humanities and Sciences.

Throop sent out an e-mail message to students and said the response was good. After 60 students responded to the e-mail, Throop said first priority had to be given to the first 20 or 30 students in order to accommodate everyone participating.

According to Throop, the instructor for the seminar is Lynn Chao, SMU graduate student and native of Taipei, Taiwan. “I am delighted that she’s here. She’s very bright and very competent,” said Throop. The seminar, which started Monday, Nov. 1 will meet each Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. for six sessions, ending on Monday, Dec. 13. Troop noted that many SMU Chinese students have volunteered to serve as tutors for students taking the seminar.

Throop said there will be an opportunity this spring semester for students who would like to learn about the Chinese language and culture in a business course. The class will be taught by Dr. Thomas Marpe, chair of the business department and dean of the School of Business, as a “special topics” class.

Marpe said the class will include discussion of conversational Mandarin Chinese in a business context. The class, BU 461 A Topics: Chinese & Business, will be offered for three credits every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:20 p.m., according to Marpe.

Marpe said Lynn Chao would help out by being involved in the language aspect of the class while he would teach students how to apply the language to the business world. There are no prerequisites for the class, and is open to both business and non-business majors.

“The class is a good opportunity for students if they want to learn a little bit of Chinese and how it’s applied in the business world,” said Marpe.

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