Asian Languages and Literatures

Students who graduate with a major in Chinese or Japanese are expected to be proficient in their chosen language and to have a solid grounding in the literature and culture of China or Japan.

The anticipated language proficiency level for Japanese majors is equivalent to level 2 in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Chinese majors' anticipated proficiency level in the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) is under review. The level of language proficiency that we expect from our Chinese and Japanese majors involves the demonstrated ability to:

  • speak fluently with good grammatical, lexical and cultural accuracy in formal and informal speaking styles.
  • read authentic texts such as literature, newspapers, and magazines.
  • understand spoken language in daily conversations, public speeches and media.
  • engage and discuss cultural values and assumptions in readings and mass media.
  • translate a short story, essay, poetry, or excerpts from news, film and other media.
  • write accurate and meaningful reports and descriptions in formal written prose, and letters and notes in formal and informal language.
  • in the case of Chinese majors, read classical Chinese texts of moderate difficulty; in the case of Japanese majors, read annotated texts in classical Japanese.

A solid grounding in the literature and culture of China or Japan involves:

  • knowledge of classical and modern literary texts, films, and other media.
  • ability to analyze and interpret texts in an informed and sensitive way, both orally and in writing.
  • understanding and experience of cultural practices, enabling successful interaction in a Chinese or Japanese cultural environment.
  • ability to undertake and implement independent research, showing a command of primary and secondary sources.