Comprehensive Course Syllabus — Mandarin Chinese II (WLG 620)

Course Description
Students build upon the skills developed in Mandarin Chinese I. They develop greater proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing with an emphasis on more complex structures and descriptive expressions. Speaking will become more sophisticated as they engage in discourse involving narations that reflect connectedness and cohesiveness. The topical context is expanded from the student’s immediate world to the world of the target cultures in this year.


  • Name: Yinshun Wang  王老师  (Wang Laoshi)
  • Office Number:  A134
  • Telephone number:  630-907-5470
  • Email addresses:

Meetings Days, Times & Rooms
Section 201:Section 202:
9 am -9:55 am on A/B/C/D days, 11 am -11:55 am on A/ B/C/D days
Room A156

Office Hours
2:15—4:00 on A/B/C/D days
10:00—3:00 on I days
or by appointment

Texts / Materials
Chinese Link中文天地Elementary Chinese. Level I Part I and Level I Part II, Wu, Yu, Zhang, & Tian. Prentice Hall, 2007
Live Interactive Chinese Magazine互动华语 Vol. 1 – 8, LiveABC Interactive, 2007-

Students are expected to have:
Voice and video recording equipment, computers equipped with Chinese input capability, a 1.5-inch 3-ring binder, a journal ($1), pens of varied colors.

Essential Content
Level II curriculum is organized around the students’ world. It encourages students to communicate at an elementary to intermediate level on topics that reflect their daily lives. Level II topics may include School life, Food, Clothes & Fashion, Shopping, Home Geography.

SSLs and Outcomes

I.A. Students are expected to demonstrate automaticity in skills, concepts, and processes that enable complex thought by…

  • controlling the linguistic system (syntax, morphology, phonology, semantics, lexis)
  • engaging in oral and written discourse
  • using strategies that enhance the effectiveness of communication
  • applying content knowledge to create with the target language.
  • providing and obtaining information
  • decoding written and spoken language on a variety of topics
  • presenting information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics
  • transferring content knowledge in alternative scenarios and new problems

II. A. Students are expected to identify unexamined cultural, historical, and personal assumptions and misconceptions that impede and skew inquiry by…

  • recognizing that language learning is not simply a word-for-word translation process, but rather the acquisition of an entirely new set of concepts
  • processing information on the nature of language and/or culture
  • identifying patterns among language systems

IV.B. Students are expected to write and speak with power, economy, and elegance by…

  • providing and obtaining information
  • presenting information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics
  • controlling the linguistic system (syntax, morphology, phonology, semantics, lexis)
  • using strategies that enhance the effectiveness of communication
  • engaging in oral and written discourse on given topics
  • recognizing the linguistic and cultural differences that contribute to the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures
  • compensating for linguistic inadequacies and cultural differences when they occur, and applying knowledge of cultural perspectives governing interactions between individuals of different age, status, and background

IV.D. Students are expected to develop an aesthetic awareness and capability by…

  • recognizing that language learning is not a word-for-word translation process, but is the acquisition of an entirely new set of concepts.
  • recognizing that people of other cultures view the world from a perspective different from their own
  • experiencing and appreciating the artistic and cultural creations of other cultures

Students are expected to identify, understand, and accept the rights and responsibilities of belonging to a diverse community by…

  • recognizing the existence of other peoples’ world views, their unique way of life, and the patterns of behavior which order their world
  • assessing the linguistic and cultural differences that contribute to the distinctive viewpoints that are only available through the foreign language and its cultures
  • engaging in oral and written discourse
  • providing and obtaining information
  • expressing feelings and emotions
  • exchanging opinions
  • compensating for linguistic inadequacies and cultural differences when they occur, and applying knowledge of cultural perspectives governing interactions between individuals of different age, status, and background
  • \explaining the process of stereotyping and the role stereotypes play in forming and sustaining prejudice
  • demonstrating mutual cultural understanding and respect
  • engaging in meaningful direct interactions with members of other cultures and sharing their knowledge of language and culture

Instructional Design and Approach
World Languages teachers establish an immersion classroom where the goal is communication in the target language with correct, uninhibited, and creative expressions. “Communication” includes speaking, reading, listening, and writing. We denote, and help students to develop skills in, three modes of communication: presentational, interpersonal, and interpretive. Our instructional design provides the opportunity for students to develop core competency learner characteristics. We empower and enable students to discover what they personally need in order to acquire and use a foreign language; we place responsibility on the individual student to collaborate, utilize problem-solving skills, and critical and creative thinking. We ask students to persist through frustration, and to maintain a tolerance for ambiguity; we demand that they look at problematic situations from various viewpoints and perspectives, and we design instruction so that they must develop and go beyond automaticity, actively construct meaning, seek connections and interactions that deepen understanding, and appreciate the value of knowledge from multiple sources and perspectives. We help students develop the cultural sensitivity that is necessary to guard against miscommunication or misunderstanding. We assume that students will display the motivation, maturity, and personal responsibility necessary to participate in this sort of language acquisition environment.

Expectations for students
Students are expected to be in class daily, to be punctual and to be prepared. In our immersion-based classroom, primary emphasis is on comprehension and communication in the target language. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. The goal is uninhibited, creative expression and communication in Chinese, stressing a language comprehensible to the native speaker. In addition, students are expected to develop a cultural sensitivity to avoid miscommunication or misunderstanding.

The amount of time outside of class that a student needs to spend in order to acquire proficiency in Chinese varies from individual to individual. A reasonable expectation is 20-30 minutes (e.g. 10-15 minutes on listening/speaking, 10-15 minutes in writing characters) per day. Shorter daily study sessions are much more conducive to language acquisition than one or two longer periods during the week. Active class participation is essential to student success and to the success of the course. Also students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities to be able to practice and reinforce what they have learned in the classroom with so many native Mandarin-speaking students on campus.

Homework is assigned to help students achieve the target proficiency standards – do well in major assessments. You are required to complete the homework. It will not be graded,but quizzes on homework will be graded and recorded in PowerSchool. In addition, completion of designated homework may also be required prior to major assessments/reassessments.

Although students are expected to work collaboratively both inside and outside of the class; most homework assignments are to be completed individually. Please refer to Student Handbook for IMSA academic dishonesty policies.

Bathroom passes: If the student absolutely needs to use one, the student is expected to request politely in Chinese.

The WL team follows the Academy’s attendance policy. In addition to the effect on the attendance records, tardiness and unexcused absences will affect student’s participation grade.

Assessment Practices and Processes
Assessment is an ongoing process of goal setting and measuring involves both the teacher and the student. The teacher provides regular feedback on student performance. Students incorporate the teacher’s feedback to improve their proficiency. Students are encouraged to engage in self-assessment regularly. Emphasis is on continuous efforts to improve language proficiency instead of completion of tactical tasks.

Students are assessed daily on the production of spoken and written language, and on reading and listening comprehension. Summative assessments are held towards the conclusion of each unit.

There are two types of assessment: formative and summative.

Formative assessments are used throughout instructions to provide the teacher and students with the indications of students’ progress. They are given frequently to help you master the necessary skills. In general, there are 20-30 formative assessments per semester. Failure to do well in one quiz will not significantly affect your grade. This approach was designed to allow you to take risks and learn while making mistakes.

Summative assessments are unit tests. They provide evidence on whether you have achieved the unit objectives and targeted proficiency. There are 3 modes of assessments: interpretive, interpersonal and presentational. In each unit, you will be asked to demonstrate your mastery in all three modes. These summative assessments assess what the students can do with language in spontaneous and unrehearsed fashion in terms of speaking, writing, listening, and reading in simulated real-world situations in familiar contexts.

Make-up assessments are given at the discretion of the instructor. Students with unexcused absence will not be entitled to the privilege of make-up exams. Students who miss a test for a valid reason should notify the instructor beforeexam time if at all possible. If a make-up test is appropriate, students should arrange to take a make-up exam as soon as possible within one week of the scheduled time of the exam. Since students taking a make-up exam have the advantage of additional time to prepare, the make-up exam may be somewhat more difficult than the original exam.

Reassessments opportunities are available for students who receive grades less than 70% within two weeks after the test date. There will be requirements to be fulfilled prior to the reassessments, examples are, but not limited to, completions of homework or satisfactory results on highly relevant quizzes. Students will receive 80% of the grade of the reassessment. The maximum grade that students will receive for the reassessments is 80%.

World Language Expectations for End of 2nd Year Mandarin Chinese Students

  Exceeds Expectations Meets Expectations Does Not Meet


ACTFL Proficiency Level Intermediate Low Novice High Novice Mid
Power School Grade A/A- B+/B/B- C+/C/C-/D


Type   Projected # of


Total %
Formative Homework Quizzes/Tingxies

In-class task-based activities and class participation

6-8 30
Summative Interpretive: listening & reading comprehension 1-2 70
Presentational: oral presentation & writing projects 1-2
Interpersonal: video assessments, interviews 1
Integrated Performance Assessment: a cluster assessment featuring three tasks, each of which reflects one of the three modes of communication–Interpretive, Interpersonal and Presentational 1

Cut-off values for grades:
A  92.5%
A-  90%
B+  87.5%
B  82.5%
B-  80%
C+  77.5%
C  72.5%
C-  70%

Sequence of Topics and Activities
Further explanation, including targeted SSLs, grammar, vocabulary, and culture, will be provided at the start of each unit.

My High School Life   高中生活
talking about recreational activities, weekend plans, describing intent/wish, making a date

Essential Questions:

  1. How is my schedule during and after school?
  2. How does my new school year differ from my previous?
  3. How do I balance school work and life?

Food   食物
expressing and enquiring about food preference, presenting/choosing from alternatives, ordering food at a restaurant, describing flavors and tastes, requesting service at a restaurant, complaining about food/service, and providing basic commentary on food

Essential Questions:

  1. Is American food available in China? What are common American food and popular drinks in China?
  2. What are common Chinese food, such as Jiaozi, Baozi and spring rolls?
  3. What is Chinese dining etiquette? How is it different from American dining etiquette?
  4. What is on an authentic Chinese menu? How do some famous dishes taste like?
  5. What role does food play in the Chinese culture?

Clothes& Fashion   服饰和流行
describing clothing, accessories, likes and dislikes in fashion, identifying various shops and understanding shopping convention associated with different shops engaging in shopping activities, seeking assistance in a shop; developing negotiating strategies

Essential Questions:

  1. What do I wear for various occasions?
  2. What do I like and dislike when it comes to clothing and accessories?
  3. Are general and teenage fashion trend different in the US and China? What are the differences?

Shopping   买东西
interpreting nominal prices and determining actual prices out of sales signs and flyers, understanding marketing strategies, engaging in shopping activities, seeking assistance in a shop; developing negotiating strategies

Essential Questions:

  1. Where do Chinese shop for food?
  2. What kind of food does a local oriental grocery store sell?
  3. How can I carry out simple transactions in grocery shopping?

Making Friends   交朋友
describing your interactions with your friends, making phone calls, writing letters and email, describing your emotions, making aware of and explaining your emotional needs to your friends

Essential Questions:

  1. What does it mean to be a good friend?
  2. How to handle touchy friendship troubles with finesse?
  3. What is the nature of dating relationship in China? Is it different?

Home Geography   东西南北
describing locations and positions, describing surroundings of home and school, identifying room names in a house/school, listing furniture items, ask and give directions.

Essential Questions:

  1. What are the furniture items in my room?
  2. Where do I visit on campus every day?
  3. How do I describe locations and give directions from one place to other?

To reference IMSA’s World Language Learning Standards: