Studying Chinese at Drake University is rewarding and productive from the very first day of class. Regardless of the level of study, students work with a native speaker of Chinese and no more than four classmates and use Chinese exclusively to communicate things that are truly meaningful, i.e., not the mindless filler materials found in many current textbooks.

Through the standard sequence of courses (001, 002, 051, 052, 140, 150), students expand their competencies beyond the initial emphasis on speaking in order to develop skills in listening, writing, and reading.

In each Chinese course, as in every language course in the program, students produce an individual electronic portfolio that normally consists of recordings students make of their own voices following a provided model, samples of videos students make of themselves, writing samples, clips from examinations, etc. This record allows the faculty and the students themselves to track progress both within a given semester and over several semesters. Students can also use the ePortfolios after graduation to demonstrate to potential employers or graduate schools their ability to function in Chinese.

Culture is not, of course, neglected in these courses. The faculty of World Languages and Cultures is well aware that culture is embedded in every language. The study of culture is additionally enhanced through the use of weblogs that focus the students attention on many important topical, historical, and useful themes. The blogs are utilized in both English and Chinese, depending on the students level of proficiency with the language.

Students studying the Chinese language have many opportunities to study abroad to improve their language skills; find out more about these options here.  Also, Drake's Chinese Cultural Exchange Program provides a great opportunity for students to teach in China after graduation, something many of our students of Chinese do.

We are also happy to announce that as of Fall 2010, Chinese 002 and 052 are available to count toward students requirements for the Areas of Inquiry in the category of International and Multicultural!  Students are able to take language courses to fulfill these university-wide requirements toward graduation. 


Faculty Contact Information

Cyndi Chen

205 Meredith Hall


Courses Offered

To see our current course offerings, please navigate through the Drake Schedule of Classes.