Chinese Language and Culture

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Course Date: 11 August 2014 to 09 September 2014

Price: free

Course Summary

This course provides you with insights into the rich fabric of the cultures of China. You will develop a basic understanding of written Chinese, its history and expression in calligraphy. We will also explore the origins and variety of Chinese cuisine, the role of food in festivals and the etiquette of Chinese dining and tea drinking. You will also look at the origins of some of the values that underpin Chinese society and how these are being affected by economic development and urbanisation. You will uncover some of the symbolism of numbers and colours and the Chinese Zodiac and get a feel for how traditional values and beliefs are expressed in Chinese opera and architecture. After completing this course you will have a greater understanding of Chinese language and culture how contemporary China has been framed by both tradition and its place in our increasingly globalised world. You will have a menu from which to choose topics that you may wish to pursue through further studies.

Course Instructors

Professor Liu Cheng (Brady)

Professor Liu Cheng is the Deputy Dean (Academic Affairs) at the School of International Education at South China University of Technology in Guangzhou.He obtained his PhD from Nanjing University. He has taught Chinese language and culture for over 14 years in China and overseas including preparation for Chinese language competency assessments and provided training in Chinese Business culture. He has researched and published on the teaching of Chinese as a Foreign language and undertaken comparative studies of Western and Chinese cultures. He has recently returned to Guangzhou after 2 years at Lancaster University (UK) where he was the Director of the Confucius Institute.

Course Description

What's it about?

This course provides you with insights into the rich fabric of the cultures of China. You will develop a basic understanding of written Chinese, its history and expression in calligraphy. We will also explore the origins and variety of Chinese cuisine, the role of food in festivals and the etiquette of Chinese dining and tea drinking.

This course provides you with insights into the rich fabric of the cultures of China. You will develop a basic understanding of written Chinese, its history and expression in calligraphy. We will also explore the origins and variety of Chinese cuisine, the role of food in festivals and the etiquette of Chinese dining and tea drinking. You will also look at the origins of some of the values that underpin Chinese society and how these are being affected by economic development and urbanisation. You will uncover some of the symbolism of numbers and colours and the Chinese Zodiac and get a feel for how traditional values and beliefs are expressed in Chinese opera and architecture.

After completing this course you will have a greater understanding of Chinese language and culture how contemporary China has been framed by both tradition and its place in our increasingly globalised world. You will have a menu from which to choose topics that you may wish to pursue through further studies.

What's involved?

Module 1Differences Across Regions and Nationalities
9 videos, 8 quizzes, 1 assessment11 Aug - 17 Aug
Module 2Chinese Cuisine and its Social Significance
7 videos, 6 quizzes, 1 assessment18 Aug - 24 Aug
Module 3Diversity of Chinese Culture
6 videos, 5 quizzes, 1 assessment25 Aug - 31 Aug
Module 4Symbols, Art and Education
6 videos, 5 quizzes, 1 assessment1 Sep - 7 Sep

What will I learn?

  • You will understand the long heritage of Chinese society and the diversity of the Chinese landscape, its cultures and nationalities.
  • You will acquire a broad appreciation of, philosophies and social values that underpin contemporary Chinese society, and how these are evolving in modern China.
  • You will understand the origins of and the high value placed on education and writing, including Chinese calligraphy.
  • You will understand the structure of Chinese written characters, the role of the Pinyin writing system, and be able to recognise and write some Chinese characters.
  • You will be able to identify key features of the different cuisines of China and put dining etiquette into practice.
  • You will have a good basic appreciation of the symbolism of numbers, colours and animals and features of Chinese opera and architecture.

This course requires approximately 2 - 4 hours of study per week, but can vary depending on the student. This includes watching videos, and taking quizzes and assessments. The total video time for this course is approximately 2 hours 53 minutes.

If you pass this course you'll receive a Certificate of Achievement. While this certificate isn't a formal qualification or credit, you can use it to demonstrate your interest in learning about this area to potential employers or educational institutions.

Where to from here?

If you love this course, why not take your studies further? Here are some accredited qualifications that could help you achieve your goals.

Where could this lead me?

If you're wondering what your future could look like in this area, here are some potential careers you could head towards.

  • Asian Studies Teachers
  • Tourism and Travel Advisers
  • International Event Management
  • English Teachers (as a Second Language)
  • Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

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