Carving the Dragon: Teaching Literary Chinese and Classical Chinese Literature in the College

Xin Ning

Asian Languages and Cultures Department, Rutgers University

Despite the rapid growth of Chinese programs in the United States and the diversified needs and expectations of students, literary Chinese (文言文)seems not to be the priority on the list of studentsĺ interests, and not every Chinese language program takes pains to design and offer a literary Chinese course to its students, whether in K-12 schools or colleges. Nonetheless, I argue that to successfully master Chinese language and to better understand Chinese culture, the study of literary Chinese is indispensible. In certain schools, literary Chinese courses have been offered for years and very successful. My home university, Rutgers, is one of them. In this paper, I would briefly discuss some aspects of literary Chinese teaching in college classrooms, including the design of syllabus, assessment process, and how to meet the different needs of a mixed student population composed of both heritage and non-heritage students. Some of the ideas are based on my own teaching experiences and others are drawn from the practices of my colleagues at Rutgers. Also in this paper I argue that the teaching of literary Chinese can be, and indeed should be, incorporated with the content courses about Chinese culture and civilization, and help students to develop not only their interests in Chinese tradition but their comparative perspective in the studies of humanities in general.














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Family name: NING


First name: Xin


Names in Chinese characters: 宁欣


Gender: M


Highest degree: Dr.


Job title: Lecturer


Affiliation: Asian Dept., Rutgers University


Office address: 330, Scott Hall, 43 College Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08901


Home address: 42A Bartle Court, Highland Park, NJ 08904


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The topic of your paper: Carving the Dragon: Teaching Literary Chinese and Classical Chinese Literature in the College


Would you like your paper to be published if accepted? Yes


Will you attend the conference without a paper? No