"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." —Nelson Mandela
World Languages and Literatures
The study of languages has become essential to any global citizen’s education as the world becomes more and more internationally connected, and as individual nations become increasingly diverse. To be able to communicate effectively with people from different parts of the world is not only a lifelong skill that enhances the individual’s ability to think outside the boundaries of his or her native culture, but is also a practical skill that can be applied to any line of work. That being said, global citizenship does not end at language proficiency—our higher-level classes are designed to deepen the student’s familiarity with the culture in which the target language is embedded. By discussing different kinds of texts in the chosen language, students will both enhance their linguistic skills and develop a more refined consciousness of the culture’s traditions and idiosyncrasies. Our goal is to develop in our students a cultural competency that will allow them to enter the world aware of how they relate to and approach other cultures, so that they are prepared to use their knowledge and abilities in whatever field interests them.
The Chinese Program
Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world today. The Chinese Program at Skidmore offers language classes from beginning to advanced levels, as well as courses in Chinese literature and culture. Many other departments and programs offer other courses about China. Our curriculum can lead to a minor in Chinese or provide the basis for a major in Asian Studies. The Chinese Program has also been successful with students who select a self-determined major in Chinese.
The Chinese Minor
The minor program consists of a minimum of five courses totaling not less than 18 credit hours, including Introduction to Chinese Literature and Culture and Advance Language Across the Curriculum, a course where students discuss texts from a different discipline or class in Chinese. This also includes a minimum of 12 credit hours in Chinese language beyond FC 101: Elementary Chinese I. One course may be a designated FL course (that is a course taught in English but with a Chinese literary focus) or may be an approved course in another department/program. At least three of the courses must be taken at Skidmore.
- Intermediate Chinese
- Business Chinese
- Chinese Language and Culture
- Advanced Chinese Conversation and Composition
- Introduction to Chinese Culture and Literature
- Chinese Language and Literature Discussion
- Modern China
Study abroad programs: Popular study abroad programs for Chinese minors are Associated College Program, Middlebury Program, IES Beijing (China) and SIT Kunming: Language, Culture, and Ethnic Minorities (China). To see other study abroad opportunities, we encourage you to visit Off-Campus Studies & Exchanges.
Skidmore students who graduate with a major or a minor in foreign languages and literatures are equipped to pursue a wide variety of careers including education, business, government, law, and media-related professions. For more, see the following webpage.