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Language and Academic Programs

The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures (ALC) is proud of its long and excellent tradition of language instruction. The Department offers instruction in fourteen Asian languages: Bengali, classical and modern Chinese, Filipino, Hindi, Indonesian, classical and modern Japanese, Javanese, Korean, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Thai, classical and modern Tibetan, Urdu and Vietnamese. Most of these languages are offered from the beginner's level to the advanced level, with many offering advanced topics courses.

The Department's core courses in the modern languages of East, South, and Southeast Asia are designed to develop proficiency in the basic skills of speaking, oral comprehension, reading and writing. All of the ALC language courses are listed under “Asian Languages” (ASIANLAN) in the LSA Course Guide.

To speed students' progress toward a working knowledge of the languages, intensive work in Chinese and Japanese are usually offered at Michigan during the summer through the Summer Language Institute (SLI); students must apply for admission to this program.

The faculty and staff in the Department reserve the right to require students with previous background in an Asian language to take a placement test. Students will be placed in language classes according to the Department's best assessment of the student's language skill and previous training. The Department's first-year language courses are designed for students with minimal or no previous exposure to the language in question. Students having previous experience with a language may be required to begin study at a higher level of instruction.