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Chinese Program

Why Study Chinese?

Chinese is spoken by over 1.2 billion people, making it the most widely spoken language in the world!

China plays a major role in world affairs. As China has opened up to the West, there are growing opportunities for employment in all areas. So China is important for your career.

Traditional Chinese culture, from Confucianism and Chan Buddhism to martial arts and Chinese cuisine, has an enormous influence on East and Southeast Asian nations. Chinese culture has also greatly inspired the western world.

Learning Chinese is an extraordinary and agreeable experience through which you can immerse yourself in a different culture. Unlike most languages, Chinese has a unique ideographic writing system, which provides visual comprehensibility. The grammatical structure of Chinese is not only logical, but also pragmatic, related to the particular way of Chinese thinking. Knowledge of the written language opens up the culture of one of the world's oldest civilizations.

Lastly, our University has one of the largest and most established Chinese language programs in North America. Our quality Chinese language education enjoys strong support from well-developed China studies programs and resources on campus and, in turn, provides our students with a solid foundation in Chinese language and culture.  

For detailed information on the Chinese Placement Exam, please visit our Placement & Proficiency Test webpage.

Chinese Language Courses

Chinese Language Courses

Fall Term

ASIANLAN 101: First Year Chinese I (5 credits)

ASIANLAN 100: Accelerated Elementary Chinese (3 credits) (for students with some Chinese language background but not enough to be placed into ASIANLAN 102)

ASIANLAN 201: Second Year Chinese I (5 credits)

ASIANLAN 301: Third Year Chinese I (5 credits)

ASIANLAN 305: Intermediate Spoken Chinese I (2 credits)

ASIANLAN 401: Advanced Spoken Chinese I (2 credits)

Winter Term Courses

ASIANLAN 102: First Year Chinese II (5 credits)

ASIANLAN 202: Second Year Chinese II (5 credits) (Completion of this course with a grade of C- or better fulfills the LSA Language Requirement)

ASIANLAN 302: Third Year Chinese II (5 credits)

Heritage Learner Track

ASIANLAN 104: First Year Chinese for Heritage Speakers (4 credits)

ASIANLAN 204: Second Year Chinese for Heritage Speakers (4 credits) (Completion of this course with a grade of C- or better fulfills the LSA Language Requirement)

ASIANLAN 304: Third Year Chinese for Heritage Speakers (4 credits)

ASIANLAN 306: Intermediate Spoken Chinese II (2 credits)

Other Courses These courses aren't offered in a specific term.

ASIANLAN 108: Chinese Calligraphy (2 credits)

ASIANLAN 205: Mandarin Pronunciation (2 credits)

ASIANLAN 403: Introduction to Chinese Linguistics (3 credits)

ASIANLAN 404: Reading and Writing Chinese IV (4 credits)

ASIANLAN 405: Business Chinese I (3 credits)

ASIANLAN 406: Business Chinese II (3 credits)

ASIANLAN 407: Advanced Chinese Reading and Writing I (3 credits)

ASIANLAN 408: Advanced Chinese Reading and Writing II (3 credits)

ASIANLAN 409: Classical Chinese in Modern Context (3 credits)

ASIANLAN 410: Media Chinese (3 credits)

ASIANLAN 413: Media Chinese: Movies and Television (3 credits)

ASIANLAN 445: Chinese Language Pedagogy (3 credits)

Summer Language Institute Intensive Chinese Courses

ASIANLAN 103: Intensive First Year Chinese (10 credits)

ASIANLAN 203: Intensive Second Year Chinese (10 credits) (Completion of this course with a grade of C- or better fulfills the LSA Language Requirement)

Please note that changes are being made to our Summer Language Institute, once plans are finialzed we will share more on our website. 

Chinese Language Program Activities

Chinese Tables: Get together with your Chinese teachers and Chinese-studying peers and practice Chinese in a casual and relaxing setting.

Annual Chinese New Year Celebration: A fun party to celebrate Chinese New Year with delicious Chinese food and New Year games.

Please contact Dr. Kening Li, the Director of the Chinese Language Program, for more information (

Chinese Learning Tools

The Chinese Language Program has partnered with Clavis Sinica to offer customized Chinese learning software to students in Chinese language classes at the University of Michigan. In first year and second year Chinese courses, students use a mobile app called the "Xiezi Chinese Character Trainer" to help them learn to write the characters introduced in each textbook lesson. Second and third year students have access to a web-based Audiotext Reader applet that helps them develop their Chinese reading, speaking, and oral comprehension skills while studying assigned reading passages from each textbook unit. Please find more resources here.

In addition, the University of Michigan's Language Resource Center offers many resources and services for U-M students.