The Chinese program has integrated community-based learning into many of its Mandarin language courses since fall 2013. These activities range from interactions with students in local elementary, middle, and high schools to conversations and celebrations with native-speakers from the local and global community. Photos from several of these events can be seen in the left column.

Interactions with Schools

The faculty (Carolyn Lee, Yan Liu, Dan Wang, Tianshu He, Chi-Ju Hsieh, Ya-chuan Chou, and Qiang Zhang) has partnered with Burton Elementary School and Shepard Middle School in a variety of ways including: teaching Chinese poems, incorporating art into Chinese characters, pinyin, and practicing vocabulary through songs. Watch the video (located in the left column) compiled by the Shepard teachers documenting the interactions between the middle school students and the Duke students.

Yan Liu's CHN306, Advanced Chinese II class volunteered for the event “Bedtime Tales from Around the World” at Hillsborough Elementary School in March of 2017. The students told Chinese bedtime stories to the students and their parents and also taught them how to speak and write in Chinese. Their participation was well-received and greatly appreciated by the students and their parents. Many kids showed great interest in learning Chinese language and Chinese culture.

Read about the Chinese New Year celebration hosted by Duke that students from Holt Elementary School attended:

A group of middle school and high school students from Durham Academy visited CHN203 in fall semester 2015. Duke students taught them vocabulary and culture related to Chinese food and later helped them design a menu and an advertisement for a Chinese restaurant. 

Sixteen students from CHN106 First Year Chinese in Review met with 46 first graders from the Mandarin-English Dual Language Program at Glenwood Elementary School for an activity in spring 2016. They shared experiences as to why they wish to learn Mandarin Chinese. Additionally, the first graders taught the Duke students three Chinese songs about body parts with lyrics and actions. The Duke students taught the first graders how to read and use Chinese adjectives describing color, height, and length in sentences.

Conversations and Celebrations with Native-speakers

Liu's AMES 270T (or GLHLTH270T-5) Voices in Global Health: Mandarin Tutorial class visited the Seymour Center at Chapel Hill three times during the 2017 spring semester. They interacted with senior Chinese people there and also gave them a series of presentations on health issues in Chinese. In these presentations, the students introduced the American health care system, environment problems in the U.S., American people’s living styles/habits, stroke prevention, and research on sleep problems. These presentations received very favorable comments from the senior Chinese people at the center. According to them, these presentations were informative and interesting. The students also made Chinese brochures on each topic for those who could not attend.

Conversation exchanges were held with native Chinese Duke graduate and professional students enrolled in an English for International Students (EIS).  The students in Chinese 407S served as cultural informants for their language partners and gained conversation practice in their target language through a range of formal, informal, and academic discussions. 

Students in CHN232 (Literacy in Chinese II), CHN306 (Advanced Chinese II), CHN408S (Chinese Language and Society II), CHN371S (Classical Chinese in Modern Context), CHN 436S (Selected Readings in Contemporary Chinese Literature II) have participated in intercultural events, such as panel discussions on a variety of Chinese social and cultural issues, with invited members of the Chinese-speaking community. 

In fall 2014 CHN 333 assisted the Duke China Care program and CHN 333 and CHN 407S began a cross-cultural dialogue with visiting Chinese officials enrolled in a 19-week course of study with the Duke Center for International Development. Also since fall 2014 student in CHN203 (Intermediate Chinese I) and CHN204 (Intermediate Chinese II) have been participating in intercultural dialogues with Chinese native speakers every semester.