Department of Asian and Asian American Studies

California State University, Long Beach

Spring Semester, 2008


Chinese 360

Classical Chinese


An experimental hybrid course

See explanation in the section of Class Procedures below

Time: TR 3:30-4:45

Call number: 9769

Classroom: LA2-103


Instructor: Dr. Tim Xie

Office: FO3-315; Telephone: (562) 985-5278

E-mail:, URL:


Office Hours: TuTh: 2:00-3:15PM

or by appointment through email


Course Description and Objectives:


CHIN 360 is a 3-unit course, offered once a year. This course aims at building students' foundation for future professional and academic careers. It will develop students awareness of difference of the modern and classical written languages, the ability of reading and comprehending the historical documents, prose, poetry and other archaic writings. The learned vocabulary, grammatical and stylistic knowledge will help students better understand and continue to learn modern Chinese. Through the lectures, discussions, homework and collaborative work, students will be able to translate classical reading texts into modern Chinese and English, find some major historical documents in libraries and know how to use dictionaries and other resources to cope with the documents written in classical Chinese. The course will cover readings from the textbook and other sources.  


Upon completion of this course, students will:

        Be aware of the difference between classical and modern Chinese;

        Learn about 500 characters used in classical works;

        Understand frequently used vocabulary and grammatical constructions;

        Have read and translated selected readings;

        Be able to use dictionaries in their future studies;

        Be able to locate major historical documents in libraries.


Class Procedures


The class is conducted bilingually, in English and Chinese. Class will be in a  lecture/discussion format. The instructor will explain the meaning and grammatical patterns in class and lead the discussion on the reading text. The use of function words and other grammatical structures will be explained in class with the help of transparencies or computer presentations. The instructor will also ask students to provide the English translation of the readings and then discuss it with the students. In the class, the students will also work collaboratively to develop the best version of their translation.


At a certain point of time, the class will be in an experimental hybrid course mode, which means that we will meet once a week (Tuesdays). On Thursdays, the students will be expected do some online work by themselves. The online activities will be announced and explained in class or through email. It is experimental in the sense that the course is NOT listed in the universitys catalog as an official hybrid course. By the end of the semester, we will find out if this model is good or not and then make the decision if we will officially make it a hybrid course. Students comments and suggestions are appreciated. The date and time of the beginning of the hybrid mode will be announced later in class.


Required Textbook:


Language of the Dragon: A Classical Chinese Reader by Gregory Chiang published by Cheng and Tsui Company, 1998.


Supplemental Learning Aids:


Language of the Dragon - Supplemental E-Learning Materials.  by Dr. Tim Xie, 2003. (This web site provides e-version of the original texts, supplemental grammar notes, Chinese translation of each lesson, online vocabulary exercises. Each character in the lessons is linked to an online vocabulary list.)


Tentative Course Schedule





Week 1


Lesson 1 M Ch Chng Zhn


Week 2

Lesson 2 Jng Wi Tin Hi


Week 3

Lesson 3 K Zhu Qi Jin


Week 4


Test 1

Week 5

Lesson 4  Z Xing Mo Dn


Week 6

Lesson 5 Y Mio Zh Zhng


Week 7

Lesson 6 Shu Zh Di T


Week 8

Review of Lesson 6 and Lesson 7


Week 9

Lesson 7 B L Xing M


Week 10

Lesson 8 Hu Sh Tin Z


Week 11

Lesson 10 Si Wng Sh M


Week 12

Review of Lesson 7-10

Test 2

Week 13

Lesson 11 Zho Sn M S


Week 14

Lesson 12 Y Bng Xing Zhng


Week 15

Lesson 14 H Ji H Wi


Week 16

Final exam




Homework is an important part of learning. Students are required to complete each homework in due time. Homework must be completed independently. Homework can be hand-written or typed. Typing and sending homework through email is encouraged. Homework should be sent to:


Collaborative work


The collaborative work in this course means that the students work together by discussing the meaning of reading texts, exchanging their opinions and composing translated version (in modern Chinese and English.) The completed projects will be shared by the class. This collaborative work will be assigned for selected reading passages in class. Other parts of homework should be done by students independently.


Tests and Grading Policy:


The course grade will be based on a cumulative point-percentage system calculated from scores on the following categories:


                                Category                                                                               Point-Percentages

                        Tests                                                                            25%

                        Homework assignments                                                25%

                        Midterm                                                                       25%

                        Final examination                                                          25%        

                        T O T A L:                                                                   100%


     Grade scale:  A (90-100%), B (80-89%), C (70-79%), D (60-69%), and F (below 60%)


The tests and exams will be given on the assigned days only. No requests for taking the tests before or after the set date will be honored without a valid excuse or documentation.


University Withdrawal Policy


It is the students' responsibility to withdraw from classes. Instructors have no obligation to withdraw students who do not attend courses, and may choose not to do so. Withdrawal from a course after the first two weeks of instruction requires the signatures of the instructor and department chair, and is permissible only for serious and compelling reasons, such as documented illness and a change in work hours/schedule. Students should be aware that the definition of "serious and compelling reasons" as applied by faculty and administrators may become narrower as the semester progresses. During the final three weeks of instruction, withdrawals are not permitted except in cases such as accident or serious illness where the circumstances causing the withdrawal are clearly beyond the student's control and the assignment of an incomplete is not practical. Ordinarily, withdrawals in this category involve total withdrawal from the university. The College of Liberal Arts adheres to this policy strictly, and does not sign withdrawal forms in the final three weeks of class for other reasons.