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Ohio Northern Adds Chinese Language Course

Mar 26, 2007

Beginning this fall, students at Ohio Northern University will have the option of studying Mandarin Chinese with a professionally trained, native Chinese-speaking instructor.

Wan-Ju (Rachel) Liang from Fongyan City, Taiwan, will spend a year at Ohio Northern University through the Alliance for Language Learning and Exchange (ALLEX). A graduate of the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology with a degree in Management Information Systems (MIS), she has been working as an international sales representative and teaching Chinese. At ONU, she will teach first year Chinese language classes in the Department of Modern Languages plus take classes to further her education.

The introduction of Chinese to the ONU curriculum is part of an effort to create a minor in Asian studies. That effort has been underway since 1999 and has included honors seminars on Asian culture and Asian music as well as courses in geography, religion, music, history and business.

The grant from ALLEX allows Ohio Northern to add this high quality language course by providing a professionally trained, native-speaking Chinese instructor.

All ALLEX instructors in Chinese and Japanese, are trained in a specially designed eight-week summer teacher training program taught by some of the nation's foremost experts in Chinese and Japanese pedagogy. At the host university ALLEX instructors teach one or two courses of elementary Japanese or Mandarin emphasizing four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Institutions do not pay a salary to the instructor; instructors teach in exchange for tuition waivers to pursue a master's, associate's, or second bachelor's degree.

This program has run successfully at more than 150 colleges for over 17 years. A number of universities have established successful Asian language programs with the help of ALLEX and its predecessor, ExchangeJapan.

The ONU Committee for a Minor in Asian Studies believes the addition of Chinese will be especially valuable to students majoring in business, international studies, governments, international relations as well as health services, arts, religion, philosophy and the sciences.

Members of the Committee for a Minor in Asian Studies include include Sunny Zank, chair; David Smith; Jim Walter; Pat Croskery; Ellen Wilson; Russ Crawford; Rema Suniga; R. McCurdy; R. Meininger; D. Shine; R. Goldberg.

In addition to the ALLEX support, budgetary assistance has come from Dr. Andrew Ludanyi, Dr. Ellen Wilson, Dr. David R. Smith, Dr. Michael Louglin, Professor Terry Keiser, Professor Nils Riess, Dean John Sprague, Dean James Fenton, Dean Robert Manzer and Dr. Anne Lippert.

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