College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

CAHS to Offer Chinese Course

PORTLAND, Maine – The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHS) at the University of Southern Maine (USM) is pleased to announce that in collaboration with the USM Confucius Institute, it will offer a course in beginning Chinese, the first language course of its kind to be offered at the university.

The three-credit course, “Beginning Chinese I,” is open to USM students and the general public. It will start on Jan. 14, 2014, and be offered 5:35-6:50 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, 113 Upperclass Hall, Gorham campus.

“We are delighted to be able to offer this course in conjunction with the Confucius Institute and anticipate a great deal of interest in the subject,” said Lynn Kuzma, CAHS dean. “Knowledge of Chinese and Chinese culture is an important skill to have, whether one is obtaining a degree in the humanities or pursing a career in science or business. We know that our students and the public will benefit from this course offering.”

“The USM Confucius Institute has provided valuable opportunities for collaboration, both within the university and in the community,” said Joseph McDonnell, director of the institute and dean of the USM College of Management and Human Service. “Our students at USM and in K-12 classrooms throughout Maine are receiving a unique opportunity to study Chinese at a time when China is becoming an increasingly important player on the global stage. We’ll continue to develop partnerships with the state’s school districts and corporations to offer instruction in Chinese language and experiences in Chinese culture.”

Inaugurated this past September, the Confucius Institute at USM is the first of its kind in Maine. The USM Confucius Institute joins more than 400 institutes throughout the world and 90 institutes nationwide.

Programs offered through the USM Confucius Institute provide Maine's educators, students, and community members with opportunities to engage in Chinese studies. Building on an existing campus- and community-wide interest in the study of Mandarin and Chinese culture, the initial focus of the institute is language, culture, and education.

Instructor Zhang Jing, a member of USM’s Confucius Institute faculty, will teach the course. Zhang also is a lecturer at the International Institute of Chinese Language and Culture, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, in Dalian, a major city and seaport in northeast China.

Zhang has both a master’s and bachelor’s degree in teaching Chinese as a second language from the Beijing Language and Culture University and is a certified teacher of Chinese Mandarin. She also has published several articles on teaching Chinese.

Zhang has experience teaching Chinese to students of a variety of nationalities, including Japanese, German and Korean, as well as American students.

For more information about the Confucius Institute, go to:

For more information about the International Institute of Chinese Language and Culture, go to: