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USM to Offer Chinese Language Course

PORTLAND—The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHS) at the University of Southern Maine (USM), in collaboration with the USM Confucius Institute, 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 Tuesday, January 14, 2014, and be offered 5:35-6:50 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, on USM’s Gorham campus.

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, China. Zhang has both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in linguistics from Beijing Language and earned her qualification certificate for Teacher of Chinese as a Second Language (advanced level) and a certificate of standard Chinese Mandarin (top level).

 “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 language and culture are important skills 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.”

Launched 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.

See the Confucius Institute for more information.