Your grades in the course are determined by daily performance. (We will accept no written work which does not have your Chinese name in character on it.) There is no curve in this course. You are competing against the communicative demands of the language, not against your classmates. Each person will have to perform to recieve credit; but, there is nothing in the grading system to discourage collaborative efforts to achieve the highest level of performance possible.

There are about 40 quizzes and 60 homework assignments; roughly each work done either in or outside class is worth about less than 1 % of the course grade. It’s hard to score an “A” in this course but also hard to fail it. There is an oral final worth 10% consisting of recitations of written skits and short soliloquies from film clips. Check weekly syllabi for specific assignments for the oral; they are meant to be exercises of good pronunciation. Be sure to practice and rehearse them early. Practice makes perfect.

Areas in which your performance is graded:

  1. Character dictation 听写; we have dictation each time the new vocabulary is introduced. You need to be able to write down these Chinese characters correctly without looking at the textbook or dictionary. The characters you need to know by heart and write, sometimes in the form of skit dictation, are posted on weekly schedule, usually in the amount of 10~15 words, so that you know which ones to focus on.
  2. Note-taking 记笔记; class notes are collected at the end of the class in which new words and phrases are introduced on blackboard; they are graded for completion and returned to you at the next class. If you find yourself unable to write fast enough to take all the notes, you need to improve on the speed and/or tell instructor to slow down.
  3. In-class tests 测验/考试; these tests are routinely given to find out how well you are comprehending the text and readings assigned. The formats of these tests include: multiple choices, true or false, filling the blanks, unscramble fragments, sequencing, and translation. One of the things you need to be aware of is the fact that while you should encounter no new words the syntactical structure–grammar–of the questions may be more complex and advanced than has been explained in the textbook. The same may be true in lectures by the native speaker in class.
  4. Homework 作业; it must be done on homework sheets and/or typed from your computer. Unless the instructor allows, you don’t turn in pages torn from the textbook filled with partial answers. You need to always write out full sentences rather than fragments in your homework. Homework is collected at the beginning of each class but you can also submit yours via email attachment. If handwritten, your homework must be doubled spaced with plenty of margin for comment and correction.
  5. Composition and essays 作文; these will be graded on whether or not you write as long as required (we do word count), if you have followed the writing assignment closely and addressed the issues highlighted in the assignment, if you have done proofreading to eliminate typos and grammatical errors, and if you have read or watched the original materials that you are expected to discuss. You are encouraged to discuss your ideas and go over your rough drafts with either the instructor or Chinese nationals with whom you are friends.