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Chinese Summer Language Program

Whether you’re planning overseas travel, exploring China’s rich history and culture, conducting graduate research, or preparing for a career in international affairs, the Chinese Summer Language Institute will help you acquire the linguistic and cultural knowledge you need to succeed. 

Chinese SLI participants earn the equivalent of two semesters (8 credits) of Chinese in an accelerated yet supportive environment. Depending on your proficiency level and prior experience with the language, students will enroll in either level 1 (elementary) or level 2 (intermediate). Placement is determined by a written and oral exam administered before the start of the SLI.  Upon successful completion of the Chinese SLI, students are well prepared to enter a rigorous 200-level course (after Level 1) or 300-level course (after level 2) offered at UVa or their home institution.  Level 1 introduces students to the basic vocabulary and foundational grammar structures needed to communicate about a wide range of daily life topics.  In Level 2, students learn to express themselves with more depth and sophistication on a similar array of topics as well as learn to distinguish between literary and colloquial Chinese.  Undergraduates, graduate students, professionals, and rising junior and senior high school students are welcome to apply.

Pedagogy and Philosophy

At Chinese SLI we use both teacher-centered and student-centered approaches to ensure that students are taken through the complete cycle of effective input and productive output for each target lesson.  We ask students to complete language tasks specially designed to utilize relevant vocabulary and grammar patterns in an accurate and effective manner.  All assessments are performance-based, meaning we evaluate students’ ability to perform verbally and in writing the following functions in a creative and contextually appropriate way: description, narration, comparison, explanation, giving directions, supporting opinions, handling transactions, and hypothesizing.