The Bi-College (Bi-Co) Department of EALC links rigorous language training to the study of East Asian—particularly Chinese and Japanese—culture and society.
In addition to our intensive programs in Chinese and Japanese languages, departmental faculty offer courses in East Asian literature, religion, film, art and visual culture, and social and intellectual history.
EALC has four learning goals:
- Laying the foundations for proficiency in Japanese or Chinese language and culture.
- Gaining broad knowledge of the East Asian cultural sphere across time and in its global context.
- Becoming familiar with basic bibliographic skills and protocols and learning how to identify, evaluate, and interpret primary textual and visual sources.
- Embarking on and completing a major independent research project that pulls together past coursework and demonstrates mastery of a particular aspect of East Asian culture.
The Bi-Co Chinese Program offers five years of instruction in Mandarin Chinese.
- First-year Chinese (CNSE 001-002) and Second-year Chinese (CNSE 003–004) both have master and drill sections.
- First-year Chinese (CNSE 001–002) is a year-long course. Students must complete both semesters to receive credit.
- We offer Advanced Chinese each semester with a different topic; students can take this as Fourth- or Fifth-year Chinese, with one credit per semester, and repeat the course as long as the topics differ.
- We offer CNSE 007-008 for students with a background in Chinese, based on results of a placement test. Upon completion of this full-year sequence, students move on to Second-year Chinese.
The Bi-Co Japanese Program offers five years of instruction in modern Japanese.
- First-year Japanese (JNSE 001–002) and Second-year Japanese (JNSE 003-004), taught at Haverford, both meet six hours per week, including drill sections.
- Third- and Fourth-year (Advanced) Japanese (JNSE 101–102 and JNSE 201A/B) all meet at Haverford.
- Advanced Japanese takes a different topic each term; students can take it any term as Fourth- or Fifth-year Japanese, with one credit per semester, and repeat the course with different topic headings.
- The first-year and second-year courses in Japanese (JNSE 001–002 and 003–004, respectively) meet five days a week.
- For the first-year courses, students must complete both semesters in order to obtain credit, whereas students earn credit for each semester for the second-year courses and above.
I. Language Requirement (2 credits)
We require EALC majors to take two semesters of either Chinese or Japanese, at a level appropriate to their in-coming language abilities. Native speakers of either Chinese or Japanese may forego the two semesters of an East Asian language (they will still have to fulfill their College language requirement), but must substitute two additional East Asian culture courses. The University of Pennsylvania offers Korean language instruction, but it does not count towards the Bi-Co EALC major language requirement.
II. Three core courses (3 credits)
EALC majors must take THREE core courses from the following:
- One 100-level course on China from among 110 (Introduction to Chinese Literature), 120 (Confucianizing China), or 131 (Chinese Civilization); and
- One 100-level course on Japan: either 111 (Myth, Folklore, and Legend in Japan) or 132 (Japanese Civilization); and
- EALC 200 (Methods and Approaches to East Asian Cultures).
- EALC 200 is required of all EALC majors and is recommended for Asian Studies minors. We urge majors to take 200 in the spring of their JUNIOR year. Majors who plan to be abroad in spring term junior year must take EALC 200 spring term sophomore year.
- EALC 200 is the designated departmental Writing Intensive course (30 pages of writing), which Bryn Mawr now requires of all departments.
Students must earn a grade of 2.0 or higher in each of these courses to continue in the major and be eligible to write a senior thesis.
III. Three departmental elective courses (3 credits)
Majors must take THREE additional non-language courses offered by members of the Bi-Co EALC Department.
- One of these courses must be at the 300 level.
- One of the 200-level electives may be fulfilled with an advanced topics course in Chinese or Japanese.
Majors cannot satisfy the departmental electives with courses outside the department, or by taking courses abroad.
IV. Two non-departmental courses related to global Asia (2 credits)
Majors must choose two non-Departmental electives at the 200 or 300 level that are related to their study of East Asia or the wider Asian world. These two courses may be in a department or program in the Quaker Consortium (Tri-Co plus Penn), or an approved study abroad program.
V. The Senior Thesis (1 credit)
In the capstone experience undertaken in the fall term of the senior year, students employ their skills and undertake a scholarly investigation. The aim is to create and execute an extended research project centered on a primary written or visual “text” in Chinese or Japanese. The senior thesis brings together threads of conversations among scholars on the student’s chosen topic. The student combines language and research skills to think about and interpret the meanings of sources in context. At the end of the term, seniors present their findings to the faculty and other students in final oral presentations.
Chinese Language Minor
The Chinese language minor requires six language courses. Students must take at least four language courses in our Bi-Co programs, and can take at most two at the Quaker Consortium or our approved off-campus domestic or Study Abroad programs. (Please consult the language program directors for details.) Students must maintain a 3.0 or above for each of the six language courses for the minor.
Global Asia Minor
The minor requires six courses centrally concerned with Asia, at least one of which is at the 300 level. They may be drawn from any department in the Quaker Consortium. Each spring there will be a convocation of graduating Global Asia minors, each of whom will be expected to give a short presentation based on an Asia-related paper produced in the course of their studies. Those interested in minoring in Global Asia should consult with the convener (currently Professor Smith at Haverford) no later than the fall of their senior year.
Japanese Language Minor
The Japanese language minor requires six language courses. Students must take at least four language courses in our Bi-Co programs, and can take at most two at the Quaker Consortium or our approved off-campus domestic or Study Abroad programs. (Please consult the language program directors for details.) Students must maintain a 3.0 or above for each of the six language courses for the minor.
In the capstone experience, students employ their skills and undertake a scholarly investigation. The aim is to create and execute an extended research project centered on a primary text in Chinese or Japanese. The senior thesis brings together threads of conversations among scholars on the student’s chosen topic. The student combines language and research skills to think about and interpret the meanings of sources in context. At the end of the term, seniors present their findings to the faculty and other students in final oral presentations.
A detailed description of the format, goals, and assessment criteria for the senior experience can be found in the complete departmental statement in the Catalog (PDF).
Requirements for Honors
The departmental faculty awards honors on the basis of superior performance in two areas: coursework in major-related courses (including language classes), and the senior thesis. The faculty requires a minimum 3.7 average in major-related coursework to consider a student for honors.
The EALC Department strongly recommends that majors study abroad to maximize their language proficiency and cultural familiarity. We require formal approval by the study abroad advisor prior to the student’s travel. Without this approval, credit for courses taken abroad may not be accepted by EALC. If study abroad is not practical, students may consider attending certain intensive summer schools that EALC has approved. Students must work out these plans in concert with the department’s study abroad advisor and the student’s dean.
Language Placement Tests
The two language programs conduct placement tests for first-time students at all levels in the week before classes start in the fall semester.
- To qualify for third-year language courses, students need to finish second-year courses with a score of 3.0 or above in all four areas of training: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
- In the event that students do not meet the minimum grade at the conclusion of second-year language study, they must consult with the director of the respective language program and work out a summer study plan that may include taking summer courses or studying on their own under supervision.
- Students must take a placement test before starting third-year language study in the fall.