East Asian Languages and Cultures (Bi-Co)
The Bi-College Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures couples rigorous language training in Chinese and Japanese with the study of East Asian 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/visual culture, and history. The intellectual orientation of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures is centered on primary textual and visual sources. That is, we focus on East Asia’s rich cultural traditions as a way to understand its present, through the study of a wide range of literary and historical texts (in translation and in the original), images, film, and scholarly books and articles. Although the faculty of our Bi-College department is divided between Bryn Mawr and Haverford, the EALC program is fully integrated: we work as one to provide a complementary curriculum and careful and collaborative student guidance.
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; 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, taking the knowledge and skills gained to a new level to demonstrate mastery of a particular aspect of East Asian culture.
Haverford’s Institutional Learning Goals are available on the President’s website, at http://hav.to/learninggoals.
The Chinese Program is a fully integrated Bi-Co program. We offer multiple levels of instruction in Mandarin Chinese.
- First-Year Chinese (CNSE B001-CNSE B002) and Second-Year Chinese (CNSE B003–CNSE B004) both have master and drill sections.
- First-Year Chinese (CNSE B001–CNSE B002) is a year-long course. Students must complete both semesters to receive a total of three credits.
- We offer Non-intensive First-Year Chinese (CNSE H007-CNSE H008) for students with some background in Chinese, based on results of a placement test. Upon completion of this full-year sequence, students move on to Second-Year Chinese.
- Following Third-Year, we offer Advanced Chinese each semester. So far, we have eight topic courses in the Advanced Chinese series and students can continue taking Advanced Chinese for credits as long as the topics differ.
For further information, please consult the entry under “Chinese”.
The Bi-Co Japanese Program offers five years of instruction in modern Japanese. All Japanese language courses are offered at Haverford.
- First-Year Japanese (JNSE H001-JNSE H002) meet six hours per week. This is a year-long course. Students must complete both semesters in order to receive credit.
- Second-Year Japanese (JNSE H003-JNSE H004) meet five hours per week.
- Third- and Fourth-Year (Advanced) Japanese (JNSE H101-JNSE H102 and JNSE H201/JNSE H201B) meet three hours per week.
- 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.
I. Language requirement (2 credits)
EALC majors are required to have completed the third year level of either Chinese or Japanese by the time of graduation. We require EALC majors to take two semesters of either Chinese or Japanese on campus, at a level appropriate to their in-coming language abilities. Students who have already fulfilled this requirement, as confirmed by the language placement test will substitute two EALC courses approved by their major advisor.
II. Three core courses (3 credits)
EALC majors must take THREE core courses from the following:
- One 100-level course on China: EALC B131 (Chinese Civilization)
- One 100-level course on Japan: EALC H132 (Japanese Civilization); and
- EALC B200 (Methods and Approaches to East Asian Cultures).
EALC B200 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 B200 spring term sophomore year.
EALC B200 is the designated departmental Writing Intensive (WI) course for Bryn Mawr’s WI requirement.
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 Chinese or Japanese primary written or visual “text,” be that a written, a visual or other type of 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.
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.
Graduating Seniors in EALC are eligible for the “Margaret Mayeda Petersson Prize,” which recognizes a spirit of engagement and enthusiasm through the major and the thesis project. EALC-sponsored Prizes
Graduating Seniors from any department who have studied Chinese are eligible for the “Hu Shih Prize in Chinese” which recognizes excellence and dedication in the study of the Chinese language.
Language Minor Requirements
The EALC Department certifies minors in Chinese and Japanese language.
The Chinese language and Japanese language minors both require 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. Minors are approved in consultation with the language program directors.
Global Asia Minor:
Six courses centrally concerned with Asia (East, Southeast, and South) and its diaspora, at least one of which is at the 300 level. They may be drawn from any department in the Quaker Consortium, and may include up to two advanced language courses. Those interested in minoring in Global Asia should consult with the convener (currently Prof. Guangtian Ha at Haverford) no later than the fall of their senior year.
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 adviser 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 adviser 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 who do not meet the requirement to advance must take a placement test before starting third-year language study in the fall.