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Course Materials

What You Should Already Know

No prerequisites are necessary to take this course; it is an introductory course to beginning Chinese.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will

Course Materials

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Course Organization

The course consists of 16 lessons, a mid-course cumulative review, and a final. Lessons include speaking, writing, and Speedback assignments. Every lesson begins with a list of expected learning outcomes and the specific assignments for that lesson.

This course also includes an online course orientation video. You must complete the orientation before continuing in the course. More information is available on the Course Orientation page.

Other Resources

There is a course discussion board at the end of the course, as well as a course wiki. The discussion board is designed for students to connect, discuss course-related matters, and share ideas with each other. The wiki is designed for the instructor to post information that may provide enrichment or relevant information for the course to the students.

Other Technical Considerations

In order for the Flash games to perform properly, and for the pages to display correctly, you must have the most current version of either Firefox or Chrome, and the most current Flash player installed. If some of the games don't seem to work quite right, or you can't see all of the options, try downloading a newer version of the Flash player to fix the problem. The course functions best in Firefox or Chrome. If you are using Internet Explorer, please be sure that you have the most current version of the browser. If you have trouble playing audio files in Internet Explorer, you may wish to associate your audio (mp3) files with the Quicktime player. If you have trouble doing this, contact technical support at 1-877-897-8085 or istech@byu.edu for assistance.


Participation: Self Checks & MyChineseLab

There are Self Check “quizzes” in each lesson intended to help you review the material covered in that lesson. Self Checks are designed to be taken over and over as many times as you wish, to help you gain greater mastery of the concepts or skills being tested. If you find that you do not know or are not certain about an answer, go back to the lesson material and reread the section pertaining to that question. If you don’t like your grade on a given Self Check, retake it until you are satisfied with the grade. Your completion of these Self Checks counts toward the participation portion of your final grade; your scores will not count toward or against your course grade.

MyChineseLab, an online resource that accompanies this course, also provides activities and resources to help you practice and refine your growing skills in Chinese. Unless part of a lesson assignment, MyChineseLab activities are optional and do not count toward your grade (see Extra Practice, below).

Speedback Assignments

There are 13 Speedback assignments throughout the course. These assignments are submitted electronically, with the grade immediately revealed. Incorrect answers will be noted, and an explanation of why the student’s answer was incorrect will be included. Questions will be taken from the textbook and the readings. Speedbacks account for 20 percent of your final grade.

Writing Assignments

You will be required to complete 16 writing assignments paced throughout the course. These should be submitted electronically in the course and will be graded by the instructor or TA. Grading will be based on provided rubrics associated with each assignment. Graded assignments will be returned with comments. These assignments count toward 10 percent of your final grade. All writing assignments should be written in traditional Chinese characters.

Speaking Appointments & Conversation Café

A required speaking appointment is part of every lesson, for a total of 16 appointments. Speaking appointments are like mini oral exams, where students present a prepared oral assignment to the TA and receive feedback at the end of the presentation. A grade will be posted within 24 hours of the appointment. Your lowest score from all your appointments can be dropped (except for the final exam speaking appointment). Speaking appointments consist of 20 percent of the final grade.

Conversation Cafés are live online conversation practice sessions moderated by a TA or the instructor to model higher level speaking skills, answer questions, and help with pronunciation. Students should use the Café to find a partner with whom to complete collaborative assignments, as well as to practice for Speaking Assignments. It is required to attend the Café at least once per lesson. You are given full points if you attend once per lesson and zero points if you do not. These points are included in the rubric for your speaking appointment grade.

Cumulative Reviews

This course contains three Cumulative Reviews, one of which is the Mid-Course Cumulative Review discussed below. The other two are less extensive and include regular self checks, conversation cafe appointments, writing assignments, and speaking assignments. In addition to these typical assignments these two reviews also include practice assignments that are TA graded for your feedback only and do not contribute to your final grade.

Mid-Course Cumulative Review

The Mid-Course Cumulative Review (Cumulative Review 2) will consist of two parts: first, a mid-course speaking appointment and second, an online exam. The exam will be comprehensive, dealing with material presented throughout the entire course. This speaking appointment is not a traditional speaking appointment; therefore, you can not drop this score. The Mid-Course Cumulative Review accounts for 10 percent of your final grade.

Extra Practice

There are activities and drills in MyChineseLab online, which you can use for extra practice. These are optional and will not impact your grade, but they can help you master the skills and knowledge required to succeed in this course. I strongly recommend you take advantage of these opportunities for extra practice! Practice is one of the most crucial keys to mastering the language.

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Final Exam

The final exam will consist of three parts: first, your final speaking appointment; second, a multiple choice bubble-sheet portion; and third, a written segment. The exam will be comprehensive, dealing with material presented throughout the entire course. The final exam speaking appointment is not a traditional speaking appointment; therefore, you can not drop this score. The final exam, all portions combined, accounts for 20 percent of your final grade. You must pass each portion of the exam with a minimum of 60% to pass the course. Due to the nature of this course's learning outcomes, the exams are only available in a paper format. Please plan for shipping time.

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Your final course grade will be determined as detailed below

Assignments and Exams Percent of Grade
Participation (Self Checks and MyChineseLab) 20%
16 Speaking Appointments and Café attendance 20%
13 Speedback Assignments 20%
15 Writing Assignments 10%
Mid-Course Review (written and speaking portions) 10%
Final Exam (written and speaking portions) 20%
Grading Scale
A 93–100%
A− 90–93%
B+ 86–89%
B 83–85%
B− 80–82%
C+ 76–79%
C 73–75%
C− 70–72%
D+ 66–69%
D 63–65%
D− 60–62%
E (fail) 59% or below*

Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


13 Speedback assignments, 15 written assignments, 16 speaking appointment assignments (lowest score dropped), and 1 mid-course cumulative review (speaking and writing); none may be resubmitted. 17 Self Check activities (optional & counted in an overall participation grade), unlimited retakes.


1 proctored, instructor-graded exam, may not retake, must pass in order to pass the course. 

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

The course has a (virtual) Conversation Café, open 20 hours per week where students may seek assistance. To access the café, click here and enter as a guest. The course has a TA, who can be reached at this email: ta_chin101@byu.edu.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
229 HCEB
Provo, Utah 84602