New language course for Spring 2016; Mandarin Chinese offers language requirement diversity


Are you interested in learning a different language? Or do you need to fill a general education requirement yet?

A new Mandarin Chinese course is now being offered to all Wilkes students.

For the spring 2016 Semester, students can register for Elementary Mandarin Chinese I which is MAN 101 section A or B online. It is held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at either 9 or 10 a.m.

The instructor for this course is Chendi Jiang. She is from Beijing, China and graduated from the University of Macau with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics.  She previously taught another program at the University of Washington in St. Louis.

Many people believe that if you can speak a language, you can teach it. This is a basic misunderstanding of foreign language teaching, Jiang said.

She wants to teach her students in a way that is very formal and standard to help them understand the language and culture behind it. 

Her class covers basic conversations and includes contextualized exercises. She also uses similar conversations but in different contexts to challenge and encourage students to think logically.

“I try to create a 100 percent target language atmosphere in class,” Jiang said.

If she needs to translate something for a student she will use the English language. A majority of the time she will speak using the target language, Mandarin Chinese.

Through the Alliance for Language Learning and Education Exchange Foundation (ALLEX), the university has the opportunity to offer this high quality language program for two years in exchange for Miss Jiang earning her MBA in business administration in the Wilkes graduate program.

“We have a desire to expand our language offerings,” said Dr. Diane E. Wenger, associate professor and co-chair of Global History and Languages. “This was just a really good opportunity to offer students something very different.”

This exchange program has given the university the chance to provide students with an interesting course at no additional cost.

Jiang knows that this language is hard for students to learn compared to French or Spanish, so she tries to make the class interesting and easier for students to get started.

“I want students to get a surprise that the language is different from what they imagine or know (from) before.”

Her hope is that students continue to keep their interest and passion in Mandarin Chinese after the conclusion of the course.

“I think it would be really good for students (or) anybody to broaden their horizons,” Wenger said. 

Learning a new language opens up opportunities for people to communicate and make connections with people around the world.

If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about the program, contact Dr. Diane Wenger at [email protected] or (570) 408-4221. To find out more details about the course, contact Chendi Jiang at [email protected].