The AP Chinese Language and Culture course is designed to be comparable to fourth semester (or the equivalent) college/university courses in Mandarin Chinese, or the point at which students would typically complete about 250 hours of college-level instruction.

The course prepares you to demonstrate your level of Chinese proficiency across the three communicative modes (Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational) and the five goal areas (Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities) as outlined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. The course aims to provide you with many opportunities to further develop your proficiency across the full range of language skills while learning about Chinese culture and society.

Content and skills

The AP Chinese Language and Culture course engages you in an exploration of both contemporary and historical Chinese culture. The course interweaves language and culture learning.. This course covers the following topics:

  • Contemporary Chinese society, including geography and population, ethnic and regional diversity, travel and transportation, climate and weather, holidays and food, sports and games, and current affairs.
  • Chinese societal relationships, including how individuals interact with family members, elders, and peers, and how they can use this knowledge in their own interpersonal communications.
  • Significant persons, products, and themes in Chinese history including Chinese contributions to philosophical thought, government institutions, and artistic pursuits (e.g., calligraphy, painting, literature, and music, as well as folk arts and culture).
  • Chinese culture in an international context, including how Chinese culture is influencing and being influenced by the global community and China’s role in issues of global importance such as energy and the environment, economics, and politics.

The course helps you broaden your world view by comparing Chinese cultural products, practices, and perspectives with those of your own society and then use your growing cultural knowledge in real-life communication tasks.

During the course, you develop strategic skills, such as guessing the meaning of words from context, using grammatical knowledge to aid your comprehension, and applying your growing cultural knowledge to comprehending written texts and spoken messages. By so doing, you strengthen your ability to learn effectively and independently.

Throughout the course, you improve your Chinese language skills across the three communicative modes: Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational.

Interpersonal Mode

The Interpersonal mode involves spontaneous two-way interaction, such as conversing face-to-face or exchanging written correspondence. You will be asked to express your own views and opinions on a variety of topic in conversation and writing. Teachers conduct class primarily in Chinese to facilitate your development of communicative strategies for starting and sustaining conversation. You are provided with many opportunities to engage in class activities in which you converse with your classmates and your teacher. You will learn to respond in culturally appropriate ways when engaging in conversation and to understand conversations with and among native Chinese speakers. You will comprehend and compose messages, notes and letters in Chinese.

Interpretive Mode

Your ability to understand written and spoken Chinese will be enhanced by exposure to a wide variety of audio texts such as news broadcasts and public announcements to movies and television programs.. Similarly, you develop the reading proficiency to be able to identify and summarize main points and important details, and make appropriate inferences and predictions from written materials such as advertisements, signs, and posters. You also engage in careful readings of more densely written texts excerpted or adapted from newspapers, magazine articles, contemporary literature, letters, and essays.

Presentational Mode

You develop the speaking proficiency to be able to deliver a speech or create report, produce a newscast or video, and narrate personal experiences and current events in a coherent fashion with comprehensible pronunciation and intonation. You also develop the ability to write and speak in a variety of settings, styles, and registers. You express yourself in writing on topics you have researched. You learn to use a variety of writing styles, including descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive. You acquire vocabulary, and structures appropriate to the purpose of your writing in order to make yourself understood to an audience, You work on your handwriting skills in Chinese and you receive essential training in computer keyboarding in Chinese.

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