studentszhongqiusmallLanguage Programs



Coordinator: Huimin Xie (

The Chinese language program at Tulane provides instruction in Mandarin Chinese, the official language of Mainland China and Taiwan that is also spoken in Singapore, Malaysia, and other countries around the world. This program is designed for students with no prior knowledge of Chinese, but we also welcome students with a limited heritage-language background who wish to improve their skills. Students who complete the sequence will be able to speak, understand, read, and write Chinese at a high level.

Chinese Course Descriptions

  • ASTC 101 - Beginning Chinese 1: Introduces students with no prior language background to the fundamentals of Chinese. Students will learn pinyin (the Mandarin Chinese romanization system), and approximately 100 characters. Textbook: Integrated Chinese Level 1 Vol 1.
  • ASTC 102 - Beginning Chinese 2: Builds communication skills so that students can understand everyday conversation. Students will learn approximately 150 new characters. Textbook: Integrated Chinese Level 1 Vol 2.
  • ASTC 203 - Intermediate Chinese 1: Students will learn to write compositions, and discuss campus life and Chinese culture. Students will learn approximately 150 new characters.  Textbook: Integrated Chinese Level 2 Vol 1.
  • ASTC 204 - Intermediate Chinese 2: Continues to build communication and listening skills. Introduces students to more formal written language. Students will learn approximately 150 new characters. Textbook: Integrated Chinese Level 2 Vol 2.
  • ASTC 305 - Advanced Chinese 1: Students will continue to build advanced speaking and listening skills, and learn to write multi-paragraph essays and read newspaper articles. Students will learn approximately 100 new characters. Textbook: All Things Considered: Advanced Reader of Modern Chinese.
  • ASTC 306 - Advanced Chinese 2: Continues to build formal language skills, equipping students to conduct independent research using Chinese-language sources. Students will learn approximately 100 new characters. Textbook: All Things Considered: Advanced Reader of Modern Chinese.



Coordinator: Michael Wood (

The Japanese language program is comprised of two semesters each of Beginning (ASTJ 101, 102) and Intermediate Japanese (ASTJ 203, 204), where students focus on learning grammar and writing systems.  These courses are available every term.  Students also have the option of taking a fifth semester of advanced grammar that is offered once a year (ASTJ 390), as well as an advanced course in reading literature in Japanese (ASTJ 391) also offered once a year and open to any students who have completed two terms of intermediate-level Japanese or demonstrated similar competency.  The theme and texts for the ASTJ 391 course changes yearly and is repeatable.  

The program is meant to train students in language skills so that they may go on to pursue graduate studies, employment in Japan, or other Japan-related fields. Students are encouraged to study abroad in Japan either during the summer months or for a semester or two during the school year.


Japanese Course Descriptions

  • ASTJ 101 -  Beginning Japanese I:  Introduces students with no prior knowledge of the Japanese language to elementary grammar and the phonetic syllabets of hiragana and katakana. Students should be able to construct simple descriptive sentences, do self-introductions, and understand common greetings by the end of the semester. Heavy emphasis is placed on oral and aural skills.
  • ASTJ 102 -  Beginning Japanese II:  Continues with a focus on more elementary grammar as well as introducing approximately 50 simple kanji characters.  Students will gain a better understanding of how to use various postpositional particles, construct comparative and superlative sentences, make requests, learn the counting systems, and be able to discuss the daily routines of themselves and others.
  • ASTJ 203 - Intermediate Japanese I:  Students will continue to extend their vocabulary and build their kanji knowledge, learning an additional 80-100 characters.  The grammar focuses on more complicated sentence construction and use of clauses, compound verbs, expressing desires, likes, and dislikes, as well as learning past tense, potential tense, and giving suggestions, making offers, and asking for and giving permission.  Students begin learning to read authentic Japanese materials such as advertisements, web pages, etc.
  • ASTJ 204 -  Intermediate Japanese II:  Focus is on special and specific usage of particles, certain auxiliary verbs, mastering the present continuous and past continuous tenses, the use of conditionals, suggesting inference, uncertainty, and reasons.  Students also learn strategies for direct and indirect quoting of ideas and thought, expressing opinions in an appropriate manner, and making negative and affirmative requests.  Students learn approximately an additional 150 kanji characters.
  • ASTJ 390 -  Advanced Japanese I:  Students continue to focus upon more specialized grammar and learn both causative and passive forms of verbs.  More emphasis is placed on reading and writing in Japanese, with an additional 150 kanji being taught.
  • ASTJ 391 -  Advanced Japanese II:  This course is repeatable with theme and texts changing each year.  Students learn more advanced reading and writing strategies as the students read through an extended piece of writing such as a novel or collection of poetry.  In the past topics have covered, The Poetry and Prose of Miyazawa Kenji, Kanehara Hitomi and Other Contemporary Women Writers, etc.
  • ASTJ 607 -  Languages and Linguistics of Japan: The objectives of this course are to gain an understanding of the phonetic, phonologic, morphologic, syntactic, semantic, historical, political, and sociological aspects of spoken and written languages in Japan.  In the second half of the course we will look more at socio-linguistic and historico-linguistic aspects of language. While the majority of the focus will be on modern written and spoken forms of Japanese, students will also be introduced to bungo (Classical Japanese), as well as kanbun (Chinese used by people in Japan), Ainu Itak, Ryûkyûan, Korean, and localized English creoles.  In doing so, we will analyze unique and shared features of these languages, while familiarizing ourselves with basic notions and terminology used in Japanese linguistics.  While this is not meant to be a course in Japanese language pedagogy, learners of the Japanese language will benefit from this course by gaining a better understanding of linguistic features and learning about how society and history have transformed the languages of Japan.  The course will be taught primarily in English, however the prerequisites include an introductory course in linguistics and/or rudimentary knowledge of Japanese and modern phonetic scripts (katakana & hiragana).
  • ASTA 392 -  Special Topics in Japanese Culture:  The theme of this course changes regularly.  It is a course taught in English.  Previous topics have included; Representing Edo/Tokyo/Post Tokyo: Urban Palimpsest; Gendered Texts: Sexuality, Cultural Production, and Consumption in Japan; Anime and War; etc.


Coordinator: Joseph Vuong (


Vietnamese Course Descriptions

  • ASTV 101 - Beginning Vietnamese 1: Students will learn basic Vietnamese vocabulary and structure. The emphasis is on the spoken language, and the use of words and expressions commonly used in conversation and informal writing. The approach to grammar in the course is functional and inductive. Correct grammar is made habitual through intensive practice and constant use.
  • ASTV 102 - Beginning Vietnamese 2: Students will continue to develop basic conversational skills.
  • ASTV 201 - Intermediate Vietnamese 1: Students will learn elements of basic Vietnamese literature and the roots of the Vietnamese language. The emphasis is on literary texts and Vietnamese poetry from the 18th to 19th century. Essays are also introduced, along with basic concepts of Vietnamese morality.
  • ASTV 203 - Intermediate Vietnamese 2: Students will continue to expand their reading and writing skills in Vietnamese. Upon completion of this course students will be able to compose poems and short stories.

Tulane University, Richard Marksbury, Asian Studies, 125 Gibson, New Orleans LA 70118 504-865-5555