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: Saeko Yatsuka-Jensen (

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 1010 -  Beginning Japanese I:  Introduces students with no prior knowledge of the Japanese language to elementary grammar and the phonetic syllables 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 1020 - 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 2030 - 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 2040 - 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 3050 -  Advanced Japanese Speaking I
  • ASTJ 3051 -  Advanced Japanese Speaking II
  • Focus is on speaking while solidify the grammar, vocabulary and kanji foundation the students already built. The courses aim at improving the students’ communication skills for conducting practical conversations, (including the ability to manage speech levels properly,) for stating opinions, giving explanations and making presentation. The courses are taught in Japanese and the students are asked to speak only in Japanese during the class.

Although the main focus is speaking these courses also expands the students four language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) as well as socio-cultural knowledge they need for communication.

ASTJ3050 students will explore and have discussions, debates and presentations on the following topics:

1. Geography of Japan---geography, local delicacy, touristic places, events, festival and old tales
2. Japanese Speech Style---abbreviated style, contracted form, inversion, written style, spoken style, and gender difference in speech
3. Japan’s Technology---robot technology, imported words, Internet dictionary
4. Spirituality in Sports---traditional martial arts, mind, skill and body in sports, club sports, senior-junior relationship in sports
ASTJ3051 students will explore and have discussions, debates and presentations on the following topics:
1. Japanese Food---instant ramen noodle, fast food and sushi
2. Religions in Japan---religions, religious customs, events, faith, mythology
3. Pop-Culture---Japanese pop-culture, manga, Osamu Tezuka, onomatopoeia and blood type
4. Traditional Performing Arts---Kyogen theater

Tulane University, Asian Studies, 116 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-3658