Students looking at a Chinese monument


Small class size

Lake Forest College currently provides an ideal average Chinese language class size of less than 10. While we hope that students can spend at least one semester in China for an immersion experience, students at Lake Forest College can improve quickly and benefit from such a small class size for 3-4 years to maximize their competency whether or not they take advantage of an experience abroad. Practice opportunities are doubled or even tripled compared to a potential classroom size of 20 in a large university setting.

Opportunities to practice abound

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures employs Chinese student tutors, for extra oral and written practice and assistance to students on campus, and a weekly conversational Chinese Table, as well as cultural events organized on and off campus (global speakers, musicians, food, Chinese new year celebration, learning Go, etc.). The above activities provide additional opportunities for learning and engagement with Chinese and East Asia.

Combines well with Asian Studies

Students may complete a minor in Chinese, or obtain a concentration in Chinese within the interdisciplinary Asian Studies major or minor. Asian studies coursework includes Chinese film, business Chinese, literature, history, philosophy, religion and cultural topics and all levels of Japanese and Chinese speaking and writing, culturally contextualized.

Individualized study

Classroom teaching in Chinese can be individualized and adapted to each student. Faculty are highly accessible to students, and advanced tutorials are also provided upon request.

Curriculum is varied

The curriculum in Chinese within the Modern Languages and Literatures Department includes courses in Chinese language, culture, film and literature, as well as business Chinese (which counts as an elective for the College’s global business major). There is also an additional competency in applied linguistics and offers coursework in English in this area as well, e.g. second language acquisition and teaching.

Study in locales around the world

Lake Forest College co-founded a semester-long program of study (to include internship if desired) in Beijing (the capital of China) at Peking University, China’s most prestigious and beautiful university. Other study abroad opportunities in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Japan, and Malaysia are available, and students are able to use their financial aid on many programs in East and Southeast Asia.

Special scholarships in Chinese

The Chinese government has awarded Lake Forest College two semesters of Chinese Government Scholarship. This full scholarship covers the costs of tuition, room, and board for students while studying abroad in China at a variety of universities and locations.

Studying Chinese is fun!

We make learning Chinese fun, and connect to the College’s mission of preparing responsible global citizens, while also preparing students for global careers. 

Student Learning Outcomes
  1. Chinese minor will be able to demonstrate oral proficiency at the intermediate-mid level or above (as defined by ACTFL guidelines) and able to articulate grammatically correct and phonetically understandable Chinese at the required level.         
  2. Chinese minor will be able to demonstrate written proficiency to articulate their ideas in standard written Chinese and at the intermediate-mid level or above (as defined by ACTFL guidelines).          
  3. Chinese minor will demonstrate basic knowledge in Chinese history, society, and culture. 
  4. Chinese minor will analyze and develop perspectives on attributes of contemporary Chinese society and understand continuity and change in the Chinese social system.
  5. Chinese minor will demonstrate the ability to research, present findings and engage in business negotiations.
As a future physician, I am certain that my time spent studying Chinese will prove valuable, allowing me to connect with a more diverse demographic.
Kevin Hsu ’14

Why should we take Chinese? By Stephen Schwarzman

Chinese Language in the US Schools

Working collaboratively across disciplines, Assistant Professor of Finance Dimitra Papadovasilaki and Assistant Professor of Chinese Ying Wu received a $40,000 grant from ASIANetwork to research investments in China.

Chinese culture class, CHIN 260, supports Wu Han, China with Love
Students in Chinese class are experiencing amazing views in China by the Oculus Go.
Notes from Abroad: Ericka in China
Ericka Vega ’20, an International Relations Major with a minor in Mandarin Chinese, is studying at Peking University in Beijing, China
Exploring Chinatown
Professor Wu took her Chinese 110,210 and 312 classes to explore Chinatown in Chicago and taste the food.
2019 Phi Sigma Iota Inductees
On April 2, 2019 at Glen Rowan the MLL honor society, Phi Sigma Iota, had their induction ceremony.
Celebrating Chinese New Year
The Chinese Cultural Club, United Asia, and Department of Asian Studies organized another successful celebration to honor Chinese New Year—the year of the pig.   
Chinese New Year celebration
The Chinese Cultural Club held a celebration in the Mohr Student Center in honor of Chinese New Year.
Isaac Ordonez ’19 is a Neuroscience major who has been studying at Peking University in Beijing, China
Chinese tables
Chinese tables meet every Wednesday at 12pm.
On September 27 th 2018, United Asia and the Chinese Cultural Club of Lake Forest College hosted our annual event— Mid-Autumn Festival, also called Moon Festival.
As a part of his 25th Reunion, Lake Forest Alumni,Scott Pozil, visited current undergraduates to describe his past and current career endevors. Mr. Pozil is currently the Commercial Counsel at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and focuses primarily on commercial and trade issues
Lake Forest College hosted and competed in the 2018 Midwest College Chinese Speech Contest where Foresters earned five medals for their Chinese-speaking abilities.
On Saturday April 21, 2018, the Lake Forest College Modern Languages and Literatures Department had the honor of hosting this year’s Midwest College Chinese Speech Contest.
As the first liberal arts college to host the 2018 Chinese College Speech Contest, the event not only enabled us to explore collaborative opportunities with other 10 higher educational institutions, but also help build our leadership recognition in promoting the Chinese language and culture across the Midwest.
Notes from Abroad is a new feature on the Off-Campus Programs website, in which we highlight small snippets of a student’s experience.  This week’s feature is from Yvette Ramirez’18 a Biology major and Chinese minor currently studying abroad with ACM in Costa Rica.
Chinese Club hosted a Chinese New Year party to celebrate the Year of the Monkey.
Jeanette Trang Fulfilling Her Dream Career
Jeanette recently relocated to New York City, where she has a one-year volunteership with the Child Protection Section in their Programme Division of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). 

Related Programs

Contact Us

Gizella Meneses
Professor of Spanish and Latin American and Latinx Studies
Chair of Modern Languages and Literatures
Carnegie Hall 305

Connie Hollingsworth
Department Assistant
Carnegie Hall 105