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East Asian Languages and Cultures

Language Contact and Email Address:

Ni Hao! (你好!) Welcome to the Chinese Language Program at Columbia.

In 1917, a generous donation from Mr. Ding Long of Canton helped establish the first professorship in Chinese studies. In the hundred years since, the Chinese Language Program at EALAC has become the largest on the East Coast. Over twenty full-time lecturers and teaching associates instruct roughly 400 students every semester.

The program offers courses across five levels with two tracks (heritage and non-heritage) and in two types (comprehensive and professional). All instructors adopt a cognitive-functional approach to language education, and equally emphasize spoken skills and literacy. Through the Global Engagement , students also have the opportunity to participate in two summer programs in China: the Columbia Summer in Shanghai: Business Chinese, and the Columbia Summer in Beijing.

The program reinforces its commitment to language instruction through its commitment to pedagogical research and innovation. Faculty and instructors develop all teaching materials used in the classroom, and many of these aides have gone into press for use well beyond Columbia. Courses in Chinese Linguistics and Language Pedagogy, History of the Chinese Language, and Acquisition of Chinese as a Second Language augment the core language curriculum. These additional courses build towards the program’s long-term goal of establishing itself as a leading center for linguistic research and teacher training in the Chinese language in the United States.

Taking courses in Chinese will allow you to fulfill the language requirement at Columbia.

Important links:

Chinese Placement Test:

Chinese Study Abroad Programs:

Columbia Directory of Classes: