Chinese Language Program

The Chinese Language Program is the home for Chinese language education at Columbia University. It has a long and glorious history. The first professorship in Chinese  studies was established in 1917 by a generous donation from Mr. Ding Long, a commoner from Canton. Now, there are fourteen full-time Chinese lecturers and 9 teaching associates in the program. Its students’ enrollment is about 450 per semester, making it the largest Chinese program on the east coast of the United States. The program takes a cognitive-functional approach to language education, focusing on helping students map the linguistic forms and their semantic and pragmatic functions. It emphasizes equally on spoken skills and literacy. Its long-term goal is to establish itself not only as an institute for language instruction but also as a center for linguistic research and teachers’ training.