Introduction to Classical Chinese I

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Modern Languages
Course Code
MODL 3393
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course is an introduction to Classical Chinese, the language of traditional Chinese culture, which includes philosophy, literature, and the arts. This course is designed to increase students’ ability to understand and appreciate historical and literary classics written in Classical Chinese. In this course, grammatical comparisons will be drawn between Classical and Modern Chinese languages, and students will be introduced to basic Classical Chinese grammar, syntax, and rhetoric expressions by examining some early works produced from ca. 1000 BC to 100 BC. This course is taught entirely in Chinese (Mandarin).
Course Content
  • Brief introduction of Modern Chinese grammar and grammatical terms
  • Brief introduction of major grammatical and stylistic features of Classical Chinese language
  • General comparison between Modern Chinese and Classical Chinese languages
  • General comparison between Confucianism and Taoism
  • Reading and analysis of selected classical works such as The Book of Songs, The Analects, Mencius, and Dao de Jing.
Learning Activities

Methods of instruction may include, but are not limited to: lectures, small group work, class discussions and presentations, screening of audio or video materials.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based on this general outline:

Attendance and participation


Three written projects (in Chinese) during the semester


One presentation (in Chinese) during the semester


One final research paper (in Chinese) during the semester


One final written exam (in Chinese)





No single evaluation will be worth more than 20%.

Learning Outcomes

Successful students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate their knowledge of major grammatical and stylistic features of Classical Chinese language
  • Identify and articulate their understanding of the main differences between Classical and Modern Chinese languages
  • Gain an appreciation for the beauty and the wisdom of Classical Chinese works
  • Demonstrate their understanding of key features of Confucianism and Taoism
Textbook Materials

The instructor may choose the most current edition of an introductory classical Chinese textbook such as:

Tian, Ying. Introduction to Classical Chinese. Beijing Language and Culture University Press.



MODL 2292 or equivalent or assessment (students should be able to speak Mandarin or one of the Chinese dialects fluently, and be able to read and write in Chinese at intermediate or advanced level).




No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for MODL 3393
Alexander College (ALEX) ALEX HUMN 2XX (3)
Athabasca University (AU) AU LANG 2XX (3)
Camosun College (CAMO) CAMO HUM 2XX (3)
College of the Rockies (COTR) No credit
Coquitlam College (COQU) COQU CHIN 2XX (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU MAND 3XXX (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG CHIN 3331 (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU CHIN 4XX (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU CHIN 3XXX (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC INTS 161 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV GE 3XX (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023