Asian Languages & Cultures

About the Program

The Asian Languages and Cultures (ALC) Program, a component of the Asian Studies Program, offers majors, minors and courses of interest to all undergraduates at Puget Sound. Grounded in a strong foundation of languages and cultures, the program draws on the broad expertise of the Asian Studies faculty and complements the Asian Studies Program's Interdisciplinary Emphasis in Asian Studies and Trimble Distinguished Asia Scholar designations in offering students a focused and comprehensive understanding of the languages, cultures, and literatures of China and Japan. The program offers two majors, two minors, courses in the core curriculum, and Chinese and Japanese language courses that fulfill requirements toward the Asian Studies designation and meet the university's foreign language requirement.

ALC offers majors in Chinese Language and Culture, Japanese Language and Culture and Japanese Language and Literature, as well as minors in Chinese and Japanese. The goals of the language curriculum are based on the proficiency guidelines of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Each major is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in the disciplines of language and culture through intensive language training and broad exposure to the humanistic traditions of China and Japan. The curriculum systematically prepares students through highly structured and interactive classroom instruction and a wide variety of learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

Students who graduate from the Asian Language & Cultures Program will be able to:

  1. Communicate effectively with native speakers of Chinese and/or Japanese in a variety of situations using culturally appropriate language.
  2. Read and understand the gist of authentic materials, such as news summaries and short essays, with the aid of dictionaries and other resources.
  3. Write expository and expressive essays in the target language on a variety of topics.
  4. Implement tools to become independent, self-sufficient learners of the target language beyond the classroom.
  5. Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of the literary and cultural traditions of China and/or Japan, and understand those traditions within the East Asian and world contexts.
  6. Analyze and discuss coherently Chinese and/or Japanese literary and cultural works.
  7. Write logically and clearly in English about Chinese and/or Japanese literary and cultural traditions.
  8. Apply critical thinking, research and learning skills to be successful in their academic, professional and personal lives after graduation.

Choice of Majors

Students may select from two major areas of study:

  1. Chinese
  2. Japanese