Beginning in mid-September, three Chinese language courses will be offered by the Confucius Institute at WKU for anyone, student or not, to take.
“They are just community language courses,” said Cheryl Kirby-Stokes, coordinator of the Confucius Institute. “It is more of a relaxed atmosphere.”
The classes will not count for college credit, but they will provide people with the opportunity to learn the Chinese language.
Kirby-Stokes said these classes were inspired from a number of things.
“There seems to be a growing number of businesses in Kentucky doing business with China,” she said. “Also, there are a lot of people who adopt Chinese children and want their children to be able to learn their native language.”
The three classes will be team taught by Tian Xiaolin and Guo Shanfeng.
Through teaching the classes, they hope not just to teach others about the Chinese culture but to learn more about the American culture through their daily communication with students.
“I hope to know more about American culture,” Tian said. “I hope to learn from their experiences. I hope they come to China and travel in China.”
Guo hopes that through learning the American culture, she will be able to look at different points of view on the same topic.
Kirby-Stokes said that the courses will help strengthen WKU’s motto — “A leading American university with international reach.”
She also said the classes will help bring an understanding between two cultures and will link the business, campus and Bowling Green communities.
“It’s always good to have a second language under your belt. It makes you more marketable,” Kirby-Stokes said. “It’s good to go outside of your comfort zone. That’s what college is about.
“You need to stretch yourself.”
The classes will be offered from the week of Sept. 18 to the week of Dec. 1 in Helm Library, room 100.
There will be two adult classes and one youth class offered. The adult classes will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the afternoon class from 12 to 1 p.m. and the evening class from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
The afternoon classes will cost $120 and the evening classes $90 per student. The afternoon classes will have lunch provided.
The youth class will be Sundays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and will cost $90 per student.