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Community Chinese Language and Culture Classes

The Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota offers several short classes on Chinese language and culture. If you are interested in taking a class, please use our online registration form and review our policy on class cancellations and refunds. If you have questions about course offerings or registration, please contact the Confucius Institute.

Placement tests are available under each corresponding course level. If you are unsure which level is best for you, send us your completed placement test and one of our instructors will work with you to find the class best suited to your needs and abilities.

Class Fees

The cost of all class offerings is $250.00.

Class Calendar

The Confucius Institute follows the University of Minnesota semester schedule. Confucius Institute classes start a few weeks after the start of the University semester and last for ten class sessions. Classes are not held on University holidays.

Tentative class calendar for Spring 2018:
(Schedule may change based on availability of instructor or not offered if student registration is low)

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY
Beginning I, Section A
6:00-7:30 p.m.
Beginning I, Section B
6:00-7:30 p.m.
Beginning II
6:00-7:30 p.m.
Intermediate II
6:00-7:30 p.m.
Chinese Rehab
6:00-7:30 p.m.
Intermediate I
6:00-7:30 p.m.
Beginning III
6:00-7:30 p.m.
Intermediate III
6:00-7:30 p.m.


Registration deadline is Monday, January 22. Late registrations will be accepted through February 9.

Course Offerings

Community Chinese: Beginning I

This course is designed for beginners with no prior knowledge of Chinese language. This course begins with pinyin, the Chinese pronunciation system and offers an integrated introduction to reading, listening, speaking, and writing in Chinese. Students will practice accurate pronunciation and tones, complete with real communicative tasks, and learn to recognize about 160 characters. By the end of the session, students will be able to initiate and respond to greetings, exchange basic personal information, and conduct basic conversations. Learn more about Beginning Chinese I.

Community Chinese: Beginning II

This course continues to build foundations in daily conversation topics and will enable learners to learn useful numerals such as time and money, hobbies, and plans. Functional communicative tasks such as shopping and ordering food is also included. By the end of the session, students will be able to initiate simple requests in shops and restaurants, and give a basic description of schedule and plans. Students enrolling in Beginning II Chinese should have a basic understanding of the Chinese character structure and basic radicals. Learn more about Beginning Chinese II.

Community Chinese: Beginning III

Students enrolling in Beginning III Chinese should recognize about 200 Chinese characters in addition to familiarity with the Chinese character structure and radicals. This course will further help students build their foundations in daily topics while increasing vocabulary and new grammatical structures. Students will talk about weather, health, directions, sports, and studying Chinese. By the end of the session, students will be able to exchange a short conversation on the topics above, and describe in depth their experience studying Chinese. Students who complete this level can consider taking the HSK-1*. Learn more about Beginning Chinese III.

Community Chinese: Intermediate I

TThis course is designed for students who have successfully completed the Beginning Chinese series at the Confucius Institute, or have taken Chinese for a minimum of one year. Students in this course are expected to be able to sustain a short conversation, understand the Chinese character structure, know key radicals and can recognize around 300 Chinese characters. This course will help students continue to build their vocabulary and sentence structure knowledge through the following topics: travel, checking into hotels, making transportation plans, describing the process of making food, and making appointments. Students will also learn to describe events in the past, present and future. Students who complete this level can consider taking the HSK-2.* Learn more about Intermediate Chinese I.

Community Chinese: Intermediate II

Students enrolling in this course should have a solid understanding of the Chinese character structure, know the key radicals and can recognize around 500 Chinese characters Students will continue to develop their vocabulary and sentence structures in Intermediate II class. The topics covered in this course will help students further develop their skills in daily conversations as well as semi-formal topics related to one’s community. Topics covered in this course include describing detailed characteristics of a person, lifestyle, hometown, housing and examinations. Learn more about Intermediate Chinese II.

Community Chinese: Intermediate III

This course completes the Confucius Institute’s Community Chinese series. Students enrolling in this course should recognize around 600 Chinese characters. Students will continue to develop their vocabulary and sentence structures in Intermediate III class to help them sustain longer conversations. Topics included in this course are shopping, vacation, and travel plans, occupation and career preference, and hobbies. Students who complete this level can consider taking the HSK-3.* Learn more about Intermediate Chinese III.

Community Chinese: Chinese Rehab

This is an instructor-led conversation group for adults who want to restore their Chinese language skills. If you have lived in China or studied Chinese in the past, this group can help you bring your zhongwen back to life. Participants should be at the intermediate level or higher and come to each class prepared to participate in the conversation. Learn more about Chinese Rehab.


*The HSK is a standardized international Chinese proficiency test for non-native speakers and is conducted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota twice yearly. Learn more about the HSK.