Chinese minor to be considered among Department of Languages and Cultures

November 28, 2017

Lindsey O’Reilly

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    Learning another language is encouraged in today’s job market. Those who know a second language, like Chinese, can receive a pay increase of 10 to 15 percent, according to a 2014 U.S. News article.

    For students interested in learning Chinese, they could have the opportunity to minor in the language at UCCS soon.

    The Department of Languages and Cultures is in the planning stage of developing Chinese minor.

    Yang Yang, professor of Chinese, has been approached by students who expressed interest in a minor.

    “I’m most excited about the demand. I’ve been asked so many times about the minor and what courses it offers,” said Yang.

    A definitive date for when the minor will be implemented is not available yet, Yang andEdgar Cota-Torres, chair of the Department of Languages support the initiative.

    “We would love to have a minor as soon as possible, but that would depend on having a continuous interest. We have had conversation about an Asian Studies Certificate in collaboration with other departments, but thus far, nothing has been solidified,” said Cota-Torres.

    A Chinese minor can benefit all students in all majors according to Yang. The minor demonstrates the qualifications for a valid knowledge of the language, whereas a course will not show proper accreditation.

    With Chinese being a growing language, Yang wants to support students in the competitive job market.

    “You have a huge advantage over others in a job position if you have a language like Chinese under your belt. The Chinese market is a fast-growing market,” Yang said.

    According to Cota-Torres, there have not been concrete numbers in order to justify a minor. However, Yang’s courses are increasing the interest level of students.

    “There’s a lot of things we still need to work on, but I know this addition will be very exciting for the students. I really would like to make it to a new level as a minor or even a major,” said Yang.

    The department does not have any solid details for the Chinese minor yet, but for those interested in studying Chinese language and culture, a four-semester Chinese course has recently been added. This course teaches beginning, intermediate and elementary level courses in Mandarin.    

    This semester, Yang teaches CHIN 1010 – Beginning Chinese I and CHIN 2110 – Intermediate Chinese. Yang will teach Mandarin Chinese next semester.

    At UCCS, Mandarin is offered as a course; however, Cantonese, the language most prominent in Hong Kong and the surrounding areas, has not be added as course

    Both Mandarin and Cantonese are languages that are intertwined together. While learning Mandarin, students learn aspects of Cantonese. The Chinese courses currently offered are available for all students of any major.

    The planning for a Chinese minor continues to receive plenty of support from the Language and Cultures faculty.

    “We work as a family here. The Language Department is a great place for both professors and students,” said Yang.

    For more information on the Department of Languages and Cultures, visit