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SHSU to Offer Beginning Chinese

Zhenlin Zhou and Mary Gutermuth
Mary Gutermuth, Coordinator of Foreign Languages, stands with Zhenlin Zhou, the new instructor of beginning Chinese.

A beginning level Chinese language course will be added to the existing Spanish, French, and German foreign language courses offered at the Sam Houston State University campus.

Course and lab instructor will be Zhenlin Zhou, a doctoral student in the College of Criminal Justice.

"It is my privilege to have the chance to do this," said Zhou, "both for the Chinese people and for the American people."

The idea for beginning a class that focuses study on the Chinese language came at the recommendation of Richard Ward, dean of the college of criminal justice.

China is one of five countries available for study abroad opportunities with the College of Criminal Justice. During May and June, students can obtain three undergraduate or graduate course credits by studying at the Public Security University in Wuhan. The availability of a Chinese language course on the SHSU campus aims, in part, to enhance student preparation for this existing program.

Zhou is in his second semester as an SHSU graduate student. A Chinese native, Zhou majored in English education and taught English as a foreign language in a middle school near Shanghai.

After pursuing courses in teaching methods, Zhou took graduate courses in linguistics and then taught English at various Chinese community colleges. He also took on summer study programs in China, teaching his native language to American and European visitors.

Additionally, Zhou is licensed to practice law, having passed the National Bar Examination.

After an invitation from Dean Ward to pursue a Ph.D, Zhou found himself in the Piney Woods of East Texas.

"I like to study," admitted Zhou. "I spend much of my spare time studying."

"I think this is a great opportunity for me because I have studied English for many years, but I don't think my English is good enough," said Zhou. "I think this is a good chance to improve my English. At the same time, I think I can introduce the Chinese culture and tradition to American students."

The course will be listed as F L 261X (CID 5579) and will be offered Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 1 p.m. The Lab (CID 5712) will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays also at 1 p.m.

Mary Gutermuth, director of foreign languages, is excited about the addition of the new language course and feels it will be well received.

"Since SHSU offers courses in Chinese history, this course may be of interest to students enrolled in that class, not to mention just general interest from the student body."

"If this should be successful," continued Gutermuth, "then we would hope the program would grow. You can't know anything like that until you try it."

For more information on the new course, contact Mary Gutermuth at 936.294.1442.

- END -

SHSU Media Contact: Audrey Wick
February 27, 2002
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