Department of LAS

Course Descriptions

LAS 001A ESL A (0 credit)

This is the first-level ESL, remedial course that is designed to help students develop the four basic skills needed to succeed in college—listening, speaking, reading, and writing. There is an emphasis on building note-taking and lecture listening skills, and critical reading. Prerequisite: English Language Placement Test.

LAS 001B ESL B (0 credit)

This is the second-level ESL, remedial course that builds upon the skills learned in LAS 001A. There is greater emphasis on listening to and taking notes from college lectures, essay writing, and reading across the curriculum. Prerequisite: LAS 001A or English Language Placement Test.

LAS 101A Elementary Chinese A (4 credits)

A beginner’s course that helps students build a solid foundation in the four skills of Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua)—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—while introducing prominent aspects of Chinese culture. It covers basic sentence structures in daily conversations in addition to approximately 350 traditional / simplified characters.

LAS 101B Elementary Chinese B (4 credits)

This course helps beginning students of Mandarin Chinese to further develop the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing both for everyday communication and for understanding Chinese culture. Students will learn approximately 400 traditional / simplified characters and more advanced sentence structures. Prerequisite: LAS 101A or instructor consent.

LAS 102A Chinese for Advanced Beginners A (4 credits)

Designed for advanced beginners with basic conversational skills in Chinese, this course focuses on reading, writing, and grammar, along with continuing improvement of oral communication skills. Students will learn to read and write several hundred Chinese characters. Prerequisite: placement test and instructor consent.

LAS 102B Chinese for Advanced Beginners B (4 credits)

This course consolidates the foundation that students have built in LAS 102A. Focusing on reading, writing, and grammar, it expands students’ vocabularies and introduces them to more complex grammatical structures. It also emphasizes pre-modern Chinese traditions through which the Chinese language was forged. Prerequisite: LAS 102A.

LAS 103 Effective English (3 credits)

An introduction to college writing, this course develops freshmen’s basic skills in academic writing. The issues covered include diction, punctuation, use of citations, organization of information, styles of rhetoric, and formulation of arguments. Prerequisite: successful completion of Grade 12 English or the equivalent.

LAS 110 Western Civilization (3 credits)

This course studies the major contributions to the intellectual traditions that have shaped and defined Western civilization from ancient Greece to the present. Emphasis is on philosophical, religious, and political developments.

LAS 120 Advanced Mathematical Concepts (3 credits)

This course provides a comprehensive coverage of essential topics in mathematics including discrete mathematics, algebra, elementary functions, matrices, probability and introduction to calculus.

LAS 201A Intermediate Chinese A (4 credits)

This course improves students’ proficiency in the listening, speaking, reading, and writing of Chinese by focusing on consolidating basic conversational skills and improving reading confidence. Students will learn to use Chinese dictionaries and online resources in Chinese. Prerequisite: LAS 101B or instructor consent.

LAS 201B Intermediate Chinese B (4 credits)

This course further develops students’ skills in the listening, speaking, reading, and writing of Mandarin Chinese. Students will be introduced to formal written Chinese as used in news reports and storytelling. There is a progressive emphasis on writing and composition. Prerequisite: LAS 210A or instructor consent.

LAS 204 Public Speaking (3 credits)

This course develops students’ basic knowledge, skills, and confidence in public speaking by training students in issues including attentive and critical listening, organizing information in audience-friendly ways, wording, diction, body language, and hand gestures. Prerequisite: LAS 103 or instructor consent.

LAS 210 Chinese Civilization (3 credits)

Structured thematically, this is a survey of the salient features and legacies of Chinese civilization in the context of China’s long history. The themes include literary, religious, and philosophical traditions; artistic developments; science and medicine; and the transformations of various social institutions. Prerequisite: LAS 101A & B or instructor consent.

LAS 220 Calculus (3 credits)

This course is designed for students with no experience with calculus but only basic knowledge of algebra and trigonometry. Students will learn how calculus is used in describing motions and measuring changes in various scientific and business fields. Prerequisite: placement test or instructor consent. This branch of mathematics is used for measuring changes and describing motions in our daily life and various academic fields.

LAS 221 Introduction to Computer Science (3 credits)

This introductory course teaches the basics of computer science while helping students develop methodological thinking in problem-solving using computers. A large part of the course is built around the development of computer programs or parts of programs that correctly solve a given problem.

LAS 222 Computer Graphic Design (3 credits)

This is an introduction to computer graphics as a technical and creative medium for art and design. Through lecture and studio practice with commonly used applications, students will acquire a command of the basic concepts and technical knowledge in computer graphic design.

LAS 231 US Government (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the major developments in the history of the United States from the time of the early settlers to the present. Examination of the major social, cultural, economic and political issues of different time periods, will help to elucidate the values and institutions that are central to American society and the American political system.

LAS 232 World History (3 credits)

A study of major landmarks in the intellectual traditions that have shaped and defined world civilizations throughout history from ancient Greece to the present. Emphasis is given to philosophical, religious, and political developments.

LAS 301A Advanced Chinese A (4 credits)

This course develops students’ proficiency in Mandarin Chinese by integrating the four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). The topics covered in the reading, composition, discussions, and oral presentations are taken from history, culture, economics, and current affairs. Prerequisite: LAS 201B or instructor consent.

LAS 301B Advanced Chinese B (4 credits)

A continuation of LAS 301A, this course further develops students’ proficiency in Mandarin Chinese while familiarizing them with formal written Chinese encountered in academic journals and news magazines. Prerequisite: LAS 201A or instructor consent.

LAS 304 Writing for Media (3 credits)

This is an introductory course that covers the basics of media writing, from basic research and writing techniques to writing for print, broadcast, advertising, and public relations. Prerequisite: LAS 103 or instructor consent.

LAS 311 History of Visual Arts (3 credits)

This introductory course on the history of visual arts presents the major themes, styles, and subject matter of art and architecture in the world’s major civilizations from prehistory to the present. It examines the works of each culture and historical period in the context of the dominant thoughts, ideas, and customs of the time.

LAS 312 Calligraphy and Painting (3 credits)

This course helps students develop the basic knowledge and techniques in Chinese calligraphy and painting, two separate, yet closely related, major art forms in traditional Chinese culture. Course activities include lecture, work analysis, and studio practice.

LAS 333 History of China (3 credits)

This course explores chronologically some of the major themes in Chinese history from its beginnings to the present. It asks the question of what constitutes “Chineseness” from a historical perspective. Prerequisite: LAS 201B or instructor consent.

LAS 370A Drawing (2 credits)

Through lectures and studio practice, this course introduces the fundamentals of drawing and helps students to develop a command of the basic principles and techniques in two- and three-dimensional drawing.

LAS 370B Drawing and Rendering for Theater (2 credits)

Built on the skills that students gained in LAS 370A, this course introduces the basic knowledge and skills necessary for the preparation and execution of theatrical production work. Students will apply drawing, painting, and sketching techniques to the presentation of set, lighting, costume, and other elements of theatrical design. Prerequisite: LAS 370A.

LAS 401A Classical Chinese A (4 credits)

Designed for advanced students of the Chinese language, this course covers classical Chinese (wenyanwen) and a wide variety of poetic genres. In studying representative works of major genres from the pre-Qin era, students not only learn syntactic patterns and vocabulary, but also explore the cultural values, philosophies, and history behind the texts. Prerequisite: LAS 301B or instructor consent.

LAS 401B Classical Chinese B (4 credits)

A sequel to LAS 401B, this course further develops students’ ability to read classical Chinese by focusing on works from the Han through the Qing dynasties. Through studying the major works and literary genres, students will gain a deeper understanding of the cultural values, philosophies, and history in which the works originated. Prerequisite: LAS 401A or instructor consent.

Language Courses

Fei Tian offers unique programs in English Language and Chinese Language and Culture. Fei Tian is an ideal setting for Chinese and English language programs because it is a full-time, mixed language academic institution that promotes cultural awareness and appreciation of both Western and Asian traditional arts.

The diverse student body enhances the learning environment; students live and breathe the arts and language learning every day. Students have access to a library with English and Chinese books and periodicals, as well as computers and audiovisual equipment needed for language learning, including ESL (English as a Second Language) and CSL (Chinese as a Second Language) software.

English Language

Fei Tian provides a full spectrum of English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction from beginner level to advanced, allowing students to build skills in English speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

The mission is to meet the specialized needs of professional artists and media professionals who wish to combine language studies with their artistic and professional pursuits in a vibrant atmosphere of learning and creativity.

Courses focus on building skills in listening comprehension, accent reduction, conversation, public speaking, grammar, reading comprehension, and writing. All students will be placed in their appropriate levels by personal interview and placement test upon arrival. Fei Tian staff carefully monitor each student’s progress throughout the language courses and provides each student with feedback for improvement.

Chinese Language and Culture

Students learn in a setting reminiscent of the Tang Dynasty, complete with architecturally authentic buildings, temples, Chinese gardens, and a magnificent pagoda. Almost all of the students, faculty, and staff speak some Chinese—it is truly an immersion experience. Fei Tian is proud to be able to offer such a unique and rigorous Chinese language and cultural program in the United States.

Students’ learning opportunities range from the most basic speaking skills to reading ancient primary texts and poetry. They are placed at an appropriate level according to their prior exposure and proficiency in the Chinese language, and they are required to take courses in Chinese History I, Chinese History II, and Chinese Civilization.

Learning about Chinese history and culture is paramount to becoming truly fluent in the language. We have found that the best way to learn the Middle Kingdom’s language is to first know its history and philosophical underpinnings. The courses offered at Fei Tian explore how each Chinese dynasty had its own culture, its own aesthetic, its own sensibility, and yet was still distinctly “Chinese” in its own right. These courses serve as a unique introduction to the richness and complexity of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization and culture – a culture thought to have been divinely inspired.