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Online Chinese Degree and Certificate Programs

Research online Chinese language courses and programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

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Essential Information

Chinese programs are rarely offered online, and those that are generally result in certificates rather than degrees. Students who want formal degrees in Chinese should consider an on-campus program instead.

Online Chinese certificate programs introduce students to the Chinese language and provide basic lessons on pronunciation, grammar, writing, reading, translation and communication standards. Depending on the program, some may require that students already have basic familiarity with the Chinese language. These programs may also provide an overview of Chinese culture, and some programs require students to spend time studying in China. To complete these programs online, students will need access to a webcam, Adobe Flash and Microsoft software, and a media player.

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Certificate in Chinese

Online certificate programs in Chinese aim to familiarize students with both the Chinese culture and language. Through the program, students examine concepts in pronunciation, literature and communication. Interested students must have at least a high school diploma. Some programs may require that students have basic knowledge of the Chinese language.

Program Information and Requirements

Online certificate programs can take less than a year to complete. Typically, these programs feature hybrid courses, which are available partially online and incorporate videoconferencing and other distance learning methods. Some programs require that students spend time studying in China. Students complete the online portion of the program by accessing course materials, following lessons and lectures at pre-determined times, and turning in assignments as required by the professor.

Students completing this program must have access to the Internet. They may also need to use Adobe Flash, Microsoft Word, a media player and other programs. Depending on the method of delivery, students may also need to use webcams.

Common Courses in a Chinese Certificate Program

Some courses require that students spend a semester or two studying abroad, gaining practical experience with the language and culture in addition to completing coursework in Chinese culture and language.

Chinese Reading and Writing

Students learn how to read pieces of Chinese literature. Students study concepts for understanding and analyzing texts.

Translating Chinese

Students work to translate English into Chinese. They study techniques for translating and study the theory of translation.

Listening, Reading and Writing Chinese

Students listen and watch interviews with the Chinese. They read scripts and learn how to communicate, becoming familiar with the way the language sounds


Career Information

Upon completion of this program, students could find careers in translation and interpretation, but only if they speak the language with a high level of fluency. Students could also find careers as travel agents specializing in Chinese business or tourism travel. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), travel agents made a median annual salary of $35,660 and interpreters and translators earned a median annual salary of $44,190, as of May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

After completing a certificate in Chinese, students can complete associate's or bachelor's degrees in Chinese. These programs are not typically available online. However, they are offered at several schools in the United States. In these programs, students gain advanced insights into the Chinese language and cultures, which could lead to a wider variety of career opportunities.

Completing an online certificate in Chinese can help students find jobs as translators, or it may inspire them to pursue more advanced degrees in Chinese at the associate's or bachelor's level. Certificate programs will focus on reading and writing, translating, and Chinese culture.

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