courtesy of Christopher Dodds '08
International business major Christopher Dodds '08 spent a semester studying in Xiamen, China, through the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities' China Studies Program. Since Mandarin Chinese has been added to the Messiah College course catalog for the fall 2009 semester, students will now be able to study the language in preparation for similar study-abroad trips in the future.
Department of Modern Languages adds new course
Messiah students looking to take a foreign language class other than French, Spanish, or German for the fall 2009 semester will have a chance to study a new program offered by the Department of Modern Languages: Mandarin Chinese. The desire to have a non-European language represented in Messiah’s offerings fueled the department’s decision to add a fourth choice to students’ foreign language options at the College. Department chair John Beaney says, “More than one-third of the world’s population is in Asia. We need to make more of an effort to understand that part of the world.”
Although other languages such as Arabic and Japanese were considered, Chinese seemed to be the best fit for the College. “It’s a good option for business majors,” says Beaney. Because of China’s significant role in the world’s economy, a language program in Mandarin complements academic fields that involve international business, giving students an invaluable way to further strengthen their job skills.
Anna Marshall, who will join Messiah’s faculty this fall to teach the course, was born and raised in China and has been teaching the language for 14 years. Marshall has dual master’s degrees from Syracuse University—one in English and another in telecommunication and network management. Marshall says she sees learning the Chinese language and culture not only as a smart business move, but also as an opportunity for ministry. “The [Chinese] economy is booming and Chinese people are very open to the Gospel,” she says.
The addition of Chinese is a great step forward for the Department of Modern Languages, and it may be only the beginning. “We are interested in more than just Chinese,” says Beaney. “We’d like some day to add other languages, as well.” So far, 35 students have enrolled in the Mandarin Chinese class.
—Abigail Long ’12