Community Classes

The Chinese Language and Culture Programing offers Chinese language and culture classes that are open to WMU faculty, staff, students and the community.

2022 Fall Classes

Classes with low enrollment (less than 3 participants) may be canceled




Time (Eastern Time Zone)


Chinese Language Basic ITue & Thu12 weeks6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.Online
Chinese Language Basic IITue & Thu12 weeks5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.Online
Chinese Language Intermediate Tue & Thu12 weeks4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.Online
Tai Chi Basic IThu   12 weeks  5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.  4705 Sangren Hall 
Tai Chi Basic IIWed12 weeks5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.4705 Sangren Hall
Tai Chi Intermediate Thu 12 weeks 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 4705 Sangren Hall

 *To help students choose a language class suits their level, a placement test may be held at the beginning of the session.

 REGister today!  COST  language  TAI CHI  

Chinese Language Classes

Why Study Mandarin Chinese?

Mandarin Chinese is the longest-living written and spoken language in the history of the world. Used by 1.4 billion people, it is also the most widely spoken language. In today's world of increased global interconnectivity, Mandarin is quickly becoming a major language for business and educational development. Chinese language classes offered by the Chinese Language and Culture Programing at WMU provide the Greater Kalamazoo community with an opportunity to study the language in a fun, casual environment to adult learners for all ages (adults 18 years of age or older).

Chinese Language Class Levels

Basic Chinese Language 1NoneFor all interested persons who have very little to no Chinese language proficiency.
Basic Chinese Language 2Basic Chinese Language 1 or at least 30 hours studying Chinese languageFor persons who already have a basic foundational and functional understanding of the language.
Intermediate 1Basic Chinese Language 2 or at least 60 hours of studying Chinese
Intermediate 2Intermediate 1 or at least 80 hours of studying ChineseFor persons who have an advanced foundational and functional understanding of the language.
AdvancedIntermediate 2 or at least 90 hours studying Chinese



What Tai Chi is like

Taichi is one of the Chinese Traditional martial arts, which was designed as a unique self-defense technique later evolved into a self-efficacy health exercise. Characterized as flowing, graceful and being well balanced, Tai Chi's movements strengthen the body as well as the mind from within, promote a complete body-mind harmony. Through practicing Tai Chi, the balance of Yin and Yang, the essentials of the nature and relaxation, will be embedded into the practitioner. Unrestrained by age, gender, and health status, Tai Chi can serve as an ideal physical exercise to many.

Tai Chi classes are open to WMU faculty, staff, students and the community to register (adults 18 years of age or older). 

Tai Chi Basic Class

This 6-session course will introduce some essential Tai Chi principles such as controlled relaxation, mental quietness, breathing in depth, intent first etc. As a start class we will learn to practice 5 to 8 basic also classic Tai Chi movements. By the end of the session, the participants are expected to grasp these essentials and be able to practice basic Tai Chi movements independently. 

Tai Chi Intermediate Class

This 6-session course will introduce and teach Cheng Man Ching 37 Form (CMC 37).  CMC 37 was developed by Professor Cheng Man Ching. Regarded as the “Master of Five Excellences” Cheng excelled in Poetry, calligraphy, painting, medicine, and Tai Chi. Originated from Yang Cheng Pu style, CMC 37 incorporated Cheng’s personal understanding derived from years of practice. 


Calligraphy Class

This calligraphy class is new to the Chinese Language and Culture Programing at WMU culture class lineup. This class has no language proficiency requirement. This class is open to WMU faculty, staff, students and the community to register (adults 18 years of age or older). 

Why Learn Calligraphy?

  • Calligraphy is one of China's greatest high art forms and it is a cornerstone of Chinese culture; the various styles of Chinese calligraphy have made an invaluable impression around the world.
  • The goal of this class is to introduce this beautiful art form to the widest audience possible in the Greater Kalamazoo area

What will be Learned in this Class?

  • Participants will receive an introduction to the history of Chinese Calligraphy, learn about the main schools of the art form, and how to paint Chinese calligraphy.
  • This class will encourage people and organizations to incorporate Chinese Calligraphy in their lives and consciousness.


Ink Painting

The Chinese Language and Culture Programing at WMU is offering the community the opportunity to participate in a Chinese ink painting class. This class is open to all adults 16 and older and requires no prior instruction in this or any other martial art. There is not a language proficiency requirement for this class.

Why Learn Chinese Ink Painting?

  • In a very long history, Chinese ink painting formed its own art culture that is completely different from western painting because of the different philosophy. It has become an important token of Chinese arts civilization and one of the most important way to express the painter’s feelings, aesthetics and ideal.
  • American artist and educator Arthur Wesley Dow (1857–1922) wrote about Chinese ink wash painting: "The painter ...put upon the paper the fewest possible lines and tones; just enough to cause form, texture, and effect to be felt. Every brush-touch must be full-charged with meaning, and useless detail eliminated. Put together all the good points in such a method, and you have the qualities of the highest art."

What will be Learned in this Class?

  • This course is for learning the fundamentals of Chinese ink painting, which involves drawing objects (plants and animals) with simple brush strokes in different tonality and shading achieved by varying the ink density on absorbent rice paper.
  • Students will begin with learning the basic skills, the goal is to inspire you to achieve a completed ink painting (flower or animal) through the practice of painting different objects with the different technique. Students will learn to paint an orchid, bamboo, chick and Sparrow, Shrimp and crab. Anyone can learn to appreciate Chinese ink painting and get inspired in just a few weeks.



 Below is the class cost information and any related class materials fees for the current schedule of Community Classes.

Fall and Spring Classes



Material Fee


Chinese Language12-Week Session$120N/A$120
Tai Chi12-Week Session$120N/A$120

Summer Classes



Material Fee


Chinese Language         6-Week Session    $60  N/A  $60
Tai Chi6-Week Session$60N/A$60


  • The cost for each class (and any applicable class materials fees) must be paid in full before or on the first day of class.
  • Payments may be made by check or money order payable to WMU or through credit card. Detail payment information will be sent after the registration.
  • The Chinese Language and Culture Programing at WMU offers tuition discounts to qualified participants.


  • 50% tuition discount to WMU students and community senior citizens (55 and above) 
  • $25/course for WMU employees 
  • For courses requesting a "Material fee" apart from the tuition cost, all participants must pay this fee in full. 

For example, if you are a WMU employee, and you want to take the Chinese Painting class that has a material fee of $30, the total amount you need to pay is $25 + $30 (material fee) = $55.  If you are a WMU student or community senior citizen, and you want to take the Chinese Painting class, the total amount you need to pay is $60 (50% discount ) + $30 (Material fee) = $90.