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.

2021 Fall Classes

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




Time (Eastern Time Zone)


Basic Chinese Language Tuesday or Thursday 12 weeks 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Online
Intermediate Chinese Language Tuesday & Thursday 12 weeks 4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Online

 *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  

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

Level Prequisite Description
Basic Chinese Language 1 None For all interested persons who have very little to no Chinese language proficiency.
Basic Chinese Language 2 Basic Chinese Language 1 or at least 30 hours studying Chinese language For persons who already have a basic foundational and functional understanding of the language.
Intermediate 1 Basic Chinese Language 2 or at least 60 hours of studying Chinese
Intermediate 2 Intermediate 1 or at least 80 hours of studying Chinese For persons who have an advanced foundational and functional understanding of the language.
Advanced Intermediate 2 or at least 90 hours studying Chinese


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


Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Chinese Language 12-Week Session $120 N/A $120

Summer I Classes



Material Fee


Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Chinese Language 6-Week Session $60 N/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.


  • A half-price discount is offered to WMU students, and senior citizens (55 or above). However, some classes have "Material fees" apart from the tuition cost, which all participants must pay in full.
  • Starting from fall 2017, WMU employees are only required to pay the $25 registration fees and material fees (if applicable), no other tuition cost.

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