Summer Language Institute - Chinese

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Whether you’re planning overseas travel, exploring China’s rich history and culture, conducting graduate research, or preparing for a career in international affairs, the Chinese Summer Language Institute will help you acquire the linguistic and cultural knowledge you need to succeed. 

Chinese SLI participants earn the equivalent of two semesters (8 credits) of Chinese in an accelerated yet supportive environment. This summer we will be offering instruction in Level 1 (introductory) Chinese and Level 2 (intermediate).  Upon successful completion of Chinese SLI level 1, students will be well prepared to enter a rigorous 200-level course offered at UVA or another university. Upon successful completion of Chinese SLI level 2, students will be well prepared to enter a rigorous 300-level course offered at UVA or another university. Undergraduates, graduate students, professionals, and rising junior and senior high school students are welcome to apply. Upon the unexpected situation due to impact from coronavirus globally, nationally and in the local community, the Chinese Summer Language Institute will be offered entirely online. The online instruction, communication, and assignments will be conveyed through Zoom and other supplemented interactive online educational platforms. The courses will be taught by instructors with extensive online teaching experiences.

Pedagogy and Philosophy

At Chinese SLI we use both teacher-centered and student-centered approaches to ensure that students are taken through the complete cycle of effective input and productive output for each target lesson.  We ask students to complete language tasks specially designed to utilize relevant vocabulary and grammar patterns in an accurate and effective manner.  All assessments are performance-based, meaning we evaluate students’ ability to perform, in speech and writing,  the following functions, in a creative and context appropriate fashion: description, narration, comparison, explanation, giving directions, supporting opinions, handling transactions, and hypothesizing.

Unique Features of the Program

Through intensive, performance-based activities and frequent exposure to culturally authentic contexts, students in the Chinese SLI are able to master a voluminous amount of material in a short span of time.  Inside the classroom, students enjoy an intimate format with tutorials at least four days a week.  Outside the classroom, students practice what they are learning each week with native speakers through community outreach events, including cooking competitions, cultural presentations and guest lectures on contemporary Chinese society. Most of these community-related activities cannot be offered remotely, but we will have some cultural activities to supplement, such as having students hear a lecture and report back their thoughts in terms of comparing Chinese and American culture.  We will also have students in a breakout room on Zoom with a tutor or instructor facilitating discussion of  their observation of cultural differences and uniqueness. 

While the courses are delivered online, we maintain our teaching philosophy by providing a communicative language learning environment through both synchronous and asynchronous manners. Students will also have the opportunity to speak with native speakers and have intensive cultural immersion experiences through conversation and interactive online media.

Program Structure

The online Chinese Summer Language Institute will keep a similar structure as above on different online platforms:


9:00 - 12:00 a.m.

Class meets as a group on Zoom, with native speaking tutors facilitating small group work in Zoom-Breakout rooms.


12:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Tutoring with native-speaking tutors individually on Zoom for language practices.


5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Social hour--students gathered online to watch course content related media online and discuss social and cultural topics with native-speaking friends from the local Chinese community on Zoom. To ensure the conversation quality, the social hour will be held in smaller groups of 4-5.


9:00 - 12:00 a.m.

Weekly oral and written tests administered.

Students will do the written tests on their own time while using a time slot to do an one on one oral test with the instructor. 

2021 Costs

Students in all SLI programs, including the non-credit option, must pay the Institute Fee of $60.00 and the Comprehensive Fee.

See Summer Session Housing for information on housing costs. See Dining for Information on meal plans.

  Virginia Resident Non Virginia Resident

Required Fees

Institute Fee 

Comprehensive Fee







Undergraduate Student Tuition (Level One or Level Two)
(8 credits)
$423 x 8cr = $3,384 $1,552 x 8cr = $12,416
Level One Graduate Student Tuition (Level One or Level Two)
(8 credits)
$489 x 8cr = $3,912

$992 x 8cr = $7,936

Non Credit Study Option Tuition (Level One or Level Two) $5,076 $5,076

Please note that graduate level tuition applies to current UVA students who will graduate in May, before the start of the SLI.

Contact Information: 

Department of East Asian Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Director: Professor Shu-chen Chen
New Cabell Hall 169
(434) 243-8082