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 and 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.

The Chinese SLI will be offered this summer in a hybrid format, giving students the option of attending classes entirely in person, entirely remote, or through a combination of the two modalities. When students opt for online learning, Zoom and other online interactive platforms such as Collab will be used as the primary mode of delivery for instruction, communication and assignments. SLI instructors have extensive experience teaching both online and in person and are adept at integrating these different modalities to create a unified and vibrant learning environment.

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.  Most assessments are performance-based, meaning we evaluate students’ ability to perform the following functions in a creative and context appropriate fashion, in both speech and writing: description, narration, comparison, explanation, giving directions, supporting opinions, handling transactions, and hypothesizing. Over the years, students who, upon completion of the Chinese SLI, have taken the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) OPIc (Oral Proficiency Interview by computer) have achieved results which meet the benchmark standards of the Project GO initiative of the Defense Language and National Security Education Office. 

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 tutoring sessions at least four days a week.  Outside the classroom, students practice what they learn each week with native speakers through community outreach events, including cooking competitions, cultural presentations and guest lectures on contemporary Chinese society. Most community-related activities will be offered in person, but guest speakers may on occasion give presentations remotely. Cultural programming will be supplemented with interactive exercises, either online or in person. Breakout rooms on Zoom staffed with native speaking tutors will be utilized to provide abundant opportunities for small group discussion related to cultural activities and lectures. All learning is guided by our philosophy of communicative language learning. Culturally immersive experiences and opportunities to converse with native speakers abound no matter which mode of learning students choose.


Program Structure

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


9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Class meets in the classroom but Zoom will be open for students who join the class online


12:30 - 2:30 p.m.

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


5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Social hour--students gather online to watch course content related media online and discuss social and cultural topics with native-speaking friends from the local domestic/international Chinese community on Zoom or in person. To ensure quality of conversation and increased speaking opportunities, the social hour will be held in small groups of 4-5.


9:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

Weekly oral and written tests administered either in person or online.

Students will do the written tests on their own time. Oral tests will be given one-on-one with the instructor at a designated time slot. 

2022 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