Chinese language instruction began at Wesleyan in 1972, with the appointment of Frances Mao Sheng teaching all levels of Chinese. In 1981, Wesleyan’s first position in Chinese literature was created with the appointment of Ellen Widmer; in the years since, those appointed in tenure-track literature positions have also taught Chinese language classes. Upon Professor Sheng’s retirement in 1994, the university created the Frances M. Sheng Prize to honor outstanding students of Chinese (and Japanese). In 1994, Xiaomiao Zhu took up the position of Chinese Language Coordinator.  She was awarded Wesleyan’s Binswanger Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015, and retired in 2020. In 2000, Mengjun Liu was appointed as Assistant Professor of the Practice in Chinese, formalizing a multi-year process of creating a second full-time Chinese language position.

Our Chinese program has developed a comprehensive curriculum, offering first-year through fourth-year Chinese language courses plus individual and group tutorials.



  • Students who have no prior knowledge of the Chinese language can register for Beginning Chinese I (CHIN103) without taking a placement test.  
  • Students who have previously learned Chinese should take a placement test in order to determine the appropriate Chinese language course at Wesleyan. The placement test includes a written test and an oral interview. Should you have any questions regarding the Chinese placement, please contact Professor Wei Gong at


Please check WESMAPS for current class offerings. 

The CEAS Major and Minor webpage provides information on fulfilling the major and minor requirements. 


    Summer Language Programs


Majors in the College of East Asian Studies are strongly encouraged to undertake at least one semester of study abroad in East Asia.  Interested students should contact their faculty advisor and relevant language faculty for assistance in selecting an appropriate program.  Study abroad typically occurs in the junior year at one of the approved programs listed on the Office of Study Abroad website  (


Weekly Chinese Language Table – Attending Chinese table is a great way to practice Chinese in an organic language environment. The Chinese Language Table is preliminary designed for intermediate and advanced level Chinese learners to talk to each other and Chinese native speakers, however, anyone who is interested in Chinese learning is welcome!

Weekly Pronunciation Clinic – This activity focuses on practicing Chinese pronunciation and tones. The students can sign up to reserve a spot for individual practice sessions with FLTA and/or CAs.

Language Partners – Every student enrolled in Chinese classes is paired with a native Chinese speaker selected from the Wesleyan community in order to practice Chinese and to promote mutual understanding of each other’s cultures.

Chinese festival celebrations – Chinese program holds events to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节) and Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) (春节) and Lantern Festival (元宵节) with the students who take Chinese classes. We also join the events held by Chinese Culture Club and the Fries Center for Global Studies.