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ASU Chinese instructor helps students explore topics through a global lens


Qian Liu

School of International Letters and Cultures instructor Qian Liu.

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March 13, 2018

Arizona State University's School of International Letters and Cultures draws diverse and sophisticated faculty to its classrooms, all able to help students explore topics through a global lens. In the Chinese department, Qian Liu is a shining example of this effort.

“When I came to ASU, it had a great language program, especially in East Asian Studies,” Liu said. “They really wanted to bring up a strong program … it was a great opportunity and I still believe it’s a great opportunity.”

For 11 years, Liu has found ways to keep her curriculum engaging and responsive, characteristic of many SILC programs. She believes the program is future-oriented, both in terms of empowering faculty and setting students up for success.

“SILC is a very supportive and friendly environment. All the faculty members and students give each other support,” Liu said.

Liu has taught a combination of language and research courses, including for graduate students, always looking to build an “intellectual foundation,” as it applies to Chinese studies. In her courses, students develop professional and cultural skills hand in hand.

“At SILC, we have an opportunity for students to learn so many different things and kinds of languages. It’s a place for students to explore the world, to develop their professional skills and academics,” Liu said.

“Even if you have a very solid foundation, they increase their academic abilities,” Liu added.

Every semester, she sees her students become more knowledgeable. For Liu, international awareness is a critical result of her classes. Liu finds a student’s evolution very rewarding, seeing them go from new to a language, whether it’s modern or classical Chinese, to translating poetry and demonstrating cultural sophistication.

“In the future, when they want to be scholars or in another field, they have much more confidence and much more knowledge,” Liu said.  

“For international students and American students learning language and culture, you have a very strong capability to actually get to know the world,” Liu continued. “You actually have more opportunities, and a broader vision of different cultures.

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