With over 5,000 years of written history, which language is the most widely spoken on earth? If you answered Mandarin Chinese, you are correct. The Chinese language program at Northern Illinois University opens doors to the hidden mysteries of Chinese. With the help of an experienced and dedicated instructor, students learn to distinguish various tones and subtleties of the Chinese language. By the end of the first year, students will be able to engage a native speaker in a simple conversation. By the end of the second year, students will possess the keys to further themselves through their own initiative and creativity in discovering both the eternal wisdom and peculiar foibles of this ancient culture. The department also offers a minor in Chinese Studies, where students can pursue their interest in Chinese language and culture.