Chinese Table at ETSU encourages students to expose themselves to the world of the Chinese language. 

The group meets every Friday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on the first floor of Sherrod Library, and the lessons provided are free of charge. No prior knowledge or experience with Chinese is required. By attending, students will be able to learn and practice basic Chinese words and sounds with native speakers. 

Graduate student Emily Lu organized the group with the hopes that students will get to learn about Chinese and how to speak it. 

“This is a weekly session,” Lu said. “My mission is to basically teach students … who want to learn Chinese and give them a start or introductory lesson in the language. If they’re interested later on and continue to express this interest, I will continue to teach them.”

Lu was inspired to start the group when she realized there are no Chinese language lesson groups at ETSU. 

“I am the sole organizer so far,” Lu said. “I’m ethnically Chinese and can speak the language, so I wanted to do this.”

Lu explains that Chinese language can be daunting for those that aren’t familiar with it. The various sounds and subtilties that Chinese has can make it challenging, but Lu hopes to help with this.  

“It is difficult for English speakers because it is a tonal language,” Lu said. “But it’s not as different from English as people would think. The grammar in Chinese and English is similar which makes it easier to learn.”

Lu hopes that students will not only learn the technicalities of the Chinese language through her sessions but also get to expose themselves to something they would otherwise not have the opportunity to do. Teamwork is a key part of this. 

“I am hoping for an exposure to foreign culture and language skills,” Lu said. “I want them to get a sense of working together to achieve something. Learning a language is not something you can do by yourself. You have to practice with other people, and you have to ask questions.”

Lu also wants students to take advantage of sessions like hers that go on in the library and see what they have to offer.

“I want to encourage all students to attend events like this and make friends,” Lu said.

For more information about these lessons, contact