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Photo credit: Vitaliy Darovskikh

Program Announcement

As of May 31st, 2013, after a long and illustrious run, Cornell University’s FALCON Program (for Chinese and Japanese) will no longer be offered. However, we will continue to offer a summer-only intensive Mandarin Chinese program, which will be listed under the new name of IMPAC (Intensive Mandarin Program At Cornell). Details about this program can be found at http://lrc.cornell.edu/impac. The Department of Asian Studies will also continue to provide its regular course offerings in Chinese and Japanese throughout the academic year (http://lrc.cornell.edu/asian/courses/). For those that wish to receive program updates, please "like" our new Facebook page at www.facebook.com/IMPACprogram. The FALCON Facebook page will be active for the FALCON alumni that wish to remain connected.

In the News

  • Marks of Distinction:Cornell was the first university to teach modern Far Eastern languages. Cornell's Full-Year Asian Language Concentration (FALCON) program provides unusually comprehensive and intensive one-year study of Chinese or Japanese.

  • FALCON is a registered certificate program with the New York State Department of Education. For more information visit:
Of particular interest for graduate business students is the MBA/MA in Asian Studies. This program affords an opportunity for students interested in Asian business to combine the study of language and Asian area studies with the MBA. The program generally takes three- to three-and-a-half years to complete, with a three-semester (rather than four-semester) residency requirement. Successful completion of a one-year FALCON intensive language program may count as one of the two semesters of residency in the Graduate School required for the M.A. in Asian Studies. Fifteen "elective" Asian Studies credits can be applied against the sixty-credit total required by the Johnson School. Students should apply to both the Johnson Graduate School of Management and the Cornell Graduate School; if denied admission to one of these programs, students may enroll in the other.


Remembering Eleanor Jorden

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of Eleanor Jorden, Wednesday, February 18, 2009. She was living in the home of her daughter, Telly, and her son-in-law. Her son Temple lived in the vicinity and had been able to see her often. Temple reports that she passed away peacefully in her sleep.

We will always remember her as a great colleague, as a brilliant, charismatic, inspiring teacher and, above all, as a warm, witty and caring human being and friend. She first came to Cornell in 1969 as a Visiting Scholar after retiring from the Foreign Service Institute Language School, where she had held the position of Dean of the School of Asian Languages. In 1971 she was granted tenure at Cornell and the following year founded the FALCON Program. She had already become the primary force in the teaching of Japanese, having published the two-volume text, Beginning Japanese. For many, many decades, year after year Beginning Japanese topped the best-seller list of Yale University Press and it remains in print today. During her time at Cornell, she published Reading Japanese, a revolutionary and highly-acclaimed textbook, still in print. Toward the end of her 18 years at Cornell, she began her mammoth work, Japanese: the Spoken Language, which came out in three volumes. After leaving Cornell in 1988, she assumed a position with the National Foreign Language Center in Washington, DC, where she published, with Richard Lambert, the comprehensive and important study, "Japanese Language Instruction in the United States: Resources, Practice, and Investment Strategy."

Only a small sampling of the awards she has received in her lengthy and productive career include: The Order of the Precious Crown, granted by His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan in 1985; The Japan Foundation Award in 1985; The Papalia Award for Excellence in Teacher Education, from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in 1993. She also received four honorary doctorates and served as President of the Association for Asian Studies once and President of the Association of Teachers of Japanese twice.

-Robert J Sukle