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On April 2nd to 4th, the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) conference was held at Anaheim Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles County, California. Confucius Institute at San Diego State University attended the conference to promote the development of s Chinese language curriculum with new teaching materials - Tian Dee Panda. As the growth of Chinese Programs and multilingualism in schools in the Los Angeles area increases, many teachers attending the conference showed deep interests in the Tian Dee Panda teaching materials. Several teachers and school administrators showed interest in starting Chinese Programs in their schools and requested for Chinese teaching resources.
CI at SDSU Project Coordinators, Yueying Zhan and Hang Xiao, provided several information on the development of Chinese curriculum and programs in San Diego area, explained the Confucius Institute’s objectives, and demonstrated how these teaching materials can be used in the classroom. Some examples shown at the conference were supplementary activities including a fishing game, flash cards, training chopsticks, clapping bamboo sticks, Tian Dee Panda stamps and Chinese character stickers. Many CABE participants expressed great interest in purchasing the teaching materials package; they requested more updated information in the future.
On March 14, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng and Project Manager, Anne Chu attended a luncheon with the California Distinguished School Site Visitation team to share the experience of supporting Barnard Pacific Language Academy.
The day’s discussions focused on the teaching of Mandarin and the program preparation for the National Chinese Language Conference (NCLC).
From March 13 to March 16, 2014, the 2014 California Language Teachers’ Association Annual Conference was held at the San Diego Town and Country Hotel. There were hundreds of lectures and workshops offered during the Conference. The main theme of the Conference,” Technology: Bridge to Common Core”, was to provide insightful information to all the world language teachers the recent transition to Common Core Standards in California. Many teachers from all corners of California attended this conference to learn of the new rules and policy of the Common Core. They hoped to apply their newly learned knowledge to better their language education.
Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, and Outreach Director of LARC at SDSU, Dr. Norman Leonard, co-presented a lecture on the ‘Tian Dee Panda series’. They showcased the trilingual series of Tian Dee Panda instructional materials, Chinese, English, and Spanish, for K-1st grade, Pre-literate, and early-stage children. They also mentioned that these materials would be adapted in other less commonly taught languages in California, such as Arabic, Dari, Pashtu, and Persian. Many teachers were very impressed by these instructional materials. They hoped that different versions in other languages would be developed and published sooner to benefit more children.
On Monday, March 03, 2014, the Inaugural Gala for Kevin Faulconer, the 36th Mayor of San Diego, was held at the Broadway Port Pavilion. As one of the groups representing the Asian community, the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University was invited to join in at the celebration.
More than 1000 guests crowded into the Broadway Port Pavilion at 5:30 PM, when the front gate opened. Dim sum foods were served, along with many other ethnic cuisines, as part of the multicultural essence of San Diego. Staff members of CI/SDSU graciously helped the guests with the delicious Chinese hors d'oeuvres while explaining the Chinese culture infused in each food item.
In support of the Classics 4 Kids program, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University brought its own “Silk Road of China” program to Classics 4 Kids 2014 Special Presentation, “The Silk Road”. This program was shown to more than 5,000 students in San Diego during 5 shows on February 20, 21, and 23.
Classics 4 Kids is dedicated to educating children and the diverse communities in San Diego through music and arts. This program aims to provide students the opportunities to engage in creative and cultural experiences which help shape their future.
“The Silk Road of China” program CI/SDSU provided featured many aspects in Chinese culture and history that ‘silk’ had impacted. Led by the Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, 4 staff members from CI, adorned in exquisite silk outfits, were on stage to showcase many facets of Chinese culture. Each model also held in her hands a special artifact, such as an abacus, a Chinese Peking Opera face mask, a music bowl and a fan make of silk. Through the detailed narratives by Dr. Cheng, the audience was able to learn not only of the discovery of silk, how silk merchandise was brought over to Europe through the Silk Road route, and the significance of each artifact in the Chinese culture. The students’ eyes widened up as they listened to the fascinating stories; often the children burst out, ‘Wow!’ as they could hardly contain their excitement.
Other shows in the program included musicians from Italy, Turkey, Persia, India and Japan. They each introduced the music numbers played on ethnic music instruments from the region.
The Grand Finale of the program was the Lion Dance show performed by the White Dragon Martial Arts Dance Team.
On February 13, 2014, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University hosted the “2014 Huain Chinese New Year Music Concert” at the Pacific Beach Middle School auditorium. The musicians are well-known artists in China and golden award-winners from the Huain Cup International Chinese Instrument Competition hosted in San Jose, California. The group was led by Mr. Xinan Han, Secretary of the Chinese Musicians’ Association. The concert brought a feast for the audience’s eyes and ears from the school and the community.
Special guests to attend this attend were San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, Dr. Chen Junbo, chief representative of the North American Office of Hanban, and Mr. David Du, San Diego Chinese Community leader who presented a proclamation to Mr. Han. Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng narrated the entire program to the audience.
The first show was the song “The great waves of Amur River”, presented by the Golden Sail Choir from Middle School attached to Beijing Northern Jiaotong University. The choir was followed by the golden award-winner in the Huain Cup Competition, Li Tong, who exhibited the Chinese lute, Pipa, by playing “The Emperor Discards His Armor”. Li Jing played the Chinese violin, erhu, and played the song “Thoughts on the Subjects of Shanxi Opera”. The audience was immersed in the performance, listening to the special traditional Chinese instruments and enjoyed the melody of the songs. The famous yangqin player, Li Lingling played the song “Fleeing by Night” through a variety of dulcimer playing techniques, reproducing a scene of spectacular, soul-stirring hymn “Water Margin Heroes”. Cui Junzhi, foremost Konghou virtuoso and originator of performing arts on modern Konghou, played the song “the impression of the silk” while showing the exquisite and melodious tones, as if to lead the audience to find the rhyme in China’s ancient Silk Road. Her superb technique with the interpretation of the sounds of nature, won the audience several rounds of applause.
Yi, Jiayi, professor of Sichuan Conservatory of Music, played the song “Whipping on a horse busy transporting grain” which presented the audience a musical tone of the harvest season in modern rural areas of China. The golden award-winner Tian Wei and Tian Yuan provided a duet of ceremonial hall drums which presented a vivid scenery of “Bull fighting Tiger”. Prof. Wang Yidong, President of the Chinese Musicians Association Percussion Society, Deputy Director of Chinese Instrument Department of China Conservatory of Music, followed the drum performance with another, playing the melody of “flying on the drum”. The grand finale program was the ensemble of Chinese instruments called “Joyful” presented by all the musicians, showing the joy of a new year. The beautiful musical performances played by the musicians earned several rounds of applause.
The Huain Music Concert was coordinated by Hanban and organized by CI at SDSU. Pacific Beach Middle School provided the site and logistics. The Huain Cup International Chinese Instrument Competition has a wide influence around the world. These excellent musicians and golden award-winners gave the students and teachers in PBMS a great opportunity to experience authentic high class performances. Local media agencies including World Journal and We Chinese in America Weekend had full coverage of the program.
On February 8-9, 2014, the 32nd San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Culture Fair, organized by theSan Diego Chinese Center (SDCC), was held in Gaslamp Quarter of downtown of San Diego. Both the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University and the Confucius Classroom at Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy attended this 2 days cultural fair.
In addition to actively engaging in the planning of the Fair, Managing Director of the Confucius Institute at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, also acted as the emcee of the shows. Confucius Institute staff members and volunteers set up a booth displaying different Chinese artifacts and hosted Chinese calligraphy demonstrations and Chinese culture presentations. CI staff would write Chinese names for fair patrons and explained the traditions and customs of the names with each visitor that stopped by CI booth. In addition to addressing inquiries of Mandarin teaching and local Chinese teacher training programs, the staff excitedly shared the mission, goal and progress of CI/SDSU with these visitors. The performances of Chinese songs and dances by Barnard’s students won rounds of applause and compliments from the audience.
Over 30,000 residents and tourists flocked to the festival for the celebration and a taste of Chinese cuisine. Thousands of students, parents, and visitors stopped by CI/SDSU booth. They were thrilled with the demonstrations and the knowledge of Chinese culture.
The San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Culture Fair was a great success to promote Chinese language and culture. Many local media publicized diverse reports of the 2-day celebration.
On February 3, 2014, Managing Director of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended a Chinese New Year celebration hosted by the San Diego Yantai Sister City at Pearl Restaurant in San Diego. Over two hundred guests attended the celebration.
The evening’s entertainments included lion dances and a video of a performance by the San Diego Symphony. The organization committee expressed their gratitude for the support of the local Chinese communities.
On the mornings of January 30th and 31st, 2014, Central Elementary School in Banning, California held a grand performance to celebrate Chinese New Year, the biggest and most festive holiday in Chinese culture. The auditorium in the school was adorned with colorful lights and the stage was decorated with red ribbons symbolizing good luck. Almost all of the teachers, students and parents arrived for the festivities dressed in red to show their respect for the traditions of Chinese New Year. The performance was designed and directed by Chinese teacher Xiuqing Wang.
The performance began as students performed three Chinese songs, “Happy New Year”, “Thank You” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It”. These songs were well received with the audience, who provided the student performers with a warm round of applause. Secondly, children in the kindergarten class wore hand-made hats and told the Chinese tale about a smart rabbit called “Cute Little Rabbit” with songs. Most impressive from the days performances was the “Tai Ji Fan dance” performed by the children. With lively rhythm, every posture and movement the students made demonstrated the concept of Chinese Wu Shu. The program concluded with a Chinese fashion show where both teachers and students took the stage to show the audience the beauty of Chinese clothing. When the children and teachers were dressed in clothing with Chinese characteristics, gracing the stage to classical Chinese music, was a beautiful display of Chinese cheongsam, the audience was once again captivated by the rich Chinese culture; the party was a great success.
These performances were highly praised and performed four times over the two days. The influence of the Chinese program has grown within the local community. For those that attended, the students interest towards Chinese culture has become more profound, and the blend of Chinese and American culture has been enhanced to offer greater understanding between people of both countries. The celebration was a big success, in which it also received local media attention and was reported on by the local Newspaper. Every year more than 1.3 billion Chinese people celebrate the start of a new year. Now, on the other side of the world on a warm spring day in January, this festivity of this traditional Chinese holiday can also be seen.
On the morning of January 29, 2014, Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy hosted its 2014 Chinese New Year Celebration. Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng; Project Manager, Anne Chu; and Project Coordinators, Jonathan Lee and Crystal Qian of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University attended the event in support of the celebration welcoming the Year of the Horse.
Students from each class excitedly performed Chinese songs and dances to show off their Mandarin proficiency to the audience who cheered in delight at each presentation. The students also demonstrated their understanding of Chinese culture in the skits and further demonstrated their athletic abilities with a Chinese essence, such as the performance of the 12 Chinese Zodiac; jian zi, Chinese yo yo and silk ribbon dance. The program ended with a special Lion Dance and martial arts performance by Three Treasures cultural arts society.
On January 26, 2014 Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the celebration of the publishing of "A Legacy Magnified: A Generation Of Chinese Americans in Southern California 1980s to 2010s” held at the Chinese Bilingual School in San Diego.
Dr. Lilly Cheng spoke about the impact on the Chinese American society brought forth from this publication. The editor, May Chen, gave her speech as the concluding remarks at the event of the celebration. Several of the individuals who contributed to this publication who attended this celebration also shared their experience in the editing with the audience.
On the evening of January 25, 2014, San Diego Chinese Center, San Diego Chinese School and House of China co-hosted its annual Chinese New Year banquet at Ly’s Garden Restaurant. More than 500 community leaders and distinguished guests were present. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, also attended this event in support of the Chinese community in San Diego.
The highlight of the evening’s entertainments was a culture show, “Silk Road of China”, produced by Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. Dr. Lilly Cheng gave an elaborate presentation in the beginning. She detailed the origin of Silk Road, its impact in Chinese history and the development of silk products to give the audience an in-depth knowledge on how the silk products had influenced many aspects of the Asian and Western culture. CI staff members and volunteers ascended to the stage in beautiful and elegant Chinese outfits. These models were holding various Chinese New Year auspicious items in their hands to deliver their New Year greetings to the audience.
CI/SDSU also displayed posters depicting 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals, The Progress of Silk Production, and the Evolution of Chinese Characters, specifically of character’丝’.The posters provided the audience a deeper understanding of silk, its impact on Chinese history and culture. Other entertainment programs in the evening included the lion dance performed by the San Diego Chinese Benevolent Association; and Magic Show.
The gala ended on a high note with guests wishing one another a prosperous new year.
On the afternoon of 26, 2014, the House of China in International Cottage in Balboa Park hosted a Chinese New Year celebration at the park. Confucius Institution at San Diego State University was invited to participate in this celebration. CI/SDSU presented a Chinese culture show, ‘Silk Road of China’ to the audience of more than 300 people.
This celebration included Chinese culture shows, sampling traditional Chinese cuisine, writing Chinese names for visitors, as well as other forms of entertainment. David Seid, President of the House of China, opened the celebration by inviting the Fortune God to the stage. He also shared with the audience the symbolic significance of the Fortune God. It was the first time the ‘Silk Road of China’ was performed at Balboa Park. Many visitors surrounded the stage with amazement as they marveled at the elegant traditional Chinese costumes modeled by CI staff members and volunteers.
Other performances included Chinese songs by students of Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy and a grand finale of Lion Dance performed by Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society.
On January 25, 2014, Managing Director at Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the Chinese New Year Celebration co-hosted by the San Diego Chinese Culture Association and North County Chinese School.
Hundreds of students, parents, and family members participated in this festive event held at Oak Valley Middle school. Students from all grade levels presented a fabulous show of entertainment for the audience. Following the performances, a carnival with many variations of homemade delicious Chinese New Year traditional foods, games and arts provided fun and entertainment for hours for the attendees. This celebration is the biggest fund raising event for North County Chinese School.
On Saturday, January 25, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the lecture, “Ah Quin: Life, Leadership, & Legacy “at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. The lecture was presented by Curator of Chinese American History, Mr. Murray Lee. Mr. Ah Quin was once considered the Honorary Mayor of San Diego Chinatown in the 19th century.
This exhibit follows Ah Quin from his beginnings at a missionary school in Guangzhou; through the menial servitude he experienced in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and a coal mining camp in Alaska; his journey finally brought him to the Red Light District of San Diego. With his fluency in English, he acted as a recruit scout for the US Railways for Chinese labor. In addition to offer his assistance in many aspects for these laborers, he also taught them English. Through his life, he was well respected by the community, which earned him the unofficial title, the “Honorary Mayor of San Diego Chinatown”.
This presentation commemorated the 100th anniversary of Ah Quin’s untimely death in 1914. Many of his descendants attended the event in honor of him who provided a unique contribution to early Chinese American history.
Dr. Lilly Cheng gave concluding remarks and answered inquiries about Chinese names, dialects and history.
On Saturday, January 25, 2014, Riverview Elementary & International Academy hosted its Chinese New Year celebration at Tierra del Sol Middle School. More than 500 students, parents and teachers participated at this event, including Principal Scott Goergen of Tierra Del So Middle School; Riverview PTSA President Mrs. Marisa Robertson; and Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng.
The program included many song and dance shows by the various grade levels of Riverview students, and a performance by Tierra del Sol Middle School students. Led by their teachers, students from each grade level came on stage for a variety of Chinese songs. CI at SDSU presented a Chinese Culture Show “Silk Road to China”. Many CI staff members and volunteers modeled numerous gorgeous, exquisite Chinese outfits, showcasing the evolution of silk clothing. The audience was in awe by the elaborate collection of Chinese garments. In addition, the audience was able to acquire a deeper understanding of Chinese culture by Dr. Cheng’s explicit narration. The grand finale was a Lion Dance performed by Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society.
Chinese teachers from Riverview Elementary School provided Chinese calligraphy demonstration, Chinese paper-cut art craft, and Beijing Opera masks for a hands-on activity for all to experience at the celebration.
The event not only featured the Mandarin proficiency of the Riverview students, but introduced many aspects of Chinese culture to the crowd, enticing their interests the Chinese language and culture.
On January 23, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng; Co-Director, Wei Lu; and Project Manager, Anne Chu; visited E3 Civic High School, a charter school in the newly opened Central Library at Downtown San Diego. Currently, there are 2 Hanban teachers and one volunteer teacher teaching Mandarin beginner courses to 6 classes of students.
Dr. Ke Xu, Director of Faculty and Students Affairs at E3, warmly greeted the guests. He first introduced the background and the mission of E3 to the guests. The visitors were escorted on a grand tour of the campus by Dr. Xu. He expressed his sincere appreciation of the strong support from CI at SDSU. Both parties engaged in a series of discussions on mutual concerns, such as ways to improve the Mandarin programs, and what support E3 might provide to assist newly arrived Chinese teachers and volunteers to be acclimated sooner into the local teaching environment.
In addition to assisting in the preparation of the Confucius Classroom application, CI at SDSU pledged to continue its support of E3 Civic High School, which included the development of the Mandarin program, demands of the Mandarin teachers, participating in culture activities or festivals, etc. Moreover, Confucius Institution would assist E3 Civic High School in it search of a compatible secondary school in China to establish a sister-school relation. The visitors from CI also observed the Mandarin course taught by Hanban teacher, Cindy Wang.
E3 Civic High School is the newest Charter School in San Diego Unified School District. Its establishment was based on new technology concepts and modern equipment. e3 is focused on shaping students with an international perspectives, critical thinking, and teamwork spirit, etc, which is evident from the origin of its name, “Engage, Educated, and Empower”.
On January 18, 2014, Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society held its Casino Night Gala. This Gala was held to raise fund for its Youth Outreach Program which aimed to help under-privileged children the opportunity to discover the benefits of art, music, and cultural programs.
Led by Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng, many CI staff arrived early at the event to help with the set up. Throughout the evening, guests were invited to try their luck at the gaming tables, tour the facility, learn about other programs offered by the Three Treasure, including Community Services, Kung Fu massage by the shifu, martial arts and lion dance.
The event was attended by hundreds of community supporters.
On January 17, 2014, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the Chinese New Year banquet, hosted by ‘Families with Children from China-San Diego’ (FCC-SD) in celebration of the coming Lunar New Year. The guest speaker featured at the banquet celebration was Jenni “Fang” Lee, a woman adopted from China at a young age who shared on her experience at the event. She would be hosting a workshop for the FCCSD youths and parents on January 18 and 19th.
FCC-SD is organized exclusively for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes. More specifically: its mission is to provide educational, cultural, and informational resources; offer activities and services to families with adopted children from China, or considering adoption from China. FCCSD also aims to promote awareness and appreciation of Chinese culture in children, strengthening their ties to the Chinese heritage; and to advocate for and support children remaining in orphanages in China.