To view pdf files (.pdf) you will need Adobe Reader. Download Adobe Reader Now
To view word files (.doc or .docx) you will need Microsoft Viewer. Download Microsoft Viewer Now
On December 23, Project Manager of CI at SDSU, Anne Chu, attended the North America Chinese Teacher Teaching Materials Training Program at Xiamen, Fujian Province, China. This training program was held from December 23 – 29, 2012, coordinated by the Overseas Education College of Xiamen University. 33 Chinese teachers from the U.S. participated in this training program.
The opening ceremony was hosted by Dean Tong Tao Zheng of the Overseas Education College on December 24. Dean Zheng first welcomed everyone to the beautiful city of Xiamen. He then gave a brief introduction of Xiamen University, the Overseas Education College, and the lecturers conducting the training courses during the training program. Four professors shared their expertise of overseas Chinese language education with all the attending teachers; Prof. Yi Zhou, Prof. You Jing Jiang, Prof. Fang Hua Zhu, and Prof. Tao Zhang. The topics of the training program covered “the critic and review of Chinese text book, ’Chinese Today’, ‘Happy Chinese’, and ‘Chinese Paradise’”, and “The Theory of Pedagogy and Teaching Skills”.
All the teachers attending the program were appreciative of the wonderful opportunity to learn from these scholars. They were impressed by the expertise and the rich pool of experience and knowledge these lecturers had to share. In addition to the daily training sessions, the teachers enjoyed the beautiful sites in the famous Xiamen University campus, and the day trip to Quanzhou arranged by the working staff at Xiamen University.
CI at SDSU Managing Director Dr. Lilly Cheng was invited to speak at the book release of author Jiang Yang on Dec 20, 2012. The book entitled "Catching all the stars" is composed of 44 short pieces mostly about Jiang's reflections of her life's journey. The book can be used as a reader for Chinese language learners.
Nancy Marlin, Lilly Cheng, Lu Wei and Edward Park participated in the 7th Confucius Institute Conference in Beijing from Dec 16th to 18th. Edward Park was present to receive the Confucius Classroom of the Year Award. Four Confucius Classrooms were selected among 535 Confucius Classrooms throughout the world for this honor. Nancy Marlin chaired a President's Forum on the topic of Model Confucius Classroom. Lilly Cheng chaired a session on Development of Curriculum. The Tiandee Panda Series were exhibited at the Convention Hall and received numerous accolades.
CI at SDSU Managing Director Dr. Lilly Cheng and Co-Director Lu Wei participated in the Xiamen University Annual Confucius Institute Conference held between Dec 13th and 15th in Beijing, China. Representatives from 15 Confucius Institutes presented their annual reports. Professor Lu Wei represented SDSU and Xiamen University by showing a 7-minute ppt/video presentation. Participants also took a trip to Qufu, the home town of Confucius and visited the Confucius Resident and Confucius Temple and the Confucius Garden.
On December 13, 2012, CI at SDSU Project Coordinator, Jonathan Lee, attended the Student Mentor Internship meeting at High Tech High School’s. This meeting was to prepare High Tech High students and company mentors for the upcoming internship program in January. As always, CI at SDSU will be partaking in this program, receiving one intern during the month of January to prepare the intern in a work place environment before they graduate and advance to college.
The meeting began with an opening statement from High Tech High School Director, Robert Kuhl, introducing the internship program to the over 50 attendees. The introduction was followed by group discussions on topics, including ‘how to make the internship meaningful to the student’ and ‘how to prepare for the internship.’ The meeting provided much insight on what was to be expected from the internship. All of the attendees left with valuable knowledge for the upcoming project.
On the morning of December 4th 2012, Dr. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, received a delegation group from Xiamen Municipal Government. The delegation first met with San Diego County Supervisor, Mr. Ron Roberts, to discuss the international relations between the two cities.
In the evening, the delegation group from Xiamen was invited to a reception dinner with local community leaders at China Max restaurant. Attendees included San Diego County Supervisor, Mr. Ron Roberts; Chief Trade Officer of the Port of San Diego, Mr. Ron Popham; Director of Marine Operations for the Port of San Diego, Mr. Joe Valenzuela; Senior Manager of Asia Business Development Center at World Trade Center, Scott Wang; and President of CEO of WTCSD, Steven Weathers.
On December 05, the Xiamen Municipal Government delegations visited Sea World, San Diego, for research in developing a water park in Xiamen.
On November 27, 2012, Co-Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Prof. Wei Lu, and Project Manager, Anne Chu, visited Confucius Classroom at Central Elementary School in Banning City, Riverside County, California. Central Elementary School became a Confucius Classroom school in 2011.
They were greeted by Principal Ed Young and the resident Chinese teacher from China, Ms. Xiu Qing Wang. The purpose of this visit was to allow both sides an opportunity to exchange ideas and information in person. Ms. Anne Chu first gave a brief introduction of the various sources of supports provided by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters and CI at SDSU for each Confucius Classroom school. With the restructuring of the Banning Union School District, Principal Young updated the guests of the current movements in the school district and the progress of the Chinese program in its 2nd year of establishment at Central Elementary. Ms. Anne Chu reassured Principal Young that CI would always support Central Elementary School fully in their continuing efforts of building its Mandarin project, which, Principal Young envisioned to be expanded to the filler middle school and high school in the future. Both sides expressed their mutual interest and commitment to strengthen their partnership.
Prof. Lu and Ms. Anne Chu visited Ms. Wang’s classroom to observe her teaching before returning to San Diego.
Carolyn Seaton, Executive Director of Educational Services at Manhattan Beach Unifed School District, attended the 2012 Professional Training Program at SYSU in Guangzhou, China alongside a delegation of American educators led by Confucius Institute Managing Director Dr. Lilly Cheng. The following is her report.
Saturday, Nov. 18, 2012
Arrival in Guangzhou and Excursion to Hong Kong
The group consisted of twenty-six teacher leaders and administrators representing schools, districts, county offices, and higher education institutions in California and Georgia. They arrived at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport at 5:20 a.m. on Sunday, November 18th, 2012, and rode via bus to Sun Yat-sen University. The delegates were provided with private dormitory rooms in close proximity to one another, and a graduate student named Claris Ho stayed in a room nearby to answer questions and solve any minor issues that arose during the stay.
There was no scheduled meetings on date of arrival, half of the group opted to travel to Hong Kong, a 1.5 hour trip by train. They enjoyed dim sum, visited the port, and walked along the streets of the city. They discovered that Hong Kong is a very international city, multilingual and multicultural. Several members of the group said that it reminded them of New York.
Monday, Nov. 19, 2012
On Monday, November 19th, the Opening Ceremony was held and the group photo was taken at David Sin Hall. Professor Xiaobing Zhou, Sun Yat-sen University’s Head of the School for Chinese as a Second Language, warmly welcomed the group of administrators and teachers from California and Georgia. Each school, district, county office, or college/university had representatives who presented Professor Zhou with gifts to thank him and the entire university for this wonderful opportunity.
Sun Yat-sen University, or SYSU, is the second largest university in China. It was founded in 1924 by Dr. Sun Yat-sen, a great democratic revolutionary leader of the 20th century. The University is located in Guangdong Province, an area neighboring Hong Kong and Macao, which is at the forefront of China’s reform and opening up. SYSU is a comprehensive multi-disciplinary university, offering programs in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, technical sciences, medical sciences, pharmacology, and management sciences. It has successfully built international exchange relationships with many top universities in the world.
Experiencing the Chinese Language: Greetings and Self Introductions
Following the Opening Ceremony and the group photo, the group experienced the Chinese language by learning about greetings and self introductions in Mandarin. They were fortunate to be taught by the very talented Fang Jiang who is fluent in Mandarin and English and very skilled at incorporating instructional strategies to help Chinese Language Learners.
During the lesson, Fang Jiang had each of the members apply the information they learned by practicing the greetings and by introducing themselves in Mandarin. Imagine their surprise when Hillary Clinton (a.k.a. Judy Haggerty) introduced herself!
Campus Tour to the Library
The next activity was a campus tour to the beautiful SYSU Library. This library houses many beautiful artifacts and historical archives of great importance. Dr. Lilly Cheng provided the group with a fantastic tour by translating the historical posters, photographs, and other artifacts and describing their importance. She gave us biographical information on Sun Yat-sen, and the delegates even learned about the connection between UCLA and SYSU during this tour.
Experiencing Culture: Paper Cutting
Paper cutting is one of China's most popular forms of art. Archaeological finds trace the tradition back to the 6th century. Today, paper cuttings are chiefly used as decorations on walls, windows, doors, columns, mirrors, lamps and lanterns in homes and are also used for decoration on presents or are given as presents themselves. They have special significance at festivals and on holidays. At the New Year's Festival, entrances are decorated with paper cuttings which are supposed to bring good luck.
Paper cuttings are produced by hand. There are two methods of creating them: scissor cuttings and knife cuttings. The group learned to use scissors to produce their paper cuttings. They created the Chinese symbol for happiness, panda bears, and squirrels. Everyone loved this activity.
The members of the group thoroughly enjoyed this activity. They voted on which paper cutting of pandas was the best, and Helen Chung earned first place.
Pearl River Night Cruise
The Pearl River is an extensive river system in southern China. The Xi Jiang (West River), Bei Jiang (North River) and the Dong Jiang (East River) are all considered to be tributaries of the Pearl River as they share a common delta, the Pearl River Delta. The Pearl River system is China’s third longest river at 2,400 km. after the Yangtze River and the Yellow River. It is the second largest in volume behind the Yangtze. The Pearl River received its name because of the pearl colored shells that lie at the bottom of the river in the section that flows through Guangzhou.
The Guangzhou Tower is the world's tallest TV tower (600 m.), beating Toronto’s CN Tower (553 m.); it is particularly beautiful at night. Mark Hemel, the architect, who together with partner Barbara Kuit, designed the Guangzhou TV tower stated, ‘where most skyscrapers bear ‘male’ features: being strong, straight, rectangular, and based on repetition, we wanted to create a ‘female’ tower being complex, transparent, curvy, and gracious.’ He added, ‘Our aim was to design a free-form tower with a rich and human-like identity that would represent Guangzhou as a dynamic and exciting city. We therefore wanted it to be non-symmetrical so that the building would look as if in movement.”
During the Pearl River cruise, the lights of the tower reflected beautifully off of the river. People can tour all the way up to the tower’s top deck at +460 m. and enjoy the panoramic view. The top is shaved off diagonally, so while sitting there one can oversee both the new and old features of Guangzhou.
Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012
Visit to Kindergarten/Preschool on the SYSU Campus
The visit to the Kindergarten/Preschool on the Sun Yat-sen University campus was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. The school was very impressive. There were separate facilities for science, dance/music, art, and the library. The classrooms and hallway walls were vibrant with color, and the majority of spaces, including hallways, were used as opportunities for learning. Students were already learning English and many of them said hello to the members of the group.
The lessons the delegates observed were very interactive, and the students were joyful. They watched and participated in a physical education lesson. It was impressive to see that the teachers used cans and meter sticks to create mini-obstacle courses through which the students navigated. The students assisted in the set-up and tear-down of the equipment. The delegates discussed how everyday items could be used creatively to teach physical education.
Culture Trip to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
The group traveled via bus to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, an octagon-shaped building in Guangzhou. The hall was designed by Yanzhi Lv and was built with funds raised by local and overseas Chinese people, in honor of Sun Yat-sen. Construction began in 1929 and was completed in 1931. The inside of the hall seats 3,240 people.
A stunning piece of history close to the center of Guangzhou, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall dates back to 1931 when it was used more frequently for political meetings and commemorative activities than for art. In 1945 it was the site where the Japanese signed their surrender agreement.
Today Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall is a multi-functional venue and frequently holds large-scale national and international performances. It has held some of Guangzhou's largest shows. Because of the quality of its shows and its history, the memorial hall is one of the most respected performance venues in China.
Culture Trip to Beijing Road Pedestrian Street
Following the culture trip to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, the group rode the bus to Beijing Road, a pedestrian street with great shops and restaurants. It was bustling with energy in the night. All of them helped the local Guangzhou economy that evening and enjoyed a fun meal out with our new friends. There were six members of the group who spoke Mandarin, so they split up to ensure that each group had at least one fluent Mandarin speaker to help with translation.
Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012
Experiencing the Chinese Language: Chinese Food
Group teacher, Fang Jiang, taught the group names of several popular Chinese foods, including Beijing duck and dim sum.
Observation: Overseas Students Learning Chinese
Later on Friday, November 23, the delegates had the opportunity to observe foreign students learning Chinese at Sun Yat-sen University. All were highly impressed by their knowledge of Mandarin characters and the vocabulary they had learned in a relatively short period of time.
Visit to a SYSU Affiliated Primary School
The administrators and teacher leaders in the group were thrilled to be able to visit the SYSU-affiliated primary school. They were able to observe a teacher instructing her students in English using a total physical response approach. The students were completely engaged as the lesson was highly interactive.
Special Dinner with Dr. Zhang, Associate Professor Zhang, and Yanhua Ou
On Wednesday evening, a representative from each district, school, county office, and college/university was invited to join Professor Xiaobing Zhou, Associate Professor Shitao Zhang, and Yanhua Ou of Sun Yat-sen University for a delicious dinner. This was a very special meal that took the place of Thanksgiving for the delegates. Our three hosts made us feel extremely welcome. All of the food was incredibly tasty, particularly the goose.
Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012
Culture Trip: Guangzhou Style Morning Tea
On Thursday morning, the group journeyed to the Kangle Yuan Restaurant on the southern portion of the SYSU campus where they enjoyed a scrumptious Guangzhou style morning tea.
Interaction with SYSU Students
Following their morning tea, the group divided into smaller groups and met with SYSU students who were studying to be Chinese teachers of Chinese language learners. They had a great discussion about the importance of culture in the teaching of a language. The group members representing colleges and universities were particularly eager to engage in this dialogue with the SYSU students.
Experiencing Culture: Beijing Opera Masks
Beijing Opera of China is a national treasure with a history of 200 years. Beijing Opera is the most significant of all operas in China. It has a richness of repertoire and a great number of artists and audiences that give it profound influence in China. Beijing Opera is a synthesis of stylized action, singing, dialogue and mime, acrobatic fighting and dancing to represent a story or depict different characters and their feelings of gladness, anger, sorrow, happiness, surprise, fear and sadness. The characters may be loyal or treacherous, beautiful or ugly, good or bad.
On Thursday afternoon November, 22, everyone convened for the last time at David Sin Hall for the Closing Ceremony. Associate Professor Shitao Zhang initiated the ceremony by addressing the group. Following Associate Professor Zhang was Dr. Lilly Cheng of San Diego State University.
Dr. Nian Zhang and Associate Professor Shitao Zhang of Sun Yat-sen University hosted the administrators, teacher leaders, and teachers at a Farewell Dinner held at Zijingyuan Hotel. Everyone all toasted the amazing experiences that they had already shared and looked forward to the remaining final two days of their adventure.
Friday, Nov. 23, 2012
Culture Trip to Guangzhou: Chen Ancestral Temple
The Ancestral Temple of the Chen Family is also called Chen Clan Academy or Chen's Lineage Hall which was a place both for offering up sacrifices to ancestors and for study. Now it serves as the Guangdong Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts showing the most characteristic architecture in Guangdong. The Chen Clan Ancestral Temple in Guangzhou City, the Ancestors' Temple in Foshan City, the former Residence of Sun Yat-sen in Zhongshan City, and the Opium War Memorial Hall in Dongguan City are regarded as the four major cultural sites in the Guangdong Province.
Culture Trip to Guangzhou: Guangdong Provincial Museum
According to official statistics, there are 166,000 items (sets) housed in the Guangdong Provincial Museum, including 10,000 books and reference materials. Many national treasures can be found there. The Chinese ceramics and paintings rank the highest of all the museums nationwide. Guangdong relics, gold carvings, and ink stones are abundant and reflect local features.
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012
Culture Trip: Hometown Neighborhood Theme Park
On Saturday, November 24, the group traveled by bus to the Hometown Neighborhood Theme Park. There were invited by the theme park’s visionary, Yongsheng Zou. The Hometown Neighborhood Theme Park showcases an abundance of items typical of the ancient Lingnan culture. Apparently over 90 percent of the collections in the Neighborhood Theme Park were generously donated by Mr. Zou.
On November 16, 2012, CI at SDSU attended the annual multicultural festival at Hilltop Middle School in support of the Chinese program. Many live entertainment shows were scheduled throughout the night, including solo performances, a group singing activity, student dance performances, and a martial arts demonstration. One of CI’s partners in promoting Chinese culture, the Three Treasures Performing Arts Group, brought their Lion Dance team for the audience’s viewing pleasure. The crowd was captivated by the lively show and gave the group a roaring applause at the end. This was the first time that many parents and students were able to witness a live traditional Chinese performance.
CI also set up a booth to promote Chinese culture, where Project Manager Anne Chu, Project Coordinator Crystal Qian, and CI volunteers wrote the students’ names in beautifully artistic Chinese calligraphy. The audience lined up in front of the booth all night long, patiently waiting to receive the calligrapher’s artistic drawings for themselves, their family members, and also for their friends.
On November 05, 2012, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, and Project Manager, Anne Chu, were invited to a community luncheon hosted by Confucius Classroom at Montgomery Middle School.
Montgomery Middle School has been working on its application as a World School status granted by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) for the past 3 years. With a scheduled visit by the representatives from the IBO on November 05-06, the Community Luncheon on November 05 was planned to invite local supporters of Montgomery Middle School, including CI/SDSU, to meet with the representatives for any questions that they might have.
Dr. Lilly Cheng also brought along 3 distinguished guests from China who were visiting San Diego. Deputy Director of Ministry of Education, Professor Yan Shen Liu; Ambassador of Commerce of Florida for China, Songlin Dou; and Chief Editor of China Publishing House, Beijing，Liuran. Director Yan Shen Liu came to San Diego to accept his Honorary Director of CI/SDSU. During their visit at Montgomery Middle School, these VIP guests were led on a tour through the school campus by the Assistant Principal, Robin Hagement. They were very impressed with the creative thinking education motto and the unique mission statement of the school, which is to foster a sense of responsibility and a tolerance for individual differences that leads to responsible citizenships.
On November 05, 2012, by special invitation from Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Distinguished Specialist of the Ministry of Education of China, Vice chairman of the national Committee of education teaching reform and innovation for secondary occupational education, Deputy Director of the National Engineering Research Center of Digital Learning, Professor at Central China Normal University, and Advisor for PHD. Programs, Prof. Yan Shan Liu gave a lecture on Confucius and the 6 classical arts. About 20 people, including Executive Director of CI/SDSU and Dean of Arts & Letters, Prof. Paul Wong; Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng; Co-Director of CI/SDSU, Prof. Wei Lu; other specialists and professors from SDSU, local scholars, and representatives from Chinese communities and media, attended this presentation.
Prof. Liu’s speech focused on the 6 classical arts in Confucianism. He outlined the history of Confucianism, elaborating on the variants between the 6 classical arts in Confucianism and the 6 of the contemporary version; he also emphasized on the imperative factor of promoting Confucianism in the Sino-American cultural exchange and the importance of providing text materials that incorporated instructions related to the 6 classical arts in the pedagogical plan of Confucius Institutes. He pointed out that not only Chinese language should be offered at every CI; any future text mapping should be revised to include the 6 new classical arts to further introduce the true essence of Chinese culture. Prof. Liu recommended that a new text book be drafted in accordance with the spirits of the new 6 classical arts, and taught as a series of courses at CIs. He gave the audience his professional recommendations on this project.
The scholars in the audience concurred with Prof. Liu’s points, especially on the courses using materials advocating the 6 classical arts offered in CIs. This project may offer a better understanding to Chinese culture for Americans; and enhance the friendly exchange between people from both countries. Local media, such as the ‘Daily World Journal’ and ‘5Zhou4Hai’, gave remarkable news coverage for Prof. Liu’s lecture.
Dean Wong and Prof. Liu exchanged small gifts at the end of the lecture to further strengthen their friendship. Prof. Liu received an Honorary Director and Honorary Professor titles at an honorary ceremony hosted by Dean Wong in appreciation of his visit to San Diego for his scholastic lecture. Later in the evening Dean Wong hosted a banquet for Prof. Liu and other guests.
Prior to his lecture on November 05, Prof. Liu visited SDSU President Elliott Hirshman and Provost Nancy Marlin’s offices. President Hirshman bestowed Prof. Liu with an Honorary Professor of SDSU title. San Diego County Supervisor, Ron Roberts received Prof. Liu in his office in appreciation of his visit to San Diego. Supervisor Roberts thanked Prof. Liu for his devotion in promoting Sino-American cultural exchanges. In the morning of November 06, 2012, Prof. Liu visited Confucius Classroom at Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School to learn of its Mandarin programs and projects in promoting Chinese culture.
The 13th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival Gala Awards Night was held on November 3, 2012 at San Diego Town & Country Hotel. More than seven hundred distinguished guests crowded the conference center, including fans and supporters of SDAFF, film directors, actors, and producers. San Diego County Supervisor, Ron Roberts, gave a proclamation to the Executive Director of SDAFF, Ms. Lee Ann Kim. Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, led 3 members of CI staff to attend this gala.
This year, the San Diego Asian Film Festival changed its name to the “Pacific Arts Movement”. The new name not only declared its mission of “connecting and transforming audiences with human experience through Pan Asian media art”, but also focused on the scholarship program that provides funding and resources to support high school students interested in filmmaking, giving them the life-changing opportunities to express themselves and to fulfill their dreams. During the live auction, many guests pledged generous amounts of donation to support this event and this organization.
At the end of the gala awards, in addition to announcing the top independent films of the festival, JOHNNY LOVES DOLORES, directed by Clarissa de los Reyes, was chosen as the recipient of the Grand Jury Award. SDAFF presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr. Chung Chang-Wha, world-famous martial arts movie director. The cheering audience gave Mr. Chung a roaring standing ovation to show their appreciation and respect to the influence he made towards Chinese and Asian martial arts in modern film.
On November 3, 2012, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University co-sponsored the premier showing of the film Shanghai Calling during the San Diego Asian Film Festival. Approximately 20 members consisting of CI staff and Hanban Chinese teachers attended the premier.
Shanghai Calling describes how an American born Chinese attorney was assigned to work in Shanghai by his firm, where he faced the challenges of culture shock, and also dealt with the differences in values and language. Director Wei Xia adapted the script to display slight comedic values, and interviewed Shanghai locals and foreigners to learn what their first-hand experiences were like. By molding together all their stories with his background experience in sit-coms in the TV industry, he successfully presented a wonderful mix of the beautiful landmarks of the modern city of Shanghai, comical lines of everyday life, and century-old traditions.
The sold out crowd gave the movie a standing ovation at the end of the showing. Shanghai Calling not only brought out numerous cheers of laughter from the audience, but it also provided an excellent opportunity for the San Diego audience to learn about Shanghai, and, more importantly, about Chinese culture. Many attendees expressed their interest for visiting China in the future after they watched the film. Due to the overwhelming request by the audience, San Diego Asian Film Association added another encore showing at a later date allowing fans another opportunity to view the film.
On October 22, 2012, Administrator of Services for English Learners and Specialized Instruction of Orange County Department of Education, Stacey Larson-Everson visited CI/SDSU. Other guests who joined her for this visit from Orange Unified School District were: Anne Truex, Executive Director of Elementary Education; Cyndi Paik, Administrative Director of Accountability and Special Programs; Cathleen Corella, Administrator English Learner Services; Helen Chung, Principal of Fletcher Elementary School; Rebecca Nelson, TOSA (teacher on special assignment) and Carla Deckard, Chinese teacher of Fletcher Elementary School; and Tracey Gaglio, Coordinator of English Learner Services From Orange County Department of Education. The purpose of their visit was to seek guidance and support of establishing a Confucius Classroom school in their school district.
They were warmly greeted upon arrival by Co-Director of CI, Prof. Wei Lu, and Project Manager, Anne Chu. The VIP guests were shown a short video clip outlining CI’s history and mission. Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, then gave a detailed account on the establishment of CI at SDSU and the guidelines and procedures for the application to establish a Confucius Classroom in their schools. She further stressed the urgency of a commitment from the educators as the key for the program’s success.
Everyone expressed their strong commitment and passion to provide a Mandarin program in their schools and that teaching Mandarin was an important component of educating 21st Century Students. Dr. Cheng was deeply touched by their strong interest that she pledged CI would be in full support of their endeavor.
San Diego State University Confucius Institute Held the First Local Mandarin Teachers and Teaching Material Workshop
On October 20 – 21, 2012, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University held its first local Mandarin teachers and teaching material workshop. There were a total of 65 educators, including school principals, teachers from public schools and local Chinese schools, as well as Hanban sponsored teachers.
The Education Department of the Chinese Consulate General Office in Los Angeles paid close attention to the activities of the workshop; Chinese education Consul, Madame Cuiying Xu, attended the opening ceremony. The representatives from China’s Higher Education Press Foreign Language and International Chinese Publishing Division and Beijing Chuwei Cultural Communications Company also attended the event. San Diego Chinese media agency “Wu Zhou Si Hai” videotaped and reported on the program.
At the opening ceremony, Consul Xu congratulated CI at SDSU for holding the training program. She stressed to the attendees that training for local Mandarin teachers and teaching material bore important practical significance; she wished the attendees in advanced congratulations for completing the workshop successfully. After the opening ceremony, Principal Edward Park of Barnard Chinese Magnet Elementary School shared his experiences and described the topic of “how to create a real language environment for students to learn Chinese and communicate in an intercultural environment through the building of sister schools.”
During the seminar, Mrs. Olympia Kyriakidas, principal of Riverview Elementary School, introduced the School’s comprehensive support for the Chinese program management, “Chinese Curriculum Provision and Textbook Selection”. Following her lecture, local Chinese instructor Mrs. Chi Ping Chang introduced ‘how to establish Chinese teaching courses to match the requirements of California State University as well as how to select and adapt to the corresponded Chinese textbooks’. Her lecture offered beneficial inspirations for localizing and standardizing Chinese curriculum and referential experiences for leading Chinese teaching into higher levels of mainstream curriculum.
Managing Director Dr. Lilly Cheng hosted two picturesque seminars by taking “To Learn Chinese Everyday” as an example, the textbook being writing by SDSU’s Confucius Institute. She introduced the Chinese textbook’s design, compilation, adaptation and evaluation in detail and invited attendees to join in the simulated class activities, offering beneficial suggestions and proposals to them. Moreover, Dr. Cheng demonstrated how to enable Chinese characters to be more fitted to the classroom such as activities where children are involved in Chinese character writing by inviting attendee to draw the ancient Chinese character of “Long”, which means dragon in English, on T-shirts through her instruction. In addition, Dr. Cheng invited Hanban teacher Mrs. Lijuan Wang to lead interactive stories where the attendees played the roles of characters in the story.
CI Co-director Professor Wei Lu held three lectures during the workshop. He first introduced and demonstrated how to obtain and utilize Chinese teaching resources. He provided a large amount of Chinese textbooks resources issued by National Chinese teaching program to the trainees. He then introduced how to apply language technology to the exploration and utilization of Chinese textbook. He demonstrated technology such as Pinyin automatic tagging, Chinese character recognition, voice recognition, and speech synthesis, just to name a few. In addition, he took an example of course teaching by introducing and demonstrating how to design and establish interactive Chinese teaching. To conclude his lecture, Professor Lu shared his explanation of language through an interactive Power Point of training, animation demo of Chinese character strokes, and choice questions with offering the access right of Chinese teaching material corpus resources.
Several other seminars were given by local Chinese instructors during the workshop. Mrs. Grace Cox introduced how to apply Web 2.0 to support Chinese teaching and to strengthen learning efficiency and offered internet links to the trainees. Mrs. Sally Lowe introduced and demonstrated how to make learning Chinese more fun through games and activities, stimulating and sustaining the motivations and interests of children. Through the use of these activities, students will be more attracted to actively participate in the class learning. The trainees were asked to join in the activities to understand the concept.
During the two days of training, Confucius Institute at SDSU introduced and exhibited Chinese teaching resources issued by National Chinese teaching program to the trainees, gave teaching textbooks and CDs, offered a Survey for Intention for Use of Textbooks, An order form for textbooks, and a survey for training workshop satisfaction. In addition, SDSU Confucius Institute arranged the lunch time lecture by Dr. Norman Leonard from SDSU Language Acquisition Resource Center to introduce the Chinese teaching resources of the center and El Capitan High School Principal, Laura Whitaker to introduce the Chinese teaching and textbook choosing status in her school at the round table conference.
At the closing ceremony, Dr. Cheng gave awards to all the presenters and certificates of completion to the trainees for attending and completing the teacher training workshop. The trainees gave their appreciated to the Confucius Institute for holding this workshop sponsored by Hanban. The attendees were satisfied with the designation, content, organization, arrangement, and service of the training. The attendees believed that this training was practical and with an abundance of information that not only offered textbooks and teaching resources from Hanban, but the local teaching resource from SDSU Confucius Institute. Along with methodology to using the teaching resource, language techniques through exhibition and manufacturing documents for discussion were greatly appreciated. Some teachers said they learned a lot from this training workshop. Through model lessons and discussion, they have so many new ideas about how to use the teaching materials and widen their horizon. From the interaction and specialist seminar, they know about new Chinese teaching directions, educational technology and teaching methods. They also speak highly of the teaching methods and teaching resource and hope we could have more training programs in the future.
This was the first time that CI at SDSU attempted to hold a local Chinese teacher training by implementing the “2012 Confucius Institute (Classroom) teaching resource training program” from Hanban teaching resource department. CI paid more attention on designation and implementation of the program, and set it to be one of the most important works of this year. CI considered the practice of local Chinese teaching to design and apply the project for training program by the requirement from Hanban. Through labourous hard work and dedication from CI staff and volunteers, and the team spirit from all resulted in the success of the training program. The joint efforts received much admiration from the trainees.
On October 6, 2012, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng attended the Mid-autumn festival celebration at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. The staff of the museum told stories of the jade rabbit, Hou Yi and Chang Er。Children were encouraged to participate in the storytelling by acting as the characters in the story; they also participated in the demonstration on how to make moon cake, rabbit puppets, and Chinese lanterns.
This cultural event was well attended and wonderfully presented.
On October 4th, 2012，Managing Director of Confucius Institute at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended a concert where Pianist Lang Lang and conductor Jahjah Lin played a duet together; Lang Lang also performed solo as part of the program.
This event was held by the San Diego Symphony to promote the planned tour to China in 2013. The symphony planned to visit Yantai, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Taipei. The concert was very well received and much anticipated in the year to come.
On the evening of October 4, 2012, staff members of CI at SDSU attended the 13th San Diego Asian Film Festival Kick-off celebration at the Dream Catcher Lounge in Viejas Casino as the line-up for this year’s films were released. SDAFF Founder and Executive Director, Lee Ann Kim, revealed the new name and new logo for SDAFF to the audience. As of Oct. 04, 2012, SDAFF would change its title to ‘The Pacific Arts Movement’. This new name and logo would better represent the mission of “connecting and transforming audiences with human experience through Pan Asian media art.”Other SDAFF staff gave a brief introduction for several of the many films selected to screen this year. All attendees listened attentively as the sneak previews were shown. The official Opening Night would be on November 01, 2012, the festival would last till Nov. 09, 2012.
The trailers of several upcoming film shown were: S. Korean films “All About my Wife” and “The King of Pigs”; Japanese films “Love Strikes!” and “Chips”; Chinese film “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate” and Flying Sword of Dragon Gate; American films “Shanghai Calling” and “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey”, and many more.
After much delight and applause, the night ended as attendees exchanged their excitement among each other. They all voiced their eager anticipation for the opening of the festival.
To find out more about the festival, check out their website at: https://festival.sdaff.org/2012/
On Saturday September 29, 2012, one of the Confucius Classroom students, Eddie Kapelzak, (a graduate from Barnard Elementary and currently a Correia middle school student) performed at the Moon Festival Celebration organized by ‘We Chinese’. Eddie was popularly recognized after his performance on CCTV’s 2011 Spring Festival Program in China as the Little Red Dot (xiao hong dian).
His show on 09/29 was a recitation of the famous moon festival poem. The audience gave a standing ovation. All excitedly await for his appearance on CCTV again in 2013.
On September 24, 2012, the first annual Community of Practice Networking and Cultural Event co-sponsored by Southern Area International Language Network (SAILN), Dept. of Language Acquisition Resource Center of SDSU and CI of SDSU was held at Mission Bay High School. More than 50 world language teachers from various language groups happily joined in at this fun event. Representing the Chinese language group were CI at SDSU Co-Director Prof. Wei Lu, Project Manager Anne Chu, and Chinese teachers from various Confucius Classroom schools.
The meeting started promptly at 4PM, teachers from each language group brought their own ethnic foods for all to share. Everyone eagerly sampled on the various delicacies. SAILN Director, Dr. Rebecca Sapien-Melchor, and LARC Director, Dr. Mary Ann Lyman-Hager, each gave a brief introduction of the respective institution. SAILN is an interdisciplinary Project sponsored by San Diego State University. Its mission is to sponsor professional development aligned with the state-adopted foreign language standards and framework. This will in turn deepen teacher’s content knowledge, strengthen and expand language programs, and prepare participants to effectively use and teach language and cultural content at every level of California’s educational system.
After their presentation, a representative from each language came on stage to share their progress and accomplishments with one another. The languages that were presented during this meeting were Arabic, Chinese, Filipino, Persian and Native Heritage American. Everyone found it interesting that they all shared the same challenges and passion when they introduce their language and culture to the students in K-16.
On September 23, 2012, co-organized by more than 40 local Chinese associations, the gala for the 63rd Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China was held at Jasmine Seafood Restaurant, San Diego. Consul General from the Consulate General Office of People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles Mr. Qiu Shaofang,; San Diego County Supervisor, Mr. Ron Roberts; and San Diego Mayoral candidate, Mr. Bob Filner, were a few of the VIP guests invited to attend this joyous occasion. More than 600 guests joined together for this festive celebration.
In his opening speech, Consul General Qiu addressed the significance of this year’s celebration as it marked the 40th anniversary of late President Nixon’s first visit to China in 1972. The Sino-American relation was strengthened as the years passed, the friendship between two countries were solidified. The mutual commitment from both sides was to buildi a solid relationship working toward world peace and global stability. Supervisor Roberts presented a certificate of appreciation to Consul General Qiu for his exemplary achievement.
The entertainment shows in the evening consisted of singing and dance performances from local arts troupes. Co-Director of Confucius Institute at SDSU, Prof. Lu Wei; office manager Jessie Lin, project coordinator Ni Huang, intern Yueying Zhan, and several Chinese teachers from Confucius classroom schools participated at this event.
On September 20, 2012 at 6PM, Montgomery Middle School held its annual ‘Back to School Night’ to welcome parents and students to the new school year. Mandarin classes have been offered at Montgomerysince 2009, but this was the first year that Mandarin classes were open to all grade levels, 6th – 8th.
Principal Jacqueline Luzak opened the evening’s program by welcoming all the parents, at which time she introduced Project Manager of Confucius Institute at SDSU, Anne Chu, to the audience. Principal Luzak expressed her gratitude for CI’s and Hanban’s generosity and continual support for providing a Chinese teacher and the numerous text books and other supplementary teaching materials.
After the opening presentation, parents were invited to visit each student’s classroom. They were met with Hanban’s teacher Ms. Du Hou at the Chinese classroom. Ms. Du Hou is an experienced Mandarin teacher from China’s Zhongshan University. Anne Chu and Ms. Du Hou met with parents of each grade level. Ms. Hou shared her teaching plan, and the topics that would be covered during the student’s trimester schedule. In the 8th grade class, Anne Chu shared information on the Chinese Bridge Summer Camp program for American high school students. Many parents expressed interest in the program. Ms. Jodi Willhite, the resident teacher of the 8th grade Chinese class, invited Anne Chu to come back to Montgomery in the near future to give a more detailed presentation to the students and their parents.
On September 19, 2012, CISDSU project coordinator Jonathan Lee attended the Open House event at both El Capitan High and Granite Hills High School to welcome students into the new school year.
Hanban teacher Ming Qu explained her teaching method as part of the 5 C’s of world language learning education; communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities. Jonathan Lee provided a short introduction to the Chinese Bridge high school summer program which would occur the following summer.
The Open House gave parents an opportunity to learn of the Chinese teaching during Mandarin class, and through an early introduction of the Chinese Bridge program, parents and students would be able to plan ahead for the opportunity to participate.
On Sunday September 16, 2012, Dr. Lilly Cheng participated in a panel discussion focusing on “BOOST-ing Readiness for Global Change”. Stem stands for science technology engineering and mathematics. The discussion panel speakers consisted of SDG&E’s director of community relations, Pedro Villegas, UCSD Center for Research in Educational Equity associate director Susan Yonezawa, US. Congressman Bob Filner, USA Science and Engineering Festival founder Larry Bock, US. Navy Capt. Elizabeth Gracia, US Navy Capt. Cynthia Macri, Alliant International University Professor of global education Dr. Estela Matriano, CI founder and Director of CISDSU Dr. Lilly Cheng, Cal State San Marcos associate dean for extended learning Sarah Villareal, and SDUSD chief of staff Bernie Rhinerson.
Topics for the STEM discussion included training students so they can match the needs of growing businesses, where future employees will come from, creating home-grown entrepreneurs in middle school, the role of business in education, serving the underserved female young adults, gender equity in science, technology and business, merging science with the entrepreneurial spirit, achieving perspective amid global change, and understanding cultural differences and their nuances.
Dr. Cheng was asked to lead the general discussion about the importance of second language learning. Dr Cheng debunked the long told myth about learning mandarin Chinese. She emphasized that learning a new language takes time and with good teaching we have hundreds of children in San Diego learning mandarin Chinese. She also stressed the importance starting early: the younger the better. In San Diego we are starting to teach mandarin as early as kindergarten and the results are phenomenal.
On September 15, 2012, 5:30PM, the Asian Heritage Society of San Diego held its 9th annual Asian Heritage Award ceremony at the Marriott Hall of the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina. More than 400 guests and honorees attended the ceremony.
During the pre-banquet cocktail social hour, local high school students had the opportunity to showcase their science projects. Professor Bin Zhou of Hua Dong Normal University, a special guest invited by Managing Director of CI/SDSU and Board Member of Asian Heritage Society, Dr. Lilly Cheng, wowed the crowd with his Chinese calligraphy demonstration. Professor Zhou broke his own record by writing the Chinese character ‘dragon’ on a 25’x20’ sheet of rice paper. He later dedicated the work of art to San Diego State University.
The evening’s program officially began at 6:30PM with a welcome statement by the Founders of the Asian Heritage Award, Rosalynn Carmen and Leonard Novarro. They invited the Gala’s Chair members, Sally Wong-Avery and Larry Bock to come on stage for a special recognition. Marcella Lee and Manna Ko acted as the emcee of the proceeding programs.
U.S. Navy Commander, Rear Admiral, and Keynote Speaker Peter Gumataotao inspired the audience with his speech to focus on the importance of education for future generation. 14 awards, ranging across differing categories, were presented to the honorees. Principal Edward Park of Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School received the Education Award.
The Asian Heritage Society gave special recognition to California State Controller John Chiang for his State leadership role over the past decade, and for his long record of inspiring younger generations to enter the public arena.
To benefit the scholarship program of Asian Heritage Society, a special auction was staged toward the end of the award ceremony. Professor Zhou wrote 3 distinctive Chinese characters: spirit, energy, and essence. These characters were drawn upon murals, which were provided as special mementos in accordance with donations. The audience eagerly participated in raising a total of $1,000 for the scholarship project.
On September 14, 2012 at 8AM, Zhou Bin – world-renowned Chinese calligrapher, scholar, and personal teacher to U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki Moon - visited Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School to teach Chinese Calligraphy to Barnard students. This event was sponsored by CI/SDSU.
Barnard students were treated to the ancient art form of Chinese Calligraphy taught by Professor Zhou Bing. In honor of the Year of the Dragon, Professor Zhou taught students how to write the Chinese character of ‘dragon’ (lóng). The students followed his direction, using Chinese painting brushes to write the character on a shirt they were allowed to keep.
Students learned of the siginificance of Chinese calligraphy while they enjoyed the interacting time with Professor Zhou.
On the evening of September 13, 2012, the Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at SDSU, Dr. Paul Wong, and Managing Director of Confucius Institute Dr. Lilly Cheng hosted a dinner reception for the renowned calligrapher Dr. Zhou Bin of East China Normal University. Other honored guests who attended the dinner reception were Chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisor, Ron Roberts, past San Diego Deputy Mayor, Tom Hom and Mrs. Dorothy Hom, San Diego County Superintendant of San Diego County Office of Education, Dr. Randy Ward, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University, Dr. Cheryl Ward, and many more.
The reception began at the Finch Conference room at the Arts and Letters Building at SDSU. The meeting opened with a brief introduction of Professor Zhou Bin by Dean Wong, followed by the Chairman of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Ron Roberts, presenting Professor Zhou Bin with a letter of congratulations. A video highlighting Professor Zhou Bin’s calligraphy demonstration was presented to the guests of the opening reception. Professor Zhou received a framed portrait of SDSU from Dean Wong in appreciation of his dedication in the promotion of Chinese arts and culture. All guests were presented with a beautiful gift of a framed hand-cut paper cutting of a dragon for their supports to Chinese arts.
At the banquet, Dr. Lilly Cheng continued the introduction of Prof. Zhou, who has been teaching Chinese calligraphy for the past few years at New York University. He is also the private mentor to U.N. General Secretary, Ban Ki Moon. Professor Zhou shared his philosophy of arts, culture and principles of life with the crowd. Everyone was inspired by his wisdom.
At the end of the banquet, Prof. Zhou demonstrated his fine arts of Chinese calligraphy to all. Under Prof. Zhou’s guidance, many guests eagerly tried out their own skills. Everyone had a wonderful time. At this gathering, Dean Wong and Dr. Lilly Cheng presented a gift to CI’s interns and volunteers as their token of appreciation for the staff’s diligence.
On September 11, 2012, San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Board of Education held its regular meeting in the Board of Education Office. During the meeting, a proclamation was awarded to the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University for its dedication and devotion to the Mandarin programs throughout San Diego County and City. CI at SDSU has been supporting the Point Loma Cluster Schools, such as Correia Middle School and Point Loma High School to establish its Mandarin Program for the last four years, and has provided over 50 language and cultural activities to Barnard Mandarin Elementary School, which included teacher training, Chinese summer camps, and Chinese Bridge Program, just to name a few.
On behalf of CI at SDSU, Managing Director Dr. Lilly Cheng received the honored proclamation from President of the Board of Education, Dr. John Lee Evans, and Vice President, Mr. Scott Barnett. Members of the Board of Education, Mr. Richard Barrera, Mr. Kevin Beiser, Mrs. Shelia Jackson, and Superintendent of SDUSD Mr. Bill Kowba were all in attendance to offer their congratulatory wishes to CI. Co-Director Professor Lu Wei, Project Manager Anne Chu, and several members of the CI at SDSU staff, including some of the CC school teachers and visiting scholars were present to celebrate this memorable occasion.
On September 8, 2012, “We the People” 2012 Candidates Forum was held at Wesley United Methodist Church, the oldest Vietnamese church in San Diego. The Forum was co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA), Council of Philippine American Organizations (COPAO), Southwest Center of Asian Pacific American Law (SCAPAL) and Civic Education and Policy Advocacy Network (CEPA NET). Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, served as the master of this forum.
Five political candidates from various Districts were invited to the Forum, which cover the cities of San Diego, Poway in North County, to National City and Chula Vista in the south. Candidate Scott Peters from Congressional District 52, candidate Nick Popaditch of Congressional District 53, candidate Ruben (R J) Hernandez from State Assembly District 77, candidates Mary England and Shirley Weber from State Assembly District 79, and San Diego Mayoral candidates, Carl De Maio and Bob Filner, participated in the forum with their formal statements, they also answered pre-selected written questions submitted by community members.
This Candidates Forum is to educate the Asian Pacific Islanders (APIs) of their voting rights, and to bring awareness of the significant opportunity to elect candidates of their choice who will serve their needs in the API community.
For more information:http://www.kpbs.org/events/2012/sep/08/15902/
On September 7 and 8, 2012, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, served as an Ambassador for the fourth annual ART SAN DIEGO 2012 Contemporary Art Fair. Organized by Ann Berchtold, this exhibition occurred from September 6th to the 9th, attracting hundreds of artists from the San Diego region.
A Chinese delegation group was invited to participate at this event. More than 20 artists from China brought along their masterpieces for the exhibit. The ‘Visual China’ exhibition showcased paintings, pottery and fine china pieces. Future collaboration in arts and culture between China and San Diego was also discussed between both parties.
At 11 am on September 4, 2012, Professor Wanglu Peng, Dean of the College of Information Technology at Beijing Normal University Zhuhai Campus (BNUZ), visited College of Arts & Letters at San Diego State University. Professor Peng discussed extensively with De.Paul Wong, Dean of College of Arts and Letters at SDSU and Director of International Partnerships, and Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at SDSU, regarding the possible cooperation on recruiting Chinese students from BNUZ to study at SDSU. Prof. Peng visited SDSU as her last destination of her US tour before returning back to China.
Prof. Peng opened the meeting by introducing the establishment and development of BNUZ. She emphasized the College of Information Technology, in which she chaired, would greatly value the international cooperation with SDSU. Dr. Wong and Dr. Cheng agreed on the importance of educational cooperation. Prof. Peng pointed out that in order to increase the enrollment of Chinese students from her school to continue their study at SDSU, an exchange program of 6 months to 1 year at SDSU would be preferrable. In addition, other options such as “3+1+1” (3 years at BNUZ, 1 year at SDSU, and 1 year in the master’s program at SDSU), “2+2” (2 years at BNUZ and 2 at SDSU for undergraduate studies), and other possible scenarios for educational cooperation were suggested to increase the Chinese students’ desires to complete their college degree and further their education at SDSU. Through constructive discussion on the feasibilities of each model, all parties involved agreed to working together to implement the cooperation immediately.
On the morning of August 29, 2012, Benjamin Chang visited CI at SDSU to learn more information of CISDSU and American Language Institute program. Project Coordinator, Jonathan Lee and Crystal Qian greeted Benjamin Chang with a brief introduction of CI at SDSU and answered some questions regarding Confucius Classroom schools.
Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng introduced the operation of American Language Institute under the college of extended studies of SDSU and discussed the broad variety of English learning programs available. They also discussed the possibility of collaboration between the Chang Family and Ci on topics that included the ALI English learning program, SDSU admission, etc.
On August 27, 2012, San Diego State University Professor John Cleary who is studying Chinese at Xiamen University visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. He brought along Ms. Irina Neterenro, a graduate student in the master program at Xiamen University. Professor Vladimir Stepanon Eguyants of Moscow State University and Nikita Neterenro were present too.
Irina was from Russia originally. She planned to collect data on the acquisition of Mandarin phonology from non-native learners for her research project at San Diego State University. She would like to visit various Confucius classroom schools locally. Her thesis research would be under the guidance of Professor Lu Wei, Co-Director of CI/SDSU from Xiamen University.
At 6:30 pm on August 17, 2012, Confucius Institute at SDSU held a special screening of ‘Ready to Run’ at Arts & Letters Building, Room 102,. This event was co-supported by 2012 San Diego International Children’s film festival and Maeya Culture Exchange Group.
‘Ready to Run’, a Chinese children’s film directed by Tao Huang, is about a boy who yearned to be included in his school's running competition despite of the physical challenge of having only one leg. The main focus of this production is to bring awareness around the world to the needs for better education system in the rural remote areas in China.
Everyone in the audience was deeply moved by the touching story and the beautiful prinstine scenery. A Q&A session was provided following the screening. The producer of the movie and the County Supervisor of Dong Lan County in Guangxi Province Xianchang Huang where the movie was filmed, participated in the interactive session to answer many questions raised by the audience.
More news update about this movie: http://news.hcwang.cn/news/2012828/news949899997.html
On August 2, 2012, Managing Director of Confucius Institute of San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng was invited to speak on the topic of Global Competence at the Global Readiness Sino-American Conference held at the San Diego County Board of Education Office. The main organizer of the Conference was the Education Leadership Program of the College of Education, and co-hosted by the Confucius Institute of San Diego State University.
Education Counsel Z. M. Chen from the Los Angeles Chinese General Consulate Office also came to give a speech on the education system in China. There were participants from both China and the United States. Participants from China came from a number of cities including Hunan, Guangzhou, and Sichuan. They had opportunities to discuss many current topics on the 21st Century education, there were many lively interactions as questions were asked by the participants of the Conference.
On the morning of August 1, 2012, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University welcomed a delegation group of 16 people led by Vice President Fengrong Jing from Chengdu University of Information and Technology (CUIT).
Co-Director of CI, Prof. Wei Lu, along with Project Coordinators Jonathan Lee and Ni Huang, welcomed the visitors with a brief introduction of CI at SDSU through video and photos. The visitors were impressed by the numerous projects CI at SDSU had accomplished. The visitors posted many questions, including Hanban’s financial sponsorship, the number of students in CI at SDSU, the selection of Chinese teachers and teaching materials, as well as in-class teaching. Vice President Fengrong Jing and Qianbing Duan, Director of the Department of International Exchange and Cooperation, proposed to partner with CI in the future with programs such as organizing a summer camp, escorting American students to visit the pandas’ hometown Chengdu and Jiuzhaigou valley in the Sichuan province. CUIT would be responsible for hosting the American students.
Vice President Fengrong Jing presented CI with a red Chinese traditional pen as a gift. Guests wrote a heartwarming message on CI’s guestbook, “I hope CI at SDSU will continue its contribution in promoting Chinese culture and greater achievements in the future.”
On the afternoon of July 31, 2012, Co-Director of Confucius Institute at Brock University，Canada, Prof. Chunlei Lu, made visited CI at SDSU.
Co-Director of CI/SDSU, Prof. Wei Lu, welcomed Prof. Chunlei Lu with an introduction of CISDSU and a brief tour of CI office. Both Co-Directors shared constructive and meaningful information on improving the operations between both CIs.
On the morning of July 24, led by the Director of division 2 at Confucius institute headquarters Mr. Diefeng Cao, a group of four officers from Hanban visited San Diego State University. Also included in the gourp were Mr. Chundong Gao, Mr. Yongkuan Hu and Miss Wenjing Xu from Hanban headquarters. Co-Director of CI at SDSU, Professor Wei Lu, and Project Coordinator, Jonathan Lee welcomed the VIP guests. Executive Director of CI at SDSU and Dean of Arts and Letters, Dr. Paul Wong introduced the general accomplishements of the CI at SDSU and SDSU as a whole, and also discussed the academy building currently being renovated. With the funding and support from Hanban in this endeavor, there would be greater achievements in establishing a Chinese center at SDSU with Confucius Institute as its core.
Director Cao extended his invitation to the new president of SDSU, Dr. Elliot Hirshman, to China. He pointed out that Hanban would focus on supporting a model CI be constructed in the future. They also discussed the possibility of SDSU hosting the Annual North American Directors of CI meeting in 2013. After the meeting, Dean Wong brought the guests to the site and facilities of SDSU that could accmmodate large-scale conferences. A welcome banquet hosted by Dean Wong for the guests was scheduled in the evening. Director Cao and Dean Wong exchanged gifts and group photos were taken. On behalf of all in the group, Director Cao expressed their gratitude to CI at SDSU for the warm hospitality.
On July 25th, led by the Director of division 2 at Confucius institute headquarters Mr. Diefeng Cao, a group of four officers from Hanban visited Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School. Principal Edward Park of Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School and Vice President of Borad of Education at SDUSD, Mr. Scott Barnett, welcomed them warmly for visiting San Diego and Barnard. Also present to greet the delegates from Hanban were several members of the community and board committee members.
Principal Edward Park briefly introduced the Chinese teaching programs and achievements of the school. To better showcase Barnard’s effort in Mandarin education, the VIP guests were led to Lily Ma’s Classroom where thr Chinese summer camp took place. When the students sang songs and introduced themselves in Chinese, the guests were very impressed by their performance. They presented small gifts for all the students present. Following the classroom demonstration, Principal Edward Park held a short conference in the library to discuss the future collaboration between Barnard and Hanban. Through the support of Hanban, Barnard Elementary would continue its strive for excellence. Director Cao pledged that Hanban would earnestly support the Chinese program in Barnard and invited the delegates from Barnard to visit Beijing in the future.
On July 14, 2012, 7 High School students from various San Diego County Confucius Classroom Schools under Confucius Institute at San Diego State University left the United States, bound for Beijing to participate in the two-week long 2012 “Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for U.S. High School students.” Upon their arrival in Beijing on July 15, Hanban organized a program for the students to visit various provinces and cities in which students gained first-hand experience regarding the lifestyles lived by Chinese natives. They returned to Beijing on July 25 and went on to explore historic landmarks and enjoy the scenic beauty. Students from CI at SDSU, those from CI at University of Alaska – Anchorage, and those from CI at University of Toledo were all assigned to the Henan Province group, hosted by Mount Song Shaolin Martial Arts Vocational Institute.
Mount Song Shaolin Martial Arts Vocational Institute, located in the beautiful scenery at the foot of Mount Song, is near the world-renowned Ancient Millennium Shaolin Temple. Martial arts education is a distinguished educational feature of the school. The summer camp volunteer teachers were selected from the outstanding students of the institute. They were close in age to the students, and even though there were communication problems, everyone was able to establish tacit understanding and quickly develop trust. During the summer camp, in addition to learning Mandarin daily, the students took Martial arts instruction. Furthermore, they visited the Shaolin Temple, the Song Yang Academy of Classical Learning, and other historic sites. By participating in a series of lectures and activities, the students gained a deeper level of appreciation of Chinese culture and martial arts. The first weekend after their arrival, students visited homes of local families to experience traditional customs and culture, which played such a significant role in the daily lives of Chinese commoners. All the students thought this was very enriching, even though they were exhausted from the lengthy excursions.
Students participated in a Mandarin proficiency test before their arrival in Henan to determine their level and to gauge their achievements after the 10-day workshop. It was rewarding that the students of CI at SDSU topped the test scores. There were 5 students who passed the level 3 exam and 2 students who passed the level 4.
After returning to Beijing, the students continued their language studies and visited the Lama Temple, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall, among other places of historic interest. The vibrant atmosphere of longstanding cultural relics and modern developments contrasted and complemented one another. Beijing may be perceived as a reserved and conservative city, however it is also a lively one; this left a powerful cultural impact on the students.
At the end of the summer camp program, the students, one after another, expressed how they had benefitted greatly from this activity. In addition to strengthening their language skills, they were also able to get a feel for China’s expansive culture and history. While participating in the various activities, students were able to experience unique local customs and various cultural practices. Many students expressed their wishes to apply for next year’s summer camp program and return to China again; they hope they will have the opportunity to travel to different cities, and gain more cultural understanding from the Chinese perspective. The students also ardently hope, through systematic professional learning, to go a step further and improve their language and learning skills to help them broaden their horizons, enrich their experiences, and improve their global perspectives.
On July 13, 2012, CI at SDSU hosted a group of young students from China. This group of 15 students, ages 6 to 16, was from the Ladder Bilingual Schools from Shanghai and Xinjiang. They visited the language laboratory, SDSU campus, and CI office during their tour at San Diego State University. These students were learning English at Barnard Mandarin Magnet School during a week long English summer camp. At the camp, the students practiced their English by interacting with the local students in the summer camp. This was the first time these young students came to experience San Diego and SDSU.
On July 12, 2012, two-time Olympian champion Lou Yun and his family paid a visit to the Confucius Institute of San Diego State University. Lou Yun won Gold Medal for gymnastics at both 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games.
A presentation about SDSU and CI at SDSU was provided. A questions and answers session followed the presentation. CI at SDSU was honored to receive such a world famous visitor.
The 4th annual Chinese Summer Camp Program organized by Confucius Institute at SDSU took place from July 9th-20th, 2012. The program provided intensive Chinese language education to children 5-12 years of age regardless of their level of Mandarin knowledge. Held at Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnetic Elementary School, Point Loma, California, a total of 18 students from Barnard Mandarin Chinese magnetic Elementary School, Riverview Elementary and International Academy, and many other schools participated in this year’s 2-week summer camp.
During each week, the students were taught by native Chinese teachers and were immersed in many aspects of Chinese language and culture activities. Students learned proper pronunciation, reading and writing Chinese. The students learned to introduce themselves and their family members; asked the day, date, date of birth; addition and subtraction of numbers; describing their favorite food, color, animal and sport in Chinese. Cultural activities included learning Chinese games, songs, calligraphy and what numbers are considered lucky by Chinese. To further enhance their learning experience, the students were paired up with Chinese students from the Shanghai Ladder School, Xinjiang Ladder English school summer study tours, and the Experimental Primary School #1 in Henan Province, China. CI summer Camp students and Chinese students interacted with one another through art projects, games, Tai chi practice, singing songs and group performances.
On the final day of the camp, parents were invited to the closing ceremony and were entertained with songs and short speeches performed in Chinese by the students. “I really had fun at the summer camp.” commented Nicholas, one of the students. “All of the activities were so interesting, unlike any other camp that I went before. And I learned a lot about Mandarin and Chinese culture. I want to sign up for the Summer Camp program for next year now.”
From July 8 – 10, 2012, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State Univerity, Dr. Lilly Cheng attended the U.S. Confucius Institute Directors Meeting held in Harbin. 46 Directors and key members of the Hanban staff attended this meeting.
Speakers included Hanban Director, Madame Xu Lin, President Mote of University of Maryland, Professor Tu Wei Ming of Peking University, Professor Walker of Ohio State University and Professor Ji Baocheng of Renmin University. The topics focused on future plans for the CIs, Confucianism, language and culture. Round table discussion included strategy to ensure the integration of CI programs into the host University and local community, the implementation of the China Studiy Programs and the Chinese language teachers and Confucius Classrooms. There were discussions among directors and interactive sessions with Hanban staff. The local host for the conference was Heilongjiang University.
On the morning of June 29, 2012 the CI at SDSU hosted the Delegation of Chinese College Distance Education and its 24 experts and scholars. They were from the Colleges and Universities that are engaged in radio, television, online education of China. The delegation was organized by Mr. Kunpeng Wang, the Minister of International Cooperation for CYCIE.
The delegation hosted by the Chinese Director of CI at SDSU, Professor Wei Lu, Project Manager, Anne Chu, and Project Coordinators, Jonathan Li and Chenwen Qian. They introduced the basic situation of CI at SDSU and Confucius Classrooms to the delegation, at the same time they also showed some videos and PPT about the issues of CI at SDSU and briefly answered questions from the delegation. After the formal introduction and presentation, many delegates continued to discuss some related issues with Professor Wei Lu and Anne Chu.
On behalf of all the members of delegation, Mr. Kunpeng Wang expressed their thanks to the hospitality of CI at SDSU. He said that his group has visited the CI at SDSU several times in recent years, and he was genuinely happy for some new developments of the CI at SDSU he found during this visit. The members also said they were very pleased to have the opportunity to visit the CI at SDSU during their trip to the United State. Through the introduction, presentation and communication, they understood the purpose and scope of business of the Confucius Institute and Confucius Classroom, and knew about the situation and achievement of the CI at SDSU. In particular, they also realized the CI at SDSU has positive effects for friendly communicate and mutual understanding between America and China.
Dean Paul Wong was invited to a give a presentation on American Higher Education to the International Business students on June 26 at the Shenyang Normal University. Discussions were held to explore collaboration between San Diego State University and Shenyang Normal University including faculty exchange and training, student exchanges and collaborative research. Managing Director Lilly Cheng was asked to present a Commencement Speech at the 2012 Commencement Ceremony of Shenyang Normal University on June 27, 2012. Approximately 4900 students graduated this year from Shenyang Normal University. The speech focused on goal setting, motivation, innovation and hard work.
On June 11, 2012, Confucius Institute at SDSU opened its’ Summer Camp at SDSU Imperial Valley Campus. A total of 14 Middle School students participated in this year’s 2-week Chinese Summer Camp. Participating students had no prior Chinese language knowledge and were taught by a native Chinese teacher, Jing Lin. During the two week program, students not only learned the Chinese language, but also studied Chinese culture. They learned how to greet each other, introduce themselves and their family, asked the time, date and talked about numbers. They also did oral practices based on what they learned in class. Cultural activities included learning Chinese songs and dances, calligraphy and making lanterns and shuttlecocks. The students enjoyed these activities especially playing with the shuttlecock. IVC International Programs Coordinator, Miriam Castanon and her assistant attended the Chinese Summer Camp closing ceremony on June 21, 2012. Student’s parents were also invited to watch their children’s final Chinese presentations.
On the morning of June 6, 2012, Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School hosted its Asian Pacific Heritage Field Day for 2012 with many different types of outdoor Asian activities. Confucius Institute at SDSU volunteers Jonathan Lee and Crystal Qian hosted the Chinese activities, such as diabolos, badminton, jian zi, za ji, and Chinese jump rope.
Students from each grade level were given 15 minutes to enjoy the activities at each station before moving on to the next. The students were very eager to try the activities at CI’s station, they all left wanting for more.
June 02, 2012, on behalf of CI/SDSU, Project Manager, Anne Chu, and Project Intern, Crystal Qian, attended a dedication ceremony held at 5PM by the La Playa Trail Association to commemorate the significant pioneer contribution of the Chinese fishermen to San Diego in the 19th century. This ceremony was held at the corner of Talbot Street and Anchorage Lane, near the San Diego Yacht Club, the site where Chinese had a fishing village in the early 1890s.
A plaque on the monument states "The village had ten shanties, drying racks and salting tanks. At the shore was a shipbuilding facility where Chinese junks were constructed in traditional design from China."
During the ceremony, President of San Diego Asian Film Foundation, Lee Ann Kim acted as the master of ceremony. San Diego County Supervisor, Greg Cox spoke of the relentless effort put forth by the La Playa Trail Association to erect a plaque at this site. More than 100 people attended this ceremony, included many representatives from various Chinese organizations in town.
CI at SDSU Received an Honored Plaque from Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society at the 1st Annual Golden Treasures Banquet
The 1st Annual Golden Treasures Banquet hosted by Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society was held at Jasmine Seafood Restaurant on May 27, 2012. Cathlyn Choi- Michelson from the television show, Cathlyn’s Korean Kitchen was appointed as the master of ceremony. The Three Treasures Cultural Art Society lead by their Executive Director, Frank Du, demonstrated outstanding martial arts and lion dance performances. Office Manager of CI at SDSU, Jessie Lin, and Project Coordinator, Ni Huang, attended the banquet on behalf of CI/SDSU.
Students from Confucius Classroom at Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School impressed the audiences with their lovely and wonderful Mandarin singing and dance performances. Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society and CI at SDSU joined force in their dedication in promoting Chinese culture and art throughout southern California. They partnered together in many local cultural events and school education affairs since March, 2012. At the banquet, Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society presented a plaque to CI at SDSU for its friendship, outstanding vision, and leadership in promoting Chinese culture and language.
From May 25 to June 16 2012, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lily Cheng, led 14 students from San Diego State University in a three-week Summer Study Abroad program to Shanghai. CI Project Interns, Yuxi Liu and Jeff Kaemmering, went along as the Program Coordinators.
The courses under this program were taught by Professors from San Diego State University; which were mostly related to Chinese culture/history, humanity and geography, economic development and community expansion. Part of the course experience rewarded the students, through one-on-one interactions with local residents, an in-depth understanding of life in China. Also included in the program where educational trips to Stone Gate Museum, Super Brand Mall, and Lianheng Industry (Shanghai) Co., LTD... Visiting these areas gave the students additional insight to the long history, prosperity and development of China. The students also observed cultural demonstrations in mask making and calligraphy; many of them voiced their keen interest in Chinese culture. They expressed their willingness to continue learning more of Chinese language and culture.
During leisure time, students visited many of the local touristic destinations for a taste of the local cuisine and common folk’s daily routines. The lush Yu Garden's, the gorgeous Bund, beautiful West Lake, and mysterious Lingyin Temple all left a deep impression with the students. At the completion of the Study Abroad program, the students commented that this was a “Once in a life time experience” which offered them a better understanding of various aspects of China. These experiences will have a positive impact on the student’s future, education and career path.
On the afternoon of May 22, 2012, on behalf of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Project Manager, Anne Chu, and Project Coordinator, Jonathan Lee, were invited to the Induction Ceremony of Chinese Honor Society at St. Francis Parker School to commemorate the end of the school year. They brought an introductory video of the operation and history of CI/SDSU for the audiences; they then shared the details of the program of Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for American high school students to all. At the end of the ceremony, many parents and faculty members came over to express their strong interest in learning more information of this program.
The students of the Chinese Honor Society performed a series of programs, including a fan dance, a Chinese song, a Chinese poetry recital, and a videoed skit in Chinese. This event was also to congratulate the graduating seniors and welcome new members into the Society.
To become a member of the Chinese Honor Society, students must have a cumulative 3.0 grade point average, a B average in Chinese courses, and have taken at least three semesters of Mandarin Chinese.
On May 22, 2012, two visitors from China arrived in San Diego for a visit. They were Mr. Ouyang Jie Fu, the corporate representative of Beijing Chuwei Culture Communication Co. Ltd. and Mr. Yuan Wei Kun, Vice president of Hunan Mass Media Vocational Technical College. Part their visit in San Diego included a stop at Language Acquisition Resource Center (LARC) of San Diego State University. Norman Leonard, Director of Outreach of LARC, Evan Rubin, Director of Instructional Technology, and Chris Brown, Director of Programs/Projects, jointly gave a briefing of the functions of LARC, and demonstrated many programs that LARC has been developing.
On May 23, the guests of CI visited Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet School; they met with Principal Edward Park and many Chinese teachers to learn about their needs for text materials directly from these teachers. They also visited Riverview International Academy on May 24 to learn about the unique tri-lingual program. They were able to gather essential knowledge from their visits to CC schools on how to develop the text materials adapting to the local needs. They were eager to form a close relationship with CI/SDSU in developing relevant materials for learners of Chinese language and culture.
At 10AM on the morning of May 22, 2012, San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders and council member Todd Gloria presented a proclamation declaring the month of May to be “Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month” in the city of San Diego. Members of the Asian community were present at the city council meeting in celebration of this memorable occasion.
Mayor Sanders and Council member Gloria opened the ceremony by first stating the significance of Asian Pacific American Heritage month and its impact at both local and national level. Former Deputy Mayor of San Diego, Tom Hom, Managing Director of Confucius Institute of San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, and Executive Director of San Diego Asian Film Festival, Lee Ann Kim, spoke on behalf of all the Asian communities at the council.
Other dignitaries present included representatives from the Asian American Luncheon Program, Asian Business Association of San Diego, Asian Cultural Festival, Asian Heritage Society, Asian Pacific American Coalition (APAC), Asian Pacific American Public Affairs (APAPA), Asian Real Estate Association of American San Diego, Federation of India Associations San Diego, Gujarati Samaj San Diego, Hindu Mandir Society of San Diego, Japanese American Citizens League, Vietnamese American Center for Education, San Diego Asian Film Foundation, Union of Pan Asian Communities, and the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University.
On May, 19, 2012, Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) held its 2012 Civic Engagement and Public Policy Forum at Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School, San Diego. The keynote speakers included leaders who had contributed greatly to Asian American public affairs, including CA Board of Equalization Vice Chair, Michelle Park Steel; Assembly member, Marty Block, Mike Eng, and Warren Furntani; San Diego City Council President, Tony Young, and former member from Board of Education of Hacienda La Puente School District, Norman Hsu and other distinguished leaders.
This forum focused on how to positively improve Asian Pacific Americans’ lives, welfares, and public affair involvement. Many speakers shared their experiences on how they were oppressed and discriminated against as Asian Pacific Americans in the past; and how they started to be involved in public affairs to advocate for Asian Pacific Americans. They not only provided a blueprint for the future of Asian Pacific Americans, but they also urged the attendees to be proud of being Asian Pacific Americans, and to unite together to achieve a better future for Asian Pacific Americans. The speakers and the audiences had an active interaction, many attendants inquired on issues such as how to start getting involved in public affairs, or whether there was any internship opportunity to learn how to support the Asian Pacific community, etc. This forum successfully brought awareness to people’s attention on the public affairs of Asian Pacific American and provided more involvement opportunities for those desiring to serve.
Many local leaders who supported Asian Pacific American affairs attended this forum. Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was recognized by APAPA for her dedication and contribution to San Diego Asian Pacific American community.
On May 18, 2012, Superintendent Brian Jacobs of Bellflower Unified School District visited CI/SDSU office. The purpose of his visit was to seek support from CI to establish a Mandarin program at the school District. Managing Director Dr. Lilly Cheng, Co-Director Prof. Lu and Project Manager Anne Chu were present to welcome Dr. Jacobs to CI office.
Project Coordinator Jonathan Lee first showed everyone a brief introductory video of CI’s mission and progress. Anne Chu also gave detailed information of the various support Hanban provided; especially the teachers and volunteer teachers program. Dr. Jacobs was very appreciative of the information he learned from the introduction.
With his experience and the knowledge he gathered as the Superintendent at Fallbrook Union Elementary School District for the past few years, Superintendent Jacobs was well aware of the importance of introducing Mandarin as a second foreign language to the students. At his new position at Bellflower Unified School District, it was his goal and vision to build a solid Mandarin program for all the schools within the District K–12.
After a brief exchange of updates, Dr. Lilly Cheng made precise outlines of a time table for Dr. Jacobs and his staff to move forward with the application of Confucius Classroom to Hanban. Dr. Jacobs envisioned the initiation of Mandarin program at September of 2013/14.
In the morning of May 14, 2012, members of the local media were honored by Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School for their exemplary dedication and support to the teaching of Chinese language and culture in San Diego. Among those honored were David Seid from House of China, Len Novarro and Roz Carmen from Asia Media America, Dominic Lee from World Journal, Sam Ho from 5zhou4hai, Fei Lu from San Diego Chinese Press, Ma Ping from We Chinese, and Jung Won Seo from Korea Daily. They were each honored by Principal Edward Park of Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School and Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, with a beautifully framed display in appreciation of their continued contribution.
After the honor ceremony, the signing ceremony for the collaboration between CI at SDSU and Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society commenced. Dr. Lilly Cheng presented a beautiful hand-cut silhouette of a dragon with the character of Fu to Three Treasure’s Sifu, Frank Du, in honor of this memorable occasion. Both parties signed the agreement marking the official date of this significant union between the two organizations to support and promote Asian language and culture throughout San Diego.
On May 12, 2012, the 3rd Annual Asian Cultural Festival was held at the NTC Liberty Station Park. Many Asian ethnic groups and thousands of people interested in Asian culture enthusiastically participated in this event. They gathered around tents adorned with artifacts from many Asian countries and Pacific Islands, including Cambodia, Laos, South Korea, Philippines, and Thailand; the people walked through the crowds to sample all sorts of Asian cuisine. Confucius Institute at San Diego State University set up a station offering name translations and information on Chinese culture. As Mother’s Day would be next day, Cl staff also wrote the Chinese characters, “Happy Mothers’ Day” to visitors; all of them were amazed and appreciative of the aesthetic beauty of the Chinese characters; they gained a better understanding of Chinese characters and culture through the demonstration of the CI staff.
Throughout the day, there were shows of Asian culture theme on stage, including folk music, folk dancing, ethnic instrumental performances, Hawaiian Hula, Japanese pop dance, and Korean traditional instruments playing. CI/SDSU provided an Asian theme Fashion Show. On the stage, more than 20 male and female models presented various outfits in ethnic and fusion styles, such as the Qi Pao and Chinese traditional wardrobe from different dynasties. The formal long style of the Qi Pao allowed the audience a view of the elegance of Chinese apparel. The more modern shirts and the coats, accompanied with the Western style jeans and skirts, presented a stylish and modern contrast of Chinese apparel. Whether the model was in Chinese style or in an Asian Fusion style, they all showed off the beauty and uniqueness of Chinese traditional outfits. Among the Qi Pao, the audiences were especially fond of the wedding gown; most of them were in red, which symbolizes good luck and happiness. The white ones presented elegance and purity. With the detailed explanation of each outfit from the Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, the audience had a deeper understanding of Chinese wedding dresses. In addition, models presented the traditional costumes of Chinese minority tribes and of other Asian countries, including Bai Zu, Yi Zu, Miao Zu, Philippines, Thailand, India, Korea, and Japan. The audiences were able to understand not only the diversity of Chinese culture, but also learned the distinctions of different Asian cultures.
In preparation for the fashion show, CI staff and volunteers spent days and nights in addition to their regular work hours in trying on clothes, selecting models, and rehearsal practices. At the Festival, the audiences were awe-struck by the show; the hard work by CI staff was recognized and reaffirmed by the standing ovation from the audience. The fashion show brought forth a colorful aspect of Chinese culture for the 3rd Annual Asian Cultural Festival.
On May 08, 2012, Project Manager of CI/SDSU, Anne Chu, and intern, Crystal Qian visited Manhattan Beach Middle School District to meet with Education Sources Director, Ms. Carolyn Seaton for an update on the progress of Mandarin program implemented at Manhattan Beach Middle School since September 2011. Parent representative, Mrs. Jenny Wang-Cohn, and CI volunteer teacher, Ms. Ziyi Geng were also present at the meeting.
Ms. Seaton first informed CI representatives that from the overwhelming popularity of the Chinese Club program at Manhattan Beach Middle School, parents and school officials from neighboring elementary schools enthusiastically requested Teacher Geng’s presentation at each school site as well. In March 2012, Teacher Geng introduced the Chinese Club activities at Pacific Elementary School to the 5th grade students. Each Tuesday during lunch break, from 12:15PM to 12:45PM, many students flocked to the Chinese Club classroom; they participated excitedly in each week’s activity, whether it be making paper cutting patterns, or learning to draw Chinese paintings. The faculty staff at Pacific Elementary School shared the student’s excitements; Principal Kim Linz displayed the students’ works on the window of her office, which attracted even more attention from parents and other students.
Ms. Seaton also provided an update on the Mandarin class at Manhattan Beach Middle School. Many 6th grade students are now regular participants at the Chinese Club every week; most of the 7th grade students currently enrolled in the Mandarin class would continue on to their 2nd year in the program；there were plans to expand the Chinese class to 2 schedules for each level next year. Ms. Seaton planned to submit an official application request to CI office for 2 Hanban teachers for next school year of 2012/13.
On May 01, 2012, CI/SDSU Project Manager, Anne Chu, was invited to be one of the presenters at the Undergraduate Honors Convocation for Class of 2012 at University of San Diego. The ceremony was held at the Shiley Theatre. More than 700 students, their families and faculty attended this event.
Provost Julie Sullivan acted as the emcee of the ceremony. President Lyons presented certificates to students who had achieved a 4.0 GPA in their class. Other Deans and Professors were invited to present award certificates to students with outstanding performance. Ms. Chu presented an award for dedication and high achievement in the study of Chinese to Ms. Kathleen Hagan from the Department of Language and Literatures.
The entire presentation lasted about an hour from 12:30PM to 1:30PM.
On April 28, 2012, Volunteers from CISDSU participated at Riverview Elementary School’s Multicultural Day event. Project coordinator Jonathan Lee and volunteers Ling Zhong and Yalong Song attended this event. Jeremy Yan, a Chinese teacher from Riverview Elementary, also assisted the CI booth. CISDSU had established a booth where they provided the English names of attendees in beautifully drawn calligraphy. Students and parents alike were ecstatic as they left our booth, taking home with them a little bit more of Chinese culture.
The Confucius Institute at SDSU proudly co-sponsored the HK film “A Simple Life” which was presented by the San Diego Asian Film Festival on April 25 and 26, 2012. The film was directed by Ann Hui, starred Andy Lau and Deannie Yip and showed at the Ultrastar Theatres in San Diego to a sold out crowd. This touching story about the relationship between a young master of a large family and the servant of the family who raised him thoroughly impressed the crowd both nights the film was showed.
On the evening of Tuesday April 24th, 2012, from 5PM to 7PM, Lakeside Middle School held its annual Multi-Cultural Performing Arts event. This event was held to inform both parents and students alike of the schools outstanding English, Spanish, and Chinese immersion programs, as well as to boost the interest of multi-lingual instruction for even more people. CI at SDSU was onsite to fully support the event.
During the fair, Lakeside Middle School students presented a rich and colorful program, including the recital of ancient Tang dynasty poems, a short rendition of “Alice in Wonderland” in Spanish and other performances. CI at SDSU intern, Jeff Kaemmerling, gave a trilingual self-introduction and shared his experience with everyone about his learning and being immersed in multiple languages. Afterwards, Jeff Kaemmerling gave a strong Chinese Kung-Fu and Tai Chi demonstration. His multi-talented performance won bursts of applause and cheers from the many spectators. This exchange increased the parents and students’ interest towards Chinese culture and Chinese study, as they enthusiastically await more of these cultural exchange and show opportunities.
On the morning of April 21, the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University held its 4th Confucius Classroom Forum at El Cajon Valley High School in San Diego. More than 40 people attended the forum; including Chinese teachers, superintendents and other faculty members from Confucius Classroom schools, local teachers, and staff members and volunteers from the CI office.
The Forum began at 8:30 in the morning. "Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society" of San Diego demonstrated its strong support for Chinese culture with an exciting show of lion dances. Professor Deng Ximin, one of Hanban’s teachers, also performed the 24 sets of simplified Tai Chi Quan. Project Manager of CI at SDSU, Anne Chu, opened the forum with a briefing of the Forum activities. Vice Principal, Tracy Wilson, of El Cajon Valley High School, gave the attendees an introduction of the various programs offered at the school; Chinese teacher of ECVH, Ms. Chi Ping Chang, shared her experience on teaching through classroom games.
During the group discussion period, the topics most concerned by the local teachers and administrative representatives were each school’s characteristic and a sustainable development of the Confucius Classroom. They exchanged their views and experience. Other topics also included the assignment and distribution of the Chinese teachers, standardization of curriculum of the Confucius Classrooms, and the collaboration between Confucius Classroom Schools and CI/SDSU.
Three keynote speakers were featured at the Forum. A well-known Chinese painter in San Diego, Quan Yuan, shared her edition of Chinese Teaching Materials; she presented a collaborated work between herself and Professor Kelin Xi, “Magic Panda Adventures”, which received great interest from the participants. Professor Ximin Deng presented his own invention of a new radical index; he stated the special features and advantageous points at vocabulary searching in this system. Co-Director of CI at SDSU, Professor Wei Lu addressed the urgency of standardization in Chinese teaching at Confucius Classrooms with a short demonstration to point its importance; he also stated the details of the main scope and the specific criteria of the standardized Chinese language teaching. The participants also were able to interact with the three keynote speakers at the end of their speech.
This Forum provided an excellent venue for the local Chinese teachers, Hanban’s teachers and volunteer teachers to share their teaching experiences together, and to discuss their challenging issues. They all felt that through this interaction, they were able to further improve the quality of their Chinese teaching. In addition, the officials from these CC schools were able to have a face-to-face communication with directors from CI on the difficulties and challenges they encountered. CI at SDSU was able to learn the logistic needs and take targeted measures to support Chinese teaching in CC Schools.
The forum was planned and sponsored by the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University and hosted by El Cajon Valley High School (ECVH), one of the Confucius Classroom Schools. The Education Department of the Chinese General Consulate Office in Los Angeles, which provided financial support for the forum, had high regards of this event.
On Friday, April 20, 2012, Granite Hills High School hosted its annual Multicultural Fair. The Confucius Institute of San Diego State University supported this event with a Chinese culture presentation. CI at SDSU volunteers Peng Peng and Crystal demonstrated Chinese calligraphy to participants by writing their names in traditional style of Chinese calligraphy.
During their lunch break, hundreds of students stopped by CI’s booth. Many students were very curious of the Chinese characters; they lined up eagerly to get their favorite Chinese words written on their face or arm. CI hoped to bring awareness of Chinese culture and Chinese language among the students with this presentation.
On April 17, 2012, several volunteers from CISDSU participated in the Multicultural Week activities at El Capitan High School. Project Coordinators, Jonathan Lee, Crystal Qian, and Project Intern, Mike Zhang, attended this event. CI set up a booth where they wrote the Chinese names of the students in beautifully drawn Chinese calligraphy. Students lined up with excitement as they were given their names written in Chinese. After the bell rang and the students had to return to their classrooms, several students came back to get Chinese names for their teachers, it clearly showed of the great interest from the staff in Chinese calligraphy.
Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet School has been invited to be part of the Utah Flagship K-12 Consortium for the Immersion Program
April 6, 2012
To: Faculty and Staff
From: Elliot Hirshman, SDSU President
Subject: SDSU Achieves Status as Hispanic Serving Institution
I'm pleased to share news that San Diego State University has been designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. Achieving HSI status is an impressive achievement - we are one of only three public research universities in California to attain this national designation (among Carnegie classified universities). Most important, however, is the fact that HSI status brings with it access to additional resources to benefit our entire university community.
SDSU is proud to be an institution where students from all backgrounds achieve success. Our HSI designation would not have been possible except for our university-wide commitment to diversity and academic excellence. Increasingly, our achievements in these two areas are bringing us national distinction.
I encourage you to learn more about how SDSU achieved HSI status and its benefits in this SDSU NewsCenter story.
President, San Diego State University
Between 2 pm and 3 pm on April 6, 2012, the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University held the fifth Chinese Corner of the spring 2012 semester at North Education 278B. Twenty students, including Chinese natives and non-Chinese native students, attended this event and had a discussion in Mandarin Chinese regarding topics of mutual interest.
The specific feature of this Chinese Corner event was to bring authentic Chinese conversations to the Chinese classroom, which refers to joining of the Confucius Institute’s featured Chinese Corner and Chinese language courses offered by the Department of Language at San Diego State University. The mission of this event was to provide college students who are taking the course of “Advanced Conversational Chinese” with an opportunity to communicate with Chinese native speakers face-to-face and initiate an intercultural exchange.
In a one-hour discussion, American students expressed strong interest in the theme of “interpersonal communication” and applied the linguistic and cultural knowledge they have acquired from class, such as linguistic structures, exponents of speech function, and communicative strategies and skills. Not only were they able to test their oral communicative skill, but they also enhanced their listening and comprehension skills. Moreover, they learned more about Chinese communication conventions, and raised cross-cultural awareness about the differences between Chinese and American culture. In addition, some students exchanged their contact information in order to become language partners, continuing the intercultural exchange.
After this event, many students provided positive feedback. They regarded this event as a good opportunity for them to help improve their Chinese speaking abilities. They also hoped that more similar activities would be organized and held, aimed at increasing the chances for authentic interactions with Chinese natives through oral practice, and at the same time, creating an authentic target language environment for their Chinese studying.
On April 06, 2012, Project Manager of CI/SDSU visited Confucius Classroom at Fallbrook Union Elementary School District. She met with Director of State and Federal Programs, Lea Curcio. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the Mandarin program for school year 2012/13.
Director Curcio gave Ms. Chu an update of the current foreign language programs at Fallbrook District. In addition to the Chinese teacher sponsored by Hanban, Fallbrook District would have one more year of sponsorship from TCLP (Teachers of Critical Language Program) under U.S. State Department. Director Curcio and Ms. Chu planned out the class plans for various schools in the district for the coming school year, including both elementary and middle school.
On April 03, 2012, Project Manager of CI/SDSU, Anne Chu, at the invitation of Sally Fox, FLAP Director at English Learner and Support Services of San Diego County Office of Education, met with Dr. Myriam Met, formal Director of National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) at the University of Maryland. Also present was Chinese teacher, Ke Xu, from Riverview Elementary and International Academy. The purpose of this meeting was for collaboration for standardization of Chinese text materials.
Dr. Met is now an independent consultant who works K-12 for language programs and teachers professional development. She was also a supervisor of foreign language instruction for major urban and suburban school districts for over 25 years. In that capacity, and as a consultant to educational agencies, she planned, implemented, and evaluated language programs K-12 including elementary and secondary programs.
During their meeting, Dr. Met shared her experience of working with various school districts, interstate wise, for the immersion programs of foreign languages. Other subjects included the comprehension and teaching assessments in the classrooms; and teachers training or workshops for modern methodology.
On March 21st, 2012, CI held the 4th Chinese Corner meeting of the 2012 Spring Semester at Room AL-106. The event was from 12to 1pm.
The meeting brought together 20 native Chinese speakers and Chinese learners. This session was particularly different from the previous ones, as games were used to make the event more interesting and engaging.
The participants were invited to play a modified version of the “Telephone Game” in which Chinese and English were mixed to make the game more challenging and full of cultural themes. Four Chinese idioms were selected for the game. The players were asked to explain the meaning of the idioms using their second language under a time limit. Messages were altered unintentionally in the process of transferring from one player to the next, which made the game more interesting. After the game, Chinese students would explain to the Chinese learners about the four idioms, which were “playing the lute to a cow”, "the fox assuming a tiger's ferocity", “staying by a stump waiting for more hares”, and “painting feet on a snake”. Everyone thought this game was much fun and enjoyed socializing with one another. The idioms were slightly difficult for the Chinese learners to understand, but they thought it was much easier for them to learn through storytelling in a game.
CI/SDSU participated in a signing ceremony on March 21, 2012 at Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School. This ceremony was to celebrate the collaboration between the Korean Central Daily News and Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School in promoting Asian heritage, and in reporting the teaching of Chinese language and culture at Barnard. CI/SDSU provided a musical program of zither performed by Jane Chi Jin.
This celebration marked a significant step toward collaborations among Pacific Rim languages and cultures.
On March 20, 2012, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended San Diego’s 11th annual Kyoto Prize Symposium Gala held at Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. Dr. Irwin Jacobs, co-founder of QUALCOMM, will reprise his role as honorary chairman of the symposium, which is co-hosted by San Diego State University, UC San Diego, University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University. The gala celebrated the outstanding lifetime achievement of Dr. John Cahn, Dr. Rashyid Sunyaev and Mr. Tamasaburo Bando V. Dr. Lilly Cheng served as the chair of the Kyoto Scholarship Committee and co-chair of the 2012 scholarship committee. 11 high school students from the San Diego and Tijuana area received the scholarships.
Mr. Tamasaburo Bando V is one of Japan’s most famous Kabuki actors, known for performing onnagata (female roles) in the all-male Kabuki tradition. He had performed the Chinese Kunqu Opera at the Suzhou Kunqu Opera Theatre in Jiangsu Province, China. He played the lead role in the Peony Pavilion.
All three laureates had made significant contribution to humanity.
On March 18, 2012, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the Colors of the World event, held at Poway’s Performing Arts Center in San Diego. The special guest of the event was Gregory T. Lucier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Life Technologies.
Presented by the San Diego Indian American Society, the theme of the evening meet was "Unity in Diversity." The event gathered 600 people from all over San Diego, with lively performances from India, Egypt, Japan and American Tribes. They performed the Sangam, Kathak Fusion, Eastwest Fusion, Egyptian Dance, Kudian Punjab Dian, the Inter-Tribal American Indian Dance, and Bolly-Fuzion and Japanese-style Taiko Drums. The Confucius Institute plans to partner with San Diego Indian American Society in presenting Colors of the World in the future.
On March 13, 2012, Executive Director and Sifu of Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society, Frank Du, visited the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. Project Coordinator, Jonathan Lee, gave a brief introduction to Sifu Du, explaining the specifics of the Confucius Institute’s work. Managing Director of the CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, as well as Project Manager, Ms. Anne Chu, was also in attendance. Created in 2010, The Three Treasure Society offers Wushu martial arts training and Lion Dance performances. The unique aspect, which separates Three Treasures Society from others, is that it is a non-profit organization, dedicated to the promotion of Chinese culture.
After learning the main objective and core values of CI/SDSU, Sifu Du realized that his vision and that of the CI’s were incredibly similar. He ecstatically expressed his interest in attending and supporting any and all future CI events; For instance, Three Treasure’s masters and students would attend the next Confucius Classroom Forum to perform Kung-Fu to showcase to teachers the various programs that Three Treasures could provide, as well as holding small Kung-Fu classes for children during the CI’s Summer Camp. He was also interested in hosting workshops of both Lion Dance moves and Wushu at every Confucius Classroom school to the students. Both Dr. Lilly Cheng and Ms. Anne Chu expressed their open-hearted welcome and heartfelt thanks to Sifu Du’s proposal. With further collaboration, they hoped this partnership would expand the reach of Chinese culture to the masses.
On March 11, 2012, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng attended the book-signing lecture by Dr. Ying Ying Chang, the author of “The Woman who Could Not Forget,” which was held at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. In this lecture, Dr. Chang provided background information about her daughter, Iris Chang, the author of the International Bestselling book, “The Rape of Nanking”.
Dr. Chang shared with the audience Iris Chang's early childhood, her days as a journalist, her research on the Holocaust of Nanking and her tragic suicide. Iris Chang also is the author of two other important books. One is titled “Thread of the Silkworm,” which details the life story of the Chinese professor, Tsien Hsue-shen during the Red Scare in the 1950s. The second book is titled “The Chinese in America,” which depicts a history of Chinese-Americans where she argued that Chinese Americans were treated as perpetual outsiders.
On February 28, 2012, the Chinese movie “Apart Together” directed by Quan An Wang, made its debut in San Diego during the Spring showing program of the San Diego Asian Film Foundation (SDAFF). This premier was sponsored by various local Chinese communities: CI/SDSU, friends of CI, House of China and San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, to name a few.
The script was of a simple storyline depicting a young couple broken up due to the political turmoil between the National Party, led by Chiang Kai Chek, and the Communist Party that took reign of China in 1949. After 50 years of separation, Mr. Liu went back to his native city, Shanghai, to find the first love of his life, and planned to bring her back to Taiwan with him, despite the strong opposition towards him, from her family that she built after their parting.
Ms. Lee Ann Kim, President of SDAFF opened the evening’s presentation by introducing the various programs SDAFF sponsors. Mr. Jack Meng, a friend and strong supporter of CI/SDSU, shared his reflection of the movie after the showing.
On February 25 to 26, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, and Co-Director Dr. Wei Lu, attended the first North American Chinese Proficiency Discussion Forum held at San Francisco State University.
The conference was chaired by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters and the Dept. of Online Chinese Testing Service of Hanban North America Office; the conference was also organized by various Confucius Institutes, including San Francisco State University, British Columbia Institute of Technology (Canada)-Vancouver and Portland State University. The seminar also received strong support from the Department of Education of the Consulate General of China in San Francisco. The purpose of the seminar was to promote the usage of iBT (internet based test) and the benefits of the online test for Chinese. About 60 representatives from 30 Confucius Institutes from the U.S. and Canada were present. Many representatives shared their experiences of the HSK/YCT online exercises; they also had the hands-on opportunity to learn the operation of mock tests during the conference.
Dr. Shao Wei, Education Counselor of the Consulate General of China in San Francisco, gave very important opening remarks. Soon after, many prominent figures gave a presentation regarding the consummation of the HSK/YCT online test experience, its operational procedures, as well as various case studies of the online HSK. Among them were Manager Director of CI/San Francisco State University, Jia-Xin Xie; Co-Director of CI/British Columbia Institute of Technology (Canada)-Vancouver, Feng Gu; Co-Director of CI/Portland State University, Mei-Ru Liu, and Co-Director of CI/San Francisco State University, Hui Zhang. In addition, representatives observed the demonstration by Chief Technology Inspector of Hanban’s North American Online Testing Service Center, Dr. Bing An, on all the features of the HSK/YCT network.
After the meeting ended, both Directors from CI/SDSU forewent the sightseeing excursions arranged by the conference and went to American branch of Hua-Wei Technologies in Santa Clara. There they were guided on a tour of its R&D department-consisting of various long-distance teaching projects and video-conferencing services. They were able to experience the video conference system functions personally, and directed related questions on the special demands of long-distance education systems for Mandarin with Hua Wei’s technical specialists.
Through attending this discussion forum, both Directors of CI/SDSU fully understood the basics of the online HSK, its application and test procedures, etc. Considering the fact that all 23 Confucius Classrooms under CI/SDSU are K-12, they have the potential to attend the YCT test. CI/SDSU plans to explore the feasibility of organizing the YCT online test with other related departments, and to undertake the preparation of the hardware and software accordingly. Currently, the CI/SDSU plans to set up online practice and mock HSK/YCT accounts for 10 teachers and volunteer teachers from Hanban, so they could practice it themselves and become familiar with the test’s operational procedures in order to widely publicize it among all the students, and to prepare them for official tests in the future.
On February 22, 2012, volunteers from the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University participated at the El Capitan High School Freshman BBQ and Showcase to promote the Chinese classroom and the High School Summer Camp in China Program. During the opening announcements of the Showcase party, CI Project Coordinator Jonathan Lee presented the Confucius Classroom Plaque to Principal Laura Whitaker.
At the event, CI volunteers Jonathan Lee, Crystal Qian, Catherine Zhong, and Jeremy Yan provided calligraphy demonstration, Chinese Club information, and answered questions about the Summer Camp program this coming summer. Students were very excited to have their names written in Chinese from the calligraphy stand; they displayed great interest in the Summer Camp in China program. They exclaimed to their parents as they walked away from CI booth the booth that they would like to start learning Chinese as soon as they could.
On February 16, 2012, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, Co-Director Prof. Wei Lu, and Project Manager, Anne Chu, visited Roosevelt Middle School to meet with Principal Arturo Cabello. Also present at the meeting were Director Alan Svidal of World Language Dept. at the Office of Language Acquisition from the San Diego Unified School District and Maria Nichols, a Magnet Resource Teacher of Magnet Schools Program from San Diego Unified School District. The purpose of this trip was a discussion on the logistics of supporting Roosevelt to establish a Mandarin program as early as September 2012.
Principal Cabello first expressed his strong interest to introduce Chinese language to the students. Being an International Baccalaureate School, it was only fitting to expand the foreign language programs to include the most popular language in the world now – Mandarin. Principal Cabello further indicated that with about half of the students’ demography consisted of Hispanic heritage, students and parents all were very interested in learning a different language. Currently, Roosevelt Middle School had been a Magnet School for 8 years and an International Baccalaureate School since its official authorization from February 2006.
Dr. Lilly Cheng first gave a brief introduction of the volunteer teachers program sponsored by Hanban. She also outlined the application process of Confucius Classroom status. Principal Cabello and Directors from San Diego School District were appreciative of the information given. They were very excited of the prospect and looked forward to working with CI/SDSU in the future.
On Wednesday, February 08, 2012, Confucius Institute organized the first Chinese Corner event of the spring semester. The mission of this first event was to provide a platform for Chinese language learners to improve their speaking skills, become friends with native speakers, and at the same time learn more about Chinese Lunar New Year traditions. Project Coordinators Jonathan Lee and Ni Huang organized and attended Chinese Corner. The event attracted approximately thirty students including native Chinese speakers and non-native speakers. They were divided into five small groups. Each group had at least one native Chinese speaker. They explained about various New Year traditions such as lucky money and the reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve.
On February 6, 2012, a performance troupe of 83 students and teachers from Quanzhou No.5 Middle School in Quanzhou, Fujian province, China, arrived in San Diego. It was led by Ji-ping Li, Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC) of Quanzhou city. Other group leaders included Wen-wei Zheng, Director of the Education Bureau of Quanzhou city; and Shu-fang Liu, Principal of Quanzhou No.5 Middle School. Before they came to San Diego, the troupe had just delivered a successful performance on February 1st at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York, which was part of the “Culture of China ‧ Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage Show”. Their show, “Southern Music at the Lantern Festival”, was a mix of several unique traditional musical and dancing styles, such as castanet, lantern swaying and chest beating, which were popular in the coastal rural regions in Fujian province.
The troupe was warmly welcomed at a luncheon organized by Wen-xiong Chen, President of San Diego Fujianese Association, and other Chinese community leaders in San Diego. During the luncheon, San Diego County Supervisor, Mr. Ron Roberts, who had visited Quanzhou city three times in the past, commented that this was his first time to welcome a students’ performance troupe of such size in San Diego. He would keep a close watch on the students’ performance in the future. Peng Peng, a volunteer from the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, served as the Master of the Ceremony.
After the luncheon, the troupe visited Montgomery Middle School in El Cajon, one of the Confucius Classroom schools under CI/SDSU. The troupe was accompanied by David Du, Honorary President of San Diego Fujianese Association; George Peng, President of San Diego Chongqingnese Association; and Peng Peng from CI/SDSU.
The troupe performed their famous program to show their appreciation of the hospitality from Montgomery Middle School; the beautiful traditional costumes and the ancient festive holiday melodies transported the audience to a distant realm in southern China. Principal Kelly Madden of Montgomery Middle School exchanged gifts with Principal Shu-fang Liu of Quanzhou No.5 Middle School. They expressed their mutual interest to strengthen the interactions between the two schools in the future. Superintendent of Cajon Valley School District, Dr. Janice Cook, also attended the luncheon and enjoyed the performance at Montgomery Middle school.
On February 4th, 2012, volunteers of the Confucius Institute at SDSU participated at the Chinese New Year Family Fair at Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School. Numerous live entertainment programs were provided by the local groups from various Asian ethnic backgrounds. But first, students and their families were entertained by the performers from Zhejiang Normal University, who visited San Diego during their touring in the U.S. to support Confucius Classroom schools in town. Other shows included the dancers from the Filipino Association, Lion Dancers from the three Treasures Party and martial arts demonstrations from White Dragon Martial Arts School.
CI set up various stations of Chinese calligraphy and arts and crafts. Children visiting CI's booth would engage in activities such as lantern making, face painting, and having their Chinese names and zodiac written in calligraphy. Other activities provided by Barnard Elementary included cake walks, silent auctions, and various arts and crafts. The event was a rousing success, and closed out with a booming performance by Naruwan Taiko drummers.
On the evening of February 3rd, 2012, Shiley Theater at USD was packed to capacity for the Confucius Institute Grand Spring Festival Gala performed by the Arts Troupe of Zhejiang Normal University. The Gala was sponsored by Confucius Institute Headquarters, Hanban, co-hosted by the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University and Zhejiang Normal University; it was also sponsored locally by the Chinese communities in San Diego. Mr. Ron Robert, San Diego County Supervisor, first came on stage to welcome the performers with his warm greetings. Consul General, Qiu Shaofang, from the Consulate General Office of People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles, sent his congratulatory message. Consul General, Mr. Zhang Shanli, from the Consulate General Office of People’s Republic of China in Tijuana, and other distinguished guests and dignitaries watched the performance together with an audience of over 600 Chinese and American friends. Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng acted as the emcee of the evening’s program.
The show kicked off with the Lion Dance in the festive sounds of gongs and drums. Exclusively choreographed and designed by the faculty of Zhejiang Normal University, the programs integrated such Chinese art forms as dances, songs, kung fu and calligraphy. Featuring a rich regional theme, the show highlighted the theme of ‘Auspicious Dragon Year and Harmonious World Family’. The audience was so impressed by the show that they burst into thunderous applause from time to time. Many spectators expressed their gratitude to Hanban and the co-sponsors for promoting friendship between Americans and Chinese communities. They hoped that there would be more opportunities in the future for them to experience such a brilliant presentation on Chinese culture so they could understand the profound Chinese civilization.
The superb performances, with such stunning artistic effects, received much acclaim from the audience. After the performance, local dignitaries extended their sincere gratitude to the actors and actresses. Group photos were taken with all the members of the arts troupe.
Headed by Prof. Jiang Guojun, vice president of Zhejiang Normal University, the Arts Troupe arrived in San Diego on Feb 1st, 2012. During the three-day tour, they went to 3 other Confucius Classrooms under CI/SDSU at local elementary and high schools to present their show. CI also collaborated with Cisco System in broadcasting the shows live for the first time through video-conferencing system, and on the Internet, to share the performance and Chinese culture with distant schools who were interested in introducing Chinese into its current curriculum. Many local medium kept close track of the Art Troupe and had full coverage of their performances through newspapers, pictorials and websites.
For the Grand Spring Festival Gala a success, the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University and the local Chinese communities had done a great deal for the preparations and arrangements. During the welcome banquet sponsored by the leaders of the local Chinese communities, on behalf of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng presented a gift to each performer as a token of appreciation. Prof. Jiang Guojun, in return, presented a scroll of Chinese calligraphy to the local Chinese community leaders. Some leaders sang songs to express their profound gratefulness and patriotic emotions.
On February 3, 2012, a performance group from Zhejiang Normal University gave a special performance at Central Elementary School in Banning City, California. Central Elementary officially became a Confucius Classroom last May. In attendance were CI Managing Director Dr. Lilly Cheng, Central Elementary Principal Ed Young, Banning City Mayor Don Robinson, and Banning School District Superintendent Lynne B. Kennedy. Also in attendance was Zhejiang Normal University Professor Jiang Guojun, who brought an embroiled scroll as a gift to Central Elementary. The troupe performed for more than 600 students, parents, and teachers who sat around the temporary playground stage.
Opening the show was the “Spring Festival Lion Dance” which included two bright, red dragons which drew applause as they danced among the audience. The audience was then captivated by the folk music and dance of “Hanging the Red Lanterns”, solo female folk song “The Dragon Boat Song”, and a Chinese martial arts demonstration. The situational drama “Celebrating Chinese New Year” not only demonstrated the customs of Chinese New Year but also gave the crowd small gifts. In between performances, the students from the Chinese class taught by Hou Du came on stage to demonstrate what they had learned by greeting the audience in Chinese. The hour long show ended with the tenor solo “A Glass of Mellow Wine”. Many happy parents and students stayed and tried to get a picture with the performance troupe.
On Thursday, February 2nd, 2012, the CI at SDSU was invited by the Asia Desk of World Trade Center of San Diego to be one of the many organizations participating in the 2012 China Business Outlook Forum, hosted by the World Trade Center Crown Plaza Hotel, San Diego. In attendance at the forum were local San Diego companies that conduct most of their business in China and Asia. Two keynote speakers were featured at the forum, a distinguished economist and professor from UCSD, Dr. Barry Naughton, whose topic was Chinese Economy in 2011; and former Chairman of American Chamber of Commerce China, Mr. James Zimmerman, whose spoke of the outlook of China in 2012. Both gave deep and powerful insights into the China’s economy and future. Between the keynote speakers was a panel discussion moderated by George Chamberlin from NBC and San Diego Daily Transcript. The panel included Managing Dr. of Lockton Companies, Dana Kooper; founder and Managing Dr. of Pantek Partners, Jack Bell; and Chinese business investor and consultant from HUYA Bioscience International, Curtis Tyler. Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, gave a powerful and wondrous closing remark. Guided by Office Manager of CI at SDSU, Jessie Lin, CI interns and volunteers provided the service of writing guests’ names in Chinese calligraphy during the cocktail hour after the forum. Many distinguished guests and professionals stopped at the Confucius Institute’s booth to learn about the work of the Confucius Institute as well.
El Cajon Valley High School Confucius Classroom Inaugurated the Ceremony of Year of the Dragon Chinese New Year Theatrical Performances
Beginning the Year of the Dragon, Zhejiang Normal University teachers and students were led by the Vice- Principal Jiang Guojun, a group of 25 people visited San Diego as their first destination in the United States for their performance tour. Delegations arrived in San Diego on February 1st, and after a short break, the group members were escorted to the performance venue for the February 2nd performance for a rehearsal.
Their first performance was held at El Cajon Valley High School on February 1st. On the same day, El Cajon Valley High School also held an opening ceremony for officially becoming a Confucius Classroom. The San Diego State University Confucius Institute Managing Director Dr. Lilly Cheng and Project Manager Anne Chu arrived at the scene early to help with the preparation. The ceremony was presided by the Principal of El Cajon Valley High School Erin Richison. Superintendent Ralf Swenson of Grossmont Union High School District and Confucius Institute Managing Director Dr. Lilly Cheng congratulated the teachers and students of El Cajon Valley High School. Principal Jiang Guojun also gave a speech welcoming teachers and students the opportunity to visit China.
Following, the performance officially began. The students and teachers of Zhejiang Normal University provided an extremely unique Chinese song and dance performance. The opening dance “Lion Spring Festival” attracted the students’ attention and activated the atmosphere. Next, the euphemism rolling, ethereal and elegant Chinese folk music, and beautiful folk dance was warmly welcomed and applauded by the students. The martial arts performance was the most popular out of the entire show. The performers were uniformed, and show firmness and flexibility to play the essence of Chinese martial arts. They won the audiences cheering.
Through the network connection, live coverage of Montgomery Middle School, Malibu Middle School and Rialto Middle School were being broadcast. Teachers and students were watching the performance, and were deeply infected by the sense of culture, making this performance significant. Teachers and students felt that the performance itself was more meaningful compare to all the paintings, music, and dances.
TheThe performance ended with the cheering and blessing of the entire school. In the following days, the delegations of Zhejiang Normal University will continue to perform at Central Elementary School, Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School, and the University of San Diego with three performances.
On February 02, 2012, a group of 85 students and 5 teachers from the 161st Middle School at Beijing, China came to San Diego during their visit to the U.S. The purpose of this trip was to learn of the American education system and through interactions with their American peers, to gain mutual understanding among races.
Through the arrangement made by CI of SDSU, the group visited Montgomery Middle School in El Cajon. Under the program designed by Principal Kelly Madden, Montgomery teachers, Mr. Tim Dobbins, Ms. Jodi Willhite and Ms. Catherine Xi, along with their students in the Mandarin class, presented a series of interactive programs. The visiting students were escorted by the hosting students for a tour of the campus first, and then each was guided to a classroom to be engaged in the classroom activity.
After a nutritious lunch, all students went on to the playground for a group activity. Every one of them expressed their appreciation of such an opportunity to interact at the end of the group activity. Students and teachers also exchanged a small souvenir to one another to express their gratefulness of being part of this day’s presentation.
On Wednesday, February 1, 2012, from 5PM – 8PM, the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University came to Riverview Elementary and International Academy to support its celebration of the Chinese New Year. Managing director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, opened the ceremony with her OLLE presentation on the brain function and multilingual capacity of children. The audience responded with thunderous applauds to express their appreciation.
Following the opening of the celebration were many shows of Chinese dances, songs, and Kung-Fu performances provided by the Riverview students. Notably, the Kung-Fu demonstration of the 5th and 6th students was led by Jeremy Yan, a Hanban teacher from Xiamen University at Riverview. Special performances were also provided by CI/SDSU volunteers. Mr. Fang played a wonderful flute solo, Ms. Peng performed a beautiful, traditional fan dance, and Jeff Kaemmerling demonstrated various Kung-Fu and Tai-Chi forms. Coordinated by Project Manager, Anne Chu, CI staff and volunteers set up stations of activities in a classroom. Included are Chinese calligraphy writing and paper lantern making. During this exciting time, Anne Chu skillfully painted Chinese zodiac characters on students’ hands and cheeks. Parents and students eagerly flocked to every station and warmly thanked the CI staff for their support to the school and the opportunity to learn a bit of Chinese culture through these types of activities.
On February 01, 2012, more than 500 students, faculty staff, parents and local supporters crowded into the auditorium at Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School for its Chinese New Year celebration. Among the VIP guests were Dr. Bill Kowba, Superintendent of San Diego Unified School District; Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of CI at SDSU; David Seid, President of House of China; and many other local leaders of Chinese communities. A group from Barnard’s sister school in China, Chongqing Ren-Min Primary School, was also present for this wonderful occasion. There were about 35 students and 5 teachers in this group.
The program of the day included a performance from each class. The children from the kindergarten class kicked off the day’s show by providing their version of the Lion Dance. By grade sequence, each class came up to the stage to present their best song or dance number. Parents and guests were awed by the quality of their show and showered them again and again with vigorous applauds. At the end of the program, students from Chongqing Ren-Min Primary School presented a poetry recital to show their appreciation of the warm hospitality they received from everyone at Barnard. The Grand Finale was a fantastic Lion Dance performed by the group of Three Treasures.
On January 31, 2012, CI Project Manager, Anne Chu, met with Principal Beverly Fitzpatrick of Correia Middle School. Also attending this meeting was Ms. Suzanne Olsen, the leading World Language teacher of Correia.
Principal Fitzpatrick took over the principal position at Correia only recently. The purpose of this meeting was to get acquainted with CI personnel and to have a better understanding of Hanban and CI’s operation. Ms. Chu gave a brief introduction of the support structures that the Headquarters of Confucius Institute, Hanban, could provide. Principal Fitzpatrick was very impressed by the information she received.
Other main agenda of the meeting was a request for continual support to the current Mandarin programs at Correia from Principal Fitzpatrick; which included a volunteer teacher sponsored by Hanban.
On January 31, 2012, CI Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was invited to present a speech on the recent development of China at the first appreciation dinner for the Asian Pacific American for Public Affairs (APAPA) held at the APAPA Headquarter.
The content of the speech covered an overview of China, recent development of China, challenges China faced and the opportunities for collaboration between China and the State of California, USA. APAPA was founded more than ten years ago by C.C. Yin in Sacramento; currently there are chapters in many cities in California and there were plans to expand nation-wide in the not too distant future.
On January 30, 2012, a group of 45 students and 5 teachers from the 15th Middle School at Beijing, China came to San Diego during their visit to the U.S. The purpose of this trip is to learn of the American education system and through interactions with their American peers, to expand the understandings among races.
Through the arrangement made by CI of SDSU, the first stop for their visit in San Diego was Lakeside Middle School. LMS was well known by its various extracurricular programs. Under the supervision of their director, the Strings Band performed a few songs to welcome the visitors. The visiting students were then escorted by the ambassadors sent out from the ASB Association at LMS for a tour of the campus.
The Choir group and Dance Troupe at LMS later on also presented their individual shows to express their hospitality toward these guests. The guests from 15th Middle School of Beijing presented songs and poem recitals at the end to express their gratefulness of the warm hospitality they received.
The visitors then went on to visit Riverview International Academy and Elementary School nearby. They were hosted for lunch upon arrival. The students were divided into smaller groups as they were escorted by the Chinese teachers at Riverview to visit the Mandarin programs in various grade levels. The guests also had opportunities to interact with local students to learn of the similarities and differences between two cultures.
On January 28-29, 2012, the 30th San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair organized by San Diego Chinese Center was held at San Diego’s Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District. Over 50,000 residents and tourists alike flocked to the festival. Managing director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, served as the master of ceremony of this 2-day event. Co–Director, Prof. Wei Lu, participated at the event as well and expressed his best wishes to everyone.
Live entertainment programs were scheduled throughout these two days. CI/SDSU intern, Jeff Kaemmerling, demonstrated his Kung-Fu act for the audience, which won intermittent cheering. Principal Edward Park of Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School led the students as they sang a Chinese song and wished everyone ‘Happy New Year’ in Chinese. Both CI/SDSU and Barnard Elementary School had set up their booth promoting Chinese language and culture. Brochures and pamphlets were displayed to introduce CI/SDSU’s mission and activities, giving the passers-by a deeper understanding of Chinese culture. Everyone was attracted to the display of 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals and calligraphy demonstration. They eagerly asked CI staff and volunteers to help them write their names in Chinese and draw their own zodiac animals on their faces and arms.
Law Professor John Cleary of San Diego State University, who used to study Chinese at Xiamen University Oversea Education College, was particularly fond of Chinese culture. During his visit at CI’s booth, he observed attentively the calligraphy presentation first, then excitedly wrote his own name in Chinese. At 76 years old, he might not have the style of any professional Chinese calligraphy artist, but his handwriting won many praises from the onlookers around.
Using phonetic translation and interpretation, CI staff helped hundreds of American friends to acquire their Chinese names. CI staff would explain the meaning of these names to each visitor. In addition, the staff would write the character of their zodiac symbols down in Chinese; stamped their paper with a Chinese chop at the end. Some of the guests were so excited that they would ask CI staff to do the same for their family members. It was a perfect example of the charms of Chinese calligraphy and culture.
The animated graphics of the zodiac symbols, alongside the vivid introduction, attracted many visitors to stop by at CI’s booth. Eighty-year-old grandpa Graham brought his five-year old grandson to the Fair to enjoy the Chinese New Year Celebration. They both were fascinated at the symbols and the presentation from the CI staff. The CI staff first drew a little mouse on the kid’s arm; he excitedly said, “I love the Chinese Mickey Mouse” in both Chinese and English. People were surprised by his Chinese. He explained that he was studying Chinese at his school, which was one of 23 Confucius Class schools under CI/SDSU. He and his classmates came to this event accompanied by their teacher and his grandfather. He learned from his Chinese teacher that Mickey Mouse was “米老鼠”, he pointed to the little mouse on his arm and said “I like Chinese Mickey Mouse” Mr. Graham felt really proud of his grandson’s command in Chinese. He hoped that there would be more Confucius Institutes, Confucius Classroom Schools, and Chinese classes available to meet the demand from the many American students and children with Chinese heritage to learn Chinese.
Through Chinese calligraphy and vivid pictographs of Chinese characters, this promotion of Chinese culture stirred up children’s interest in Chinese language, their basic understanding of Chinese characters and the culture it represented. Located in a city regarded as one of the most popular tourists’ destinations; CI/SDSU captured the great timing of the Chinese New Year festival to achieve the purpose of bridging the gap between American and Chinese citizens. Language and culture is the best tool for all people around the world to reach out to one another. The objective of promoting Confucius Institute and Confucius Classroom schools is to introduce Chinese culture and tradition around the globe. Reaching mutual understanding among all of mankind to build a harmonious universe is the ultimate idealism of world peace, as depicted in “The World of Datong” By Confucius.
On January 22, 2012, Managing Director of Confucius Institute, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended a lecture on the topic of Nian Hua (Chinese New Year Paintings) at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. Sally Yu Leung spoke on the tradition of Chinese New Year, including multiple meanings of many words and the symbolism of animals and fruits, such as peaches, oranges, fish, bat, lotus, and toad. In addition, she presented many customs including festivities for the first day of the lunar year, the second, and the lantern festival (the fifteenth day of the lunar calendar). This exhibition would be shown at the museum during the Chinese New Year celebration.
San Diego Reader By Elizabeth Salaam | Published Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012
Robert Dorsey is not Chinese, but he drives 25 miles from El Cajon to Point Loma every morning so his two daughters could learn to speak, read, and write in Mandarin.
“In my culture, it’s English, Ebonics, and maybe a little bit of Spanish,” says Dorsey, who is African American. “About ten years ago, my wife was in college, and her professor told her Chinese was the language to learn. I want to give my kids a little bit of an edge in life.”
His daughters, in first and third grade, attend Barnard Elementary, a Mandarin Chinese full-immersion magnet school. In kindergarten, students spend 80 percent of their day (about four hours) reading, writing, and listening to Mandarin. The other 20 percent, they spend on English Language Arts. In first grade, it’s 70 and 30 percent, and second grade, 50-50. Third through sixth graders attend a 45-minute pull-out Mandarin class each day。 But as the program, now in its fourth year, grows, those grades will conduct half of their lessons in Mandarin.
The Dorsey’s are among a growing population of non-Chinese families interested in the language. According to Barnard’s principal, Edward Park, the school’s Chinese population is under 2 percent. He estimates the African-American, Hispanic, and Caucasian population is at 20, 33, and 38 percent, respectively. And like the Dorsey’s, 60 percent of the student body is from outside of Point Loma area.
On a Thursday afternoon in early November, I peeked in on a kindergarten class at Barnard. The room’s walls were covered in brightly colored pictures and simple words, but many of the words are Chinese characters. Even the behavior chart was written in Chinese.
The many-hued children were busy in small groups at computers, bookshelves, and tables, where they colored with markers and crayons. Near the door, the teacher called students over two at a time to assess their math and literacy skills on an iPad. They used their fingers to draw the Chinese character for the number two. The iPad reads it back to them in Chinese.
According to Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Barnard is one of 16 San Diego–area schools that house Confucius Classrooms. The institute was established by the Office of Chinese Language Council International, known as Hanban, a nonprofit institute based in Beijing and affiliated with the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The purpose of Hanban, its website says, is to provide “Chinese language and cultural teaching resources and services worldwide.” Confucius Institutes support Confucius Classrooms by providing teachers, training them, and helping schools to develop programs.
Cheng said she was not authorized to comment on the amount of money Hanban contributed to set up the Confucius Institute, but when asked how much Hanban contributed to set up local Confucius Classrooms, she said, “If you’re talking U.S. dollars, the maximum amount is $10,000 per school.”
And though she emphasized that Hanban does not make additional financial contributions, she listed teaching materials and equipment, software, teacher-training workshops, and sponsorship of sister-school exchanges and other travel opportunities for students and teachers as among the other types of contributions Hanban makes.
While not all 16 local schools provide full-immersion Chinese classes, their numbers suggest a growing interest in Chinese education. In 2009, only 7 Confucius Classrooms existed in the area. Cheng informs me that today there are “27 classrooms and counting.” So, even the number of Confucius Classrooms doesn’t give a complete picture of the rise of Chinese education in San Diego.
To be designated as a Confucius Classroom, a program “has to be in a public school that’s open from 7:00 to 3:00, Monday through Friday,” she says.
There are a handful of weekend schools. The oldest, the Chinese School of San Diego, in Kearny Mesa, offers 21 Saturday classes, 8:30 to noon, for students aged 4 and up. Currently, “and up” includes students who are “60-something years old,” says Sally Wong-Avery, who has been the school’s principal since 1984. Back then, the student population was approximately 60, of which 100 percent were of Chinese ethnicity. Today, only 30 percent of the school’s 200 students are Chinese. According to Wong-Avery, the non-Chinese population has grown most quickly in the past three or four years.
“We have Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Spanish, blacks, Czech, Russians, Colombians,” she says. “Altogether, we have 20 different nationalities.”
Back in his office at Barnard, Park says that Chinese is one of the “top-five critical languages” in the world.
“In addition to 1.3 billion people [in China], we’ve got another 800 million people around the globe learning Mandarin right now,” he says. “There are close to 300 million people learning the English language in China, which is almost the population of the United States. And we have approximately 60,000 students learning Mandarin language. They’re trying to be competitive with us, but yet where are we in terms of the global community?”
Jim Boydston, president of Barnard’s PTA, believes that U.S. students should study Chinese to be competitive in the global marketplace, but that’s not the reason he sends his daughter to Barnard.
“We wanted our daughter to learn a non-Romance language primarily for brain development, and Chinese is about as diametrically opposed to English as any language can be,” he says. “It’s like a different concept, and from what we’ve read, we felt that more synapses would be formed.”
The decision, Boydston says, is not one that everybody understands.
“Do people feel like we’re raising little Communists? Yes,” he says. “The stock answer to that is, the Chinese culture has been around for about 5000 years, and Chinese Communism’s been around for what, 65 years? The model here is what they refer to as the Confucius model, and Confucius has been around a lot longer and doesn’t have very much to do with Communism.”
In 2007, before the Confucius Classrooms began at Barnard, 36 percent of its students tested proficient or advanced in English Language Arts and 57.6 percent tested proficient or advanced in math. By 2010, those numbers had risen to 65.3 and 70 percent, respectively. In March 2011, Barnard was one of 209 schools in the state to receive the Title 1 Academic Achievement Award from the California Department of Education.
On January 14, 2012, Managing Director of Confucius Institute, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended a lecture given by Alex Steward at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. The topic of the lecture was on the cultural weaving of the various ethnic minority tribes found in the Guizhou Province. Examples of their wedding gowns, ceremonial gowns and baby blankets were the highlights of the presentation.
On January 13, 2012, Managing Director of Confucius Institute, Dr. Lilly Cheng, joined the staff of San Diego Asian Film Festival Foundation to discuss faculty and students’ interest regarding films. The discussion also focused on the potential candidates for the Lifetime Achievement Award. The 2011 recipient of the Asian Film Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Nancy Kwan who starred in “The World of Susie Wong” and “The Flower Drum Song”.
On January 05, 2012, a few members from the Board of Trustees of Cerrito College visited CI office in the morning. These guests were: Vice President of the Board, Prof. Shin Liu, Board of Trustees, Jean McHatton and Dr. Ted Edmiston. CI Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng received them warmly.
CI Project Manager, Anne Chu, and Project Intern, Ni Huang, first gave a short video introduction on CI history and affairs for the visitors. Director Rebecca Sapien-Melchor of Southern Area International Language Network (SAILN) also came to brief the visitors on the on-going partnership between CI and SAILN to provide teachers training programs to all the Chinese teachers locally.
Prof. Liu and other Board members all expressed their strong interest in establishing a Confucius Classroom at Cerrito College. The purpose of their visit was to learn of the possibility of applying for a Confucius Classroom. Noting the similarities of the students’ demographic components between the two schools, the guests shared a common goal with Dr. Lilly Cheng of providing tri-lingual programs to their students. Dr. Cheng also gave them suggestions on the necessary research and survey to pinpoint the short term and long term planning to reach their goal.
On January 05, 2012, Managing Director of Confucius Institute, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended a meeting on the Kyoto Symposium at Point Loma Nazarene University. Representatives from SDSU, UCSD and USD all introduced the laureates for this year. Planning was underway for the celebration of the Kyoto Prize Gala and the three lectures that would take place on each of those campuses. As a result, six scholarships would be given to the local high school students. Dr. Cheng was the chair of the scholarship committee responsible for these awards.
Happy Dragon Year! Happy Chinese New Year! Jeff Kaemmerling's entry into the Hanban Chinese New Year Spring Festival Evening Celebration
On Friday, January 27, 2012, led by their teacher, Joanne Sith, a group of four students from High Tech High International, Claire Norhrop, Kirby Brennan-Riddle, Melissa Garbito, and Josh Shtein, came to the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University to visit their friend Alexandra Nambo. Alexandra was a student from High Tech High who came to CI office for her internship. Under the internship program designed by HTHI, each student would work for 3 weeks at his/her choice of work place.
During their visit, Alexandra shared her experience at CI office, and showed them the fliers she designed for the Chinese New Year events in town. The report was done so well that her teacher was very pleased with the outcome.
High Tech High Student Alexandra Nambo is currently doing an internship at the Confucius Institute's office in San Diego State University.