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On December 9, 2013, San Diego State University Provost,Nancy Marlin,and Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, visited Xian High School after attending 2013 Confucius Institute Annual Conference in Beijing. Provost Marlin gave a lecture, “How To Adapt to Universities in the U.S.”. They were warmly greeted by the students.
On December 11th Provost Nancy Marlin and Dr. Cheng visited Xiang Xian High school in Guangzhou. They met with the students and parents to address to their inquires about higher education in the United States.
Dr. Lilly Cheng met with professors from three Chinese universities on November 22, 2013. They were Wang Bin from School of Economics and Management of Dalian University of Foreign Languages , Liu Huiyuan, professor from Department of International Economics and Trade of Tianjin Foreign Studies University and professor Wu Xin Yu from tourism Department Applied Technical College of Soochow University. This delegation was escorted to the Confucius Institute by Brian Blake of the Hospitality and Tourism Program at SDSU. A brief introduction of the Confucius Institute and activities was given. Discussions focused on how to improve our language training programs.
On November 20, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, participated in the 21st-Century Education Training Program at Town & Country Hotel in San Diego. She joined a panel of local educators, which also included 23 panelists from Nanjing, China, on the topic of 21st century education.
This training program was organized by Dr. Cheryl James-Ward, an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at SDSU. The panel discussions focused on the approaches necessary to prepare teachers to teach the students in the 21st century.
Following the panel discussions, the attendees visited local schools in San Diego and the office of the County Board of Education.
On Tuesday, November 19, 2013, Director of Creative Media Department of Zhejiang University of Media and Communications, professor Tao Ye, accompanied by Professor Mei Zhong, Advisor to the International Studies Minor and professor of Journalism and Media Studies at College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts at SDSU, came to visit Confucius Institute at San Diego State University.
Director Tao was warmly received by Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng. He learned of the updates on the current development of CI/SDSU and its programs. Director Tao and Dr. Cheng also engaged in an active discussion on the progress of the 3rd Confucius Institute Online Spring Festival Gala.
On November 19th, 2013, members from Chinese Corner of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University were excitedly engaged rehearsing for a program to be submitted for the 3rd Confucius Institute Online Spring Festival. The Confucius institute Headquarters/Hanban, recognizing the wishes from all CI’s to celebrate Chinese New Year jointly, also the need for a platform for all Confucius institute to showcase its achievements, decided to launch the third Confucius Institute Online 2014 Spring Festival Gala. Members of Chinese Corner of CI/SDSU scripted an interesting skit to celebrate the Year Of the Horse New Year Spring Festival Gala.
The acting group for the skit included four American students learning Chinese and one volunteer from CI/SDSU for the Chinese Corner program. The theme of the skit, in celebration of the Year of the Horse, was scripted to fit the Chinese proficiency level of all students. Adapting songs, dances and other entertaining performances in the show, the directing team hoped to showcase the specific theme in a light beat, humorous fashion to the audience during the Spring Festival Gala.
The Online Confucius Institute will be collecting all the shows submitted from Confucius Institutes worldwide in December. Through the network’s online ballot service, the public will be able to vote for the best presentation among all the shows.
From November 16 to 17, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was invited to participate at the “2013 Teacher Training Program for Hanban Teachers” hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Lilly Cheng was one of the lecturers including four other experts on American classroom management and teaching methodology. Over 200 teachers and educators joined the conference on the campus of University of Memphis.
Dr. Cheng presented three lectures on the topics of classroom management, the Tian Dee Panda Series, and she concluded with the ‘Distinct Features of American Culture”. The presentations were well received and many questions were addressed.
On November 10, 2013, the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University held its 5th Confucius Classroom Forum in Du Nam Xuong Auditorium at SDSU. More than 60 people attended the forum; including Chinese teachers and volunteer teachers dispatched by Hanban, local Chinese teachers, and faculty members from 16 Confucius Classroom schools.
CI at SDSU combined CC Forum with Hanban’s touring lectures program. The keynote speaker was Professor Liu Yanshen, a distinguished specialist from the Ministry of Education of China, doctoral tutor of Central China Normal University, and an honorary Director of CI/SDSU. 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, and the new contemporary version, in Confucianism. He further emphasized on the imperativeness of providing text materials with the 6 classical arts incorporated in the pedagogical plan at Confucius Institutes. The audience concurred with Prof. Liu’s points that teachers should be the explorer of education, the practitioner of culture interaction, and the advocates of Sino-American friendship for Confucius Institute.
CI at SDSU also invited Professor Kenneth Tom of California State University at Fullerton to speak on strategy on moving toward native-like fluency. He illustrated human’s oral cavity for comparing the similarities and differences between English and Chinese on pronunciation. He also gave a clear illustration of the correct positions for pronunciation of different consonants and vowels in Mandarin, which was very useful for students to achieve the fluency like a native speaker.
Sally Lowe, an Immersion Mandarin Teacher from Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy, gave a speech about Total Physical Response (TPR). Teachers were invited to engage in the demonstration of game playing while they learned how to combine TPR teaching method and skill development strategy to generate students’ interest, and how to keep them actively engaged, which resulted in the improvement of students’ listening and speaking ability.
Kevin Lee, Chairman of Sino-American Culture Organization, Sino-American Cultural Exchange Ambassador, was invited to share his journey of spreading Chinese culture in the United States. Ambassador Lee brought with him artists, who performed amazing solo musical instrument shows of Chinese Zither, Chinese lute and piano.
All teachers thought that the forum not only provided a wealth of information in the scholastic aspect, but also offered a feast of Chinese and western arts. It also was a great occasion for teachers to share their experience, and to explore the possibility of collaboration, in teaching Chinese. This event contributed a great deal in both the individual professional development, and in the advancement of quality of CC classes.
On November 9, 2013, led by Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng, staff members of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University attended the 14th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival Awards Gala held at Town and Country Resort Hotel. Over 750 guests, including members of SDAFF, filmmakers, actors, actresses, and supporters attended. Among the guests were students from the Pacific Arts Movement’s high school filmmaking program, Reel Voices. Many students, after learning how to create their own short and full length films from Reel Voices, developed their professional skill in the film industry from this initial training.
A special 10th anniversary honor was presented to founders of Wong Fu Production, Wesley Chan, Ted Fu, and Philip Wang, for their work as film directors since 2003. San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts also presented a special recognition to Wong Fu Productions, proclaiming November 10, 2013 as “Wong Fu Day.” The film directors accepted the award and honors wholeheartedly and expressed their gratitude to SDAFF Society and to the community for their support.
Other awards were presented to the top independent Asian films of the year; the category of awards were Emerging Filmmaker’s Award, Best Animation, Best Short Documentary, Best Feature Documentary, Best Narrative Short, Best Dramatic Narrative Feature, Grand Jury Award, and the Social Justice Award. Live entertainment shows of the evening were performances by dance group X：Animo and Violinist Jason Yang.
The Gala was a huge success in celebrating the 14th San Diego Asian Film Festival；patrons of the gala were very excited for the collection of films presented in 2013.
The Confucius Institute at San Diego State University warmly received two visitors from Beijing Normal University on October 29th, 2013. Deputy Dean of Chinese Language & Cultural College, Prof. Wang Xuesong, and Director of Office of International Visiting Scholars and Students Affairs, Director Ai Xin, came to San Diego State University for the International Studies program.
Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, and Prof. Wang Xuesong discussed in great length on the potential of future collaboration. Director Ai Xin further conferred with Dr. Cheng, focusing on the probability of future exchange programs, and double degree programs.
An introduction of the history and mission of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University was provided for the visitors.
On October 27, 2013, the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University hosted the second professional development workshop for the fall semester of 2013 for 17 Hanban Chinese teachers. The main focus of the workshop was on the following topics: information for the California teacher’s credential courses; differences in culture and the education system between China and the U.S.; and improving teaching skill with advanced applications. The workshop targeted on enhancing the teaching skill and the professional development for teachers. The new techniques and methods learned from this workshop would show teachers how to effectively apply their newly learned knowledge in the classroom.
The first speaker of the day was Dr. Rebecca Sapien-Melchor, Director of Southern Area International Languages Network (SAILN) at LARC at SDSU. She addressed the concern of the shortage of Chinese teachers in the U.S., especially in California, where the demand for Chinese teachers in public schools is far greater than the supply of credentialed Mandarin teachers. She gave a brief introduction of Southern Area International Languages Network (SAILN) to teachers, and the mandatory courses for passing the CSET exams. Weixia He, a Chinese teacher at Point Loma high school, shared her own experience of acquiring her CA credential; she further expressed the urgency for being credentialed. With the workshop being offered through the collaboration between Confucius Institute at San Diego State University and Southern Area International Languages Network, it would not be as difficult or costly for these teachers to study for the exam. She encouraged all of the Chinese teachers to actively utilizing this resource to obtain their teaching certification.
Dr. Ke Xu, Dean of Faculty and Student Support from E3 Civic High school, the newest charter school housed in the new City Library in downtown San Diego, informed the teachers in his lecture that the value of a teacher is not based on the amount of knowledge they have, but on the outcome of the students’ learning. He further emphasized that teachers must design their lesson plans to be student-centered. In addition, Dr. Xu stressed the importance of building a solid relationship with parents, schools, and other colleagues, which would increase awareness and support for Chinese program. Sharing his own experiences as an example, Dr. Xu also urged Hanban teachers to get a California teaching credential to expand their professional opportunity in the future.
In the afternoon, Professor Wei Lu laid out the differences of structure between English and Chinese language and the common mistakes that students are prone to make. Teachers must be able to instruct and assist students to overcome these difficulties effectively.
Following Professor Lu’s lecture was a presentation by Professor Bernie Rhinerson, Advisor of Greenleaf Education Network Platform. He informed the participants of the opportunities for schools to participate in a virtual international classroom exchange program. This program would connect students from China and the U.S. in a joint study project, which would not only stimulate American students’ interest for learning Chinese and Chinese culture, but also would bridge the gap between students of two different cultures.
Teachers attended the workshop expressed their appreciation for such an extensive training program. Through the workshop, they gained knowledge and awareness to further their professional development, and the information to adapt themselves to the new environment.
CI/SDSU participated at the 6th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students
The 6th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students opened on October 20, 2013 in Beijing. This project was sponsored by Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban, and organized by Yunnan Normal University in Kunming, Yunnan. After spending 2 days of whirlwind schedule visiting Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban office, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and other significant tourist sites, the entire group departed to Kunming, Yunnan for the competition starting on October 23, 2013.
The participants, consisting of 124 contestants, 150 observers, and 79 chaperoning teachers, with a total of 353, set a record high this year. Many local dignitaries, including Vice Governor of Yunnan Province, Feng gao; Assistant General Director of Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban, Wei Jing; Deputy Secretary-General of the Yunnan Province, Jie Yang; Director of the Department of Education of Yunnan Province, Jing Ping He; Superintendant General of Office of Education Council of Yunnan Province, Xiao Shan Liao; President of Yunnan Normal University, Lin Yang; Vice Executive Director of Yunnan Television, Shu Qing Zhao; and other distinguished guests attended the official opening ceremony on October 24.
The theme for the 6th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition For Foreign Secondary School Students was “Learn Chinese, Double Your World学会中国话，朋友遍天下”. The unique features of Chinese cultural experience and Flower arrangement contest were the new categories added to this year’s competition. With total of 4 categories in the competition, a quiz of Chinese language and culture; self-introductory speech & talent show; sports contest infused with Chinese culture elements; and floral design, the competition took place on different locations on Yunnan Normal University campus and Kunming Ethnic Village. These categories not only tested the competitors’ knowledge and proficiency in Chinese language and culture, it also provided an opportunity for them to value the team spirits and an immersed experience to learn more of the many minority tribes abundant in the region.
Coming from all corners of the world, bearing distinguished culture background, speaking of different mother tongues, these contestants all bore one unique similarity, which was speaking Mandarin; this feature brought the hundreds of students closer together. It took no time for them to make new friends. At the end of the Competition, they had bonded life-long friendships.
The Competition ended on November 03. Madame Xu Lin, General Director of Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban, and other local dignitaries presented the winners awards to both team and individual winners. All students also participated in the evening’s entertainment show, providing performances of skits, ethnic dances, Chinese pop musicals and traditional songs, and musical instrumentals. Their outstanding performances received roaring standing ovations from the audience.
On October 26, 2013, organized by the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA), the first “Meet the District 6 Candidates” event was held at Mira Mesa High School Library. This meet was supported by Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Hom Family Foundation, Korean American Coalition and Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society. Melissa Mecija from ABC 10News served as the emcee. Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng and CI volunteers attended this event as well.
Four political candidates from the District 6 were invited to the event, including front runner Chris Cate, a Republican and taxpayer advocate favored by the San Diego Union Tribune newspaper; Carol Kim, a teacher endorsed by the labor groups and the Democratic Party; Mitz Lee, former School Board member, running as an independent; and De Le, an Army veteran and community organizer, also independent. They participated in the event with their 3 minutes formal statements, followed by answering to pre-selected written questions submitted from the District 6 community members.
This ‘Meet the Candidates’ event was to educate the public about the San Diego City Council election in District 6, and to provide the District 6 community members an opportunity to meet the candidates. The second “Meet the District 6 Candidates” event will be held mid-February of 2014.
On October 22, 2013, Chinese Co-Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, Professor Youbin Yu, visited the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. Director Youbin Yu served as the director of a CI in Nigeria for a number of years before joining the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. Professor Yu was warmly greeted by Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng, and Co-Director, Professor Wei Lu, of CI/SDSU.
Discussions between two CIs were centered on the future collaborative efforts to bring Chinese arts and culture programs to the United States and Canada, and collaborative work on teachers/ volunteer teachers training. Further discussions focused on the management of Confucius Institute and the Confucius classrooms.
From October 9 to October 17, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the CI Directors Conference at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Confucius Institute Directors from all over the world participated in this one week training program, which included various topics in Chinese culture, history, philosophy, Confucianism and current China affairs. In addition to the lectures, there were also experiential classes in Taichi and Chinese medicine. Field trips to a number of institutions, as well as the World Financial Center and the famous Yu garden, were offered.
The main purpose of the establishment of Confucius Institutes is to expand Chinese teaching programs and to provide Chinese culture activities. These programs often bring forth more and better opportunities and services for exchange and cooperation between China and foreign countries. Every Confucius Institute around the world has successfully found the appropriate niche to conduct its programs to fit its regional characteristics, which has further deepened the collaboration between the two countries.
Participants enjoyed the training program very much; all the Directors appreciated the many opportunities to exchange ideas and experiences among one another.
On October 1st, 2013, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University hosted the first Chinese Corner event for Fall Semester at Room #AL106 at Arts & Letters Building on SDSU campus. The mission of this Chinese Corner is to enhance cross-cultural understanding for both Chinese and American students, encouraging interactive activity among diverse cultures, improve the language proficiency for both students, and to promote Chinese culture and language.
The theme of the first Chinese Corner event was ‘Self-Introduction’. More than 20 students were present. CI staff provided materials for students to practice during their interaction. As the date fell on October 1st, China’s Independence Day, a few short video clips were played showing how foreigners participated in the celebration of the Chinese National holiday at Tiananmen Square as well as the flag-raising ceremony on New Year’s Day. With captions in both English and Chinese, the students were impressed by the various view points of interests around Tiananmen Square, and the contrast between new and old Beijing neighborhoods.
The students were later divided into smaller groups to practice greetings in Chinese. CI staff addressed questions from the American students regarding Chinese learning. The participants fully enjoyed the interaction that they lost track of time. After each participant exchanged their contact information and a group photo was taken, students parted their way in excitement. They eagerly expressed their strong interest to attend more Chinese Corner events in the future.
CI at SDSU attended the first Joint Meeting of U.S. Confucius Institutes (Classrooms) hosted by Hanban
From September 28th to 30th in 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, and Co-director Professor Wei Lu, participated in the first Joint Meeting of U.S. Confucius Institutes (Classrooms) hosted by Hanban. The meeting took place on the campus of Western Kentucky University. Over 260 Directors representing more than 90 CI Universities and Confucius Classroom schools throughout the U.S. attended the meeting, along with delegates and Education Consuls from the Chinese embassies and General Consulate Offices.
Director General of Hanban, Madam Xu Lin, addressed the delegates at the opening ceremony. She gave a brief introduction to the participants on the recent development of the Confucius Institutes around the world. She pointed out that the Chinese government not only holds high regards to China’s relationship with the U.S., but strongly supports the development of the Confucius Institutes, especially those in the United States. During the two-day meeting, delegates received the news from representatives by the perspective departments from Hanban on major projects; they observed exemplary cases from 6 Confucius Institutes. At the closing ceremony, Deputy Director-General of Confucius Institutes Headquarters/Hanban, Mr. Yongli Wang, made his concluding remarks, expressing his gratitude to the delegates for their constructive suggestion, affirming the remarkable achievement of all the U.S. Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms. He sincerely wished everyone to attain high goals in the future.
Separated into eight panel discussion groups, the delegates eagerly exchanged perspectives on “the implementation of New Confucius Sinology Plan”, “core faculty plan”, “local teachers training”, “collaboration of Chinese language teacher program”, as well as planning for the 2014 “Confucius Institute Mandarin Day”, and many other issues. Dean of Confucius Institute at the University of Kansas, Miss Xuerui Wei, and Co-Director of CI at SDSU, Professor Wei Lu, hosted the forum for group 6. They both provided their respective points of view on the topics mentioned above. Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, also offered suggestions and constructive comments in the group discussion.
CI at SDSU presented its cultural activity reports in both Chinese and English to the headquarters/Hanban, and gave a demonstration on the Chinese teaching material “Tian Dee Magic Panda”. Dr. Lilly Cheng and Professor Wei Lu met with Director of Confucius Institute at University of Delaware, Professor Jianguo Huang and Chinese Dean, Professor Jianjun Huang. They each introduced the current development at their perspective university, sharing the experience they had at promoting Chinese language and culture. They also discussed the possibility of hosting a teachers training project, and holding “Confucius Institute Mandarin Day” next year in conjunction with the collaboration from Xiamen University. They were delighted by this opportunity to deepen their knowledge of one another, and the progression of sharing resources and exchange possibility in the future.
On September 27, 2013, CI at SDSU attended Barnard Asia-Pacific Language Academy’s new campus opening ceremony. After the opening ceremony, the “Impressions of Chongqing” Performing Arts Troupe held a performance in celebration of their new site.
The ceremony was emceed by Pacific Arts Founder and former television news anchor, Lee Ann Kim. Many San Diego dignitaries attended the ceremony including San Diego Acting Mayor Todd Gloria, Superintendent of San Diego Unified, Cindy Marten, and former California Assemblyman Tom Hom. During the ceremony, the principal of Barnard Pacific Language School, Eddie Park, received on behalf of the school, a profoundly large work of calligraphy from CI at SDSU Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng. Dr. Cheng also presented a gift with the words “jinxinjinyi” to Superintendent Cindy Martin, to thank her for her strong support of the Chinese program throughout the years. Community leaders were also present at this event and made donations and gave good wishes for future development of the school in the future.
After the ceremony, teachers and students gathered into the school auditorium and watched the performance performed by the “Impression of Chongqing” Art Troupe. Dr. Cheng emceed the entire show which included acrobatics, song and dance, magic, and Sichuan Opera. The teachers and students were pleasantly entertained and rounds of applauses were heard throughout the performance.
On Thursday, September 26, 2013, “Impressions of Chongqing” Art Troupe visited Riverview Elementary School for its second performance during their visit in San Diego.
Wang Qi, a talented actor from the Chongqing Sichuan Opera Theatre, performed some somersaults before jumping onto the stage to greet the audience. His clownish show “Rolling the lamp”, is one of 3 unique acts in the Sichuan Opera. Without vocals in the show, the actors perform their acts with only facial expressions and acrobatic movements. For this performance, the only props on stage were two benches and a bowl with a lit candle. The performer placed the lit bowl on his head and crawled back and forth through a space no more than 1 foot in height beneath the benches without using his hands; the kids roared in amazement.
Luo Junlong, a 13 year old acrobatic prodigy, performed the acrobatic act, “dream boy”. His sensational movements brought thundering cheers from the crowd. At the end of his act, Luo Junlong was led by Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, into the crowd. Showing off his iron-like muscles, students at Riverview were astonished by his talented accomplishment.
The last show of the first section was the famous song “Tibetan Plateau”, sung by Anna. The song is inspired by a beautiful area that includes most of Tibet and talks about the landscape and of ancestors in a traditional style. Three students from Riverview, wearing traditional Tibetan costumes, came on stage to sing and dance along with Anna.
The last show of the first section was the famous song “Tibetan Plateau”, sung by Anna. The song is inspired by a beautiful area that includes most of Tibet and talks about the landscape and of ancestors in a traditional style. Three students from Riverview, wearing traditional Tibetan costumes, came on stage to sing and dance along with Anna.
The Chongqing folk song kicked off the second half of the program with performers dressed in local Chongqing ethnic costumes singing Chongqing folk songs. Following this group was a magic show performed by Ms. Zhou Changrong. Ms. Zhou invited several kids to come up to the stage to be her assistants. The white grains of rice she placed on top a red table cloth grew into rice crackers under Ms. Zhou’s constant hand movements.
The entire performance reached its climax with the Face Changing act, a specialty performance in Sichuan Opera. The performer would dress in traditional silk garments and with a mask covering his face. As the music progresses and the students remembered the color of his mask, the performer would instantly change his mask to a different color without much movement. The students in the audience dared not to blink; for fear that they might have missed any action during his performance.
At the end of the show, students at Riverview International Elementary School expressed their gratitude to the art troupe in English, Spanish, and Chinese. The performers were deeply touched by the children’s concentration, enthusiasm and warm affection during the show. After taking a bow, the actors all came off the stage to mingle with the students, taking group pictures one after another. After lunch, Principal Kyriakidis personally led the art troupe to visit the Chinese immersion classrooms. The performers were amazed at the remarkable achievement in Chinese learning the students at Riverview Elementary School demonstrated.
On September 25, 2013, organized by the China Federation and the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, The touring performance of “Impressions of Chongqing” in San Diego officially started at El Capitan High School, Confucius classroom school affiliated with Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. The art troupe would conduct a total of four shows during their 3-day visit to San Diego at various Confucius Classroom schools in Southern California.
The first performer on stage was the thirteen-year- old Luo Junlong, performing his acrobatic act, “Dream Boy”. Performers for such an act must develop strong upper body strength and develop a great sense of balance. Luo Junlong completed a series of rather difficult balancing acts demonstrating his strong physical skills. His skillful movements and lively performance wowed the audience.
The second act was a magic show performed by Zhou Changrong. The audience was amazed by her unique acts, such as turning white pieces of paper into dollar bills and pouring water into a stack of newspaper without getting any piece wet. Students were in shock as the water poured into the newspaper came back out into the cup at the end of her act.
The finale performance was by well-known Opera Theatre actor, Xu Chao performing the famous “Face Changing Opera”. The performers of Face changing shows learn to quickly change their face mask with lightning speed; a unique type of performance only found in Sichuan Opera acts. Famed as the “king of face changing”, Xu Chao brought the show to its climax with his magnificent, jaw dropping act. His outstanding performance received a roaring ovation from the students and faculty at El Capitan High as they expressed their amazement for such a show.
The students lingered around after the performances, reluctant to leave until they were able to take photographs with these talented performers.
On September 24, 2013, Dr. Christopher Guptill, Dean of Arts and Cultural Programs and Interim Director of Continuing Education from Rio Hondo College, visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. Accompanying him were Ms. Elizabeth Avila, Scheduling Technician of Continuing Education, and Dr. Shin Liu, Professor of Computer Science/Information Systems.
They were warmly received by Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, and Project Manager, Anne Chu. The purpose of the group’s visit was to learn more from Confucius Institute at SDSU about the concept of a Confucius Classroom school. Many representatives of Rio Hondo College, including Board members and Board of Trustees members, have expressed their strong interest to apply as one of the Confucius Classroom sites under CI at SDSU.
A short video featuring the history and missions of CI at SDSU was presented to the visitors at the beginning of the meeting. Anne Chu then outlined the standard procedures and time table to prepare the Confucius Classroom application packet. All visitors were very grateful for the information they received. With the knowledge they gathered from the meeting, they had a much clearer understanding of their tasks. Dr. Guptill also shared with Dr. Lilly Cheng and Anne Chu of their short/long term goal in offering Chinese language courses and Chinese cultural events at Rio Hondo College and other neighboring K-12 schools. They hoped that with the support from CI at SDSU, Rio Hondo College would become the resource hub to cultivate the 21st century global citizens in the Los Angeles area.
CI at SDSU Co-Sponsored “Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students: What’s In A Name?” Seminar at SDSU
On September 23, 2013, Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng, and Co-director, Professor Wei Lu, of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, presented a seminar on the topic “Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students: What's In A Name?”, at AH 1112 Learning Research Studio located at Center for Teaching & Learning(CTL) at SDSU. The workshop was open to all faculty members on SDSU campus.
This SDSU seminar, co-sponsored by Confucius Institute at SDSU, was presented to Provost Nancy Marlin and more than 20 faculty and staff members from different Colleges and Departments. It was the first of a series of seminars, offered to SDSU faculty members on linguistics, culture, and phonetics. CI at SDSU has been actively promoting the study of the Asian Pacific region among students, faculty, and community members since its founding in 2009, and is dedicated to fostering an understanding of the diversity of Asian cultures and the global society.
The theme of this workshop is to familiarize the participants of the phonetics of Chinese names. Both Dr. Lilly Cheng and Professor Lu Wei not only provided an introduction to the 4 tones and articulation methods of Mandarin Chinese, but also pointed out the common errors people normally make when pronouncing a person’s name. The audience then had the opportunity to practice their pronunciation, and addressed any inquiry they had on cultural differences and implications with native Chinese speakers from CI at SDSU.
SDSU faculty and staff members who attended the seminar expressed their appreciation for the unique opportunity to gain knowledge of various aspects of Chinese culture, which they were able to put into practice immediately at the seminar. On a survey handed to all the participants, the faculty and staff mentioned that they hoped to participate in similar workshops in the future. The knowledge they gathered at the workshop enabled them to understand the basic structures of common Chinese names. They also learned the characteristics of articulation and the proper pronunciation in Mandarin, which will be most beneficial to their social activities and their engagement in the classroom with their students and colleagues.
On September 22, 2013, an exhibition highlighting ‘The Undying Spirit of the Chinese Nation’ was held at the Chuang Archive and Learning Center of San Diego Chinese Historical Museum in Downtown San Diego. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended this exhibition. This event was co-sponsored by San Diego Chinese Historical Museum (SDCHM), Association for the Preservation of Historical Accuracy of Foreign Invasions of China (APHAFIC), San Diego Chinese Art and Culture Society, and US-China Peoples Friendship Association of San Diego.
The original ‘Haoqi Long Epic’ scroll consists of 11 segments and is measured at 1,012 meters long, weighing 4 tons in total. It took 50 Chinese artists and volunteers 8 years to finish this collaborative art piece that depicts the history of WWII and the Sino-Japanese War. A minimized version was showcased during the exhibition. This reproduction of the scroll is currently on tour in the U.S., making its stop in San Diego for only one day.
During the event, Chinese philosopher, Mr. Kang Wang, was the organizer for this tour of the Haoqi Long Epic scroll. During the exhibition, he held a lecture featuring many behind the scenes stories regarding this historical scroll.
On September 22, 2013, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University hosted a professional development workshop for 17 Hanban Chinese teachers for the fall semester of 2013. The main purpose was to support these teachers in gaining a better understanding of the American culture, learning the difference between the two countries; and to improve their own professional development and competence to better fulfilling their teaching tasks.
The first lecturer was Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng. Her speech, titled “Global Competence: What Do Educators Need To Know?” focused on global awareness. Through evident examples, she compared the similarities and differences between Eastern and western culture, value, and education standards; and how these variations greatly affected the teaching of Mandarin.
Outreach Director of Language Acquisition Resource Center (LARC), Dr. Norman Leonard, briefly talked about how a foreign teacher could improve his/her English proficiency. He encouraged all the teachers to make full use of advanced equipment at LARC to enhance their English; he welcomed all teachers with an open invitation to visit LARC anytime.
CI/SDSU invited Professor Kenneth Tom of California State University Fullerton, an expert on Communication Disorders, acoustic phonetics and physiologic phonetics, to give a speech of how to enhance our communication competence. His illustrations and diagrams of human’s oral cavity gave a clear indication of the correct positions for pronunciation of different consonants and vowels.
At her second lecture, Dr. Cheng introduced popular Communication Disorders, such as ADHD, OCD, Autism, Dyslexia, and etc... Sharing her expertise in the speech pathology field, Dr. Cheng encouraged all the teachers to learn more of the symptoms of these Disorders and the proper responsive actions to help their students with special needs.
In the afternoon, Professor Wei Lu emphasized the importance of rules and regulations in the standardized management of Chinese teaching. Project Manager, Anne Chu, introduced the western etiquette, such as personal space, and table manners. She provided evidences where misunderstandings and miscommunication might occur due to the differences in American and Chinese culture.
Teachers expressed their appreciation for such a extensive training, which enabled them to have a better understanding of the mainstream culture and education system. They were able to better their professional standard in the Chinese language teaching and in promoting Chinese culture among their environment.
On September 20, 2013, led by Assistant Director of Liberal Arts College at Jiangnan University, Shanshan Fu, a delegation group of 22 people visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. They were warmly greeted by Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng, Co-Director, Professor Wei Lu, and all the staff members of CI at the Finch Conference Hall in SDSU’s Arts & Letters Building.
The first Confucius Kitchen was unveiled on September 16 at UC Davis with a partnership between the university and Jiangnan University. Dr. Lilly Cheng attended the unveiling ceremony to reiterate CI at SDSU’s strong support for this trailblazing project. During the ceremony, Dr. Cheng had invited the delegation group from Jiangnan University to visit CI at SDSU before their return to China.
A short introductory film of CI at SDSU was shown to the visitors. Co-director, Professor Lu Wei, provided detailed information of the establishment of Confucius Classrooms, the assignment of Hanban’s teachers, etc… The visitors were very impressed by the remarkable achievements CI at SDSU has accomplished within the last four years since its founding in March of 2009. They hoped to adapt what they had learned from CI at SDSU as their model at UC Davis.
At the end of their visit, a small gift was given to each visitor as a small token of CI’s hospitality. CI staff members also took the guests on a campus tour before their departure from the SDSU campus. The delegation group was truly appreciative of the considerate arrangement CI at SDSU had provided for their visit.
In the morning of September 19, 2013, led by Dr. Norman Leonard, Outreach Director of the Language Acquisition Resource Center (LARC), seven teachers paid a the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. These teachers were in charge of the development for teaching materials in Arabic and Farsi and looked looked to CI to exchange ideas on the development process. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, greeted them warmly. Dr. Leonard visited CI at SDSU several times to offer his expertise and critique for the development of the Tian Dee Magic Panda series of Chinese teaching materials.
A short video clip featuring the introduction of CI at SDSU was first shown to the guests. Project Coordinator of the ‘Tian Dee Magic Panda’ series, Yueying Zhan, introduced the series, including the big textbooks for students, supplementary tools, and teacher textbooks; all of which were edited based on the needs of American students. The visitors presented their own products in Arabic and Farsi specifically designed for the online language teaching courses. They further gave their inputs of the Tian Dee Magic Panda Series Chinese teaching materials which were valuable in the future development of Tian Dee Magic Panda Series.
The visitors later expressed their strong interest to collaborate with CI at SDSU in the development of the Tian Dee Magic Panda Series. They hoped there would be more discussions on development practices for various teaching material so they might learn more techniques from one another.
On the evening of Sep18th 2013, the San Diego Yantai Sister City Association hosted a mid-Autumn festival event, celebrating the Chinese Moon Festival. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was invited to be the key speaker at the event.
Dr. Lilly Cheng first expressed a warm “happy mid-Autumn festival” greetings to every guest. Her speech, with the theme of Chinese mid-Autumn festival, consisted of three parts. The first component was the origin of moon cakes and the many folk legends related to the moon cakes. The second part was about the folklores related to the Moon, such as Houyi, Chang’e, Yutu (the rabbit in the Moon); and Wugang. The members of audience were captivated by her vivid narrations of each and every story. The third segment was the traditions and customs of the Moon Festival such as moon viewing, eating Moon Cakes, family reunion and the release of the lanterns in streams and rivers.
Dr. Lilly Cheng also introduced a famous sonnet written in the Song Dynasty by Su Shi----水调歌头. She recited a short section of it at the end of her speech, wishing all the viewers to be blessed with longevity while enjoying the beauty of the graceful moonlight, even though one might be miles apart from his/her loved ones.
On September 18, 2013, accompanied by Project Manager, Anne Chu, and Office Assistant, Vicky Hsu, of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, the world renowned Chinese calligraphist and private tutor to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Professor Bin Zhou, visited San Diego State University’s Imperial Valley Campus to host a demonstration of Chinese calligraphy.
Professor Zhou first visited Calexico high school for a presentation of Chinese calligraphy. The school’s library was over-filled by eager students who had signed up for this lecture. Professor Zhou gave a detailed introduction on the Chinese character “福”, and its cultural significance as students listened attentively. Due to its remote surrounding, students in Calexico have little opportunity to be engaged in cultural events as such. The attendees were truly appreciative of such a unique presentation and the precious opportunity for them to learn more about the beauty of Chinese culture. The students could not retain their excitement to show off their own calligraphy work to their peers at the end of the lecture.
After visiting the high school, Professor Zhou held his second Chinese calligraphy presentation at the library of San Diego State University Imperial Valley Campus. Local officials, professors, students, media, and members of the community enthusiastic ally attended the lecture. Professor Zhou introduced the art of Chinese calligraphy and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s experience in learning calligraphy to the audience; he also presented scientific statistics showing the benefits of learning Chinese calligraphy. The audience was mesmerized by Prof. Zhou’s lecture. Professor Zhou further gave a detailed assessment for each piece of work in the exhibit. When Prof. Zhou shared the sentimental journey Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underwent at writing characters “和平” and “曲则全”, every participant was deeply moved; they were truly grateful for the precious information and knowledge they learned from Prof. Zhou’s presentation and exhibition. Even when the lecture went over the allotted time, the members of the audience were reluctant to leave as they mingled around, circling around Prof. Zhou for his demonstration on simple techniques of writing Chinese calligraphy, especially the character, “蛇” (snake). They also waited for their turn to have their photo taken with Professor Zhou and their art works.
On behalf of SDSU IVC and the local community, Dean David Pearson expressed his gratitude to Professor Zhou and the Confucius Institute of SDSU for providing such a significant lecture to the campus. He presented a certificate of appreciation to Professor Zhou, and invited him to come to Calexico again for more calligraphy and cultural lectures in the future.
On Sep 17th, 2013, accompanied by CI SDSU Project Manager, Anne Chu, and Office Assistant, Vicky Hsu, world renowned Chinese calligrapher, scholar and private tutor to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Professor Bin Zhou visited Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy and Pacific Beach Middle School for demonstrations of Chinese calligraphy art and culture.
In commemoration of the year of the “Snake”, Professor Zhou explained the symbolic meaning of snakes in Chinese culture. He then taught the students how to write the character, ”蛇” in Oracle style. Following Professor Zhou’s instructions stroke by stroke, students practiced writing on the rice paper with Chinese paint brushes first before decorating paper lanterns CI provided for them. Every student was hard at work; they were proud of their own accomplishment as they marveled each other’s end product.
In the afternoon, Professor Zhou went on to Pacific Beach Middle School to host a second class. Professor Zhou narrated the meaning of 福, and the significance of福in Chinese culture to the students. They were intrigued by the many customs related to “福”. Professor Zhou further held a demonstration specifically for teachers and parents. All of them expressed their appreciation at the end of the presentation.
On September 16, 2013, accompanied by Project Manager Anne Chu, and Office Assistant, Vicky Hsu, of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, the world renowned Chinese calligraphist and private tutor to United Nation Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Professor Bin Zhou visited Fletcher Elementary School, the only school offering Mandarin immersion classes in the Orange Unified School District, for a demonstration of Chinese calligraphy.
In the morning, 3 classes of young students were brought to the media room to participate in the calligraphy demonstration program. According to the Chinese zodiac chart, 2013 is the year of the Snake. After giving a detailed introduction of the origin of Chinese characters, Professor Zhou showed these students how to write the character ‘蛇’ (snake). Students followed Professor Zhou’s instruction in carefully writing the character on a Chinese lantern in celebration of the Chinese Moon Festival.
CI at SDSU also provided a Chinese cultural presentation in the evening. Vicky Hsu performed the way of tea, 茶道, to the audience. Her demonstration was followed by Professor Zhou’s introduction of Chinese calligraphy. In addition, Professor Zhou gave a detailed description for each piece of calligraphy work on display at the site. Among these works were 2 pieces written by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The audience learned the dedication and the passion of the Secretary General through the strength and style of his each stroke, along with Prof. Zhou’s narration.
The guests not only were impressed by the works on display, but were very appreciative of the knowledge they learned from Professor Zhou’s narration. At the end, Professor Zhou gave each guest a souvenir by writing down their Chinese name to commemorate this occasion.
On Monday，September 16, 2013, UC Davis held an unveiling ceremony for its newly established Confucius Institute. Along with hundreds of scholars and researchers, managing director of CI at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, participated in this celebration. CI at UC Davis and its partner, Jiangnan University, from Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, will be focusing on the Chinese cuisine and beverage culture.
CI at UC Davis is the first Confucius Institute focusing on Chinese cuisine culture in the U.S. Its mission is to promote Chinese language and culture through Chinese cooking and traditional Chinese foods. General Director of Hanban, Madam Xu Lin, attended the opening ceremony; she brought along a congratulatory letter from China’s President Xi Jinping. Charles Shoemaker, Director of CI at UC Davis and Professor of food science and technology, emphasized that food safety issue and beverage science be part of the research project collaborated between CI at UC Davis and Jiangnan University. The guests visited the lab facilities with modern technology after the unveiling ceremony.
While giving a demonstration of traditional Chinese cooking during the luncheon party, Martin Yan, world renowned chef, host of the popular TV cooking program, “Yan Can Cook”, and the culinary advisor of CI at UC Davis, quoted the wisdom of the great philosopher, Confucius, on Chinese cuisine culture. The event was well received and patrons were excited to for the future of CI at UC Davis.
On September 14th, 2013, co-sponsored by San Diego Asian Heritage Society and Asian Cultural Business Magazine, the 10th Asian Heritage Award Ceremony was held at the Marriott Hotel in San Diego. More than 400 ethnic representatives from California, Texas, Maryland and other states participated in this event.
By special invitation from board members of the Asian Cultural Heritage Association, co-host of the 10th Annual Asian Heritage Award Gala, and Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, world renowned Chinese calligraphy artist, Professor Bin Zhou of China East Normal University, arrived in San Diego to attend this Gala. With the assistance from the staff members of CI at SDSU, many pieces of calligraphy works, by Prof. Zhou and United Nation Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, were prominently displayed at the entrance of the gala. Guests flocked to CI’s display as they viewed each piece of art in awe. They were appreciative of the detailed introduction offered by Professor Zhou, especially of the piece, “Peace”, written by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and the congratulatory letter he wrote to Professor Zhou.
During the Award Ceremony, three characters, “天，行，健”, written by Professor Zhou were auctioned off to the highest bidder. Professor Zhou also wrote “寿 (longevity)” to express his warmest birthday greeting to, the “Father of bio-engineering”, Dr. Yuan Zhen Feng for his 95th birthday. The Gala ended in high notes as the guests gathered around to wish Dr. Feng Happy Birthday.
On September 11th, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, held a Chinese teachers’ workshop at Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy, a Confucius Classroom school affiliated with Confucius Institute at SDSU. More than 10 Chinese teachers attended the workshop.
At the beginning of the workshop, Dr. Lilly Cheng expressed her gratefulness to all Chinese teachers for their selfless contribution which attributed to the exemplary accomplishments of Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy.
Dr. Lilly Cheng gave a self-introduction to these teachers, sharing her academic background, and her experience through her graduate programs. After her self-introduction, Dr. Cheng invited the Chinese teachers to introduce themselves as well. Dr. Cheng discussed about numerous topics in her training workshop including topics such as ‘who are our students in the U.S.?’, and ‘what are the best practice models in the US’. She encouraged all the teachers to focus on diversity, flexibility and mentoring in teaching. A panel discussion was conducted following the training, including subjects on ‘roles of the teachers and the students’, ‘classroom management’, ‘relationship between a teacher and his/her students’ and ‘assessment models’.
An exercise was administered at the end of the workshop for self-evaluation and improvement purposes. This exercise featured the SWOT analysis - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. After the SWOT analysis, teachers were given an assignment to practice ‘SSC’ - Stop, Start and Continue.
All the teachers were truly appreciative of the training program provided by Dr. Lilly Cheng. They expressed their strong interest in attending similar training workshops provided by CI in the future.
On September 6th 2013, the 2013 San Diego International Kids’ Film Festival, co-sponsored by the Confucius Institute and the School of Theater, Television and Film of San Diego State University, kicked off their opening screening at SDSU’s Little Theater.
After the opening regards, a panel discussion commenced with director Greg Durbin of the School of Theater, Television and Film as the emcee. Representatives of the local media were present to interview the producers, actors and directors of the many films to be played during the International Kids’ Film Festival. The movie that kicked off the festival was “The Reading Boy”, shown to a full house crowd at 5 PM that day. The theme of the film promotes the public education in rural areas of China. The film also intended to bring awareness to the contemporary social concerns of “children left behind” (the children whose parents left home to work in the city, while the children were left behind and raised by grandparents or relatives). These social issues are popular topics being featured recently in many Chinese films.
Ten Chinese Films were featured at this year’s International Kid’s Film Festival. The film festival also included other films from 17 other countries.
The 5th annual Chinese Summer Camp Program, organized by Confucius Institute at SDSU, took place from August 5th-16th, 2013. There were 2 schedules offered for this program, each lasted a week. A total of 23 students from Confucius Classrooms, ranging from 6 to 12 year-old, participated in this year’s program.
The 5th annual Chinese summer camp focused on Chinese language and Chinese culture immersion classes taught by experienced Chinese teachers. The students were divided into two groups, based on their proficiency level.
Teacher Areana Chen was in charge of teaching the class of the lower grade students. She applied Chinese songs, cartoons and PPTs to introduce new Chinese vocabulary to the students. These students learned numbers, dates, family members, and China’s geography; she also combined games and hands-on activities to engage her students in various cultural activities. Teacher Xueying Hu taught the higher grade students. Her lesson plans included Chinese poetry, Chinese songs, Chinese paper-cutting, art crafts and Chinese Zodiac. All the students gathered together to participate in Chinese culture activities in the afternoon, such as Chinese calligraphy, Chinese brush painting, Chinese folk dancing, Diablo, shuttlecock making, and making dumplings.
With the help of volunteers, students were able to enjoy individual guidance, which enhanced the efficiency and effectiveness of their learning. As the program drew to an end, students from the lower grade could skillfully count the numbers up to 1 million in Chinese; introducing themselves and their families to other students, and relaying stories of “Journey to the West” in Mandarin. The higher grade students were able to read 3 poems, 2 tongue twisters, 2 popular songs and 2 children’s songs. At the parents’ meeting on each Friday, parents were impressed by the progress of their children in such a short period.
The Campers excitedly shared their enjoyment for the program with CI staff; they eagerly exclaimed their interest in attending the program again next year. Parents expressed their gratitude to CI at SDSU for the tremendous progress their children had accomplished during the summer camp program.
From August 1 to 13, 2013, co-sponsored by Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Hongluo Temple High School in Beijing, China hosted its 2013 English Summer Camp for its English teachers. After a series of screening process, two excellent English teachers from San Diego were selected by CI/SDSU as the lead instructors for the Summer Camp.
The camp schedule was divided into two sessions; the first was for teachers from Huairou No. 3 Middle School, and the second session was for teachers at Hongluo Temple High School. There were 25 and 40 teachers in each respective schedule. The instructors devoted time outlining teaching methods; they applied practicing activities to trainees so they would learn how to encourage their students to use English more often. The lively engagement created such a classroom environment that the teachers in training were able to use the target language for oral and written communication fluently.
Teachers in the first session were very pleased with the course materials. Not only were they able to improve their English oral skills, but they learned much of the cultural background of these materials. Teachers from the second session found the course insightful. They were appreciative that they had learned different techniques, and an entirely different way of teaching language in the classroom.
On August 1st, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the teachers training program organized by Yunnan University. Dr. Cheng also visited the Confucius Classroom set by Yunnan University, where over 20,000 students were enrolled.
Yunnan University is one of the largest and most prestigious universities in the Yunnan province of China. Its main campus is located in the provincial capital city of Kunming. Having trained over 17,000 specialists in various professional fields, it has been developed into the only "Primary Key University" in Yunnan province.
On July 25, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was invited to visit the Confucius Classroom at Traimit Wittayalai High School, Thailand, the first Confucius Classroom in the world.
Partnered with Tianjing Experimental Middle School in China, the Confucius Classroom at Traimit Wittayalai High School was established in November, 2006. After 7 years of blooming development under the impetus of Master Phradhamphawanawikrom, it is now the largest Confucius Classroom in Thailand. The Traimit Wittayalai High School is located at Wat Traimit, built over a hundred years ago, in Bangkok Chinatown. Currently, there are more than three thousands students enrolled. There is also a Chinese Historical Museum located in Wat Traimit, where abundant cultural artifacts are on display. Traimit Wittayalai High School plays a significant, influential role throughout the entire country in Chinese language education. It has become an important platform for Chinese language teaching and cultural exchange in Thailand.
During Dr. Cheng’s visiting, discussions were exchanged regarding their experiences in the development of their respective organizations, such as development of Chinese textbooks series and progressive teacher training workshops for Hanban and local Chinese teachers.
On July 23, 2013, led by Vice President and Dean of the Graduate school, Professor Sing Kai LO, and Associate Dean of the Graduate school, Professor Winne Wing Mui SO; a delegation group from Hong Kong Institution of Education visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. The group was warmly welcomed by Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, and Co-director, Professor Wei Lu. Professor Li An from the Geography Department at SDSU also attended the meeting.
Professor Lu first opened the meeting by giving the group a general introduction of CI/SDSU.
The delegation group came to SDSU to seek professional advice from Dr. Lilly Cheng, a world renowned educator in the speech pathology field. Both sides later discussed the potential opportunities for the joint Doctor programs that could be offered between the two schools in the future. Before the end of the meeting, they exchanged gifts and took a group photo.
The delegation of HKIEd later attended Professor William Tong’s lecture, a distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at SDSU. Professor Tong led them on a tour of SDSU’s chemistry laboratories, laboratory equipment and other teaching resources.
On Wednesday, July 17th, 2013, Chinese-born American entrepreneur, Dr. Songhe Zhang visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. He was warmly greeted by Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng.
At the beginning of the meeting, Curriculum Project Coordinator, Yueying Zhan, briefly introduced the ‘Tian Dee Pandas series’, including the big books and other related supplementary items. Dr. Zhang expressed great interest in the series’ development; he provided constructive suggestions to further enhance the designs of the auxiliary teaching material and tools.
Dr. Zhang and other visitors were escorted by CI staff member on a tour of the beautiful SDSU campus after the presentation.
At 9am on July 15th, 2013, the opening ceremony for the “2013 Xiamen University Counselors Summer Study Abroad Workshop” was held at Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center, San Diego State University. This Workshop was sponsored by Division of Student Affairs and assisted by Confucius Institute, as one of the collaboration projects between San Diego State University and Xiamen University. President Elliot Hirshman of San Diego State University, Career Services Center Director, James Tarbox, Student Services staff members, professors in the relevant departments, Managing Director of CI, Dr. Lilly Cheng, Co-Director of CI, Professor Wei Lu, and other faculty members welcomed a delegation of 43 teachers led by League Secretary, Professor Huaifeng Chen, from Xiamen University. 13 additional attendees from Chongqing University trainees also participated in the workshop.
President Elliot Hirshman opened the ceremony with his warm welcome; he reiterated his high regards for this workshop at strengthening the cooperation and relationship between SDSU and Xia Da, in projects, such as pedagogy, research, management, and other aspects in education. He emphasized that SDSU takes pride in providing high quality of services for student learning, living, and employment training. He also hoped that all the delegates could benefit from this workshop. On behalf of all the attendees, Professor Huaifeng Chen expressed his gratitude to President Hirshman and all other members from San Diego State University for their support for this workshop. He was certain that this workshop would broaden the international perspective for all participants, and improve the efficiency level of student services at Xiamen University. He also stressed that every participant in the program was appreciative of this opportunity of mutual learning.
During the four-week workshop schedule, participants attended lectures from SDSU professors and student services departments, participated in English training courses, visited San Diego State University campus to learn the structure of student services; they would hold panel discussions with administrators and Chinese students at SDSU.
Prior to their arrival, CI/SDSU provided wide arrays of preparation, liaison and coordination work. In addition, CI also provided interpretation services at all lectures, campus visits, and panel discussions. Many professors, assigned by Xiamen University, teaching at local San Diego schools, volunteered their time during weekends to provide transportation and guidance for the workshop attendees during their stay in San Diego.
The Chinese Criminal Justice (CJ 550) Courses, offered during the summer session in 2013, proved to be a big success as 38 students from SDSU, USD, and XMU were enrolled at Xiamen University. Xiamen University Overseas Education College (XMU OEC) provided excellent arrangements for the students, including accommodations, courses, tours, and Chinese language lessons during this summer program.
The students arrived on July 14. They were offered a tour of the beautiful Xiamen University campus. They excitedly visited the Municipal Services Center and XMU Hospital. On one weekend, students were able to visit Shanghai, one of the metropolitan cities in China.
The courses were taught by Prof. Del Dickson and Prof. John Cleary, with guest lecturers, such as a Chinese criminal law professor and a local criminal defense lawyer. The courses included “A comparative Analysis Between The Criminology and Laws of the US and China’, ‘The Penal Codes’, and ‘The Codes Of Criminal Procedure’. With the provision of the superb Mandarin text books, the students were able to complete these courses in two weeks, much shorter than the regular requirements of one month’s class schedule. They were appreciative of this wonderful learning opportunity, including the Chinese language courses.
On July 10 to 25, 2013, 17 high school students from various San Diego County Confucius Classroom Schools under Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, led by Project Coordinator Crystal Qian and Hang Xiao, bounded for Beijing to participate in the 16 day “Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for U.S. High School students.” Hanban, Confucius Institute Headquarters, organized a program for the students to visit various provinces and cities in China. From July 12 to 22, arranged by the Department of Education of Shandong Province, students from CI at SDSU along with those from CI at University of Memphis, Western Kentucky University, and CI at University of Texas in Dallas were assigned to the Shandong Province where they were hosted by Weifang No.1 Middle School, Zibo Experimental High School, and Shouguang Century School.
During the 10 days students spent in Weifang No.1 Middle School, the school assigned several outstanding English teachers and teachers on duty on a daily basis. The students are also offered many cultural experience classes which included: seal carving, Chinese ink painting, calligraphy, Kungfu, and traditional folk instruments and dancing classes. The students were able to visit several landmarks including the wetland park, memorial museum in Guangwen Middle School, Three Kongs, and Yangjiabu Kite Museum. The campers were excited each day as they prepared for the days activities. After the explanation from tour guides and teachers, the campers gained a deeper level of appreciation and understanding of Chinese culture, including Confucius, Confucianism, Shandong Province and local culture of the city of Weifang.
Volunteer students from China accompanied the campers for each class and activity. The volunteers invited all the campers to their homes to meet their parents, taste homemade food, look around the city, and hang out together to enjoy the day. During the closing ceremony at the school’s TV station, all the campers expressed their sincere thanks to the school, teachers and volunteer students and they also received the most delicate kite gift box from the school.
All the campers returned to Beijing on July 22, where the students were able to explore historic landmarks and enjoy the beautiful scenery before returning to the US. They visited the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the 2008 Olympic National Stadium, the Bird’s Nest, the National Aquatic Center, and the Water Cube. On the last night of the program, Hanban organized the closing ceremony at the Beijing Royal School. The student group representatives from the different provinces made a presentation board and performed on the stage to show what they had learned during the stay in their respective provinces. The campers expressed how they had benefitted greatly from the program. They were able to strengthen their friendship with Chinese students by experiencing unique customs and the local life. The students also hoped, through further learning and improvement of their language and learning skills, that they would be able to return to China, a country with a vast history and continued explosive development.
On July 09, 2013, Vice-president Ben Yang of Wuzhou University at Gui Zhou, Guanxi Province, China, visited the College of Arts & Letters at San Diego State University. The delegation included Deputy Director of Academic Affairs, Mr. Jiming Dai; Deputy Director of Security Department, Mr. Zhongwen Xie; and instructor from Department of Foreign Languages, Ms. Shangchun Zeng. Mr. Yang discussed extensively with Dr. Paul Wong, Dean of College of Arts and Letters and Director of International Partnerships; and Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at SDSU. Both parties explored the possibility of future collaboration between San Diego State University and Wuzhou University; the projects that potentially could be developed included faculty exchange and training, exchange students and joint researches.
During the meeting, Dr. Yang introduced the general profile of Wuzhou University. He emphasized that the main feature of Wuzhou University is the special major of “Teaching Chinese as a Second Language”. Dr. Yang stressed that both faculty and students of Wuzhou University regard highly of this major program. He looked forward to the possibility of developing a collaborative project which Wuzhou University would be able to provide experienced teachers to teach Chinese as a second language in San Diego.
Lilly Cheng served as the emcee of the meeting. Her engagement provided a pleasant atmosphere for communication, which strengthened the intent for cooperation and exchange between the two parties. Both sides discussed the potential opportunities for exchange programs for the faculty and students; as well as the joint degree projects in the future.
The meeting ended at a high note with representatives from both universities shared positive anticipations for a partnership in the future. After the meeting, the Wuzhou Unicersity delegation was lead on a tour of SDSU campus.
On June 27, 2013, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Imperial Valley Campus held its closing ceremony for the 2013 Chinese Summer Camp. Taught by Professor Ximin Deng, the Chinese Summer Camp was held from June 17 – 27 for a total of 10 days. 24 students from local middle and high schools attended this program learning Chinese language and different aspects of Chinese culture. International Programs Coordinator at SDSU-IVC, Miriam Castanon, her assistant, Betty Wong, and Project Coordinator of CI at SDSU, Jonathan Lee, attended the closing ceremony in support of the program.
At the ceremony, students held a party to demonstrate proudly with the newly learned Chinese language from the past 2 weeks. They went on to introduce themselves, greeting other students, and singing songs to their family and friends in the audience; all of these acts were performed in Mandarin. In addition, the students also showcased several aspects of Chinese culture, including Tai Ji movements, Chinese paper-cuts, and Chinese calligraphy. They expressed their gratitude and appreciation to Professor Deng for his teaching. They all planned to continue learning Chinese in the future.
On Tuesday, June 25, 2013, Chief Representative of Hanban North America Office, Dr. Junbo Chen came to visit Confucius Institute at San Diego State University for a meeting with Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng for an update on the current development of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, and the progress of “Tian Dee Magic Pandas” book series.
On June 11th, 2013, Vice President Derek Tao of Sinoview LLC in Beijing, China, visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. He was warmly received by Co-Director of CI/SDSU, Professor Wei Lu. Accompanying him on his visit was Professor Minjuan Wang from the College of Educational Technology and Media Department at SDSU.
Mr. Tao first was shown an introductory video of CI/SDSU. The video featured many accomplishments in promoting Chinese language and culture of CI/SDSU from the diligent team work of CI staff. Both parties discussed in great length on a series of topics; such as common interests, and the feasibility for collaboration in the field of digitalization learning.
Mr. Tao gave a brief introduction of the projects being developed by Sinoview; including development of corporate training curriculum, mobile learning, courseware development and other business related services. He solicited the advice from CI at SDSU for Sinoview LLC on its developmental strategy for the North American market for Chinese language teaching; as well as recommendations on other related programs.
Prof. Lu Wei provided detailed information on Chinese language teaching at each Confucius Classroom school affiliated under CI/SDSU; he summarized the Chinese learner’s characteristics of the students from these CC schools, their need for e-learning resources for Mandarin, and the current progression of digital resources for Chinese teaching and learning developed by Hanban. Prof. Lu further offered his inputs many issues, from results and analysis of surveys of learners’ demands; developments and market demands of Chinese text books; designs and technical application on Chinese e-learning instruction; the development and assessment of curriculum prototypes for Chinese language; as well as many other topics of interest.
Mr. Tao expressed his gratitude to Prof. Lu for his constructive consultation. He looked forward to any future opportunity to collaborate with CI for a joint development in Chinese e-learning for the North American market.
On June 10, 2013, Cari Ignarra, Director of Student Support Services, and Shanti Gallegos, Instructional Facilitator, of Bellflower Unified School District visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. Project Manager, Anne Chu, warmly welcomed these distinguished guests.
Director Ignarra and Ms. Gallegos came to learn more from Confucius Institute at SDSU about the concept of a Confucius Classroom school; they also came to seek advice from CI/SDSU in regards to Bellflower Unified School District’s intent to apply as a Confucius Classroom to Hanban. The visiting educators were assigned as the coordinators of the Chinese project at Bellflower District by Superintendent Brian Jacobs. The original plan was to complete the application packet by April of 2013 following his visit to CI/SDSU in May of 2012.
Anne Chu first presented a short video featuring the history and missions of CI/SDSU. She then outlined the standard procedures and time table to prepare the application packet. Both visitors were not only grateful for the information they received, but they also had a much clearer understanding of their tasks and the methods to prepare all the necessary documents required in the application packet.
From May 31 to June 15, 2013, Office Manager, Jonathan Lee, of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University led a group of 11 San Diego State University students to attend a 2-week summer study abroad program in Shanghai, China. This annual program is offered under the direction of Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University.
Classes were taught by SDSU Professors, Dr. Lilly Cheng and Dr. Lois Olson. Students learned about Chinese culture and history, humanity and geography, economic development and community expansion. In addition to classroom lectures, the students were able to experience firsthand many cultural aspects of China through visiting local eateries, museums, homes of local residents, and community centers devoted to cultural understanding; Yu Garden, Jing’an Temple, Xinhua Community Center, and Changning Folk Center were some of these places. Furthermore, students also toured Lian Heng Industries to learn how a factory is run; they also visited 3M’s Research and Development Department for a view of advancements in modern technology.
One of the highlights of the program was a one day excursion to Hangzhou city, the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. Students first explored Zhejiang University’s campus upon arrival. Well known for its academic achievements, Zhejiang University is among the top universities in China. Students then went on to the most famous sightseeing location of Hangzhou, the West Lake, where it earned Hangzhou the title “most scenic city in China”. They also enjoyed a local home-cooked cuisine at a tea farmer’s home overlooking the tea fields where tea trees are grown.
This two week program allowed students to explore various parts of Shanghai and Hangzhou, which gave students only a small sample of what China is. At the end of the program, students expressed their appreciation of this wonderful opportunity to experience a culture so different from their own; they now held a great interest and desire to return to China to further explore China’s unique and majestic culture.
On Friday, May 17th, 2013, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University attended the 2nd Annual Golden Treasures Banquet hosted by Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society held at Jasmine Seafood Restaurant in San Diego. Pacific Arts Movement Founder, Lee Ann Kim, acted as the emcee for the evening’s program. Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society was founded by Frank Du in 2011 in San Diego. Its mission and purpose is “enriching the lives of youths by introducing them to art, music and cultural programs that build characters, spirit and self-esteem”.
This fundraising event was to support children’s education through many of Three Treasure’s cultural and outreach programs. In addition to CI/SDSU, many other local Asian associations, such as House of China, Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School, Samahan Filipino American Performing Arts and Education Center, and San Diego’s Vietnamese communities, came out in full swing to support this wonderful project. The venue was packed to the max with supporters who enjoyed many entertaining performances, including singing and dancing shows performed by the students from Barnard, lion dancing, a traditional Filipino dance, Vietnamese fashion show, and a Chinese Culture presentation, ‘Silk Road of China’, by CI at SDSU.
The evening began with a lion dance by students of Three Treasures to welcome all the guests. These lions roamed around the restaurant in commemoration of this special occasion. Several distinguished individuals in the community were honored by Three Treasures for their support and dedication; they were: Principal Sally Wong Avery of the Chinese School of San Diego; Chief of Staff for San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, Salvatore Giametta; long time community philanthropist and President of DDH Enterprises, David Du; Principal Edward Park of Barnard Elementary; President David Seid of House of China; and Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng. A proclamation was presented to Frank Du and Three Treasures by Salvatore Giametta, proclaiming May 17th as Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society Day throughout the county of San Diego.
Staff members and volunteers of CI at SDSU presented ‘Silk Road of China’, a Chinese Culture presentation to demonstrate how the Chinese culture spread to Europe, and how it influenced the Western civilization by the Silk Road trade route. The audience was in awe by the beautiful silk garments modeled by CI staff as they learned from the narration by Dr. Lilly Cheng of the different styles of silk garments and various artifacts that boosted international trading thousands of years ago.
The students from Three Treasures gave a grand finale kung-fu demonstration combined with a special lion dance performance which propelled the audience to the highest point of the evening.
On May 17, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was invited to attend a reception in honor of former mayor Jerry Sanders who was given an Honorary Doctoral from San Diego State University. Jerry Sanders served as the Chief of Police in San Diego, the Mayor of San Diego and is now serving as the CEO of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Sanders graduated from San Diego State University and has made public works and services a part of his life ever since.
Mr. Sanders attended the reception, as well as the commencement ceremony for the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts’ graduates of SDSU’s class of 2013. During this time he received his Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters in front of hundreds of SDSU faculty, graduates, family, and community members. San Diego State University distributes honorary doctorate degrees to members of society and the local community who have made great contributions in the fields that they have dedicated their lives and careers to improve. In addition to the former mayor and police chief Jerry Sanders, honorary degrees have also been awarded to other distinguished members including former President John F. Kennedy, who attended the commencement ceremony 50 years ago.
On May 11th, 2013, the 4th Annual ‘Asian Cultural Festival’ was held at Liberty Station Park in San Diego. This Festival marked the magnificent highlight of all festivities in the month of May, the official “Asian Heritage Month”. Representatives of many local dignitaries, such as San Diego County Supervisor, Ron Roberts; and San Diego City Mayor, Bob, Filner; were present to express their greetings to the local Asian communities. Confucius Institute at San Diego State University not only provided a booth, filled with Chinese cultural artifacts, to promote Chinese culture, it also produced a spectacular Chinese cultural show featuring the “Silk Road of China” to further share a specific aspect of the Chinese culture with the audience.
Hundreds of people at the festival flocked to CI’s booth to learn about the beauty of Chinese calligraphy. CI’s staff, volunteers and Hanban Chinese teachers wholeheartedly explained to the viewers what their names would be in Chinese, and the symbolic meanings for each character which were chosen for the American friends as their name. The children happily requested various designs to be painted on their face and arms. They were intrigued by the pictographic design and profound symbolic significance of each Chinese character.
The 20 minute ‘Silk Road of China” Chinese culture show was a special feature among all other performances. Staff of CI, and some American friends excitedly modeled in beautiful costumes with elaborate and intricate patterns. As they came on stage with an item to introduce the Six Essence in the Chinese culture, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, narrated a detailed description and history of the pieces. The audience was charmed by the elegant beauty of Chinese fashion; they were also in awe by the grandiose of Chinese culture. Many of them came up to CI staff at the end of the show to express their gratitude of the wonderful presentation.
On May 10, 2013, a delegation group from Hainan University, led by Vice President Xinwen Hu, visited San Diego State University. The group was warmly welcomed by Vice President, Dr. Ethan Singer, of San Diego State University, and Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at SDSU.
Dr. Ethan Singer first opened the meeting by giving a general introduction of SDSU to the guests. These distinguished guests included the Director of the Office of Postgraduate Student Affairs, Mr. Yindong Zhang; Dean of the College of Foods Science, Mr. Houyuan Qiu; Deputy Director of Scientific Research Office, Mr. Mengxing Huang; and Deputy Dean of College of Environment and Plant Protection, Mr. Weiguo Miao. Both sides discussed the potential opportunities for exchange programs for the faculty and students; as well as the joint degree programs that could be offered between the two schools in the future.
During his introduction of the College of Science, Dean Stanley Maloy emphasized that the special features of the College of Science were students gaining real-world experience in the modernized research centers by engaging in hands-on laboratory work; they also benefited from practical classroom instruction offered by superior professors and leaders. In response to these presentations, President Hu pledged that Hainan University would assign five teachers to participate in an exchange program with SDSU.
Also present at the meeting were Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts (PSFA), Dr. Joyce Gattas; Director of L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management (HTM), Dr. Carl Winston; Director Brian Blake of J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation Student Center for Professional Development in HTM. They presented a program which was geared to enhance the skills and knowledge of professionals and students in the field of hospitality and tourism management.
The Advisor to the International Studies Minor and professor of Journalism and Media Studies at College of PSFA, Mei Zhong, also introduced the minor program; she pointed out that it was crucial that the students gain global knowledge to be professionally competitive in the future.
Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, served as the emcee of the meeting; her engagement provided a pleasant atmosphere for communication which strengthened the intent for cooperation and exchange between the two parties. The meeting ended with a presentation showcasing the flourishing development of Confucius Institute at SDSU in Southern California. Both sides were pleased with the eventful exchanges of discussions; they all felt that this visit set a solid foundation for many exchange and cooperation opportunities to establish more joint projects in the future.
On April 22nd, 2013, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University hosted a Chinese dance and martial arts performance by Beijing Sport University Art Troupe during the group’s visit to the United States at El Cajon Valley high school in San Diego East County. The Art Troupe had performed at other Confucius Institutes before arriving at San Diego as their last stop. The show was held in the gym at ECVH in front of more than a thousand cheering students.
The Art Troupe kicked off the show with an exciting array of choreography displaying the art of lion dancing by 5 students. Other programs included Taiji, rhythmic dancing with fans and umbrellas, imitative boxing, and finally a martial arts routine that even included weapons. It was the martial arts piece that garnered the most attention from the students in which many students leapt from their seats in excitement. Quick movements, elegant dancing, exciting weapons and martial arts displays were the highlights of the afternoon.
On the night of April 20th, 2013, staff and volunteers of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University attended and co-presented the Southern California premier of “The Last Supper” during the Pacific Arts Movements 2013 Spring Showcase held at Digiplex Mission Valley Theater to a large crowd， who were interested in Chinese cinema and culture.
Director Lu Chuan portrayed the rise and fall of the first emperor of the Han dynasty of China in a very artistic and engaging fashion. The elderly Emperor Han Gao Zu, or Liu Bang, as he was featured throughout the movie, struggled to come to terms with the various strife and complications that arose from his ascent to become the ruler of China. The film was superb with its realistic special effects; and creative storytelling that dramatically narrated the history of the late emperor and those that took part in his political ascension. In addition to the stylistic and captivating cinematography, The Last Supper also served as a prime example for which modern American and Chinese cinema can be compared.
Lu Chuan’s “The Last Supper” is an excellent model of what the Spring Showcase of Pacific Arts Movements and Chinese cinemas are all about.
Please contact the department for assistance. On April 19th, 2013, the 2013 Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Preliminary Competition for Southern California was successfully held at the San Diego County Office of Education. The Competition was co-sponsored by Hanban, Confucius Institute Headquarters and the Education Department at the General Consulate Office of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles and hosted by the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University.
A total of 62 students from 14 K-12 schools throughout Southern California and Arizona enthusiastically participated in this competition. Over a hundred viewers, including parents and teachers, were present to cheer the students on. Counselor ZhuenMin Chen, and Educational Consul Liqun Li from the Education Department at General Consulate Office of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles, came to show their support to the program; Counselor Chen was also invited to be one of the judges and presented awards at the end of the competition. He encouraged the students to further their study in Mandarin. Other judges were Co-director of Confucius Institute at SDSU, Professor Wei Lu; Chinese teacher and Qi Gong Master, Ms. ShaoFang Lv; and Ms. XueYing Hu, a visiting scholar from Zhejiang Normal University. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was the emcee of the competition.
The program for the competition tested the participants in their Chinese language proficiency and Chinese cultural knowledge. They also showed their talented skills in calligraphy, martial arts, dancing, singing, shadow play skit, etc. which featured a related theme to Chinese culture.
The top three winners from 6th – 12th grade section went to Jose Gonzalez from Accelerated Learning Laboratory High School in Arizona, Anne Zlatow from BASIS Oro Valley High School in Arizona, and Chrestina Mansoor from the Confucius Classroom at El Cajon Valley High School in San Diego. The top five winners from K-5th grade section were Leah Markworth and Magdalena Abboud from Riverview International Academy Elementary School, Asa Traylor, Christopher Santy, Justyne Higman and Owen Counts (tied for fifth place) from Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School. All the participants’ performances were brilliant; they are remarkable evidence that demonstrated the impressive progress of the Chinese language education and Chinese culture in Southern California in the past few years.
The successful outcome of this competition was mainly due to the support from the Chinese teachers, parents, school officials, and the San Diego County Office of Education; as well as the intensive planning by the staff members and volunteers of Confucius Institute at SDSU. With the coverage from the local media, San Diego Chinese Press and WuZhouSiHai News, this competition received positive feedback from the local community.
On April 18th, 2013, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University co-sponsored the Opening Feature, Linsanity, of the Pacific Arts Movement’s 2013 Spring Showcase to a sold out crowd at the North Park Birch Theatre in San Diego. Prior to the showing, there were multiple contests and events as entertainment for the crowd, such as a basketball 3-point shooting contest, and a raffle in which the winner would receive a signed jersey valued at more than $500; various sponsors for the movie also provided the audience with a personal account of how this movie has impacted their lives. The highlight of the entertainment was a brief introduction by the director of “Linsanity”, Evan Jackson Leong.
This documentary film depicts the childhood stories of the star basketball player, Jeremy Lin, and his rise to fame and prominence within NBA. The film provides a candid representation of the young athlete by offering numerous testimonial statements from his coaches, family members, and friends that supported him through his ordeals in finally being drafted into NBA.
Following the movie there was a question and answer session with director Evan Jackson Leong, in which viewers from the audience were able to learn more about the movie and how it was made.
On April 18th, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was presented with the Diversity Award by the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders at its 2013 Annual Conference at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. The awards celebration was attended by all the Chairs and Directors of the Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders throughout the United States.
Dr. Cheng was awarded this honor because of her laborious contribution in promoting Chinese language and culture. The Diversity Award is given annually to one individual or an organization for his/her significant influences in providing exposure for under-represented groups or people within the field of communication sciences and disorders.
On April 17th, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, held a Chinese teachers’ workshop for the faculty and staff at Riverview Elementary and International Academy, one of the Confucius Classroom schools affiliated with Confucius Institute at SDSU.
The entire Chinese language faculty from the school attended the workshop. An exercise was administered at the end of the workshop for self-evaluation and improvement purposes. The event also included an exercise focusing on SWOT analysis - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. After the SWOT analysis, the faculty was given an assignment, SSC - Stop, Start and Continue. This assignment was due one week following the workshop.
On April 15th, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended a Signing Ceremony solidifying the newly founded partnership between Orange County Department of Education and the Bureau of Education of the City of Guangzhou, China. The day’s program began with a brief welcoming and breakfast event, followed by a visit to two schools. One of the schools, Fletcher Elementary, is home to one of the newly created Chinese Immersion programs for kindergarten and elementary school students in Orange County. With only a handful of similar immersion programs nationwide, the introduction of Chinese immersion classrooms to Fletcher Elementary is a big advancement in expanding the influence of Chinese language and culture.
The guests were taken on a private tour at Bowers Museum of Cultural Arts following the school visitations. After lunch, the ceremony formally began with a reception, and Chinese pipa performance, courtesy of Bowers Museum. In addition to this performance, the children of the Orange County School of the Arts presented the attendees with a folkloric ballet show. The ceremony ended with the recognition of Bergeson and Fletcher Elementary school, and the actual signing to celebrate the new partnership. The daylong event set the first move for hopefully a long relationship between the Orange County Department of Education and the Bureau of Education, Guangzhou, China.
On April 11, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng was invited to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Confucius Institute of Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. The college was once attended by the world renowned Soong sisters, all of whom went to Macon in the early part of the 20th century.
The Soong sisters each had her own unique personal history. Soong Chingling was married to Dr. Sun Yat Sen, the founder of the Three Principles of the People; Soong Meiling was married to Chiang Kaishek, the main leader of the National Party during its governing period; and Soong Ailing was married to S.C. Kung, Secretary of Finance and National Affairs while the Chinese government was relocated to Nanjing during the Sino-Japanese war.
The Confucius Institute at Macon was bestowed with many gifts from the Soong sisters, which all represent a gallery of cultural and historical significance. Madame Xu Lin, Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters, Hanban, attended the unveiling ceremony to show her support for this new branch within the organization.
On April 8th, 2013, San Diego State University President Elliot Hirshman, and Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, met with President Yin Nan Yuan of Nantong University in Shanghai, China. The meeting took place in Shanghai instead of Nantong due to the limited time President Hirshman had between transits. The discussion focused on the collaboration between faculty of the two universities, exchange programs for students, the 2+2 program and many other potential areas of collaboration. A proposal for a joint program was also discussed during the meeting.
Nantong University was established by famous contemporary scholar, Jian Zhang. It is the oldest normal school in China. Over the years, it has developed into a university with many disciplines. Nantong Normal University is currently expanding its programs and will be building a new campus in the near future.
On April 7th, 2013, President Elliot Hirshman of San Diego State University met with President Jian Bao Li of Hainan University at San Diego State University campus. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was also present. The main agenda of this meeting focused on the development of Tourism and Hospitality collaboration between SDSU and Hainan University.
Founded in 1958, there are more than 1450 faculty members at Hainan University, including over 820 professors and associate professors, of which over 350 hold a doctorate degree and higher. Hainan University offers 8 categories of disciplines, such as philosophy, economics, law, literature, natural sciences, agriculture, engineering, and management. There are 20 colleges, offering 70 undergraduate programs, 130 postgraduate programs and 34 Ph. D programs. As one of the key sites for the “211 Project” in China, there are more than 35,000 students currently enrolled at Hainan University.
Another topic discussed during the meeting focused on the faculty development between the two campuses.
From April 7th to April 8th, President Elliot Hirshman of San Diego State University, and Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the 13th Annual Conference of BOAO Forum in Hainan, China. President Elliot Hirshman was a panelist in the Education Panel focusing on the topic of Education vs. Employment. Over 2000 delegates participated in this high level forum, which attracted political leaders, government officials, business leaders, and scholars around the world to discuss issues related to Asian development.
Many heads of state from China, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Peru, Zambia, Finland, Mexico, Cambodia, and Australia attended this Forum; various other high-ranking officials from Mongolia and Algeria were also present. The discussions that took place during the forum were far-ranging, dealing with issues of trade, national debt, investment, “going abroad” strategies, property and property rights, and social enterprise. A special session with Bill Gates on Investment for the Poor was among the popular features. All of the topics were focused on supporting the overall theme, “Asia Seeking Development for All: Restructuring, Responsibility and Cooperation”.
On April 6th, 2013, San Diego State University President, Elliot Hirshman, led a delegation to visit Xiamen University in Southern China. Xiamen University is the partner university of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University.
The delegation attended the 92nd Anniversary of Xiamen University as well as the opening of San Diego State University Day held on April 6. Members of the delegation met with their counterparts for a discussion of potential opportunities of collaboration in the future. A board meeting of the Confucius Institute was part of the day’s events. At the meeting, it was decided that there would be a Xiamen University Day at SDSU in March of 2014.
The forum was well received by all attendees.
On March 28, 2013, Project Coordinator of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Jonathan Lee, and Project Intern, Hang Xiao, attended the Study Abroad Fair held at SDSU Imperial Valley Campus in Calexico to promote the Shanghai Summer Study Abroad program. Co-Director of CI/SDSU, Professor Wei Lu, assisted in the promotion of the program to recruit more students to visit China this summer.
Students visited various booths in the John Steppling Art Gallery where the Fair was held. There were many choices of programs to choose from, including classes offered in China, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Canada, and Japan; among other exciting destinations. Fairs such as this are held regularly at SDSU campuses to in order to help students who are seeking to expand their horizons and travel the world. Many of these students go abroad in order to enhance their cultural knowledge, meet graduation requirements, or to improve their language skills.
During the event, several students came up to the Confucius Institute booth to inquire more about studying in China. They expressed great interest in studying abroad in Shanghai this coming summer after learning the details of the program from CI staff.
The Shanghai program will take students to Shanghai and Hangzhou, exploring many of the cultural aspects China has to offer. Students will experience many different things, including sightseeing at temples and other historic monuments; tasting the local cuisine; and learning the local customs.
On March 24, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the “Rhythms of Asia” event at the Poway Performing Arts Center, located in the North County region of San Diego.
A plethora of music and dances from various regions in Asia was presented by the San Diego Indian American Society. The performances featured a variety of differing Asian cultural dance styles; examples included Bollywood from India, the Lion Dance from China, a Thailand-style Royalty Dance, and also a Bamboo Dance associated with Filipino culture.
UCSD Chancellor, Dr. Pradeep K. Khosla, was the honored guest at this annual Unity in Diversity dancing shows.
On March 24, 2013, a reception was co-hosted by the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) and the San Diego Indian American Society to welcome the arrival of the 8th Chancellor of UCSD, Dr. Pradeep K. Khosla. The event was held at Marriott Del Mar Hotel in Del Mar City, San Diego County. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University and APAPA-SDC Chair, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was invited to be one of the hosts for the event. Several CI volunteers were also present to support this special event.
Superintendent-Designate of San Diego Unified School District, Ms. Cindy Marten; Vice President of the Board of San Diego Unified School District, Mr. Kevin Beiser; President of San Diego Community College Board, Mr. Bernie Rhinerson; President of Miramar College, Dr. Patricia Hsieh, and more than 150 other guests attended the event.
Dr. Pradeep K. Khosla gave an introduction of UCSD and addressed questions from the guests. Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UCSD, Dr. Suresh Subramani, also shared his assignment at UCSD with the crowd.
This event presented a wonderful opportunity for people to meet the new Chancellor.
On March 23, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended a lecture presented by Dr. Richard Henke at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. Dr. Henke shared many stories of his parents’ medical missionary in China. Dr. Richard Henke donated family heirlooms, such as Henke family photographs, diaries and artifacts to the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.
Dr. Cheng, together with San Diego Chinese Historical Museum’s curator, Dr. Alex Chuang, presented an award of recognition to the Henke family for their generous contributions of family collectibles to the museum.
A collection from the Statmore family was donated to the museum as well on March 23.
On March 22, 2013, Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School held its very first ‘Wine and Watch’ Event, hosted by Pacific Arts Movement founder, Lee Ann Kim, to promote the “Every Family Gives” Campaign. Led by Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, many members of the CI staff attended this function. Over 50 parents and supporters of Barnard Elementary School students were present, including Scott Barnett, Vice President of the Board at San Diego Unified School District. The film shown was a 60-minute documentary called “Speaking in Tongues.”
“Speaking in Tongues” followed four racially diverse children on their bilingual journey. The time period occurred during which 31 states had passed “English Only” laws. Four pioneering families went against tradition by registering their children in the foreign language immersion programs in public schools. From Day 1 in Kindergarten, their teachers spoke mostly in a foreign language. The audience watched as each child’s world gradually transformed as they learned to be proficient both bi-culturally and bilingually.
After the film, Dr. Lilly Cheng hosted a discussion session regarding the needs for schools to further develop multi-lingual education plans, as is depicted in the film. “Speaking in Tongues” demonstrated the importance of bilingual education, and was well received by the attendees.
On March 22, 2013, staff members from Confucius Institute at San Diego State University participated in the Multicultural Week activities at El Capitan High School. Project Manager, Anne Chu; Project Coordinator, Crystal Qian; and Confucius Classroom Teacher, Cindy Wang; attended this event. They set up a booth where they demonstrated the beauty of Chinese calligraphy.
Students were intrigued by the pictographic design of the Chinese characters. They lined up with excitement as they requested their names to be written in Chinese. After learning the meaning of their names written in Chinese, students expressed great gratitude.
Many of them stated that they would be interested in learning Chinese and more about Chinese culture.
At 7PM on March 21, 2013, a wonderful show of Dagu, Beijing Drum Songs, was held at the Cerritos College Student Center. This performance was organized by Cerritos College and Rio Hondo College, and co-sponsored by the Confucius Institutes at San Diego State University and Michigan State University. Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, Project Manager Anne Chu, and Office Assistant Vicky Hsu were all present to support the Chinese cultural presentation.
Ms. Fengjie Yang, Ms. Liwen Zheng, Mr. Hongmin Wang and Mr. Yan Xia from Tianjin Folk Art Troupe provided a spectacular performance. The Beijing Drum Songs feature a style of quyi, which is narrative ballad-singing, accompanied by a drum, a set of bamboo clappers, and other string instruments. Each performer captured the essence of the popular folktales that many Chinese audience members recognized. The program of the evening included: “The Battle of Changbanpo,” an adapted from “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”; “Capturing Sanlang Alive,” adapted from “Water Margins;” and “The Story of the Heavy Monk” adapted from “Water Margins.” The performances expressed the sheer magnitude of the common stories; the audience couldn’t help but burst out in laughter, and were emotionally moved.
At the end of the show, many guests voiced their anticipation to attend similar shows in the future. They were deeply appreciative of the support demonstrated by the Confucius Institute, as well as other organizations hosting Chinese cultural shows, all of which provided a rare opportunity to sample a fraction of authentic Chinese culture. March 21 was also Ms. Yang’s birthday. The organizers and the audience all joined in to wish her a happy birthday. Ms. Yang was so touched that she claimed this would be her most memorable birthday ever experienced.
Ms. Yang expressed her dedication to promote the Chinese culture in Southern California. She announced that she would be willing to offer complimentary lessons to whoever was interested in learning the Beijing Drum Song. Everyone in attendance left with happy memories of this culturally-rich event.
On March 19, 2013, Principal Hector Espinoza and Chinese teacher, Bella Liu, of San Ysidro High School (SYHS) in Sweetwater School District of Southern San Diego visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. Managing Director Dr. Lilly Cheng; Co-Director Prof. Wei Lu; and Project Manager Anne Chu were present to express their welcome.
The purpose of their visit was to seek CI at SDSU’s support as SYH began its application process to be recognized as a Confucius Classroom school affiliated with CI at SDSU. SYHS was established about 11 years ago. Principal Espinoza, bearing the foresight of teaching SYHS’s students to become 21st century citizens, introduced Chinese language classes from day one. Currently, Ms. Liu is teaching 3 classes daily to more than 100 students who are interested in learning Chinese language and culture. Principal Espinoza hoped that the support from Hanban and CI at SDSU (such as providing Chinese teachers, additional text supplies and teachers’ training program) would propel SYHS’s current Chinese program to the next level where both teachers and students would benefit.
In March of 2013, Confucius Institute and the School of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (SLHS) at San Diego State University co-sponsored two graduate students, Wendy Chan and Sophine Wong, from the Hong Kong Institute of Education to San Diego to participate in a two-week program, from March 18 – 29, under the School of SLHS.
During their first day’s visit to SDSU campus, Managing Director of CI at SDSU and Professor of the School of SLHS, Dr. Lilly Cheng, first gave a short introduction of SDSU, Confucius Institute, and the school of SLHS. The two-week program would offer Wendy and Sophine the opportunity to attend classes of a wide range of topics in child and adult speech and language disorders, to meet with students in undergraduate and graduate programs, and to visit research labs relating to the field.
At the end of the two-week visit, the two students expressed their sincere appreciation to all the professors, students and staff for such a wonderful arrangements.
On Saturday, March 16, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended the San Diego Women's Hall of Fame Ceremony at the East Ballroom at Price Center, UCSD. Dr. Cheng honored the recipient, Mrs. Dorothy Hom into the Women’s Hall of Fame. Channel 8 of San Diego interviewed both Dr. Cheng and Mrs. Dorothy Hom regarding this momentous occasion. Over 250 people attended this ceremony in honor of women who have made significant contributions in San Diego.
Mrs. Dorothy Hom dedicated herself to preserving and sharing Chinese culture, history and her heritage in San Diego. She was instrumental in founding the Chinese Historical Society of Greater San Diego and Baja California. Furthermore, she was one of the founders of the Gaslamp Quarter District, which attributed to the preservation of more than twenty historic buildings in San Diego downtown neighborhood.
On March 16, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, attended “Cruzar la Cara de la Luna” (To Cross the Face of the Moon), a mariachi show performed by a Mariachi band from Mexico, produced by San Diego Opera in support of the multicultural programs. This was the first time such a performance was included as part of San Diego Opera's annual seasonal presentation.
The renowned Mariachi, Vargas de Tecalitlán, known as the World’s Best Mariachi with more than 800 recordings。 starred in the first mariachi opera, “Cruzar la Cara de la Luna”, a bi-lingual play following three generations of a single family, spanning across countries, cultures and traditions. Performed to ecstatic reviews in Houston and Paris, this production staged its West Coast premiere in San Diego.
CI at SDSU attended San Diego Golden Dragon Kung Fu and Culture Institute 10th Anniversary Celebration
On March 16, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was invited to attend the 10th Anniversary celebration of San Diego Golden Dragon Kung Fu and Culture Institute. Several hundred people attended this fascinating event.
In addition to Kung Fu and Wu Shu, Golden Dragon Chinese Kung-fu and Culture institute has been providing excellent after school programs, summer camp, and academic enrichment classes in San Diego since 2003. It is their mission to provide a superior preparatory education in a diverse, family-oriented environment that meets the academic, social, creative, emotional and physical needs of the individual young learners. The classes offered in the after school program include: Chess, Math, Abacus, English Literature, Piano, Violin, etc…
The students from Golden Dragon Kung Fu and Culture Institute performed traditional dances, demonstrated kung fu movements, including tai chi and other martial arts during the celebration ceremony. These students also sang to entertain the distinguished guests.
On March 15, 2013, in support of the existing Mandarin program at Confucius Classroom School at Hilltop High School, CI staff attended its annual Multicultural Fair. This event was to promote awareness and tolerance of multi-cultural diversity. This year’s program included various dancing performances, foods, and activities with South American, Asian, and European essences.
Project Manager Anne Chu, Project Coordinators Jonathan Lee and Crystal Qian, and Project Intern Albert Chan, set up a booth showcasing Chinese culture among other stands. Hundreds of students flocked to CI booth to get their names written in Chinese calligraphy style, or to have a temporary tattoo with beautifully drawn Chinese characters. This was the first time CI was invited to participate at the Multicultural Fair; the students were excited to see how their names were translated into Chinese. Many of them lingered around CI’s booth way after the schedule of the Fair was past.
The 2013 Multicultural event at Hilltop High School provided a wonderful opportunity for CI to continue its endeavors of promoting Chinese language and culture far and wide.
On March 13, 2013, Managing Director of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, served as the Scholarship Committee Chair for the Kyoto Prize scholarship Program. More than 300 guests were in attendance for the announcement of the winners of this scholarship.
The Kyoto Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to graduating high school seniors from San Diego County who will be attending an accredited four-year university in the United States. A companion scholarship is available to students residing in Tijuana. These scholarships were presented in the categories of advanced technology, basic sciences, the arts, and philosophy. There were 3 high school students from San Diego, and 3 high school students from Tijuana who received the Kyoto Prize Scholarships included. The scholarship is valued up to $10,000 for the proceeding academic year.
These winners were inspired by the laureates, who attributed to a better society through the progressions of their life-long work. The presentation by each of the three Kyoto Laureates, Dr. Ivan Edward Southern, Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi, and Professor Gayatri Spivak were scheduled from March 13-14.
On March 13, 2013, San Diego Taiwanese Center held an event for popular talk show host Brother Sway. Brother Sway has been a very popular talk show host and TV personality in recent years, and this was his first time to hold a show in San Diego. Over 400 people came out to attend the event that was co-sponsored by Confucius Institute at SDSU, local Chinese Newspaper “Five Continents and Four Oceans”, and eight other sponsors.
Brother Sway’s talk shows are done in a more Chinese style with American humor. During his San Diego show, he employed different techniques to show irony concerning global events, cultural differences, interpersonal relationships, and hot topics regarding today’s society. He provided a variety of examples that occur in daily life which resonated with the audience and helped to convey his message. During his show, the audience was clearly excited and enjoyed every moment.
On March 07, 2013, led by Superintendent Michael L. Christensen of Orange Unified School District, a group of educators visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University and Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School. Members in the group included Board President of Trustee, Timothy Surridge; Assistant Superintendent Gunn Marie Hansen; Director of Curriculum & Instruction at Orange County Office of Education, Sandra Lapham; and Administrator of Services for English Learners and Specialized Instruction at Orange County Office of Education, Stacey Larson-Everson. Principal Edward Park of Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School; Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng; and Project Manager of CI/SDSU, Anne Chu were present to welcome the group’s visit.
The purpose of their visit was to learn about the concept of a Confucius Classroom school and to seek advice from Confucius Institute at SDSU as Orange Unified School District is in the process of preparing their application packet as a Confucius Classroom to Hanban.
Principal Edward Park, along with other faculty at Barnard, first greeted the visitors with a presentation of the application of Confucius Classroom by Barnard. In addition, he shared with them the various supports, such as local Asian communities and CI/SDSU, which was essential to the program’s success. Dr. Lilly Cheng outlined the procedure, guidelines and time table for the application process to the group. The representatives from Orange County were led on a tour of the campus of Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School, where they witnessed how modern technology was applied to enhance the 21st century teaching in classrooms, as well as how Mandarin immersion program was administered.
At the end of the meeting, Project Manager, Anne Chu, gave a detailed introduction of the support system offered by Confucius Institute Headquarters, Hanban; CI/SDSU; and its partner in China, Xiamen University. These educators left with an abundance of information which encouraged them in their pursuit as a Confucius Classroom school under CI/SDSU.
On March 7, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was invited as one of the speakers at the 21st Century Education Symposium, held at Riverview International Academy and Elementary School. Attending this symposium was a delegation group of 20 scholars from Shijiazhuang, China who came to San Diego for a one-week training program.
The students from Riverview International Academy greeted these scholars by presenting a dance performance at the welcoming ceremony. These students were able to express their passion for learning Mandarin with the visitors from China.
"Language is a building block to all education. But, at Barnard Elementary School in Point Loma, that block is coming from half a world away. From Kindergarten, students are taught in both Mandarin and English. Students are not just learning another language; they’re also learning a new culture and gaining a competitive advantage for their future. March 6, 2013." - SD4
On February 28, 2013 at 1 PM, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University hosted the first Chinese Corner event for the year 2013. This event was to promote cross-cultural understanding and learning, as well as to promote international relations among various races. Chinese corner was organized to aid students who are learning Mandarin by creating a setting to interact with native Chinese speakers.
The meeting was held at the conference room on the 3rd floor of the Arts and Letters building at San Diego State University. Attendees were fully engaged in the presentation; they further learned of the mission of the Chinese corner, and of Confucius Institute. As the meeting came to a close, students expressed their excitement for future events.
On February 24, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng was invited as the master of ceremonies for the San Diego Yantai Sisterhood Association’s annual banquet. In addition to the traditional dragon dance and lion dance, there were also performances of other traditional Chinese dances as well as a piano recital. Around 300 people gathered for this event in order to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
The city of San Diego in conjunction with Yantai City in Shandong Province, China, established the sisterhood 28 years ago in 1985. Since then, both sides have implemented a series of exchange and cooperation programs in regards to the economy, culture, and education of both countries. In commemoration of their partnership, both San Diego and Yantai cities built a “Pacific Rim Park.” These parks were designed and constructed jointly by students from both countries. The partnership between the two cities has been very active with many groups from the San Diego Yantai Sisterhood Association visiting Yantai city over the years. In addition, the Mayor and Assistant Mayor of Yantai City, and various students groups have also visited San Diego in the past to help foster a greater relationship between the two cities.
On the Feb. 23, 2013, the San Diego Chinese Women’s Federation invited Daming Li, a World Journal reporter to San Diego, in order to give a speech to the Chinese community concerning the sovereignty dispute over the Diaoyu islands. Managing Director of Confucius Institute, Dr. Lilly Cheng attended the lecture.
In his lecture, Daming Li predicted the future situation of the Diaoyu islands based on their history. Due to the problems left over by history and the important geographic position of Diaoyu islands, the ownership of the islands is a very contentious dispute between China and Japan. With the aid of various references and materials, Mr. Li illustrated the origin of the dispute and listed the reasons and grounds for Chinese ownership of the Diaoyu islands. The audiences showed great interest in the demonstration which resulted in many questions being asked to Mr. Li regarding this topic.
Furthermore, in addition to the lecture on the islands, President of “We Chinese”, Ms. Ma Ping recited the poem “Motherland, my name is Diaoyu Island”. The poem and speech were very inspiring and well received by the audience. The San Diego Chinese Women’s Federation awarded Daming Li with a certificate of appreciation to thank him for making a brilliant speech regarding the current affairs.
On Wednesday, February 20, and Saturday, February 23, 2013, respectively, Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School hosted its annual Chinese New Year celebration. Hundreds of parents and community supporters were present to join in on the festive celebrations.
Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, presented boxes of Chinese culture supplies, bequeathed from Hanban for each Confucius Classroom schools, to Principal Edward Park at the opening ceremony. She expressed her Chinese New Year wishes to each one for a prosperous 2013, Year of the Snake.
The programs on Wednesday, February 20, were provided by all the students at Barnard Elementary with a special Lion Dance performance by Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society. Led by their teacher, students from each grade level came on stage for a variety of Chinese culture shows which included; Chinese musical skit, Chinese folklore stories of “Nian”, the 12 Chinese zodiac animals, and an assortment of physical activities with Chinese culture flair.
On Saturday, February 23, the celebration focused on community outreach. Not only was the show and the campus open for the community to enjoy, but many community groups locally from other Asian heritages came to join in on the celebration. There were Filipino Folkdance Group, Korean Drum group from Korean School, PiPa Quartet, and a “Silk Road of China Culture Show’ produced by CI at SDSU. Amateur models from CI staff and volunteers presented numerous gorgeous, exquisite Chinese outfits showcasing the evolution of fabrics through Chinese history. The audience was in awe by the elaborate collection of Chinese garments. Dr. Cheng’s explicit narration offered insightful knowledge and information, allowing the audience a deeper understanding of various aspects of Chinese culture.
In addition, CI staff and volunteer also set up a booth, among other vendors, demonstrating Chinese calligraphy for another introduction of Chinese culture to all.
On Saturday, February 16th, 2013, at 9:00 am in the morning, a group of 37 students and 6 teachers from the Taiyuan No.2 International School Winter Camp led by Principal Zhang Ling, visited San Diego State University. Director Matthew J. Hebert of Prospective Student Affairs at SDSU, and Recruiting Assistant Miffy Yuan of American Language Institute at SDSU welcomed the group with a brief introduction of their respective departments, the various academic projects, colleges’ structure and the dual diplomats programs. Prospective Student Affairs also presented a few video clips of campus surroundings and San Diego County in general. Both sides exchanged presents to solidify their newly founded partnership before a group photo was taken. SDSU student representative, Samantha Siros, and her associates escorted the group on a campus tour at the end of their visit.
The 31st annual Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair was held on February 16 – 17, 2013 in downtown San Diego. Led by Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, all CI staff members, interns, and volunteers set up an exhibition booth promoting Chinese language and culture. As the emcee of the two day Fair show, Dr. Lilly Cheng warmly invited the students and teachers from Taiyuan No.2 International School to come on stage for a demonstration on how a traditional Chinese New Year greeting was conducted to the audience. The dragon and lion dance troupe paraded on the pavement accompanied by the loud bangs from the gongs and drums; the colorful displays of Chinese crafts and souvenirs; and a convivial collection of food items for sale produced quite a lively festive surrounding on every street corner. The visitors were joyous to enjoy the carnival spirit during their visit in the United States.
Principal Zhang Ling expressed her gratitude and warm new-year wishes to Dr. Lilly Cheng of the warm hospitality the group had received.
On February 16 – 17, 2013, the San Diego Chinese Center (SDCC) hosted its 31st annual San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair on the corner of 3rd Street and J Street in the Gaslamp District near downtown San Diego. More than 30,000 tourists, visitors and locals flocked to enjoy the festivities. Taking full advantage of the Fair for publicity, the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University as well as the Confucius Classroom at Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School, and Riverview Elementary and International Academy respectively, posted display booths and provided Chinese themed singing and dancing programs.
Dr. Lilly Cheng, Managing Director of the Confucius Institute at SDSU, was actively involved in the planning of the Fair; she acted as the emcee, hosting the shows on stage on both days. Co-Director, Professor Wei Lu, and numerous Confucius Institute staff members and volunteers set up display stations for the event. In addition to addressing inquiries of Chinese teachings and local Chinese teacher training programs, the staff tirelessly introduced the mission, goal and progress of the Confucius Institute and associated the Confucius Classroom schools; showcasing and giving away the text materials of the Chinese language and culture. In addition, the staff also demonstrated Chinese calligraphy by writing down a thoughtfully drafted Chinese name for each visitor; did face paintings for children with Chinese zodiac characters and other popular patterns; and share knowledge of Chinese folklores with these children.
Students from Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School and Riverview Elementary International Academy performed Chinese songs and dances on stage. The Tibetan dance performed by Riverview students won outstanding praises from the crowd for its unique ethnic emphasis.
More than thousands of visitors stopped by the Confucius Institute booth during the 2 day event. Many, who were fully aware of the Confucius Institute’s recent achievements, praised the worker’s dedication and expressed their interest in learning more of the updated information about the Confucius Institute.
On Friday, February 15, 2013, Los Angeles Department of Education, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, Xu Cuiying came to San Diego State University to meet with Provost Nancy Marlin to exchange information regarding the current progress of the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University.
Consul Xu will conclude her tenure in the U.S. and return to China later this spring. Over the last few years, Consul Xu has provided immense support towards the operation of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. Provost Nancy Marlin thanked Consul Xu for all her continued contributions and support for the development of the Confucius Institute.
On Thursday, February 14, 2013, Presidential Chair and Associate Dean of Global Education at the University of Oregon, Doctor Yong Zhao, gave a presentation on the “Implications of China’s Education Reform for America” at the Bishop’s School in San Diego. The event was co-sponsored by UC San Diego 21st Century China and San Diego State University Confucius Institute, in cooperation with The Bishop’s School.
In his speech, Dr. Zhao explored two paradigms of education, and challenged the traditional views of education quality. The main points of his lecture were: Creative talents, preserving curiosity, encouraging entrepreneurship, cultivating confidence, global competence, cultural diversity, and multiple intelligences. Attendees found the lecture very insightful of the change China is making to its education system.
On February 13, 2013, staff from Confucius Institute at San Diego State University participated at the Freshmen Recruit Meet at El Capitan High School to showcase and promote the Chinese course as well as the Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for American High School students Program.
Project Coordinator of CI at SDSU, Jonathan Lee, Office Assistant, Vicky Hsu, and Chinese Teacher, Ming Qu gave out Chinese bookmarks as gifts to the students and explained the meaning of the Chinese characters on the bookmarks. CI staff also answered questions regarding the Summer Camp program for summer of 2013; parents and students expressed great interest in the Summer Camp program. Students exclaimed to their parents as they walked away from CI booth that they would like to start learning Chinese and visit China in the summer.
On February 13th to 15th, the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) Conference was held at Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California. CI at SDSU attended the conference to promote the development of Chinese language curriculum. Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, spoke alongside Director Jiaxin Xie of CI at SFSU, and Director Susan Pertel-Jain of CI at UCLA, on how the Confucius Institutes provided support to Chinese Language Programs in California. As the growth of Chinese programs and multilingualism in K-12 schools were on the rise, Confucius Institutes were a key role attributing to this growth.
Project Coordinator, Jonathan Lee, of CI at SDSU conducted several sessions on the development of Chinese curriculum for conference attendees. He discussed the nature of Kindergarten education, and the importance of combining visual, verbal, and hands on activities to maintain student’s interest and improve their learning capacity. Students would learn from story books in large prints, utilizing supplementary materials, such as flash cards, matching cards, chopsticks, and other activities to reiterate what they had learned. Many CABE participants expressed great interested in the development of these materials; they requested more updated information in the future.
On February 11th, 2013, at 9 o’clock in the morning, a group of nine students and teachers from Taicang and Guangzhou, China accompanied by the “2+1” Project leader of BELA Company, visited San Diego State University (SDSU). This program is aimed to attract and recruit qualified American teachers to work in high schools in China associated with this project. The orientation meeting was held at SDSU Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center which was completed in 2010. Managing Director of Confucius Institute at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng; Associate Dean of College of Education, Dr. Jose Luis Alvarado; Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership Department, Dr. Cheryl James Ward; and Director of Student Center for Professional Development, Dr. Brian P. Blake, all addressed their welcome speeches to the visiting guests.
The event started with students’ self-introduction. They expressed their strong impressions of San Diego during the past week of their visit; they then stated their study plan, as well as their desire to study in the U.S., all the professors present encouraged them to pursue their plan in the future. Director of Prospective Student Services, Dr. Matthew J. Hebert, gave a short introduction of Prospective Student Services to guests. Director-General of the American Language Institute (ALI), Dr. Barbara Bass, further introduced the programs of ALI.
Students were led on a tour of the campus arranged by the staff of Prospective Student Affairs so they could get a glimpse of student’s routines at SDSU. “2+1” Project Directors of BELA company, Mr. Norman Hsu and Jan Oonchitti, then introduced in details the “2+1” Program, with two-year of study in a high school in China and one year in the United States. They planned to recruit American teachers to teach in China to the students enrolled in the program for the first two years to provide them with an authentic classroom atmosphere of an American school in China. On behalf of the student teachers from the College of Education, Dr. Scot Danforth thanked BELA for the teaching opportunities offered from this project.
As Chinese New Year was the day before, Confucius Institute at SDSU provided a warm and festive décor for the venue; fruit trays, Chinese cookies and Chinese New Year snacks were offered for the guests to enjoy. A tea ceremony demonstration was also performed by CI staff members, Vicky Hsu and Denise He. The visitors from China thoroughly enjoyed the festivities of Chinese New Year while they were away from home; everyone was impressed by the tea ceremony which afforded them a deeper understanding of Chinese culture. They were grateful for the engagements from CI staff.
On February 8th, 2013, the San Diego Museum of Art held a welcoming, ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the permanent exhibition, Art of East Asia. The newly renovated and remodeled exhibition galleries were ceremoniously opened to the public on February 9th, 2013, coinciding with the Chinese New Year of 2013. Around 500 museum members and guests gathered and celebrated the event. Managing Director of CI at SDSU and Chairman of the Board of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, Dr. Lilly Cheng; Project Manager of CI at SDSU, Anne Chu; and Principal Edward Park of Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School, along with other distinguished guests from the local Chinese community invited by the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University took part in the festivities.
The collection of East Asian art at the San Diego Museum of Art has more than 800 pieces, with 280 pieces on permanent display. Several experts in East Asian art from the Cleveland Museum of Art acted as consultants in the renovation planning. These specialists gave a detailed presentation of the history of the renovation project, which lasted six years. The goal of the revamped project was to display the exotic artwork in the best possible way, with interpretations and descriptions for gallery viewers. The new layout also contained animated videos featuring East Asian arts and crafts, as well as the art’s cross-regional influence from ancient times to modern days. Furthermore, the educational interactive software program that assists in introducing calligraphy exercises, sculpting and other activities, received great praise from the public.
The new art galleries for Arts of East Asia is divided into five sections, in addition to various pieces from China, there are sections containing pieces from Japan and Korea. The exhibition is truly a feast for the eyes, in which the essence of Asian art is elegantly presented.
Chinese New Year is the biggest and most festive holiday within Chinese culture. Every year more than 1.3 billion Chinese celebrate the start of a new year. However, on the other side of the world on a warm spring day in February, the people of Banning, California, also took part in the festivities of this traditional Chinese holiday.
On the morning of Feb. 8th 2013, Confucius Institute’s Confucius Classroom Central Elementary School, located in Banning, California, held a grand performance to celebrate Chinese New Year. Over 600 teachers, students, parents, and community members came to watch the performance. The auditorium was adorned with colorful lights and the stage was decorated with red ribbons symbolizing good luck. Almost all of the teachers, students and parents arrived for the festivities dressed in red to show their respect for the traditions of Chinese New Year.
The Principal of the school, Edward Young was the host of the performance. Wearing a red tie and amaranthine colored pants, Mr. Young received a round of applause from the audience as he proceeded to the stage. Mr. Young started off the event by first familiarizing the audience with traditions related to Chinese New Year, followed by an announcement in Chinese to signal the start of the performances. To begin, the students performed four Chinese songs, “Where is my friend?” “Mom, I want to kiss you” “Happy New Year” and “I love my family”. These songs were well received with the audience, who provided the student performers with a warm round of applause. The second show was a performance of the dance, “Happy Chinese New Year” offered by the teachers and students. The graceful Chinese dancing and the flowing colorful ribbons were perfect examples of the elegance and traditions of Chinese New Year. In addition to the visual displays, there was a musical demonstration by the kindergarten teacher Ms. Hanson who provided a beautiful rendition of “Edelweiss,” the semi chorus, in both Chinese and English. A dance performance, coupled with a fashion show to display traditional Chinese dresses, also known as cheongsam, “The hottest Chinese National trend,” followed the teacher-student performance as one of the other most popular shows at the event. The school’s Chinese teacher Xiuqing Wang from Qufu Normal University in Shandong, China, along with other American teachers, highlighted this performance by personally wearing the cheongsam to display the grace and beauty of traditional Chinese clothing.
In preparation for the fashion show, all of the American teachers had to study the culture associated with the cheongsam. The teacher’s profound understanding and love towards Chinese culture could easily be seen from their sensational performance. To the sound of cheers and applause, the executive producer Xiuqing Wang and Principal Edward Young closed the event by saying New Year wishes to all of the attendees.
Due to the event’s riveting performances, the audience pleaded to the performers for an encore. Long after the performances ended, many of the people in the audience still remained. Their appreciation of the celebration, interest in learning Chinese culture and language, as well as the overall excitement towards the next Chinese New Year event kept the attendees at the performance hall well into the day.
Through this celebration, the influence of the Chinese program has grown within the local community, for those that attended, their interest towards Chinese culture has become more profound, and the blend of Chinese and American culture has been enhanced to offer greater understanding between people of both countries. The celebration was a big success, in which it also received local media attention and was reported on by the local Newspaper “Record Gazette”.
In the evening of February 7, 2013, more than 50 Chinese and American guests were invited to a celebration of the Chinese new year, year of the snake at the art gallery of Imperial Valley Campus of San Diego State University. The lobby was adorned with Chinese New Year decorations; a festive mood was evident in the air. President David Pearson of SDSU/IVC and Assistant Director for Partnership Programs, Mrs. Miriam Castanon, were the special guests of the evening’s show.
Hanban Chinese teacher, Professor Jing Lin, led the crowd singing, “Happy New Year” in Chinese. Professor Xi Min Deng showed people the auspicious greetings for the New Year in Chinese. A trivia game soon followed; the competition was really intense as many people fought to answer the questions. They each received a traditional Chinese New Year gift - a red envelope as prizes. The audience reveled in Prof. Lin’s solo performance, “Waves of Gu Lang Yu”. Games such as “passing around” and “fast moving chopsticks”, attracted more participants, resounding in laughter and joy in the lobby. Faculty and students from Calexico Martial Arts School performed Kung Fu at the courtyard outside of the art gallery. Prof. Deng and martial art master, Dali Li, teamed up for a 24 step Taiji demonstration. The superb performance, along with the rhythm from the gongs and drums, provided a new perspective of Chinese arts to all American friends.
The highlight of the party was ‘Potluck’. The assortments included Italian Pizza, Japanese Sushi, Chinese dumplings, American cakes and sweets, salads and fruits. Every dish was a representation of a different cuisine culture; all the guests enjoyed each dish in high spirits. President David Pearson and Mrs. Miriam Castañón delivered New Year greetings to all.
Before the end of the party, people exchanged Greeting cards with each other. Despite their reluctance, everyone went home with blessings from new and old friends. The American guests expressed their gratitude for the hospitality from their Chinese hosts, and their appreciation of the new knowledge they learned from this experience of Chinese culture. It was truly an unforgettable event that strengthened the friendship among Chinese and American people.
On Friday, February 1, 2013, High Tech High International School Intern Counselor, Jill Chiodini, led three students to visit the Confucius Institute at San Diego State University for an observation of their fellow student, Ava Toledo’s progress as an intern. Ava is a student from High Tech High who came to CI for her student internship program. Under this program, each student would work for 3 weeks at his/her choice of work place. Yearly, there are more than hundreds of corporations, retailers and academic institutions participated in the internship program.
Ava shared her experience at CI office and showed the visitors various works she had completed during her 3 week’s schedule. These included promotional fliers, tri-fold bulletin board, classroom presentations, etc. Through the guidance and supervision from CI staff, Ava completed her internship with a newfound understanding of the workforce, work ethic, and Chinese culture.
On January 31st 2013 at 6:00 p.m., teachers and students of Confucius Classrooms at Riverview International Academy under Confucius Institute at San Diego State University held a special Chinese New Year celebration at Lakeside Middle School. More than 600 people joined this event, including Superintendent of Lakeside Union School District, Dr. David Lorden, and Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng.
Staff members from CI at SDSU were stationed at the lobby of Lakeside Middle School’s Auditorium before the evening show began. They provided Chinese calligraphy demonstrations, Chinese paper-cutting and showcased Beijing Opera masks for audiences to enjoy. The evening program lasted two hours which included: students’ singing and dancing; Chinese Gu Zheng performance by Hanban volunteer teacher, Ms. Lu Jing Zhang; a Lion Dance troupe of CI educational partner, Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society; and Chinese teachers singing and dancing, all of which won roars of applause from the audience. Chinese teachers sponsored by Hanban, Ms.Yu Chang Li and Ms. Lu Jing Zhang, also prepared traditional Chinese New Year cuisine, Jiaozi (Dumpling) for the audience to taste.
The event not only demonstrated the Chinese proficiency level of the students, but also introduced more aspects of Chinese culture to the crowd, enticing their interest to study Chinese language. This event also made positive impacts to the public image of CI at SDSU and Riverview International Academy.
Middle School Attached to Harbin Normal University Visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University
On January 31st 2013, Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, hosted a luncheon for visiting delegates from the Middle School attached to Harbin Normal University. After lunch, the guests were shown a short video introducing the founding history, missions, and achievements of CI at SDSU. Project Manager, Anne Chu, addressed to the questions from the group after the video introduction.
CI Office Assistant, Vicky Hsu, gave a detailed cultural presentation regarding “the Silk Road”, which was developed as one of a series of cultural demonstrations. Using“丝” as an example, Dr. Cheng listed many other characters sharing the same index of “糸”, such as “结”“绵”“绸”“缎”, etc. The delegates were all engaged in a lively discussion on the topic of the various methods to teach such a subject. They further suggested that in addition to showcasing the past and present of the “Silk Road”, the presentation could include the new “Silk Road” project; a new trade route which links by railway from Port Lianyun in Northeast China to Amsterdam in Europe.
Dr. Lilly Cheng also introduced the” Tian Di Panda”, a series of educational materials CI at SDSU is currently developing. She stressed the fact that Chinese teachers locally must design their teaching materials toward the interests of local students; while incorporating the essence of Chinese culture in producing text books adapting to local standards. At the end of the meeting, Dr. Lilly Cheng gave each delegate a gift as a token of welcome; the visiting delegates extended their sincere invitation to CI members for a visit to their hometown of Harbin.
Chinese New Year, also termed as ‘Spring Festival’, the most significant traditional holiday in China, fell on early February in 2013. Confucius Classroom at Hamilton Elementary School under Confucius Institute at San Diego State University held a series of Chinese New Year celebrations.
Hanban teacher, Ms. Lijuan Wang from Xiamen University, introduced the origin and relative customs of Chinese Spring Festival to students in her Chinese class. She also incorporated paper cutting and Chinese calligraphy demonstrations as part of her teaching plan, providing an opportunity for American children, mostly by Hispanic heritage, to experience Chinese culture in order to encourage their interest in learning Chinese. The students were very excited after their experiment in the classroom; they eagerly brought their paper-cut hand craft and calligraphy work home to their parents as gifts, which enticed their parents’ strong interest in Chinese culture as well.
On Jan 30, 2013, Teacher Wang also gathered about 50 students from her Chinese class and a few American teachers at Hamilton Elementary School for a dumplings demo. The entire activity lasted about 2 hours. The students not only witnessed the progressions of dumpling making, they also were able to participate in the making progress themselves. They were extremely excited and cheerful when they tasted the dumplings they made.
Through activities as such, the students were more eager to learn the Chinese language as they began to appreciate the Chinese Festival culture and food culture better. These efforts to introduce Chinese culture play an important role in promoting Chinese language and Chinese traditions and customs.
On the evening of January 30, 2013, Co-Director of CI at SDSU, Prof. Wei Lu, and Project Manager, Anne Chu, were invited to attend a dinner reception at South Bay Seafood and Grill in Chula Vista, California, hosted by the Sweetwater School District for the visiting delegation group from Middle School Attached to Harbin Normal University. The group led by Vice Principal Yongcheng Wang consisted of 10 Lead teachers of various subjects.
Dr. Edward Brand, Superintendent of the Sweetwater School District, first addressed his welcome speech to all the guests. He expressed the gratitude each member in the district felt of the remarkable accomplishments demonstrated by the students since the exchange program with China was established. He also praised Principal Hector Espinoza for his outstanding leadership. Principal Yongcheng Wang thanked Dr. Edward Brand for the generous hospitality; he further noted the mutually beneficial outcome enjoyed by the teachers and students of both sides from the exchange visits in the past decade.
Middle School Attached to Harbin Normal University has an exchange partnership with San Ysidro High School in the Sweetwater School District for the past 11 years. Principal Hector Espinoza of SYH first visited China in 1996 and fell in love with the people and culture of China. He initiated the Mandarin program in SYH soon after his return. SYH now has 3 Mandarin classes taught by Ms. Bella Liu. SYH is now in its process to apply to CI at SDSU for Confucius Classroom recognition.
Gui Zhou Fan Jing Shan National Nature Reserve Delegation visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University
On Jan 30th 2013, a delegation group from Fan Jing Shan National Nature Reserve visited Confucius Institute at San Diego State University. They were Chief of the Nature Reserve, Professor Yaqin Yang; Senior Engineer Yang Qiu; Engineer Lei Shi; and Assistant Chief Hanjun Yuan. Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng; Co-Director, Professor Lu Wei, and Project Manager, Anne Chu were present to welcome these distinguished guests.
A partnership was formed among Gui Zhou Fan Jing Shan National Nature Reserve, the Department of Geography at SDSU and San Diego Zoological Society on a preservation & breeding project of Gui Zhou golden monkey. Professor Yang stated that this plan is closely associated with the essence of Chinese culture, which emphasizes on the harmony between nature and mankind. Through this project, Gui Zhou Fan Jing Shan National Nature Reserve strives to present the beauty and fundamental aspects of Chinese culture to other research institutions internationally.
Dr. Lilly Cheng praised Chief Yang for their dedication and the accomplishments of Gui Zhou Fan Jing Shan National Nature Reserve. She presented a brief video of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University to the visitors; also included were clips of summer camp programs and other events coordinated by CI/SDSU. Project Coordinator, Vicky Hsu narrated a powerpoint presentation CI/SDSU is currently producing, “The Silk Road”, to these visitors. This project combined Chinese language, Chinese history and other Chinese cultures together; and it would be used as text materials to American students. Professor Yang concurred with Dr. Lilly Cheng that the world would have a better understanding of Chinese culture through knowledge and interactions with other cultures. Moreover, Professor Yang expressed his respect and praises to the outstanding achievements and growth that CI at SDSU has demonstrated. Both sides pledged to partner together for works on a series of teaching material of the golden monkey.
On January 28, 2013, a delegation group from Shengyang Normal University, lead by Vice Principal Dachao Wang, came to visit San Diego State University. Also in the group were Dean of International Business College, Feng Li; Chief Director of Department of International Exchange Wei Zhang; and Chief Director of Department of Finance, Quan Lu. They met with San Diego State University Dean of College of Arts and Letters, Dr. Paul Wong; Managing Director of Confucius Institute, Dr. Lilly Cheng; Dean of Mathematics and Statistics Department, Prof. Sam Shen; China Initiative Coordinator, Albert Wang; and Mr. George Peng for the Teacher Training Program and the collaboration project between the two universities. Dean Wong also hosted a banquet for the visiting dignitaries.
Vice Principal Wang expressed his great interest in creating a mutually beneficial collaboration program between Shengyang Normal University and San Diego State University. After a screening and evaluation process, Shengyang Normal University had selected 5 professors and lecturers to attend the training program later this year. These 5 professors and lecturers are currently teaching respectively in the fields of education technology, movie captioning, ESL, general education, and leadership training. Each educator had prepared his/her own plan on how he/she planned to accomplish at the training program.
During the meeting, Dean Wong and Dr. Cheng gave introduction the various colleges of SDSU. They suggested that the educators from Shengyang Normal University first improve their English proficiency before attending the program. They also suggested these educators contact SDSU professors through SKYPE in advance to their arrival to get a better understanding of the classes. During the training program, these educators will take part in different classes and seminars or attend language labs; they also could present their own perspective to share with the American educators. Professor Shen emphasized the importance of publishing research papers and reports regularly. Through such practices will their productivity in science and engineering field maintain its continuity. Both universities would continue to seek opportunities to establish collaboration partnerships, even in the higher levels of administratation. Other scholars and lecturers would seek funding for a long term project to build collaborative programs targeting specific fields in Science and Engineering Departments.
Dean Wong urged the first 5 educators from Shengyang University to arrive in San Diego sooner for the training program. He also hoped there would be teachers from other colleges or departments attending this program. Vice Principal Wang expressed his gratitude to Dean Wong and Dr. Cheng for their endeavors in establishing this program. He envisioned the partnership between two universities would continue for a long, long time. Both parties exchanged presents to further strengthen their friendship and commitment to the program.
On the evening of January 26, 2013, a Chinese New Year, year of the snake banquet and gala, hosted by House of China, San Diego Chinese School, and Chinese Service Center of San Diego, was held at Jasmine Chinese Restaurant. Many community leaders of San Diego and distinguished guests were present, including San Diego County Supervisor, Ron Roberts; San Diego Mayor, Bob Filner; representatives of San Diego City Hall and Courts; Bronwyn Ingram, Scott Barnett, Robert Coates, Jim Hubblee, Mitz Lee, Edward Lin and Amor Juanito, and many other dignitaries. Dean Paul Wong of College of Arts and Letters at San Diego State University, and Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, also attended this event in support of the Chinese community in San Diego.
The highlight of the evening’s entertainment was a fashion show produced by Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, with the theme of “Silk Road of China”. The elaborate and exquisite silk costumes, along with the explicit detailed narration by Dr. Lilly Cheng, provided the audience a feast of visual and audio enjoyment rich with cultural presentation of the history of Silk Road and the evolution of silk garments. All the guests were in awe by the end; they indicated that they learned a bevy of knowledge from this show. They expressed their interest for other opportunities in the future for this sort of program. Other performances in the evening included a lion dance by a troupe from San Diego Chinese Center and Chinese acrobatic shows. The gala ended on a high note with guests wishing each other a prosperous new year.
On January 26, 2013, in support of the Mandarin Magnet program, CI at SDSU attended the Mission Bay Cluster All Schools Fair jointly with the Confucius Classroom at Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School. The Mission Bay Cluster All Schools Fair provided the perfect opportunity for interested parents and students to meet the principals of each school and learn about the incredibly wide range of programs available.
CI at SDSU set up a booth to present Chinese culture. Project coordinator Yueying Zhan, with the help of CI volunteers, gave a demonstration of Chinese calligraphy. They first asked for students’ names in English, then giving them a Chinese name written in beautiful artistic fashion using a Chinese calligraphy brush.
The fair’s special programs included: the International Baccalaureate Program, which was the highlight at the fair; attendees from Pacific Beach Middle School and Kate Sessions Elementary School; the music program at Crown Point; the GATE (Gifted And Talented Education) seminar program at Pacific Beach Elementary; and the Mandarin Chinese Magnet program at Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary School. Barnard is scheduled to relocate to the site of Bayview Terrace Elementary School in fall of 2013.
On January 24, 2013, Co-Director of CI at SDSU, Professor Wei Lu, and Project Manager, Anne Chu, attended a reception at Hilltop High School for the visiting delegation group. Assistant Principal, Shu Feng Zhao, led this group from the high school attached to Northeast Normal University in Chengchun City, China.
On behalf of Principal Ernesto Zamudio, Vice Principal Eduardo Reyes of Hilltop High School welcomed the group warmly by introducing each member of the group. Representatives from the associated student body further expressed their welcome in both English and Mandarin. A series of entertainment programs were performed to the crowd’s delight. They included the Hilltop High School orchestra band; a Japanese traditional dance, and traditional Latin-style dances performed by the talented students. Assistant Principal Shu Feng Zhao addressed the audience, thanking them for the warm hospitality the delegation group received. He further expressed his personal commitment to strengthen the friendship and exchange program between the two groups.
Chengchun Normal University and Sweetwater School District established a partnership more than 20 years ago. Each year, 2 teachers from the high school attached to Northeast Normal University came to Chula Vista to teach Mandarin at Hilltop High School and Hilltop Middle School. Both of the aforementioned schools are now Confucius Classrooms that promote Chinese language and culture.
On January 20th, 2013, Confucius Institute at San Diego State University (CI at SDSU) held its 2013 spring Chinese teacher training workshop for all Hanban teachers. 11 teachers and volunteer teachers from 16 Confucius classroom schools under CI at SDSU from San Diego and neighboring counties participated in this all day training program.
At 9:30 am, CI at SDSU invited Professor Benjamin Tsou from Hong Kong Education College Corpus Linguistics Center to give a speech on “Large-scale monitoring Chinese corpus creation-Method and application”. Professor Tsou is a famous scholar in Hong Kong and has been teaching and doing research in Corpus Linguistics for a long time. He was invited to San Diego State University to participate in the American Association for Corpus Linguistics international Symposium and to host a seminar. He introduced in detail the construction and application of “Chinese synchronic corpus” which provided a very rare opportunity to Hanban Chinese teachers and volunteers. In order to broaden the vision of teacher’s subjects in Chinese teaching, applying corpus linguistics methods and means to try new models based on real corpus will bring great advantages.
At 11:00 am, CI at SDSU Managing Director, Dr. Lilly Cheng, gave a speech about the differences between Chinese and Western Culture. She took the perspective of intercultural communication and through active examples of cultural conflicts, compared the similarities and differences between Chinese and Western culture in power distance, social customs, and educational views that would benefit everyone.
During the afternoon training activities, Professor Wei Lu pointed out that Chinese teaching management standardization, especially in construction and improvement of teaching achievements; require new and more detailed explanations regarding teaching plans. Project Manager Anne Chu introduced Confucius classrooms and different Chinese programs including the Confucius Instituted headquarters notice on 2013 “Chinese Bridge Summer Camp in China.” She encouraged teachers to publicize at the schools and urge students to apply.
Hanban North American branch delegation made a special trip to attend the morning lecture to greet the New Year and answer some questions and concerns. In addition, during the break in training, the participants were able to witness a traditional tea ceremony. Through preparation, taste, presentation of the tea, many participants were able to further understand the elegant art and culture of China.
The attendees provided numerous praises of the workshop. They believed it is important for everyone in the United States of America well in Chinese teaching, promoting culture, overcoming cultural differences, promoting effective cross-cultural communication, and strengthening Chinese teaching and management standardization.
The annual conference of American Association for Corpus Linguistics was held at San Diego State University from January 18th-20th, 2013. Over one hundred scholars and speakers attended this conference. Professor Benjamin Tsou of the Hong Kong Institute of Education was invited as a guest speaker on the morning of January 20, 2013. Many scholars, educators, and researchers came to listen to Professor Tsou’s speech. Through special arrangements made by CI at SDSU，the Chinese teachers from Hanban were able to attend Professor Tsou’s presentation as part of their professional development training. All the attendees commented that Professor Tsou’s research was quite educative and beneficial for their professional practice. They hope for future opportunities to interact with Professor Tsou.
Confucius Institute at SDSU provided a tea ceremony demonstration for all the attendants after Professor Tsou’s lecture. CI staff members Vicky Hsu and Denise He hosted the ceremony. The serenading melody of the Chinese music, the intricate artistic designs on the tea set, the graceful movements of the performers, and of course, the aromatic scent of teas, carried the audience from their modern Western surroundings to the realm of classical Chinese. The tea’s flavor and aroma impressed those who drank. During the tea ceremony, Managing Director of CI/SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng demonstrated Chinese calligraphy associated with tea art, which offered the audience a deeper understanding of Chinese culture. The audience showed their appreciation and interest for both presentations with thunderous applause. They were grateful for the engagement of the CI staff.
In the afternoon of January 14, 2013, Managing Director of Confucius Institute at San Diego State University, Dr. Lilly Cheng, was interviewed by the representatives from Asia Media and founders of the Asian Heritage Society, Leonard Novarro and Rosalynn Carmen. The focus of this interview was on Confucius Institute at SDSU receiving the Model Confucius Institute Award and Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet Elementary being awarded as a Model Confucius Classroom.
Dr. Lilly Cheng indicated that multi-language and multi-cultural education should begin at an early age. She pointed out that many schools in the United States only teach English while neglecting multi-language and multi-cultural education. Thus, in today’s American society, many adults can speak only English; they did not have an open mind to embrace other cultures and languages. Through the works of Confucius Institute and Confucius Classroom schools, many children have opportunities to learn different languages and cultures at a very young age, which made an impact on these children’s learning potential and development.
An introduction video of Confucius Institute at SDSU was shown for the guests. Dr. Lilly Cheng explained the meanings of the six arts of Confucianism and how this ideology can be applied to the education program. The guests concurred wholeheartedly with Dr. Cheng’s ideals. They would like to post the video of this interview online, so more people would understand and support the ideals of Confucius Institute.
On January 09, 2013, Co-Director of CI/SDSU, Prof. Wei Lu, and Project Manager, Anne Chu, visited Potter Jr. Middle School in Fallbrook to support the Chinese teacher, Ms. Ke Lin Xi. Xi Laoshi came to the U.S. under the sponsorship program of Hanban and has been teaching Chinese in San Diego County for the past 3 years. Prof. Lu and Ms. Chu also met with Principal Leonardo Rodriguez for a discussion on the projected progress of the Mandarin program for fall of 2013.
Potter Jr. Middle School offered regular scheduled Mandarin courses in fall of 2012 after it was first introduced in 2010 as an enrichment program. Currently, there were 3 classes of students attending Chinese class daily for a 3- month period. Principal Rodriguez envisioned the Mandarin course be expanded to a year long course in fall of 2013. He invited Xi Laoshi to introduce the Chinese program to the faculty at the staff meeting scheduled in the afternoon of 01/09/13. Her brief introduction was warmly received by all. Principal Rodriguez also invited Anne Chu to share the information of Chinese Bridge Summer Camp program for American high school students. The teachers were impressed by this wonderful opportunity; they planned to share the news with their students and parents.
On January 02, 2013, Managing Director of CI at SDSU, Dr. Lilly Cheng, met with the Asian Heritage Society committee to discuss the logistics of the 2013 Asian Heritage Awards ceremony. The discussion focused on several aspects, including the nomination process and the various categories of recognition.
The Asian Heritage Awards was founded ten years ago to recognize achievements of U.S citizens with Asian heritage in Southern California. San Diego Press Club, one of the largest in the country, had honored AHS twice for its public service. Many publications locally had also praised AHS for its contributions and achievements in various news articles.
High Tech High student Ava Toledo interned at CI at SDSU for the month of January as part of her student mentor program.