Confucius Institute News
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North Syracuse Central School District
The sixth grade students at Roxboro Road and Gillette Road Middle Schools learned interesting topics about Chinese Culture in Miss Zhang and Mr. Yang’s classes. These topics included the history of the Great Wall, the landforms of China, the Yellow River Civilization, and characteristics of civilization during the Shang Dynasty, as well as the rise and fall of the Qin Dynasty. The students were quite interested in the Yellow River, especially the reason why the river has a yellow color and why the river is called both the Cradle of Chinese Civilization and also a Sorrow of China. Students also actively participated in the Tianhan traditional Chinese orchestra performance at both schools, and they were very happy have the opportunity to touch and to play traditional Chinese instruments.
Geneva City School District
Elyn Song’s Elective Mandarin Class at Geneva West Street School expanded to cover every classroom this school year. Instead of extending from Kindergarten to second grade, the Mandarin class reached out to the Head Start Pre-Kindergarten Program with two different levels for the first time. The first and second graders began to learn how to build sentences this year. And the second graders felt unprecedented fulfillment when they were able to write Chinese characters all by themselves after two years of studying Mandarin verbally.
The Dual Language Immersion Program at Geneva West Street School has attracted more attention from the community. In September and October, CIAU faculty Lili Huang taught the 1st grade immersion program students how to name body parts, colors, seasons, pets, school supplies, family members, weather, days of the week, and months of the year in Chinese. Lili Huang taught them simple sentences such as “I like…” and “I love…” which provided them with good opportunities for communication and stimulated their enthusiasm for speaking Chinese. The students felt excited when they sang Chinese songs. Their parents gave some positive feedback: “Our children enjoyed singing Chinese songs very much.”
The Mandarin Immersion Program became positive news in the local community, as it attracted local TV stations and newspapers to report on the program. We also did many activities to promote cultural and artistic exchange in the Geneva School District.
The Nanjing Normal University Art Troupe gave a wonderful performance, increasing the interest of children and their parents in Chinese culture. Immersion program teacher Lili Huang performed a Chinese folk song and had an interaction with her students which achieved a good effect.
In the kindergarten Chinese Immersion Class, Fang (Starry) He taught her students words about school, colors, animals, family, and autumn. “For second- language learners, especially for kindergarteners, it is very important to give effective input with visual and audio stimulation,” Starry said. Based on the idea of communication as a combination of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, Starry used a variety of teaching strategies and activities in her class, including pictures, music, rhymes, and Total Physical Response (TPR) language learning activities with these beginners. Her students learned Chinese songs and rhymes, read Chinese story books, watched Chinese cartoons, and made Chinese books. Besides, Starry tried to teach students math in Chinese, including counting, measure words, and written numbers.
In less than two months, her students mastered about 70 basic and high frequency words in Chinese. The children can now greet others and express their opinions with some simple phrases and sentence structures, and they can write numbers and their Chinese names.
September 27th was the traditional Chinese Moon Festival, and CIAU teacher Chen Jinxiang held a two-week long cultural experience event at Geneva West Street School. She organized many activities including paper-cutting rabbits and storytelling to help students learn more about Chinese culture. The rabbits were displayed during the Open House on Oct. 15th.
During the Open House, some parents spoke Chinese, as well. They said that they were learning Chinese from their children. The kids enjoyed speaking in Chinese, which made their life full of fun. And they also said they would like to thank the Confucius Institute and would support their children continuing to learn Chinese at West Street School.
Northstar Christian Academy
In September, instructors Jing Wu and Lin Hao started the second year of Chinese Language and Culture classes at Northstar Christian Academy in Rochester. Students from kindergarten to sixth grade get two class periods each week, while high school students may choose a Chinese AP class from either of two periods offered each day. The teachers selected different topics for their students according to their ages and hobbies, combining language learning with interactive activities such as singing, dancing, and playing games, which was fun and motivated the students to learn.
So far, the elementary children have warmed up with greetings, counting numbers, making self-introductions, studying body parts, and naming family members in Chinese.
The elementary students rehearsed the song “Counting Stars” many times and finally presented their work at the Mid-Autumn Festival Concert which was held at Gates-Chili School. It was a very successful performance, as all the students enjoyed the whole thing, and they invited their families and friends to come to the performance. The audience highly praised the concert and the students’ excellent presentation while enjoying the wonderful Chinese culture brought by Chinese artists.
Mrs. Wu’s two high school Chinese culture and language AP classes met every day and focused on the topics of fashion, entertainment, and media. Mrs. Wu helped her students improve their listening, speaking and writing skills. She introduced the AP examination to the students and helped them apply for the AP Test.
Binghamton City School District
In September and October, CIAU’s Zhaoyun Zhai continued teaching at both Binghamton East Middle School and West Middle School. She rewrote the workbook for her sixth graders according to the new Mandarin curriculum program and began with a presentation of Chinese culture and fun facts about China. This gave the students some fresh ideas about China, and increased their expectations with respect to Chinese class.
During her teaching, Zhaoyun Zhai highlighted course design, review, and fun and effective language practice. Her sixth graders are now using the right Chinese vocabulary and sentence structures to make such simple daily conversations as greetings, saying thanks and farewell, self-introductions, asking after name and nationality, and so on. She also focused on the introduction and exploration of Chinese culture. She introduced the students to the original Chinese characters, traditional customs, stories of the Mid-Autumn Festival, chopsticks, and geographical scenery. The sixth graders had a lot of fun learning how to use chopsticks. They practiced using their chopsticks to pick up popcorn and marbles.
In addition, Ms. Zhai and her students organized a Halloween program for which they learned vocabulary, played Bingo games, told stories and watched movies. The students were all excited about this program and did a very good job.
During the course, more and more students became increasingly interested and developed self-confidence in learning the Chinese language.
Gates Chili School District
In October, CIAU faculty Juan (Rita) Xu gave a general introduction of China and Chinese history and culture to all K-5th grade students of Neil Armstrong Elementary School. These students learned about Chinese students’ campus life and showed great interest in the Great Wall and the Terra-cotta Army. They were so curious about China that they asked tons of questions. Most of them look forward to joining Ms. Xu’s enrichment Chinese class.
Rita also gave a presentation about Chinese food to the 9th & 10th grade students of Gates Chili High School. The students said they love Chinese food, and they went to eat at China Buffet two days later.
Chinese Painting Class in Canisteo
Our Chinese Painting Class is back again! It is held every Monday afternoon beginning in October at the Wimodaughsian Library in Canisteo, NY. CIAU is honored to have local artist Yen Fen (Iris) Huang to teach our Chinese Painting Class this year.
Having learned gongbi, a “tidy”, often meticulous, realistic style, from Professor Xuli in Chinese painting class last year, this time students will learn xieyi, which is a free and liberal painting style of “sketching thoughts”. In the last two classes, students learned how to draw wisteria and use a foam brush to draw bamboo. Our teacher, Iris, explained the painting skills in great detail and demonstrated step by step, making painting much easier for the students.
Most of the students in our painting class are returning students. We also have two new students coming all the way from Rochester to join our class. They are really happy that each time they can bring home an artwork done by them. We have a great time getting together each week.
Visit from Tai Chi Grandmaster Yu
At the end of September, Grandmaster Anren Yu, who is the 12th lineage successor of the Swimming Dragon, visited Alfred from his home in China. He joined the Alfred’s Tai Chi group, answered questions from practitioners, and led the group to practice the Swimming Dragon and Tai Chi 24 Forms. Grandmaster Yu emphasized the importance of stretching and the balance of Yin and Yang in Tai Chi practice.
Regarding the movements of the Swimming Dragon routine, he gave a clear explanation of each step. This not only helped practitioners perfect their movements, but also deepened their understanding of the benefits of practicing Tai Chi. They all felt they gained more knowledge of Tai Chi and Chinese culture and learned a lot through the communication with Grandmaster Yu.
Visit from Hanban
Linlin Shi, who is an officer from the Cultural Section of Hanban, visited CIAU on October 22nd. Cultural Activities Coordinator Daisy Wu introduced the development and prospects of CIAU to her, especially the achievements in Mandarin language teaching and cultural communication. Faculty members also talked about their life and work here. The significant influence made by CIAU and the hard work of CIAU faculty members were recognized by Ms. Shi. She spoke highly in praise of CIAU and also discussed with CIAU faculty about future work.
Nanjing Normal University Art Troupe in Geneva
On October 20, the art troupe from Nanjing Normal University presented a marvelous performance to the people of Geneva in the auditorium of North Street Elementary School. A variety of presentations including folk songs, ethnic dances, group dances, and instrumental performances amazed the audience, who responded with enthusiastic applause. When the concert ended, many from the audience came onto the stage to talk with performers and to take pictures with them. Geneva’s Director of Innovative Programming, Tracy Marchionda, CIAU director Wilfred Huang, Chinese director Peng Tao, and other distinguished guests attended the performance. Ms. Marchionda was highly appreciative and stated that the performance “was amazing and our students are so lucky to have Alfred University supporting us.”
Nanjing Normal University Art Troupe Performance in Corning
Together with the Corning Chinese Association, CIAU also held a concert given by the Nanjing Normal University Art Troupe on October 21 in Corning, NY. CIAU Chinese director Tao Peng along with faculty Wenyao Ding, Jing Wu, Zhongbei Wu, and Lingyan Zhang attended this concert.
The performers from Nanjing gave a musical treat to the community of Corning. What’s more, this concert concentrated on the culture of traditional Chinese folk music which helped the local audience to know more about traditional Chinese instruments. More than 600 people attended the concert and had fun there.
Successful Guzheng Performance in Marie Villa College
On October 8, Zhongbei (Daisy) Wu was invited to Villa Marie College for a Guzheng performance. It is reported that Marie Villa College invites a famous musician to give a concert every month, and the show is open to the community. Ms. Wu was the one for the October performance. The performance began at 11 o'clock in the morning and Ms. Wu played a total of six songs, modern and classical. In order to let the audience understand more about the Guzheng and the contents of the songs she was about to play, she gave simple but interesting explanations before playing, and interacted with the audience afterwards. The atmosphere was very pleasant, and many music major students were very interested. Noticing that American students were so interested, Ms. Wu offered to give another lesson about Chinese musical instruments and songs right after lunch. So from 1:40 to 3 p.m., she continued to explain and perform. After the show, Ms. Wu said, “I hope to seize every opportunity to show the people of the United States something good about China.”
The First Tai Chi and Health Conference
On October 2nd and 3rd, the Confucius Institute at Alfred University held its first Tai Chi and Health Conference. More than one hundred Tai Chi enthusiasts attended this two-day conference.
On the first day, Alfred University president Charles Edmondson introduced both the Confucius Institute and the local Tai Chi class. Following warm applause, Grandmaster Anren Yu delivered his keynote about the philosophy of Tai Chi, namely, “Yin” and “Yang”. Next, AU Professor of Theater Steve Crosby introduced the history and culture of Tai Chi. Chinese Tai Chi Grand master Yu, his disciple Zhaojun Wang, and American Master George Samuels each displayed the elegance of Tai Chi. Also, Master Zhaojun Wang talked about the differences between five genres of Taijiquan, another name for Tai Chi.
At dinner, the Confucius Institute provided delicious Chinese food for all, and the participants talked with each other to share their own stories of Tai Chi. Afterward, CIAU Tai Chi class teacher Guifang Liu led the Swimming Dragon exercise, Five Animals exercise and others together with many volunteers.
On the second day, the Confucius Institute invited both the Chinese and American Tai Chi masters and others to introduce more about Tai Chi culture and Chinese medicine. Some volunteers came to the stage to experience acupuncture. It is worth mentioning that the Confucius Institute Tai Chi class members performed the Swimming Dragon exercise and Twenty-Four Steps for the audience.
The Tai Chi and Health Conference concluded with CIAU Director Wilfred Huang’s speech. Then many participants came onto the stage to take pictures with the speakers.
Moon Festival Celebration at AU
On September 26, 2015, the Confucius Institute sponsored a Traditional Chinese Music Concert at Miller Theater to celebrate the Moon Festival. Before the concert, all the audience had dinner together at Union University Church Center. Alfred University President Charles Edmondson made a speech before the dinner and told a story about the origin of the Moon Festival. One of the students at the scene said: “Now I knew more about the Moon Festival, not just Moon cakes.”
Coming all the way from China, Tai Chi Grandmaster Anren Yu also gave a speech commemorating the world's Anti-fascist Victory. Master Yu introduced his parents’ generation and shared their stories during the Anti-Japanese War, bringing the audience back to the real historical scene. He also told the audience his experiences and international exchange of teaching Swimming Dragon.
The Traditional Chinese Music Concert was presented by an orchestra which is well-known in China, the Tianhan Traditional Orchestra. These excellent musicians played traditional instruments together with Daisy Wu, CIAU Guzheng instructor, and accompanied Professor Luanne Crosby’s soprano solo. Besides, the AU Guzheng Ensemble and students from Chinese class also contributed wonderful performances to the concert.
After the concert, CIAU prepared a splendid fireworks show to celebrate the Moon Festival. Our audience and all the performers spent a wonderful evening together.
Moon Festival Concert at Gates Chili High School
On September 25, the Confucius Institute at Alfred University held a traditional Chinese music concert in the auditorium of Gates Chili High School in Rochester to celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival. The Tianhan Traditional Chinese Orchestra, which belongs to the grand Tianhan Theater, faculty from the Alfred University Division of Performing Arts, three Tai Chi masters, and nineteen lovely students from Northstar Christian Academy presented a visual feast and auditory for the audience.
Before the concert began, CIAU provided hearty Chinese food for everyone, and the CIAU staff introduced the meaning of the Chinese Moon Festival to them at the same time.
The Tianhan Traditional Chinese Orchestra performed many classic Chinese songs with musical instruments including Erhu (Chinese fiddle), Pipa (Chinese lute), Dizi (Chinese bamboo flute), Guzheng (Chinese zither) and Yangqin (Chinese dulcimer). The audience was excited to see these different instruments and liked the songs very much.
The most popular performance was the Chinese children’s song “Counting Stars”, which was performed by nineteen students from Northstar Christian Academy. They were all from different grades, but they were all learning Chinese.
It’s worth mentioning that the performance of the Tai Chi masters’ Swimming Dragon was accompanied by Chinese music. The scene was very beautiful, and many members of the audience took pictures.
This musical concert came to a successful end. CIAU played an important role by serving as a window, through which, American people can learn more about Chinese music, Tai Chi, and culture.
Culture Week of Traditional Chinese Music
The Moon Festival, which is the second most important event in the Chinese lunar calendar, fell on September 27 this year. In order to promote Chinese culture and celebrate this great festival, the Confucius Institute of Alfred University invited the famous Tianhan Traditional Chinese Orchestra from Hunan province and arranged a series of activities on traditional Chinese music.
On September 22, the director and conductor of the Tianhan Traditional Chinese Orchestra, Mr. Yulin Liu, gave an exciting lecture on traditional Chinese music in the Miller Performing Art Center with his five excellent musicians. These five musicians were Dizi (Chinese flute) player Miss Yi, Erhu (Chinese fiddle) player Miss Yan, Pipa (Chinese lute) player Miss Liu, Yangqin (Chinese dulcimer) player Miss Yi, and professional dance teacher and Peking Opera singer Mrs. Sun.
In the lecture, Mr. Liu gave a brief introduction to the history of traditional Chinese music and its development nowadays. After that, he presented the five typical traditional Chinese musical instruments. His audience, students from the art class, learned the structure of the five instruments, their timbre, characteristics, and other professional knowledge from the lecture. They also noted the similarities and differences between Eastern and Western music. Then the Tianhan Traditional Orchestra brought several famous solos and ensembles to the audience, which won the warm applause of students.
The lecture on that day not only brought beautiful music to students, but also provided a chance for the musicians and students to exchange their opinions about music.
On September 24, Tianhan Traditional Chinese Orchestra arrived at North Syracuse. They gave two marvelous performances for the teachers and students at Gillette Road and Roxboro Road Middle Schools. The varied programs, which included the famous traditional pieces “Strolling in Suzhou”, “Grapes Harvest”, and “Moon over the Peaceful Lake in autumn”, Peking Opera, and an introduction to Chinese musical instruments, amazed the audience, which responded with lots of applause. More than 400 students enjoyed the demonstrations. One student told his teacher after the performance, “I feel so calm when I hear the ‘Moon over the Peaceful Lake’.” The performance on that day was a big success, and many students asked for the musicians’ autographs afterward.
In these two demonstrations, students enjoyed traditional Chinese music, played the traditional Chinese musical instruments themselves, and gained some interesting knowledge about those instruments. All of these inspired them to learn more about China, and they all had a nice time.
Romulus Central School District
In May, Chinese learners at Romulus Central School continued the topic of “Food and Drink”. They compared, coffee with tea, bread with rice, and hamburgers with Chinese dumplings. Instructor Michelle Hao contrasted the different cultures in a user-friendly way and children explored a variety of different areas of human life. Some older students were very curious about the reasons for the differences, so the class discussed the factors influencing human life as well.
In June, students started to practice writing Chinese characters. Also, teachers and students reviewed what they learned during this year. As a special present for summer, students received a small “Chinese Book”, edited by their Chinese teacher, which recorded the content they had covered.
Geneva City School District
The Dual Language Immersion Program at Geneva West Street welcomed new students by holding a celebration of Academics and Chinese Culture Experience for the whole school district. At the end of the school year, supported by CIAU, Elyn Song worked out a set of academic activities with the whole class. After Daisy Wu’s musical presentation and demonstration, all the kids were so interested in Chinese music and instruments, they tried to sing Chinese songs accompanied by Guzheng. When the teachers and families of the school district gathered together, Elyn gave a brief program introduction and played the video of classroom achievement. The audience was amazed at the kid’s songs and poems, and all the families and faculty enjoyed the whole celebration very much.
Binghamton City School District
In May and June, Zhaoyun Zhai taught the 6th grade students at Binghamton West Middle School topics including family, numbers, Chinese currency, colors, time, animals, and food. The students now are able to use the right Chinese vocabulary and sentence structure to make such simple daily conversations as greetings, self-introductions, asking after the time or price, talking about favorite foods, and so on.
In order to enhance the interest and effect of Chinese learning, Ms. Zhai designed different teaching methods, such as playing games, role-playing at shopping, singing a greeting song and a number song, painting Peking opera masks while learning the vocabulary for colors, making birthday cards with some Chinese sentences, and designing a series of programs to introduce the students to animals and the Chinese Zodiac.
To enrich her class, Ms. Zhai also focused on exploration of Chinese culture. She introduced one ancient Chinese poem to her students per week and read it with her students at the start of the Chinese class every day. Meanwhile, she introduced traditional Chinese painting, chopsticks, and table manners, traditional Chinese paper-cutting, the Great Wall, and Terracotta Warriors to her students. All 6th graders enjoyed painting plum blossoms. They then displayed their traditional Chinese paintings in the hallway. Ms. Zhai and her students also had a lot of fun practicing using chopsticks with popcorn and marbles.
At the end of the 10-week course at West Middle School, Ms. Zhai gave the students a comprehensive Chinese examination, including listening, speaking, and written examination.
During the summer vacation, Ms. Zhai rewrote the workbook for the 6th graders and got all teaching plans and materials ready for the upcoming year.
North Syracuse Central School District
Before summer break, Daqian and Yao organized lively Chinese classes at Roxboro Road Middle School and Gillette Road Middle School, respectively. Daqian taught his students a classical Chinese song of farewell, “Song Bie”. He also encouraged the kids to look back over and illustrate what they had learned in the past semester. In Yao’s classes, she taught students many Chinese words through activities and games. The children enjoyed her classes. In addition, both teachers were invited to give a presentation about China to students and staff at a local primary school, which was very well received.
Northstar Christian Academy
In May and June, Mrs. Jing Wu continued teaching about Chinese tea culture at Northstar: Students drank tea, watched a tea art performance, studied tea classification, tea history and the Chinese tea culture’s influence on the world, and more. Students in grades K-3 learned to use Chinese chopsticks and held a competition with chopsticks. Grades 4-6 learned Chinese rhyme songs. The whole elementary school learned about the Chinese national flag design, colored national flags, and listened to the national anthem. Grades 2-6 studied Chinese food, tofu making, etc.
During summer vocation, Mrs. Jing Wu drafted a curriculum for an AP Chinese Language and Culture course for Northstar and applied to teach the course. The school’s application has been accepted by the College Board. Beginning September 2015, Northstar is going to offer AP Chinese Language and Culture as one of their core courses.
Mrs. Wu participated in the STARTALK summer camp training program held at Bryant University in Rhode Island. This was a critical language teaching camp program, sponsored by the American government. After training, she shared all the information she had gained with her colleagues at the Confucius Institute at Alfred University.
New teachers and volunteers arrive at AU
August 28th, 2015, new teachers and volunteers arrived at the Confucius Institute at Alfred University.
The five teachers are Lanfang Gao, Ruijun Duan, Jinxiang Chen, Lili Huang and Juan Xu. They either are experienced university teachers or specialize in Chinese teaching. And all three of the volunteers, Wenyao Ding, Jing Wu, and Lingyan Zhang, are postgraduates from the cooperative university, China University of Geosciences in Wuhan. These new faculty members come from different parts of China. Now they have gathered at CIAU and are getting ready to strive to spread Chinese language and culture together.
Confucius Institute at Alfred University holds teacher training
From August 23 to 30, the eight new Chinese teachers who have just come, along with eight senior teachers who have been here for at least one year, attended teacher training held by CIAU.
They learned many things, including cultural differences between China and the U.S., classroom management, and teaching methods.
Tai Chi Class of CIAU Makes the Front Page
People passing the library on Main Street in Wellsville, NY, recently may have wondered what was happening there as a large group of people stood on one foot or moved slowly and deliberately in unison. The next day, the front page of the August 19 Wellsville Daily Reporter featured an article and photo of the Tai Chi class of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University.
On August 18, Alfred’s Tai Chi instructor Guifang Liu and some of her students gave a demonstration on the lawn of the David A. Howe Public Library in Wellsville, a community near Alfred. More than thirty people joined in. They enjoyed the traditional sets of movements called Five Animals Frolics, Ba Duan Jin, Tai Chi 24 Steps, and Swimming Dragon.
Master Liu is an instructor of the Chinese Kung Fu class for the Confucius Institute at Alfred University. She is also a national 6th Duan martial arts master and a judge of martial arts evaluation in China. She has been leading a group at Alfred University since 2010, and she now has hundreds of students.
Many students have learned with Master Liu for five years and can do Tai Chi very well, so in this class, several students demonstrated for others.
“I want to bring health to more people. I am happy to be the Tai Chi class teacher of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University,” Master Liu answered when news reporter Catherine Ross asked why she teaches Tai Chi for free.
Amanda Parry Oglesbee has done Tai Chi for five years, and she said, “Practicing Tai Chi is really good for my health. Besides, the Tai Chi group is welcoming, supportive, ambitious and accepting. I make a lot of friends here.”
Chinese Summer Camp held in Geneva North Street School
In August, CIAU faculty Yanfang (Elyn) Song, Hui (Jessica) Liu, Yanjie (Jeff) Yin, Liwei (Olivia) Wang, Jing (Jane) Wu, and Lingyan (Molly) Zhang organized a summer day camp at Geneva North Street School.
The CIAU teachers not only showed Chinese culture to students, but also taught them useful Chinese common expressions. Zhongbei (Daisy) Wu played traditional Chinese music on the Guzheng, Yanjie (Jeff) Yin gave a Chinese painting class, and Jing (Jane) Wu and Lingyan (Molly) Zhang’s performed Kung Fu. Yanfang (Elyn) Song, Hui (Jessica) Liu, and Liwei (Olivia) Wang separately taught the children how to talk about food, classroom furniture, and jobs.
This is the third Chinese culture summer camp held in partnership between the Confucius Institute at Alfred University and Geneva North Street School. Statistics show that more students have signed up for Chinese Class compared to last year.
Joint Conference of North American and Oceanian Confucius Institutes held in Honolulu, Hawaii
On June 21, 2015, Tao Peng, the Chinese director of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University, attended the Joint Conference of North American and Oceanian Confucius Institutes in Honolulu, Hawaii. “Sustainable Development of the Confucius Institute” was the theme of the discussions. The direction for the future of the Confucius Institute could be summarized as “meeting local needs and interests by developing distinctive features”. It should also continue to improve its core competitiveness, quality, and efficiency of running the individual Institutes so that teaching the Chinese language becomes the permanent base for the Confucius Institute.
"Skin of Rocks" Exhibition at Houghton College
Shan Ding, a Chinese ink and wash painting artist, held an exhibition entitled “Skin of Rocks” at Houghton College in May.
“Skin of Rocks” introduced the “Texturing” method of Chinese landscape painting, which is a symbolic painting language used to express natural mountains and rocks, as well as to give an understanding of the modes of nature in Chinese culture. Professor Shan attaches rice paper onto rocks, and then applies different texturing methods and different colors of ink according to the features of the rocks, presenting the skin of stones and turning the three-dimensional rocks into two-dimensional paintings.
A3 Program, a Journey of Cultural Transmission
On June 2nd, the journey of Chinese culture transmission to Hornell elementary and middle schools finished successfully. In order to enrich students’ cultural life, and strengthen the contact between Alfred University and the community, Alfred University and local education departments organized this Confucius-to-school program.
Teachers from CIAU prepared two sections of content: language and culture. Language topics included greetings, asking names, family members, and numbers. Through interesting games, every student was engaged in the class and practiced speaking. The culture topics included an overview of China, its scenery, Chinese characters and calligraphy, tai chi, and guzheng. Colorful Chinese culture took the students into a time traveling adventure. The A3 program was well received by the students and teachers.
Chinese Painting Exhibition
A Chinese painting exhibition, sponsored by the Confucius Institute at Alfred University and Steuben Trust Company, was held at Steuben Trust Company headquarters in Hornell in May and turned out to be a great success. Lillian Xu, visiting scholar at Alfred University and Chinese painting instructor, along with members of the Canisteo Library’s Chinese painting class, exhibited over 60 gongbi (deliberate style) flower-and-bird paintings after two semesters of learning. The class members showed great interest in Chinese painting and appreciation to Lillian Xu for teaching them this means of expression, as well as their willingness and desire to continue learning it.
North Syracuse Central School District
In March, the 6th Grade Students in Chinese class of Gillette Road Middle school and Roxboro Middle School in North Syracuse District have learnt how to use chopsticks and table manners in China through Miss Zhang and Mr. Yang’s presentation, video, and real practice. Students are quite excited to learn to use chopsticks to get Chinese cookies. Numbers are also taught in this month, students now are able to express numbers as dates, school bus number, and counting in Chinese. Students show much interest in writing in Chinese, characters as ‘Shan’ as mountains, ‘ri’ as the sun, and ‘ren’ as people are taught that most of the students can write by themselves with correct sequence.
Geneva City School District
In March, the students at Geneva West Street School learned the Chinese zodiac which is based on a 12-year cycle, and each year in that cycle is related to an animal sign by reading a funny story. They knew how to name some animals in Chinese, and wrote a Chinese character “羊” which means goat as the year 2015 is the year of goat in Chinese lunar calendar. At this month CIAU faculty Hui Liu also read a story book < Guji Guji > to the students in Chinese, which is a well-known children book about family and bully written and illustrated by a Chinese author. The students learned a few simple sentences and words from that book.In April, the students reviewed how to say some colors in Chinese by playing a game about Easter eggs. Hui Liu read to students a familiar book <No David> in Chinese, and they also started the spring topic.
From March to April, Jeff Yin at Geneva North Street School taught 4-5 grade students with topics involving recognizing Chinese money, asking price, body parts, seeing doctors, and making Mother’s day card. Students learned how to ask price of items in Chinese during performance after they have known the Chinese money. In order to help students get familiar with body parts, Jeff Yin and students did body parts exercise while singing the body parts song. Once students knew the body parts, they began to make simple Chinese sentences while performing the roles of doctors and patients in class. They also made Mother’s day card with some Chinese sentences and practiced Chinese character writing in April. At the same time, Rose Hu at North Street School introduced third graders Chinese characters with an entertainment of Cartoon. Students were amazed to see how Chinese characters are changed into modern forms and the interesting meaning inferences lying in the characters. It was followed by the other two interesting topics of zodiac animals and spring signs in Chinese words. At the end of April, Rose attempted a story-telling of The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Chinese version. Students enjoyed the story and also learned a little relative poem.
The Immersion Program at Geneva West Street School has attracted more sights with of community and families. The kids in Elyn’s class are always very excited to share their learning experience and classroom projects throughout their families, which made the Mandarin class, became the “daily news” in their lives. The parents gave some positive feedbacks, sometime they even didn’t know what the kids were talking about, but they enjoyed kids’ practice.
Romulus Central School District
In March, Chinese class in Romulus Central School District focused on expressions of time and date. Taking into account the younger learner may not know how to read clock, they started from words of the day of the week. Students learnt the Chinese way for Sunday, Monday, until Saturday and got to know the ordinal way of time in Chinese system. Students made a small survey on “Your Favorite Day in the Week” and “Your Least Favorite Day in the Week” in the school, which provided them with the real communication purpose and communicative scene, stimulated the enthusiasm of speaking Chinese.In April, CIAU faculty Michelle Hao spent some time to help students review the topic they learnt before, because Chinese learners were a little forgetful after the Spring Recess. After that, they learnt the unit of “Food and Drink”, comparing the different foods and drinks in China and America. Teacher showed the different culture in a user-friendly way and children got to understand a variety of different areas of human life.
Northstar Christian Academy
In March, Students in Northstar Christian Academy celebrate their Window Program with Chengdu Paotongshu Elementary School from China (a two weeks camp visiting program).The students enjoy the Chinese culture week, people preparing for the welcome ceremony, and closing ceremony. And the elementary learned Chinese songs counting stars, See friends off, and, Chinese poem and performed the songs and poem in the two ceremonies. Students learned bamboo culture---Chopsticks, Chinese brush, panda, Etc. Students learned to use chopsticks while eating popcorn, leaned to do Chinese calligraphy with Chinese brush and magic paper. Students practiced the body parts name while drawing and painting panda.
In April, they start to learn tea culture in China. Students enjoy the tea while learning the tea history, tea story, and the students enjoy the tea drinking. The 5th and 4th graders are going to do a research program on Chinese tea culture in groups.
Teaching for the high school really does smoothly; they made really a big progress in the language learning. They can express their hobbies, daily life, and sports; buying objects, time, date, jobs and career in Chinese. They have learned some cultures too: tea culture, Peking opera, etc. There are four students have registered taking Chinese AP in May, and have taken the practice test in April.
Binghamton City School District
In March and April, CIAU faculty Zhaoyun Zhai continued her teaching at Binghamton East Middle School and highlighted course design, review, and fun and effective language practice. The topic of Chinese New Year celebration was still going on during the first school-week after the Mid-winter vacation. The students learned stories of “Nian” and Chinese Zodiac, handcraft, Chinese New Year songs. They also had fun in watching TV programs of the Chinese spring Festival Gala Evening and made red lanterns and paper firecrackers. Ms. Zhai introduced Chinese Peking opera and changing faces to the students while they learn the vocabulary for “color”. When classes were cut short due to state testing, the sixth graders watched the movie Kungfu Panda. To welcome the arrival of spring, Zhaoyun Zhai introduced to her students traditional Chinese art—paper-cutting. During this project, students created three-dimensional representations of the Chinese character “chun” (spring) to decorate the classroom.
After the comprehensive Chinese examination, Zhaoyun Zhai ended the 10-week Chinese course at Binghamton East Middle School and switched back to Binghamton West Middle School. She started with a presentation of Chinese culture and fun facts about China which increased their expectations with respect to Chinese class.
Daisy’s guzheng performance at AU
On April 24th, in Holmes Auditorium of Alfred University, Daisy Wu Joined the Interactive Concert, a composition by Randall Chair Mr. Emil Schult. Quite different from the previous concerts, which Daisy had showed a lot about traditional Chinese music, on this concert, she played several contemporary classical pieces on Guzheng, and she played improvisation with the Carrier Band and the Bufflxus, and it’s a very unique audio-visual experience for audiences.
On April 18th, the HSK Chinese Proficiency Test was administered in AU Perlman Hall. Three AU students of the Chinese class took the Level2 test and one took the Level3 test. CIAU faculties Olivia Wang, Starry He and Penny Peng took charge of the test invigilating.
CIAU had organized Chinese class students to take the HSK Test for several times. The organization for the HSK test becomes more and more standardized.
National Chinese Language Conference
8th annual National Chinese Language Conference from April 16–18 welcomed 1,200 educators from across the U.S. and abroad. The director of CIAU Wil Huang and the Chinese director Tao Peng attended this conference. In a session of Creating, Collaborating, and Sustaining in a High-Needs School District, Wil Huang gave a lecture with collaborator Trina Newton who is the superintendence of Geneva City School District. They talked about how the Geneva CSD began the program there years ago with the support of CIAU. The participants got well known to review how different educational entitles have collaborated to build and sustain a strong K-12 Chinese program in a small city school district.
“Chinese Bridge” Speech Contest
On April 12th, Charles Miller from Chinese 102 took part in the 5th “Chinese Bridge” Speech Contest for University Students in New England in University of Massachusetts Boston and won a third prize. Huiyang Li, Penny Peng and Olivia Wang attended the contest as instructors.
Charles gave a speech on “Me and Chinese Songs” and played guzheng “Swordsman” in the talent show, which won him a lot of applause from the judges and audiences.
Daisy’s students' performance on Alfred Around the World
On April 11th, Alfred University Guzheng Ensemble took part in the Alfred Around the World Show at Holmes Auditorium in Harder Hall. AU students Vanessa, Charles and HUC students Lin Ju, Zhehai Zhang, Yanxi Liu, Xiao Luo, Yulu Chen, Weiming Liu performed the Guzheng pieces Jasmine Flower and Laughing Over the Blue Sea. This is a big event for AU exchange students from all around the world. The international students presented a wonderful show to the audiences through programs of different culture.
Guzheng performance in Buffalo
Invited by the Burchfield Penny Art Center Museum in Buffalo, Daisy Wu played modern style music on guzheng for the concert “Tribute to American Composer Charles Ives” on April 11th. Daisy played solo piece and played ensemble with the Carrier Band of Alfred, and the contemporary classical band from Buffalo, the Buffalxus, as well.
Daisy’s Guzheng performance in Alfred State
During this April, Daisy Wu did four different concerts with the Alfred State Voice (ASV, the Choir of Alfred State College) in upstate NY area. This year, the Alfred State Voice chooses Chinese Song “Beautiful Grassland, My Home” as their special piece for the Global Culture Show, and the director of ASV invited Daisy to play the traditional Chinese instrument guzheng with the choir, and the song was very welcomed by the audience.
Chinese painting lecture in Houghton College
On March 26th, Prof. Shan Ding, a Chinese painting artist, was invited to give two lectures on Traditional Chinese Landscape Painting Process and Skills and Chinese Water and Ink Painting under the Influence of Western Modern Art at Houghton College. Students and teachers from Art School and others attended.
In the first lecture, Prof. Ding demonstrated how he painted a painting taking one of his works as an example to show the creation process of traditional Chinese landscape painting and the ideas and emotions in it. He introduced different kinds of methods to paint rocks and different conceptual colors the ink made. After the demonstration, Prof. Ding prepared an experiment called “the talking line”, in which the student needed to paint a single continuous line and tell a story of it. The students tried to tell their life stories by the lines and had much joy in it.
In the second one, Prof. Ding made a brief introduction of the development of Chinese in painting in the past 30 years and sketched the impact of western art and the development of traditional art in China by the example of his own works and other Chinese bird-and-flower painting and animal painting.
Teachers and students at Houghton College enjoyed the lectures and expressed their wishes for further cooperation.
A3 program in Canisteo and Campbell
From this semester, CIAU started the A3 (Aligning Aspirations with Actions) program with several school districts around Alfred. In March, Canisteo-Greenwood Central School District and Campbell-Savona Central School District were involved in this program.
Every Thursday (March 5, 12, 19, 26), there were 2 45-minutes Chinese classes to the K-5 students after school in Canisteo-Greenwood Central School District. Penny Peng, Olivia Wang, Starry He and Tao Peng were their teachers. From every class, the kids learned Mandarin Chinese, Chinese culture and history. After 4-times’ classes, the students got an overview of China and knew about Chinese characters, Chinese calligraphy and paper cutting.
On March 20, Penny Peng, Olivia Wang, Starry He and Huiyang Li went to Campbell-Savona Central School District to process A3 program. In the 1-hour class, the students got a closer touch to the difference between Chinese culture and American culture, learned how to greet each other in Chinese and have fun in learning the five-animal exercises.
The program went through very well and will be continued with other school districts in May.
Chinese culture lecture in Chautauqua
On March 11th, Confucius Institute at Alfred University was invited by Chautauqua Lake Central School to make a cultural exchange.
Students from advanced culinary class prepared delicious lunch for teachers from CIAU and we had a good time chatting with the Chinese students and the teachers.
Penny Peng made a lecture about China and Daisy Wu gave a Guzheng performance, which were well received by the students and teachers.
Chinese painting class at Canisteo Library
Chinese painting class has been preparing for the Chinese painting exhibition for months and the exhibition is in May at Steuben Trust Company in Hornell. We painted two flower-and-bird paintings in last two months, in which the most difficult part is the feathers of the birds. Gongbi (deliberate style) painting pays attention to the details which is the biggest characteristic of it.
After finished all the paintings, Lillian stamped on our paintings and taught us how to frame the paintings which made the paintings more complete and beautiful. Every one of us works hard on the paintings and gets better and better in Chinese painting.
Daisy Wu’s Performance in Auburn University at Montgomery
On March 1st, Invited by the Confucius Institute of Auburn University at Montgomery, CIAU faculty Daisy Wu did a wonderful guzheng performance in the Chinese New Year Celebration of Great Montgomery area.
North Syracuse Central School District
The Chinese New Year celebration was still going on during the first school-week after the February recess. Teachers from CIAU, Yao (Lucy) Zhang and Daqian (Eric) Yang, developed and prepared some amusing lessons on lunar New Year for the 6th grade students of Roxboro Road Middle School and Gillette Road Middle. Yao introduced her students to the traditional lunar New Year custom of paper cutting. The students adored this kind of art, and they also made their own works after demonstration and explanation of the technique. Meanwhile, Daqian’s lessons helped his students to understand spring festival customs such as hongbao (red packets), chunlian (spring couplets), bainian (paying New Year visits), etc.
Geneva City School District
In January and February at Geneva North Street School, CIAU staff Jeff
Yin taught his 4th and 5th grade students how to say the names of some fruits and animals in Chinese by playing smart board games and bingo games. Before Chinese New Year came, the students practiced writing Chinese calligraphy, drawing Ming vases, and acting out the poetry of Chinese New Year customs, through which the students understood the Chinese New Year better. Students also learned how to say different body parts in Chinese by singing a body parts song with the same rhythm as the song, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”. Students were asked to point out the correct body parts on pictures of famous people from Chinese history. Meanwhile, they were also told some stories about these people. Rose Hu taught her 3rd graders the Five-Animal Tai Chi Form, Chinese New Year customs, and two Chinese songs, “Happy Clapping Song” and “Happy New Year Song”.
In January, CIAU faculty Hui Liu taught the 1st and 2nd grade students at West Street School how to say colors in Chinese, and read the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See in Chinese. The students felt excited when they saw the Chinese version of the book. Hui Liu’s Kindergarteners learned how to say the five senses in Chinese to match what they were learning in their ELA class, and they read a Chinese version of the book, My Five Senses.
In February, Hui Liu shared many things about Chinese New Year with all the students at WSS. Students learned how Chinese people celebrate the big festival by viewing a short video and reading a book called Chelsey’s Chinese New Year. Hui Liu also showed them the red lanterns, Chinese couplets, red envelopes with lucky money, etc.
In February, Hui Liu, Jeff Yin, and Rose Hu visited the blue room at Happiness House in Geneva, and introduced the Chinese New Year to the preschool children there.
The Chinese Immersion Program at Geneva West Elementary School introduced the concept of Chinese characters. Elyn Song demonstrated in many different ways the historical evolution and the meaning of some typical Chinese characters, which were well accepted by the students.
Romulus Central School District
In January and February, the Chinese class at Romulus Central School hosted a series of activities on the theme, “Experience Chinese New Year”, which unveiled the celebration season of the Chinese Year of the Goat. Students took part in such activities as making traditional handicrafts, cooking Chinese dumplings, and enjoying Chinese songs, as well as stories and games based on the Chinese Zodiac.
Michelle showed the young friends how to make Chinese lanterns and firecrackers, which helped local students decorate their houses in the traditional Chinese way. Her students are very proud of their work. Additionally, Michelle guided her students to play the Zodiac Fortune Wheel with their family members, who all enjoyed learning about the Chinese Zodiac.
Michelle also showed how to make and cook Chinese dumplings and prepared elaborately designed red envelopes with pictures of Chinese money in them for the participants, providing the children with a chance to get closer to the culture of the Chinese New Year celebration. Some students said they love Chinese culture so much that they will go to China when they grow up.
Northstar Christian Academy
After the Christmas season, students at Northstar Christian Academy of Rochester celebrated their first Chinese Lunar New Year in their Chinese culture and language class. Students learned about the traditions for celebration of Chinese Lunar New Year and the story of the Chinese zodiac. Students learned to do traditional paper cutting. Students in higher grades of elementary school cut 3-dimensional Chinese characters such as “春”- spring; younger students cut “羊”-sheep. The 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th graders learned to design and draw their first Qinghua plates (blue and white Chinese porcelain). They also learned facts about the Great Wall of China and the history of Confucius. The students were very excited by the splendid Chinese culture.
Students in high school started their second book. They have learned: “喜欢，去，会，打，有……” and other important function verbs and grasped the function structure.
They can make a simple self- introduction, and can also talk about their families, hobbies, classes, school, and daily life in Chinese. Two students signed up to take the AP Chinese examination this coming April. Let’s pray and wait for their good news.
Binghamton City School District
In January, CIAU faculty Zhaoyun Zhai and Yunchuan Jing continued teaching at West Middle School and tried different methods to enrich their classes. The students learned colors, how to make Chinese Peking Opera masks, and how to use the sentence structures, “I want to buy…”, “I like…”, “I do not like…”, followed by the names of some foods and drinks in Chinese. During this unit course, students learned and reviewed some words about foods and drinks, role-playing to practice shopping and using chopsticks.
Zhaoyun Zhai taught her 6th graders the names of some animals, introduced the Chinese zodiac, and made a little book, “My Chinese Zodiac Book”, which all the students enjoyed. What’s more, she also designed a series of programs to introduce the students to traditional Chinese New Year customs and the story of “Nian”. Yunchuan Jing introduced traditional Chinese painting. The children tried the different style of painting and had great fun with it. At the end of the 10-week course at West Middle School, both of the teachers gave the students a comprehensive Chinese examination, including listening, speaking, and writing.
In February, Zhaoyun Zhai and Yunchuan Jing went back to East Middle School for another 10-week Chinese course. They highlighted course design, review, and interesting and effective language practice. Sixth graders can greet others, introduce themselves and their families, and make simple conversations in Chinese. They developed confidence and interest in learning the Chinese language.
Chinese New Year Gala in Binghamton
On February 28th, the 2015 Chinese New Year Gala of Southern New York State was held at Binghamton West Middle School. CIAU faculty members Zhaoyun Zhai and Yunchuan Jing worked hard in preparation. Zhaoyun Zhai was responsible for teaching students paper cutting and providing logistical support for the activities. Yunchuan Jing was invited to be one of the hosts of the performance and also to make the background of the stage. In addition, Yunchuan Jing showed the beauty of calligraphy in the form of Chinese classical dance, which gave the audience another way to understand Chinese calligraphy.
Daisy’s Lecture and Guzheng Concert in Buffalo
On February 26th, associate professor Zhongbei (Daisy) Wu was invited to give a lecture, “Traditional Chinese Music: Guzheng”, to the teacher’s seminar at Pausa Art Salon in Buffalo. During the 90-minute lecture, Zhongbei described the history and development of the guzheng, introduced traditional and modern guzheng music, and explained its impact on zither music in other Asian countries. After that, she also gave a concert, performing eight pieces for the audience. The event was very successful in that all the participants got a further understanding of guzheng, as well as Chinese culture. Many of them hope Zhongbei can also perform guzheng in their classes.
Chinese New Year Family Night in Geneva
On February 25, a grand Chinese New Year Celebration Gala was held at Geneva North Street Elementary School. The gala featured all kinds of interesting and exciting cultural experiences, such as a chopsticks competition, lantern riddles, and a shuttlecock competition; students’ project displays in the big gym; Kung Fu fan and martial arts in the small gym; making dumplings and food tasting in the cafeteria; story-telling in the library; shows and programs in the auditorium; and other popular activities including calligraphy, Chinese painting, and paper cutting. More than 300 students and their families participated and spent a delightful evening.
The event was supported and attended by the Superintendent, Ms. Trina Newton; Director of Innovative Programs, Mrs. Tracy Marchionda; NSS principal, Danielle Ouillette; WSS principal, Mrs. Nina McCarty; and representatives of many other communities and organizations.
2015 Chinese New Year Gala at AU
On February 21, the Confucius Institute at Alfred University sponsored its annual Chinese New Year Gala in the Knight Club in Powell Campus Center, with the theme, “Chinese New Year Customs”. About 200 people from Alfred University and surrounding communities attended the gala, gaining understanding and celebrating the Chinese New Year in a festive and joyful atmosphere.
Many different customs were demonstrated, including writing spring couplets, decorating windows with paper cutting, dragon dancing, Tai Chi performance, guzheng performance, firecrackers, and traditional ways of wishing others a Happy New Year. Each custom was introduced by a student from a Chinese class. Also, delicious Chinese dishes were served, brought from Canton House Restaurant in the city of Rochester.
The 2015 Chinese New Year Gala turned out to be a successful gathering under the cooperation of teachers and students from CIAU and Alfred University. It was not only a feast of new culture for our American guests, but also a “family reunion” for our Chinese guests.
Workshop on Teaching Material, Explore Chinese
On February 20th and 21st, all CIAU faculty and teachers from school districts came together in the Confucius House for a workshop led by Huiyang Li about the new teaching series, Explore Chinese. Huiyang Li first presented the revised issues of the textbook, reference book, and exercise book, which were independently produced by CIAU. Then, all the teachers had an intense discussion about how to revise the course book and how to add a series of teaching materials and audio-visual materials based on the smart-board system. Also, the CIAU teachers gave advice and suggestions according to their teaching situations in different school districts and feedback from their students. At the end of the workshop, Huiyang Li outlined several aspects of the next phase and introduced working contents and related arrangements for everyone.
Dumpling-Making Demonstration at Geneva High School
On February 12, CIAU faculty Rose Hu was invited to give a dumpling-making demonstration for the Food and Culture class at Geneva High School.
Rose started with some Chinese cultural knowledge and then introduced six steps of the whole process, including making the dough, making fillings, forming wrappers, wrapping the dumplings, cooking the dumplings, and serving the dumplings. The whole class ended with a delightful hands-on experience of the students’ first attempts at dumpling-making.
Daisy Visits New York Lounge
On February 6th, Zhongbei (Daisy) Wu, CIAU associate professor of music and guzheng teacher, was invited by SinoVision to be interviewed about her teaching experience in Alfred University.
Daisy discussed her courses “Guzheng: Music of China” and “Guzheng Ensemble” with Lin Tan, the emcee of New York Lounge. Since 2010，Daisy has had more than 100 touring performances and cultural activities in different school districts with her colleagues in CIAU. She has also been invited to give lectures about guzheng and Chinese music in a dozen universities in America. She is loved by her students and has received high praise from local residents.
Daisy said: “The process of cultural transmission should also be the process of sharing. Our traditional culture is a valuable spiritual wealth that should be shared with people around the world. The identity from culture sharing will bring us mutual respect among different cultures.”