Confucius Institute News

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Spring 2017 Newsletter

January - February

On Jan. 26th, CIAU faculty Juan (Rita) Xu finished the Mandarin Club at Florence Brasser Elementary School. It is an after school class. There are 19 students from 3rd grade joined this club. The kids learned Chinese culture and did some traditional Chinese activities such as paper cutting, calligraphy, traditional Chinese dough modeling, making lantern, kicking shuttlecock and eating Chinese food by using chopsticks, etc.

On Feb. 6th, Ms. Xu started another Mandarin club in Neil Armstrong elementary School. It is a 12-kid group who will join the club every Monday after school. She has taught the kids a Chinese song named “Mom and Dad, I love you” before the Valentine’s Day. It was amazing that the kids were able to sing it less than 20 minutes even though they didn’t learn any Chinese words before.

On the same day, Ms. Xu also went to Gates Chili High School to teach the multicultural club about Chinese paper cutting. All of the teacher and students are impressed by the delicate and beautiful Chinese paper-cut.

 

Geneva West Street School District

When the Spring Festival is coming, Mrs. Robertson’s class Pre-K brought in the Chinese New Year by making fun crafts with Mandarin instructor Ms. Zhu in the West Street School. This is the students first time to learn about the cultural of the Spring Festival, they are very curious, Ms. Zhu told they the story about “Monster Nian" and the custom of the Spring Festival. For the  Chinese zodiac, the students find their own phase and learn a different genus has a different meaning, 2017 is the year of the chicken, meaning hard-working studious, the students drew their own big cock, but also collective Making the New Year paper firecrackers, this section of the cultural class also boarded the gay tile to learn Facebook.

Kynthia Smith, the teacher in charge of kindergarten preschools, thanked the e-mail, and I was very supportive of the Chinese class in the pre-school class.

January 26th Jie Guowa campus in the North Street Primary School held a grand New Year celebration, Zhu is responsible for calligraphy showcase, students and parents have attended the scene to participate in writing calligraphy.

On January 19, Ms. Yuan and Ms. Zhu attended the Chinese New Year cultural activities in the Library of Geneva and Ms. Zhu help the students to make paper lanterns and boarded the fingers of the lake.

 

Northstar Christian Academy

From January to February, two Chinese teachers Wu Jing and Chen Jinxiang in the Rochester School District carried out Chinese language teaching activities in accordance with the teaching plan.

In the elective classes Ms. Wu taught Middle school students on the textbook "Happy Chinese" from lesson 15 to 20. Students learned Chinese vocabulary and sentence patterns as for the "work" and "hobby".  Chen Jinxiang continued to teach Chinese to students from grade 1 to 6 in primary school. Students learn about Chinese words concerning "color", "animal", "sporting goods" as well as sentences and children's songs. In addition to the traditional Chinese teaching, two teachers in the classroom led the children to do a series of manual activities.

Two teachers initiated to include in the Physical Education in North Star School shuttlecock, which is a traditional sport in China. PE teacher Miss She said: Chinese shuttlecock enriched our physical education and children love it.

Chinese Spring Festival falls on January 28, 2017. Two teachers illustrated the folklores and customs on the festival before the coming of the day. On the festival, a lot of activities were held to celebrate the special day.

January 19 2017 witnesses the first Chinese Spring Festival Celebration in NorthStar with the help of AU teachers. Activities varied from paper-cutting, chopsticks competition to listening to Erhu. Students felt overwhelmed by the charm of Chinese culture. Landen, a student of Grade two, said, “I go in for Chinese Spring Festival. I like the New Year gift. I hope I may have a chance to attend Chinese Spring Festival Celebration next year.” The director Kier thought much of the event and believed it was a good way to arouse students’ interest in Chinese.

 

North Syracuse Central School District
In January and February, two Chinese festivals has been celebrated in the North Syracuse Central School Districts.

On 31st of January, the Guzheng and Erhu musician Ms Wu and Ms Lin together with Taichi Master Liu came for the New Year Festival celebration in Roxboro Middle school held by Confucius Institute at Alfred University.

Parents, students enjoyed the music played from traditional Chinese musical instruments, and learned about Chinese culture through the presentation of Ms. Zhang. Kids from Mandarin Enrichment Program performed the Happy New Year Song which surprised the audience.

On 16th of Feb, the lantern festival is celebrated in Gillette Road Middle School. Around 280 guests including kids and parents showed up for the event, and they were welcomed by musical performance by Ms. Lin.

Kids learned how to play Taichi following Master Liu and Emma Wang. Parents and kids learned the tradition of lantern festival with Ms Zhang and they learned how to make lantern with Beverly He. Chinese food sampling was provided to all the guests including special treat of Yuan Xuan which is normally eaten by Chinese on this particular festival.

 

Webutuck School District

It’s the Spring Festival in February; Webutuck school district organized a series of theme activities about the Spring Festival. Students took an adventure about the custom of Spring Festival and had shown high interests about Chinese culture, which made a significant effect on students.

The primary students held activities about the culture of Spring Festival. By reading, students get the opportunity to take a brief view of the country locating over the ocean. The difference of customs between China and United States show unique attraction among students. Many customs, such as pasting couplets, putting firecrackers and so on, make students feel novel, as well as longing for Chinese culture.

Senior students got a more challenging task, practicing calligraphy and writing couplets of their own. As there is no students who once used the brush before, it is a task which is hard to finish but also interesting.

The lesson was divided into three parts. During the first lesson, we introduced the connotation of calligraphy, taught how to use the brush and the basic strokes of calligraphy. Then we taught students to write some simple Chinese characters. Finally, we asked students to write short couplets. At the beginning, student’s use the brush and ink to paint pattern, however, as the lesson pass by, they learned how to write. Though it’s not easy to write the calligraphy, they reached the goal by practice hardly. Moreover, the beauty of calligraphy attracts them a lot. Andi said that it’s the lesson that made her like calligraphy, student Anthony said:” It’s much harder than my imagination, I almost gave up it. But I heard that even Chinese still need to practice it for years or decades, so I think I’m well done.” The beauty of Chinese culture shows its side face through calligraphy, it’s reasonable to anticipate that calligraphy will spread a seed of Chinese culture and philosophy to students.

 

Pine Plains Central School District

Chinese Program in Pine Plains Central School District is regarded as a window for students to know China and experience Chinese culture. Students not only study the language in the school, they will also have fun in lots of Chinese activities.

On January 6th, Chinese teachers organized more than 40 students in 7th grade for a field trip to Chinese restaurant in Albany. They learned using chopsticks and ordered in Chinese and had a wonderful meal.

On February 3rd, Chinese teachers organized a Chinese New Year celebration in school cafeteria. More than 60 students, parents and teachers came from local community and joined in. They wrote Chinese characters “福”, which means good fortune, and play Chinese traditional games. What is more , they experienced a wonderful Chinese new year.

 

“Chinese Language Wall” at Geneva West Street School

At the beginning of the new semester, Geneva West Street School added a new decoration - the Chinese wall. The Chinese wall is used to exhibit the teaching achievements of the teachers and the works of the students, and also serves as a window of the Chinese language program and the Chinese culture.

As a new promotional window of Chinese language teaching program in West Street School, the whole wall is very festive and has Chinese characteristics. The upper part of the wall is a long "Chinese dragon", which symbolizes the family of the whole teachers and students of the West Street School. The scales of dragon are made by the name cards of Chinese teachers and students, which represents that everyone here are learning and making progress together. Students personally produced their own business cards. Students are excited for the joint efforts to complete this "Chinese dragon" together.

The rest of the wall exhibits the students' recent assignments and handicrafts. The students are very happy see their work getting the opportunity to show on the wall. They are excited to say every time they pass the wall: "See! That is my homework!" The Spanish language teacher Mrs.Sarratori also praised: "This wall is really beautiful and this dragon is lifelike. The children are very interesting."

Sara Beth Stachura, the first-year class teacher, said: "The students will be more seriously with their homework when they know that it will be exhibited.

Tricia Budgar, the principal of West Street School is very supportive of Chinese projects. She soon approved the application of Chinese teachers for a new publicity window, and offered the first wall as the Chinese wall. "I really like the design of the Chinese dragon," she said, "and it is very characteristic of the Chinese wall."

 

Chinese New Year Gala in Geneva School District

Geneva School District and CIAU held a Chinese New Year Gala on January 26th. Students, parents, teachers and local residents celebrated Chinese New Year at Geneva North Street Elementary School with all kinds of cultural activities.

Students in Mandarin classes from both North Street and West Street Schools gave many fun performances in the auditorium, including a Chinese Zodiac dance, Gongxi Gongxi, “Yong E” (Geese), “Xin Nian Hao” (Happy New Year) and CIAU faculty presented Guzheng and Erhu music performances and Tai Chi Sword.

There were some interesting stations in the gymnasium that attracted many students and parents: Paper-cutting, Twelve Zodiac Animals station, Chopsticks Competition, Lanter-making, Shuttlecock game and Rooster Race.

Many guests waited in a long queue in the cafeteria for the delicious Chinese foods. The dumpling-making station was very popular, as many young cooks learned how to make dumplings.

This is the fifth annual Chinese New Year celebration hosted by Confucius Institute at Alfred University and Geneva School District. “I love Chinese New Year and Chinese calligraphy!” Nicole Hunsberger, a student of Geneva elementary school, said excitedly after the event.

 

Master Fang Received the 2017 Alfred Community Spirit of Service Award

On January 26th, Guifang Lui (Master Fang) received the 2017 Alfred Community Spirit of Service Award.

As a local Tai Chi instructor, Guifang Liu began offering a class in Tai Chi, at no charge, to meet each weekday morning on the Village Green in Alfred. The group, which has since grown to more than 60 people, includes people from Alfred and the surrounding communities. She has also provided a bridge and an opportunity for the local community to meet and befriend many Chinese members of the Confucius Institute, thereby exposing the community to another culture.

The Spirit of Service Award recognizes Alfred students, faculty, staff, and community members who demonstrate a strong commitment to serving others. This award honors members of the Alfred campus and village communities who are actively living out the principles for which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood for, including equality, social justice, community, and service. It is awarded annually during a community gathering at the Village Hall.

 

CIAU faculty joins Lunar New Year Celebration at Clinton Elementary School

 On February 1, 2017, CIAU faculty was invited by BOCES to hold a New Year Celebration at Clinton elementary school. Students from 6 different schools which set up Chinese language classes by BOCES participated in this gala.

Daisy Wu and Chenchen Lin played the Chinese traditional musical instrument, Guzheng and Erhu respectively. Master Fang performed Taichi Sword accompanied by the Guzheng music.

Later, Merry Zeng introduced Five Steps Boxing to the audience and lots of students volunteered to learn the basic steps on the stage. In the end, the students gave CIAU faculty very delicate New Year gifts and roses and express their thanks in Chinese to them. 

 

Chinese Corner of this Semester Resumes

On February 2, CIAU Chinese Corner of 2017 Spring Semester was resumed at the Confucius House. Over ten people participated in the Chinese Corner and learned how to greet and express thanks. The Confucius House was decorated with auspicious Chinese knot and paper-cutting and varieties of Chinese desserts were offered.

Chinese Corner meets every Wednesday or Thursday from 10:30-12:00 am at the Confucius House (10 Park Street) and welcomes students in Chinese classes and anyone else who is interested in learning the language and culture of China.  The session includes language practice, cultural discussions, a video show, and games.

 

2017 CIAU Chinese Teaching Experience Exchange Conference held at AU

From February 11 to 12, CIAU successfully held the 2017 Chinese Teaching Experience Conference. 21 teachers attended the meeting.

CIAU Director Huang greeted teachers’ returning to Alfred University to attend the meeting and encourage the communication between CIAU and school districts.

The conference is divided into two parts: the teaching situation of the school district and the exchange of Chinese teaching experience. In the Chinese language teaching experience exchange session, Instructors respectively, from the perspectives of teaching environment, teaching content arrangement and organization , Teaching methods, as well as Chinese immersion teaching methods, classroom management, exchanged their own practices and experience.  Some instructors shared how to build a good relationship between colleagues, how to carry out new projects to promote the work and so on.

Finally, Prof. Yu Jijun, Chinese director of CIAU, analyzed the present situation of the teaching work of CIAU, and proposed that "we should better meet the needs of the people of New York to learn Chinese and to understand the needs of Chinese culture.”

 

2017 Chinese New Year Gala at AU

On February 12th, the Confucius Institute at Alfred University sponsored its annual Chinese New Year Gala in the Knight Club in Powell Campus Center. More than 200 people from Alfred University and surrounding communities attended the gala and celebrated a traditional Chinese New Year with a festive and joyful atmosphere.

 

Lion Dance

Guests watched the video of Spring Festival celebrations held in different CIAU school districts. Then a special performance Dragon Dance and Lion Dance was presented by AU students. After that, Prof. John Buckwalter and Brian Oglesbee shared their experience in China with all the guests.

What’s more, Tai Chi performances of Swimming Dragon, Taichi fans and Taiyi Sword were well-received. Also, delicious Chinese dishes were enjoyed by all.

The 2017 Chinese New Year Gala turned out to be a successful gathering with the cooperation of teachers and students from the Confucius Institute at Alfred University.

Students from Chinese class singing a Chinese song

 

Visit from Chinese Consulate-General in New York City

On February 15th, Education Counsellor Yongji Xu of the Chinese Consulate-General in New York City, Consul Quansheng Chang, and Zhe Qiao visited the Confucius House in Alfred.

Alfred University’s President Mark Zupan and Provost Rick Stephens received them and had a friendly conversation with them.

In the Confucius House, CIAU faculty and Director Jijun Yu introduced both the development and prospects of CIAU to them, especially the achievements in language teaching and cultural communication, such as the Chinese programs in cooperative school districts, the Immersion Program in Geneva, and the Tai Chi  classes.

The significant influence made by CIAU and the hard work of CIAU faculty members were recognized by Education Counsellor Yongji Xu. He discussed the future work of CIAU faculty.

 

CIAU Faculty Participated in the Cultural Bowl

On February 24th, CIAU faculty participated in the Cultural Bowl sponsored by Asians in America and the Institute for Cultural Unity in the Knight Club.

The Cultural Bowl is an annual community-based charity event. The gathering features handmade ceramic bowls from Alfred University artists along with donated family-style meals from community members to help benefit such local charities as the Hornell Animal Shelter and Alfred Housing Assistance.

CIAU faculty gathered at the Confucius House to make dumplings on February 23 for the event. Students from Chinese language class and ICU came to help with the work as well. 300 dumplings were cooked and donated to the Culture Bowl on 24th and were well received by participants.

 

Confucianism Lecture at Alfred University

CIAU’s Haley Gao was invited by Chris Yarnal to give a lecture on Confucianism for the AU class on February 27th.

Ms. Gao introduced the doctrines of Confucius, who is the representative figures of Confucianism, which is sometimes termed religions, but is more accurately considered to be ethical systems, or systems of norms. Ms. Gao not only presented the core ideas of the systems, but also answered students’ questions afterwards. They discussed the effect of the central ideologies on Chinese culture and society.

 

2017 Chinese New Year Gala in Rochester

On February 28th, CIAU faculty accepted an invitation to hold a Chinese culture-experiencing activity and Chinese New Year Gala at Paul Road Elementary School in Rochester, NY.

They facilitated four stations featuring Guzheng and Erhu, paper-cutting, Tai Chi and Chopsticks in school. Students rotated to each station to watch and try.

CIAU faculty explains how to get involved in the Chinese culture experience and make a demonstration at first. Children are all excited to be a part of it.

At the end, they expressed their thanks to the entire CIAU faculty in Chinese: “Xie Xie!”

 

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