Confucius Institute News
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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.”