Confucius Institute News
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North Syracuse Central School District
During March and April, CIAU faculty members Emma Wang and Katie Wang continued with their enrichment classes to 6th graders at Gillette and Roxboro Middle Schools. The lessons have covered such topics as My Home, My Family, Professions, Table Manners, Food and Drinks, Numbers, Chinese Calligraphy, Sports, Body Parts, etc. More than 80 students enjoy learning basic Mandarin Chinese and understanding more about Chinese culture, both traditional and modern.
At the same time, some social studies teachers and the music teacher invited the Chinese teachers into their classrooms to give presentations about Chinese schools and Beijing Opera. The students were fascinated with the different school life and arts in China.
Geneva City School District
In March and April, CIAU faculty Jessica Liu introduced all the students at West Street Elementary School to “A School Day” of elementary students in China. The students learned many things about the daily life of Chinese elementary students, and compared this with their own school life. The students also learned how to talk about the weather. In order to make study lively and interesting, Jessica used sign language to help teach the weather words in Chinese. The students also made a Chinese weather book to take home to show their families.
In March and April, students at North Street School learned about a variety of social studies topics. Yanjie Yin taught the 4th and 5th graders about transportation vehicles by singing a Chinese version of “The Wheels on the Bus” and comparing American and Chinese transportation. They also learned about Chinese drama, adapted from “Mr. Fool Moved the Mountain”, and about common animals by playing Smartboard games. Liwei Wang had fun teaching the 3rd graders about maps, national flags, animals and body parts. They learned not only the related words of these topics, but also some differences between the cultures of the different countries, as well as two songs with Chinese lyrics which were adapted from the songs, “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It”.
Naples Central School District
A variety of fun games and interactive activities stimulated students at Naples Elementary School to make short conversations on topics of food, beverages, and hobbies. In addition to language learning, they were introduced to a traditional Chinese festival, the Qingming Festival, as well as famous Chinese cuisines such as Dumplings, Beijing Duck, and Tanghulu.
Binghamton Distance Learning
Eighth graders at the Binghamton West Middle School will take a post-test and a proficiency test at the end of May and in early June. Rosa Luo and Elyn Song are giving review sessions to the students after having finished the required instruction according to their curriculum map. To prepare for these tests, the 8th graders started intense review sessions in April, based on the word pool and main structure guide for the test prepared by Rosa, Elyn, and other teachers.
Meeting in Binghamton City School District (BCSD)
Binghamton West Middle School held a Chinese conference on April 9th and 10th. The CIAU Chinese teachers, Rosa and Elyn, met with the supervisor, Mrs. Margaret, other Chinese teachers in BCSD, and some parents at the meeting. The meeting mainly focused on four things: 1.) Revising the proficiency exam; 2.) Review of the Mandarin curriculum; 3.) Establishing Common Assessments and 4.) Grading procedures for the Mandarin program. At the end of the meeting, all the teachers had made out most parts of the Proficiency Test, Pre-test and Post-test. The remaining content was to be discussed at the next meeting on May 7th and 8th.
Filming of CIAU documentary
In March, CIAU made a documentary to celebrate Chinese Language Day. The documentary includes the Chinese class of Huiyang Li, distance learning class of Rosa Luo, Geneva School district class of Jessica Liu, guzheng class of Daisy Wu, and the Alfred Tai chi class, along with interviews with Charles Edmondson, AU President, Wilfred Huang, CIAU Director, Steven Crosby, professor of AU’s Division of Performing Arts, Trina Newton, Superintendent of the Geneva City School District, and Tracy Marchionda, Director of Innovative Programming in the Geneva City School District.
Visit to Tai Chi Class in Wellsville
On March 11, CIAU faculty Daisy Wu, Huiyang Li, Elyn Song, Tulip Chen, and Rose Hu were invited to the Tai Chi class in Wellsville. The Tai Chi class in Wellsville has grown out of the class in Alfred, and now has more than 20 people. They meet every Tuesday and Thursday at the First United Methodist Church, 79 Madison Street, Wellsville.
Visit of the President of Houghton College to CIAU
On March 18th, Dr. Shirley Mullen, President of Houghton College, and Professor Eric Currie, Houghton’s Vice President for Enrollment, visited AU. Accompanied by CIAU Director Wilfred Huang and Chinese Director Tao Peng, they visited the Confucius Institute office and held a meaningful discussion of ways to expand cooperation between the two universities.
Master Class on Chinese Instruments: Guqin
On March 19th Peter Worden, a musician from Buffalo, gave a Master Class on the Chinese instrument, guqin, in the Choral Room in AU’s Miller Theater. He started with basic knowledge of the instrument, and then presented three famous pieces. They were all well received by the audience.
Songs of Spring Concert
On March 20th, CIAU sponsored the concert, “Songs of Spring”, which was enjoyed by faculty, students, and members from the surrounding community at Nevins Theater. Guzheng musician Zhongbei (Daisy) Wu, AU soprano Professor Luanne Crosby, Dizi musician Shijun Cheng from Binghamton University, and Peter Worden from Buffalo University presented ten famous Chinese songs. From classical music to folk tunes, the audience had many ways to experience Chinese culture. Laughing Over the Blue Sea was most thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.
On March 27 and 28, more than 160 kids came from the Olean Central School and Wellsville Middle School to attend a seminar offered by CIAU. CIAU faculty members Elyn, Rose, Tina, and Tulip gave a Chinese writing demonstration. The lectures mainly introduced the characters’ origins, basic strokes, the “Four Treasures”, and how to use a brush to write Chinese characters.
On April 11, the students enjoyed lectures focused on a Chinese traditional art form, Beijing Opera. This day’s talk introduced the costumes, instruments, gestures, movements, and four types of roles in Beijing Opera. The students took an active part in the interaction. Some of them tried to perform and imitate the fictitious movements in the Beijing opera, like opening and closing a door, drinking tea, etc. The students had a lot of fun with those experiences, which were totally new for them, and became interested in Beijing Opera. CIAU Chinese Director Tao Peng and faculty members Elyn, Lee, Daisy, Rosa, Rose and Tulip participated in this activity.
Chinese Bridge Competition at Pace University, NY
Alexander Harder, a sophomore in Chinese 202 at AU, took part in Chinese Bridge, a Chinese proficiency competition funded by the Headquarters of the Confucius Institute. Alexander competed against 16 contestants from other colleges and universities in the eastern United States. His speech and talent show finished perfectly. Daisy Wu and Huiyang Li went to the competition together as tutors.
Presentation at Wellsville Central School
At the invitation of the 6th grade teachers of Wellsville Central School, on April 10 Daisy Wu and Tina Jiang gave a presentation on the Chinese traditional musical instrument, Guzheng, and the twelve Chinese Zodiac animals as part of the school’s cultural program on ancient China. Exposure to the rich and diverse Chinese cultural heritage stimulated the students’ interest and their enthusiasm for ancient China.
Chinese Class for AU Students Traveling to China
In April, Rose Hu and Tina Jiang provided a crash course in Mandarin and Chinese culture for AU students who are going to take a performance tour of China in May this year. The students were equipped with the “top ten Chinese phrases for travelers” and other survival expressions, as well as Chinese culture and etiquette to help them better cope during their upcoming trip to China.
HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test)
On April 12th, 2014, the HSK Chinese Proficiency Test was administered in AU’s Perlman Hall. This is a worldwide test offered annually to all Chinese learners, and the learners who pass have opportunities to get scholarships for studying in China. This year’s HSK at AU was organized by Huiyang Li and Rose Hu. Six AU students took Level 2 and Level 3 Tests.
Phi Sigma Iota Ceremony
CIAU faculty Huiyang Li was recommended by the Division of Modern Languages (DML) at AU as a new member of the Phi Sigma Iota International Foreign Language Honor Society for his good job in teaching Chinese. The induction ceremony was held at the Knight Club on April 22th, 2014. All professors and teachers from the DML participated, and Dr. Tao from CIAU attended the ceremony along with other guests.
Geneva Chinese Performance Night
On April 25th, CIAU sponsored a big Chinese culture show called “Spring Breeze” at the auditorium of the North Street School in the Geneva School District. More than 300 students and parents attended, and the evening turned out to be a great success. The audience watched a variety of Chinese folk art programs, guzheng performances, and other songs and drama performed by students. Chinese artists from New York City, Chunnuan Liu, Rui Zhang and Wenpang Zhang, demonstrated Chinese acrobatics, face-changing, and Peking Opera, all of which amazed the audience. The guzheng melody Dragon Boat Racing on the Miluo River performed by Daisy Wu touched all the people. Also, 3rd graders sang the songs that they learned in Mandarin class and 4th and 5th graders gave the drama, Mr. Fool Moved the Mountain, which was highly appreciated by the audience. The chorus of Geneva High School performed a Chinese song, Feng Yang Hua Gu, which was also a highpoint of this show. Danielle Quilette, the principle of North Street School, took part in the performance and spoke highly of it.
A fifth grade student of North Street School reported the performance on the Geneva Central School's web site, go to http://www.genevacsd.org/spotlight.cfm?sp=11114 for the detail.
Hot Dog Day 2014
CIAU joined the parade and sponsored two booths, an acrobat show booth and a game booth, during Alfred’s annual Hot Dog Day charity carnival April 26th.
The parade consisted of a dragon dance team, a Peking Opera performer, and the Tai Chi group, which attracted a lot of attention on that day. Three acrobats from New York gave rich performances of face-changing, martial arts, and plate spinning, etc. Guests had a great chance to experience Chinese culture by writing calligraphy, learning characters, playing Chinese ancient games, etc. This was the first time that CIAU participated in Hot Dog Day, and it turned out positively.
The Second International Conference On Teaching Chinese as A Second Language
On April 25th -26th, the Confucius Institute (CI) of San Francisco State University hosted the 2nd International Conference with the theme, “Chinese Language Research and Chinese Teaching: Today & Tomorrow”. CIAU faculty Emma Wang, Katie Wang, Elyn Song, and Tina Jiang traveled to this conference on teaching Chinese as a second language. One hundred forty people attended, including directors and teachers of Confucius Institutes from the United States, Canada, South America, and the Caribbean, as well as several language schools in the USA. The president of San Francisco State University and the director of the Confucius Institute of SF sent warm regards to all those present. The conference consisted of eight panels who researched the interests of the keynote speakers:
1- Latest theories and developments in Chinese linguistics research & TCSL/TCFL
2- Developments and trends in teaching Chinese culture
3- Research on Chinese language, culture, and thinking modes
4- Teaching Chinese grammar, vocabulary, and characters
5-Chinese films in culture education: theories and practices
6-Teacher education & professional training of qualified Chinese language teachers
Eighteen instructors, including directors of CI in the USA and professors from esteemed universities in China and Hong Kong, gave incisive presentations which stimulated an animated and lively discussion.
Geneva School District
In January and February, CIAU faculty at the Geneva School District held a variety of Chinese New Year activities.
Yanjie Yin and Liwei Wang in North Street School taught students the song “Happy New Year” and a self-written Chinese New Year customs song accompanied by traditional Chinese musical instruments. Student representatives from 3rd graders to 5th graders sang Chinese New Year songs during morning announcement time. Also, students practiced Chinese calligraphy of “福”, “马”, “春”, and “马到成功”, and then a Year of the Horse Chinese calligraphy exhibition was made in the school hallway.
Hui Liu in West Street School taught students the Chinese song “Happy New Year”
Ms. Liu introduced students many Chinese New Year customs and the 12 animal zodiacs. And since this is the Year of the Horse, Hui Liu led the students to recognize the character “马” by doing coloring work.
North Syracuse Central School District
In January, CIAU faculty Katie Wang and Emma Wang continued to present Chinese cultures to the 6th graders in Social Studies classes at the Gillette Road Middle School and Roxboro Middle School. The young students learned how to address family members in Mandarin, among other conversational skills. They loved repeating a rhyme made up by the two teachers. Also, some 5th grade teachers invited the two CIAU teachers into their classrooms just before the Chinese New Year. The students were happy to learn about holiday traditions. They were especially excited to get red envelopes with real Chinese currency inside.
In February, Katie and Emma began Chinese Enrichment lessons for the second semester. The students learned how to introduce themselves in Mandarin. They also learned about the Lantern Festival, and each one made their own lantern to proudly show to their classmates and parents.
Naples Central School District
In January and February, CIAU faculty Tina Jiang introduced traditional Chinese festivals to the students. By receiving red envelopes, sending New Year wishes, and rehearsing the story of the Chinese Zodiac signs, the students get to know more about the customs and traditions of Chinese New Year. With support from the Naples Elementary School, they successfully held a Lantern Festival display for the whole school. Other students were invited to guess the riddles under each handmade lantern.
Distance learning in Binghamton City School District
In January and February, Binghamton West Middle School studied expressions regarding transportation and Spring Festival customs through the distance-learning class. In the face-to-face class, Rosa Luo, Elyn Song, and Tulip Chen presented students with a cultural immersion experience class of making dumplings. The students had fun making dumplings and were excited to display their work to each other.
Daisy Wu’s Visits to Buffalo
In the afternoon of January 16, CIAU faculty Daisy Wu was invited by the Asian Studies Program and the Confucius Institute of the University at Buffalo to give a lecture in the music department for their winter term music course. The students in MUS 264 were very impressed with the guzheng performance, and had a delightful interaction with Daisy. The discussion centered on guzheng techniques and training, the instrument itself, and differences in notation of written scores. In the evening of the 16th, Daisy Wu gave a guzheng concert at Pausa Art House in downtown Buffalo. Daisy’s performance was deeply appreciated by the audience. She also presented a few songs together with local Guchin player Peter Worden.
January 17th, Daisy gave lectures in two music theory classes at Williamsville South High School. These presentations also won the enthusiastic response of students and teachers. Daisy was very impressed by the students’ interest and questions.
February 1st, Daisy and her family were invited by Niagara University to attend the CMAA 2014 Fundraising Dinner at the Orchard Park Country Club. Daisy gave a wonderful guzheng performance after the dinner.
On February 2nd, Daisy was invited by the Confucius Institute at the University of Buffalo to perform guzheng music at the Chinese New Year Gala of Western New York at the Center for the Arts in Buffalo.
Chinese Corner Resumed
Chinese Corner at Alfred University was resumed on January 27 this semester. Chinese Corner meets every Monday from 5:30-7:00 pm 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.
Geneva Chinese New Year Celebration of Paws Night
On Paws Night, January 28, CIAU sponsored a big Chinese New Year Gala at West Street School in the Geneva School District, which attracted many children and parents and turned out to be a great success. The students, their families, and other community members – a total of 300 people - enjoyed themselves with various activities such as using chopsticks, making Chinese knots, tasting Chinese food, and doing calligraphy, as well as with a guzheng concert performed by Daisy Wu and her three students from Geneva schools.
This event was highly supported by the Geneva School District. Administrators including Trina S. Newton, Superintendent of Geneva School, Tracy A. Marchionda, Director of Innovative Programming, Nina McCarth, Principle of West Street Elementary School, and Danielle Quilette, Principle of North Street Elementary School, all joined in the celebration.
Although it was the first Chinese New Year Celebration of Paws Night in the Geneva school district, it was a huge success. The leaders of the Geneva district hope that they can hold a Chinese New Year even every year.
Chinese New Year Dinner Gala
On February 1st, CIAU sponsored the annual Chinese New Year Dinner Gala at Susan Howell Hall at Alfred University, which was enjoyed by many faculty, students, and members of the surrounding community. Guests participated in a variety of interactive cultural activities: Chinese knot tying, lantern making, calligraphy, Chinese painting, and a video showing Chinese New Year customs.
The highlight of the night was a speech given by Scot Brackenridge, visiting assistant professor of Religious Studies, who talked about Chinese New Year customs from a personal perspective. After that, the guests enjoyed the bountiful and delicious food and received a horse toy as a gift.
Performance at St. Bonaventure University
On February 10, CIAU faculty Daisy Wu, Tina Jiang, and Tao Peng were invited to participate in the first Chinese New Year Celebration at St. Bonaventure University. The audience was deeply touched by the beautiful guzheng melody of High Mountain and Floating Water as played by Daisy. The highpoint came when Tina introduced the stories of the Chinese zodiac. Teachers and students were highly interested in Chinese culture and asked many questions. The celebration hall was full of laughter and applause. Sr. Margaret Carney, the President of St. Bonaventure University, sincerely appreciated the great support of CIAU to the celebration. The two universities exchanged exquisite presents at the end of the celebration.
Daisy Wu’s Visit to Fisher-Price, Inc.
On February 11th, Daisy Wu gave a Chinese music presentation and guzheng performance at the Chinese Cultural Awareness Day Celebration at the East Aurora headquarters of Fisher-Price, Inc. She was also invited to tour the audio engineering department and the studios of the company.