Confucius Institute News

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March - April

Geneva Central School District West Street School
Ms. Ding and her students learning a Chinese song In the Second Grade Immersion Class at Geneva West Street School, CIAU teacher Liping Ding taught her students to sing the Chinese song, “Looking for a Friend”. Considering elementary students’ love of movement, Ms. Ding made up some corresponding motions to go with the lyrics, which the students really enjoyed. At last, they could not only sing the Chinese song, but could understand just what the song means.

Game: Snakes & Ladders During center time, Ms. Ding offered some interesting games that students love to play. So after learning about animals, students played the game “Snakes & Ladders”. The player rolls a die and moves forward that number of spaces. On each space, the player needs to say the word written on the space in order to keep moving. If they don’t know a word or can’t say the word, Ms. Ding will do a quick correction to help them learn the word. This game gives children many opportunities for repetition, while the Students writing characters and designing their animals board game format keeps it fun and engaging. The students soon learned both to read the characters properly and to write them correctly in Chinese.

In April, the students had science classes in Chinese. Ms. Ding taught them the parts of plants. After listening, each Students making plants student made a plant of their own. Through making plants, students knew the parts of plants exactly and could say all of them in Chinese.

Ms. Yuan helped her students at Geneva West Street School to learn something about spring, including trees, flowers, and the sun. While cutting the Chinese character for“Spring” out of paper, they were hoping spring would come earlier to Geneva. They were thrilled to learn how to name animals and fruits, and especially how to express their favorites in a sentence. They were curious about words borrowed from English in Mandarin Chinese, which made it more fun to learn Mandarin.

With more students taking Mandarin Chinese class, all the teachers from CIAU attended the annual Book Festival in order to give parents in the community more chances to find out about China. Anne Dinan, the coordinator from “Geneva Reads,” said, “Thanks so much for all your efforts to provide a more convenient platform to all our citizens in our community to know more about Chinese culture.”

Students presenting their favorite fruits in Chinese Students showing their paper-cuttings of the Chinese character, “春” CIAU teachers at the Book Festival

 

Geneva North Street School
Ms. Wanda instructing students in preparing ink To help students learn more about Chinese culture, Wanda Wang designed Chinese calligraphy classes in March. She showed pictures of the four tools: rice paper, ink, ink-stone, and writing brush, and encouraged students to read their names aloud with the help of Pinyin (Chinese words written with letters that Westerners can sound out). Then she showed the children what these four things really are. She let them touch and feel Chinese rice paper and asked the students about the differences between rice paper and the ordinary paper they usually use. To demonstrate how to make ink with the ink-stone and ink block, Ms. Wang first made an example Students take turns making ink herself and then invited the students to try one by one. Ms. Wang also gave each of the students a pen brush, a piece of practice paper, and a small cup of clear water. Then Ms. Wang showed how to write with a pen brush: holding the middle of the stick, use the wrist to control the brush. She wrote 朋友 (péng yǒu, which means friends) and 春天 (chūn tiān, which means spring) on the paper for students to follow. Most students were quite interested in doing this. They also wrote 一二三四五六七八九十 一二三四 Students take turns making ink 五六七八九十 一二三四五六七八九十 一二三四五六七八九十 (yī èr sān sì wǔ liù qī bā jiǔ shí), which are the words for numbers one to ten. After these dried, they tried writing again. When class was over, some students asked, “Can we do it again next class?” and some even suggested that Ms. Wang set up a Chinese calligraphy club.

Slime is very popular among students in the school and even in Mandarin class. Miss Hao showed students to use slime to make Chinese characters, and the students loved it. They had fun, and at the same time, they practiced Chinese characters.

 

Northstar Christian Academy in Rochester
A classroom teacher, Mr. Weston, talking with Xiaochao Tao The classroom teacher, Mr. Weston, talked with Xiaochao Tao about classroom teaching methods and how she might improve students’ interest in learning Chinese culture and history. Mr. Weston gave Xiaochao a good evaluation, saying she is nice to her students, is trying different teaching methods to stimulate students' interest, and tries to understand each student's different hobbies to help introduce Chinese culture and history; the students often inquire about the differences between Chinese and American cultures.

Ms. Tao Chinese class CIAU Director Jijun Yu attended the Chinese history and culture class taught by Xiaochao Tao, which has eight students in grades 7 - 12. These students take a test on Chinese culture, history, and newly acquired language once a month. After the class, Director Yu gave some suggestions for classroom management, the formulation of a teaching outline, and a goal-setting system.

Under the leading of CIAU Director Wilfred Huang, a delegation of Northstar Christian Academy staff and eight students went to China for a visit to Beijing, the CIAU partner school at China University of Geosciences The Northstar delegation at Hanban Headquarters (Wuhan), and Shanghai.

The Chinese teachers helped their students to make a PowerPoint presentation in the computer lab about their trip to China.

Working on the presentation in the computer lab Jijun Yu listened to Yang Yang's third-grade Chinese class on March 8th. He acknowledged Ms. Yang’s teaching work and gave some advice. And Yang Yang communicated with most of the other Northstar classroom teachers about improving their cooperative teaching. Second-grade teacher Ms. Carlson said, “Personally, I love Chinese culture and Chinese classes. Students really like the music to the Number song. When doing the counting, I notice, they are just trying to move and say the Chinese words. They always focus well with Miss Yang Yang.” The elementary students learned about the topic of birthdays in March. They can express their birth dates and can sing a "Happy Birthday Song."

Two 7th graders at Northstar Christian Academy, Roberts Gage Wheaton, whose Chinese name is Weiping, and Joshua Rowland, whose Chinese name is Kaijun, said they like challenging different cultures. They expressed their appreciation for Chinese classes and hope to go to China in the future.

A third-grade student, Essence, filling in her birthday card A 2nd-grade student, Jameson, coloring Chinese characters and birthday cake A 6th-grade classroom teacher learning to write Chinese characters
Miss Yang communicating with second-grade teacher Ms. Carlson on Chinese teaching Roberts Gage Wheaton, Chinese name Weiping, practicing a Chinese tongue twister,
“Si he Shi (Four and Ten)” Students and their classroom teacher, Mrs. Santos, in third grade, Northstar Christian Academy wearing Chinese Opera masks and saying colors in Chinese

 

North Syracuse Central School District
Beverly introducing the Qin Dynasty From March 7th to 20th, the sixth graders of North Syracuse Central School District learned Early Chinese History (Ⅲ): Qin Dynasty in their social studies classes. There were two parts to this lesson. The first part covered the ancient three systems of Chinese Philosophy: Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism. Legalism became the political philosophy of the Qin State. Eventually Qin became strong enough to defeat other states and unify the whole country. The second part included the five major achievements of the first emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di, and the Qin Dynasty. CIAU teachers Suping (Emma) Wang, Yuanhuan (Beverly) He and Ping (Kevin) Wang also prepared two videos for the Social Studies teachers for reference. One is about the Terra-Cotta Warriors; the other is about the history of the Great Wall of China. Students showed their great interest in this period of Chinese history.

Emma introducing a timeline of Chinese history In March and April, the fifth and sixth grade students at Roxboro and Gillette Road Middle Schools took enrichment classes in basic Mandarin Chinese language. The three Chinese teachers covered the topics numbers, fruit, chopsticks, currency, and time. The students learned how to use chopsticks. It was a big challenge to try to pick up jellybeans for the first time. The children were actively involved in the class activities and received two Chinese candies, Dabaitu and Yezitang, at the end of classes.

Kevin and his students On March 13th, the three Chinese teachers set up a display about the Chinese program at the Roxboro PTO/PIE Open House. At the Open House, parents went around the school to about twenty different tables and got information about various school and community activities. The Chinese instruction table showed parents the students’ work, along with two Chinese culture boards featuring Chinese zodiac, Peking Opera masks, paper cutting, calligraphy, Chinese knots, and photos of the Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival celebrations at the two schools. Parents and students also were given permission slips for enrichment Chinese class.

Speaking and guessing game in Mandarin class On March 21st, at the invitation of Mr. Wright, a social studies teacher at Roxboro Road Middle School, Beverly and Emma observed Mr. Wright’s composition lesson with his American students. After class, the two Chinese teachers discussed the course content with Mr. Wright. The two teachers understood the correspondence between their courses and received a considerable benefit in teaching Chinese in American schools. Mr. Wright also said that he was very happy that the CIAU teachers could come to his class and expressed great support for the development of the Chinese program.

Display of Chinese programs at RRMS PTO/PIE FairOn April 3rd and 4th, Mrs. Foley, a sixth grade social studies teacher at Roxboro Road Middle School, invited the Chinese teachers to participate in a lesson about ancient Chinese inventions. Mrs. Foley has been very supportive of the Chinese program and has worked with the Chinese teachers to coordinate lessons since September 2017. This particular class took the form of “Shark Tank,” a popular American TV show. Students role-played forming businesses offering ancient Chinese inventions. Sharks scored them for potential investment in their products. Emma and Beverly assisted. Beverly also served as the task of Shark's judging panel. The students were very prepared for their tasks and were very excited to see the arrival of the Chinese teachers. They asked the Chinese teachers many interesting questions, such as: What is the initial vision of papermaking? Where are the similarities and differences between Chinese coins and American coins? The teachers answered these questions patiently. Participating in American social studies classes helps the Chinese teachers to better explain Chinese history and culture and deepens the relationship between them and American teachers and students.

Introducing the Chinese program to parents Beverly and Emma with Mr. Wright Students introducing Chinese paper-making

 

Webutuck School District
Chinese Rattle Drums In March, the enthusiastic celebration of the Chinese New Year ended, and Chinese learning at Webutuck Central School opened a new chapter.

The Afterschool Club focused on cultural experiences. After learning about various entertainments popular in old Beijing, the students chose to pursue a Chinese Rattle Drum project. Making a Chinese Rattle Drum seemed simple, but it was very troublesome to do. Ms. Zhang and her students used paper plates to make the drum heads, Popsicle sticks for handles, glue guns as adhesives, and small bells tied to the drums. Finally, they decorated their drums with favorite Chinese characters, painted Chinese patterns, or Chinese paper cuttings, along with a Chinese knot.

A student’s family painting This month, the 5th and 6th graders break from digital learning. After learning the most basic characters, students learned the seven days of the week. The childrenhappily produced their own weekly books, using Chinese characters and paintings, recording their own activities for the week or their different moods for each day.

In order to celebrate the opening day of the Confucius Institute, Webutuck School organized a painting activity and exhibition of ink paintings. The stinky smell of ink was full of temptation for the children. They used straws to create blow-ink paintings, and they were amazed at the Plum Blossom, which they had only heard about in their teacher’s story. The emergence of the Chinese national flower, plum, helps to make children full of imagination. Looking at the fine branches that he had blown, every child was very excited and asked classmates to vote for their favorites. Finally, the children's best works were displayed on the Chinese wall and the teachers were also asked to vote for their favorites. In the corridors for the next few days, enthusiastic students are always strongly recommending their works to teachers. Many kind teachers stood up to cheer for the children in their classes, and expressed their appreciation for Mandarin.

During this time, the new unit for the 7th graders was “My Family”. Due to the different textbook used, the 5th and 6th graders were already very familiar with this topic, so you could often hear the younger children guide their older brothers and sisters on how to pronounce the words correctly in the hallway. The older brothers and sisters also humbly asked the younger siblings for help.

During this time, the new unit for the 7th graders was “My Family”. Due to the different textbook used, the 5th and 6th graders were already very familiar with this topic, so you could often hear the younger children guide their older brothers and sisters on how to pronounce the words correctly in the hallway. The older brothers and sisters also humbly asked the younger siblings for help.

Enjoying blow-painting Students’ blow-paintings Students’ weekly books

 

Pine Plains School District
In the first week of April, about 30 students at Stissing Mountain School experienced traditional Chinese painting. The Chinese instructor introduced the development of traditional Chinese painting and taught the students how to use a brush. They painted bamboo and pandas.

The Chinese instructor went to every class of six grade to introduce Chinese class to those students and attracted them to choose Chinese next semester. Students learned that they will learn Chinese from teachers and they will celebrate Chinese festivals together. At last, the Chinese instructor gave everyone a small zodiac paper cutting as a gift.

 

Chinese Culture at the Almond Library
On the evening of March 13th, there was a celebration of Chinese culture in Almond, the community closest to Alfred. The Associate Director of CIAU, Daisy (Zhongbei) Wu, Coach Guifang Liu of the CIAU Tai Chi class, Chinese teacher Guobao Huo, and volunteers Menglin Tong, Tianyi Cui, and Yulong Chen visited the Almond Library at the invitation of the Almond 20th Century Club. The event lasted for two lovely hours. The audience warmed up with Tai Chi and then enjoyed the Hulusi, ethnic dance, guzheng and Tai Chi performances, and a calligraphy demonstration. The Club members were very grateful for the beautiful program.

People experiencing Tai Chi with Guifang Liu Guobao Huo introducing calligraphy CIAU teachers and Club members

 

CIAU Holds a Video Conference for its Members
Chinese teaching video conference On the afternoon of March 23rd, CIAU held a video conference on Chinese teaching. Twenty-two Chinese language teachers and volunteers attended the conference.

CIAU Director Huang greeted the teachers and encouraged communication between CIAU and school districts.

The conference was divided into two parts: the teaching situation in the school districts during the past six months, and the exchange of Chinese teaching experience. Teachers from each of the five school district reported and summarized their overall situation, discussing the aspects of classroom teaching, promotion of cultural activities, media coverage, community service, work environment in the school district, and the plan for the next stage of work there.

In the session for the exchange of Chinese language teaching experience, instructors shared from their own practice and experience regarding teaching environment, content arrangement and organization, teaching methods including Chinese immersion, and classroom management. Some instructors shared how to build good relationships with colleagues, how to communicate with parents, etc.

Finally, Prof. Jijun Yu, 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.”

 

A Video Conference on Geneva’s Chinese Language Immersion Teaching Syllabus
On the afternoon of March 26th, CIAU and the teachers in Geneva Central School District held a video conference on the Chinese language immersion teaching syllabus used there. Ten Chinese teachers and volunteers attended the meeting.

Chinese teachers Mengwei Zhu, Mengqi Gu, and Liping Ding, who are responsible for the Chinese immersion program at Geneva, explained the syllabus and the revision of the immersion curriculum for grades K-3, and defined the teaching objectives, standards, methods, and content. Na Wang and Yuan Yuan of the Geneva School District made comments and suggestions on the presentation and explanation of the three teachers. CIAU Chinese director Jijun Yu, Chinese teachers Yun Wang and Baike Zhang at Alfred University gave pertinent guidance on the syllabus.

 

New York State Educators Delegation Visits China
The delegation at Hanban Headquaters From March 24th to April 6th, Professor Wilfred Huang, CIAU Director, led a delegation of New York State educators and middle school students to China and visited universities in Beijing, Wuhan, Yichang, and Shanghai for inspection and study.

The NY delegation holding talks with Xulong Lai, the Vice President of the China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) During their stay in Beijing, the delegation paid a visit to the Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban and held talks with Shifang Ren, director of the U.S. Department of International Affairs in Hanban, and project officer Jiangwei Liu.

During their time at Wuhan, the delegation also held talks with Xulong Lai, the Vice President of the China University of Geosciences (CUG -Wuhan), the partner college of CIAU. Subsequently, the delegation paid a visit to the school affiliated with CUG, where they observed primary and middle school students in an Internet + classroom, and entered the affiliated school kindergarten to interact with the students.

The delegation also visited eight other elementary and middle schools in Wuhan and Yichang to experience China's modern teaching facilities and ideas. They conducted in-depth exchanges with teachers and students on the curriculum and classroom model of the schools, and gained a better understanding of the organizational structure and mode of operation of Chinese schools.

During their stay in China, the delegation further experienced Chinese history and culture by visiting the Great Wall of China, the Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Yellow Crane Tower, the Hubei Provincial Museum, the Donghu Lake, the Three Gorges Dam, and the famous attractions of Shanghai’s Chenghuang Temple, Yuyuan Garden, and the Bund.

The delegation interacting with Chinese students The delegation observing Chinese students
setting up exercises The delegation observing a Chinese calligraphy class

 

Guzheng and Tai Chi performances in New Jersey
On April 13th, Associate Professor Daisy Wu, Associate Director of CIAU, and Master Guifang Liu from the Alfred Tai Chi class were in New Jersey to participate in cultural activities organized by Confucius Classrooms at Edward H. Bryan Elementary School and New Milford High School. They presented wonderful Tai Chi and guzheng performances.

On the morning of the "International Day" at Edward H. Bryan Elementary School, Daisy Wu played the famous guzheng piece, "Fishing Boat Night". Later, with the accompaniment of guzheng music, Guifang Liu performed Swimming Dragon Sword.

That afternoon at Newford High School, the performances of Daisy Wu and Guifang Liu were well received by the students in the Confucius Classroom. In the interactive session, the students had an opportunity to play guzheng themselves. They also tried the basic actions of the Five-Animal Tai Chi exercise.

Guifang Liu performing Swimming Dragon Sword, accompanied by Daisy Wu’s guzheng Students taking turns to experience the guzheng Students experiencing Five-Animal Exercises

 

Tai Chi and Guzheng Performance at the U.N.
Swimming Dragon performance accompanied by guzheng On April 20th, as part of the annual "United Nations Chinese Day" celebration, the United Nations Tai Chi Cultural Association held a "United Nations Chinese Day Tai Chi Show" at U.N. Headquarters in New York City. CIAU Associate Director Daisy Wu, and Guifang Liu, CIAU Tai Chi class coach, participated in the event at the invitation of the Association.

Daisy Wu and Guifang Liu gave a copy of the CIAU 2016 Annual Report to Doreen Hynd The show kicked off with a Wu Taijiquan performance by 93-year-old master Doreen Hynd. Subsequently, United States National Martial Arts Team coach, Ruibin Lin, coach of the United Nations Tai Chi Cultural Association, Lincheng Ma, and others performed Kung Fu Tai Chi, Cheng Baguazhang, and Chen Tai Chi, respectively. Guifang Liu and Daisy Wu together presented the Swimming Dragon accompanied live by guzheng. Daisy specially wrote the guzheng piece, "Gu Yu You Long," for this event. Considering the characteristics of a swimming dragon himself, she focused on the contributions of tune and ancient rhythm to make the whole performance unique and artistic.

Since 2010, the United Nations has designated Gu Yu Day, one of the traditional Chinese solar terms, as United Nations Chinese Day, in commemoration of the contributions made by the Chinese literary ancestor, Cang Jie. Every year, the United Nations holds a variety of themed cultural events in New York and China to highlight the diversity of Chinese culture.

 

CIAU in Alfred’s “Hot Dog Day” Parade
Tai Chi Class with Banner On the morning of April 21st, CIAU joined the Alfred community in the Main Street parade for "Hot Dog Day", an annual charity fund-raising carnival.

CIAU Dragon Dance Team The CIAU Tai Chi class donned their uniforms to carry the “Alfred Tai Chi” banner.

The Dragon Dance Team followed the Tai Chi group. “It’s a dragon - cool!” People on both sides of the road gave applause and cheers.

 

HSK Test Held at AU
HSK test On April 22, the HSK Chinese Language Proficiency Test was offered at AU’s Perlman Hall, home of the Division of Modern Languages. Five students from Chinese language classes participated in this test.

The HSK is an international standardized test of Chinese language proficiency which assesses non-native Chinese speakers’ abilities in using the Chinese language in their daily, academic and professional lives.

 

Chinese Language and Culture Lecture at AU
Prof. Yu introducing features of Chinese words CIAU Chinese Director, associate professor Andy (Jijun) Yu was invited by Dr. Robert Myers, professor of anthropology at Alfred University, to give a lecture on April 23 for a class on Chinese language and culture.

Prof. Yu leading students in guessing the meaning of some Chinese characters Jijun Yu first introduced four sounds and the concept of tones; then he explained the syntactic structure of Chinese and compared the syntax of Chinese and English. He also read the Chinese poem, “The Silent Night”, to let students experience the beauty of Chinese rhythm. When explaining Chinese characters, Prof. Yu discussed their origin and evolution from ancient to modern times.

To finish, he introduced traditional festivals and foods through vivid pictures.

 

CIAU at Unity Day celebration
Students tasting Chinese food On April 27th, CIAU was invited to participate in the “Unity Day Celebration” organized by Alfred University. Together, teachers and students tasted Chinese food, practiced calligraphy, and enjoyed traditional music. CIAU teachers introduced Chinese and guzheng classes and cultural activities for the next semester, as well. Ms. Kathy Woughter, Vice President of Alfred University, Gerar Edizel, Dean of the School of Art and Design, Ms. Beth Ann Dobie, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Mr. Stephen Crandall, Dean of Libraries, were among those who came to the CIAU booth.

People experiencing guzheng People using a writing brush to write their Chinese names CIAU faculty with Vice-President Kathy Woughter

 

Guzheng Performance at AU Spring Student Recital
A student recital was held by the AU Performing Arts Department at the end of the semester in Susan Howell Hall. This recital featured guzheng, woodwinds, brass, piano, and percussion. Over thirty students performed at this event. The recital began with “June Jasmine” and “Fengyang Flower Drum” played by beginning guzheng students. Then, advanced guzheng students performed “Fishing Junks at Sunset”. The audience showed positive feedback with their frequent applause.

Beginning guzheng students performing “June Jasmine” A student in the advanced guzheng class performing “Fishing Junks at Sunset” Guzheng students with their instructor, Daisy Wu

 


January - February

Geneva West Street School District
In early February, Geneva Central School District held a Chinese New Year Gala. Ms. Zhu and her students made a variety of preparations. 2018 is the Year of Dog, and the students learned a Chinese greeting, “狗年大吉,新年快乐”, which means “Happy New Year in the Year of the Dog”. Most students and parents attended the New Year Gala and experienced a lively Chinese New Year celebration together.

With the coming of this Spring Festival, Ms. Zhu told stories of the Chinese zodiac to her kindergarten students as they celebrated together. The students learned about the special traditional foods and customs of the Spring Festival. They were fascinated by the Chinese zodiac, and they made handcrafts illustrating the zodiac animals in class.

On January 29th, CIAU teacher Liping Ding introduced Chinese New Year for the Year of the Dog to the Chinese Immersion 2nd graders at Geneva West Street School. Students learned about “The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac” and can sing the “Song of 12 Zodiac Animals” in Chinese perfectly. What’s more, every student now knows their animal sign based on the Chinese Zodiac Wheel with birth years that Ms. Ding showed and can say the whole sentence “I’m from the Year of ...” in Chinese. At the end of class, each student designed and made their own dog very happily.

On February 2nd, Ms. Ding introduced more Chinese traditions of New Year along with their meanings to the 2nd graders. For example, they learned about using Couplets to decorate the doors and express best wishes for the coming year; Red Lanterns to scare away the Nian monster and bring good luck; and Paper-cutting to decorate doors, windows and walls to show happiness and festivity.

After learning about the Chinese New Year, students did projects together at home about New Year.

When Chinese New Year is coming, students make their own dragons. Students in America always think that a dragon is an evil guy, and they are afraid of dragons. After Ms. Mengqi Gu told her students that in China the dragon is a good guy, who is always protecting people and bringing the rain to nourish the plants on the earth, students then have a brand new understanding of the dragon.

After learning that Chinese people put up the character Fu in red on the door, students were so excited to make one for themselves to scare away the monster, Nian. Some of them were so creative that they wrote down the words, “No Nian Allowed,” on the red paper.

Before the Chinese New Year Night, Ms. Gu prepared some chopsticks and cotton balls for the students to practice. Some asked how Chinese people could use them every day and thought it is too hard. Although it is hard for them, they love to try it and they want to win the chopsticks competition at the Chinese New Year Night. After school that day, some students even practiced at home.

On Valentine’s Day, students in Ms. Gu’s class learned something about Chinese Valentine’s Day, called Qi Xi Festival. They compared these two Valentine’s Day celebrations between America and China. Students also listened to the story of Niulang and Zhinv. After hearing the story, they drew pictures about what they had learned.

It was Chinese New Year on Feb.16, and students celebrated it with their teachers in Ms. Gu’s class. They tried dumplings and even used chopsticks to pick up their dumplings. After that, they watched the Spring Festival Gala presentation and took pictures together.

Ms. Yuan helped her students at Geneva West Street School appreciate the glamour of Chinese culture by introducing Chinese zodiac animal signs, customs of Chinese New Year, traditional foods for the Reunion Dinner, the decorations for Chinese New Year, and the Lantern Festival. Students were thrilled to express all the topic-related words of Chinese New Year, decorate their classroom with lanterns, and design their own Red-envelopes, which are for gifts of money from their parents.

On Feb.16th, the celebration of Chinese New Year enjoyed great success at North Street School through the great efforts of the Mandarin teacher and other teachers from the Geneva Central School District. Over four hundred students and parents had great fun with all the activities and tasted the glamour of Chinese calligraphy, paper cutting and traditional music. Susan Clark Porter, a reporter from the Finger Lake Times, interviewed Ms. Yuan and wrote a special report about this event.

 

Geneva North Street School District
To get students ready for the Chinese Spring Festival celebration, Wanda designed the subject of “Chun Jie” in January, which included drawing red lanterns, watching some performances from Spring Festival galas, learning to sing songs, etc. Most students felt fascinated at the splendid stage, fantastic lights and wonderful performances in the galas, and some asked to see more.

To help students learn the song “If You Are Happy, Clap Your Hands with Me,” Wanda designed a competition to activate them to learn the words of the song. First, she asked students to listen to the song two or three times to get a general meaning of the song and do the actions with the tune. Then she said the words “paipaishou, duoduojiao, dasheng han, zhenbang” and did the actions to help the students to understand the meaning of each word. After several repetitions, she said the words one by one, and students did the actions accordingly. Then came the competition. Two students came to the front and did the actions they heard; the one who was quicker and correct got one point. The students were very active in the competition. After several times, some students would volunteer to say the words for other competitors to do the actions.

In the second class, Wanda asked the students to do the competition another way. First, she did the actions one by one and students were required to do the actions accordingly. Then came the competition.

Through doing competitions, most students learned to say the words in the song, even some complex ones as “gandao, kaixin, yiqizuo” and meanwhile their interest in learning Chinese was motivated.

 

Geneva North Street School District
In January, Kaijun, one of seventh grade students’ mother specially told his teacher, Mrs. Wenfang Gao, that Kaijun likes Chinese so much that he even taught his young cousin Chinese at home.

Three Chinese teachers joined high school classes at NCA to help international students, especially students from China, to learn health, life science, and history. Health is one of the most difficult lessons for students from China. Kevin Zheng, a sophomore from Guangdong, China, came to NCA less than six months ago. Due to his newness and poor English foundation, he initially found his health class to be very hard. Mrs. Wenfang Gao came into the classroom to help Kevin translate classroom instruction and at the same time study with him. After two months, Kevin's health score went from D or F to a B.

Yang Yang and Xiaochao Tao also helped students and learned with them.

Teachers and students from Northstar Christian School brought in the Chinese New Year with a number of different activities to celebrate Spring Festival. Many teachers, students and parents in the school participated in. The students who are learning Chinese not only came to understand the Spring Festival legends and customs, but also cut out spring flowers, made dumplings, and sang the Spring Festival blessing songs while experiencing almost a native Chinese flavor.

 

North Syracuse Central School District
In February, two Chinese festivals were celebrated in the Gillette Road and Roxboro Road Middle Schools. On the 15th of February, a Chinese New Year celebration was held by members of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University at Gillette Road Middle School. Dr. Morton and Yuanhuan He hosted the activities. Parents and students enjoyed themselves. Suping (Emma) Wang, Yuanhuan (Beverly) He and Ping (Kevin) Wang handed out red envelopes, cupcakes, and candy. The children learned about Chinese culture through a Chinese New Year video and the story of Nian. All the students performed the poem, “Jing Ye Si.” They also learned how to write calligraphy and do paper cutting following their Chinese teachers.

On the 28th of February, the Lantern Festival was celebrated in Roxboro Road Middle School, under the direction of teachers from the Confucius Institute at Alfred University. Mr. Yu together with four other teachers did a lot for the activities. Dr. Morton and Yuanhuan He hosted the activities. Children learned about the Lantern Festival through a Lantern Festival video. Guessing lantern riddles was an essential part of the activity. All the parents and students were welcomed by Chinese dancing by Ms. Cui and music on the cucurbit flute by Ms. Tong. Parents and kids learned how to make lanterns with Ping Wang. They learned how to use chopsticks with Suping Wang. They learned how to write calligraphy following Mr. Huo and Mr. Chen. Chinese food was provided to all the guests. They said they are looking forward to next year’s Lantern Festival.

During January and February, students at Gillette Road and Roxboro Road Middle Schools learned about Chinese New Year, the Zodiac, the Lantern Festival, making an origami puppy and drawing a panda in their Chinese language classes.

 

Webutuck School District
On January 16, the Spring Festival, which lasts for one whole month, officially began.

This was the first Spring Festival to be spent with the students of Webutuck School District. Their activities began with the story of "Year". Through the narration of the story, the students learned the origins of Chinese New Year. They were curious about the "year" of the monster, brought up their brushstrokes to draw out the monsters in their hearts, and played the role of the old gods leading the villagers to expel the monster. At the end of the play, the monster "Year" was scared by red colors, fire, and firecrackers. All the students stood up and shouted together to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

The students were fond of the red Chinese lanterns, particularly the two big lanterns which were hung on the school. They often gathered under the lanterns for careful observation. In order to satisfy their curiosity about Chinese lanterns, Ms. Zhang specially prepared colored paper and scissors, glue sticks and other utensils to teach them how to make lanterns. Watching them triumphantly carry away their own lanterns after class to show off to other students, Ms. Zhang was delighted.

Some students mentioned that they saw a lot of people holding a snake running around in China. They were curious about the Chinese dragon dance. They hurried to see Alfred University’s own dragon and lion dance performances and learn about these traditions. “Look at them so much like a dragon!” Many worked together as a group to make the dragon. The next day at the Webutuck campus, a wall was covered with colorful Chinese dragons. The students vividly described to the high school students the Chinese dragon and lion dance.

 

Pine Plains School District
During Spring Festival, about thirty students from Stissing Mountain School experienced traditional Chinese culture. Ms. Iris introduced the Chinese zodiac to them and taught them Chinese paper cutting. Teachers and students made butterflies and flowers together. The students also designed their own red packets. Ms. Iris put 1 yuan, paper cuttings, and candies in every red packet. Students were so excited when they received their red packets and said, "Happy New Year!" in Chinese to Ms. Iris. Finally, they watched the Spring Festival Gala in class together.

 

Tai Chi Demonstration in Wellsville, NY
On January 17, CIAU Tai Chi master Guifang Liu was invited to teach a Tai Chi class in the Wellsville YMCA. Theresa Brown, one of the Alfred Tai Chi class members, as well as the Tai Chi coach of Wellsville Tai Chi class, first introduced CIAU and Master Fang.

More than 20 people participated in the Tai Chi class. They practiced Ba Duan Jin and Mawangdui Daoyin. Also, Master Liu performed the Swimming Dragon Sword for attendees. Their performance was well received by the attendees.

 

Tai Chi and guzheng performances at Pine Plains School District
On the morning of January 29, the Pine Plains School District held spring festival celebrations. Daisy Wu, associate director of CIAU, and Guifang Liu, coach of the Taiji class, incorporated the guzheng and Tai Chi performances into Chinese classes. Daisy Wu performed guzheng music "Fishing Boat Singing Night" and "Spring Moonlight Night". Master Liu performed the Swimming Dragon and instructed the students to perform a simple Tai Chi movement. Dr. Handler, the superintendent of Pine Plains, participated in the celebration together with the students.

 

Daisy Wu performed guzheng in Carnegie Hall
On February 1, Associate Professor Daisy Wu, a guzheng musician from CIAU, was invited to attend the "One World Opera - A Blend Between Eastern and Western Music" held at the Carnegie Hall.

“I was invited by Jiajun Hong, CEO of Blossom Season International Culture Media Company and his wife, famous singer Jinghan Zhang,” said Daisy Wu. “At that time they were planning to use traditional Chinese musical instruments and Western opera music. When they saw the guzheng performances with American singers at the closing ceremony of our Chinese Immersion Conference, they believed the performance was just what they were looking for and thus invited me us to attend the performance.”

The concert was organized by Virginio Fedeli, the agent of Andrea Bocelli, a well-known tenor. The artists participating in the concert included many famous Italian singers, Patrizia Orciani, Sandra Sungrazer, Ricardo Gatto, Jinghan Zhang, a Chinese singer, and Fernando Cisneros, a Mexican singer. Instrumentalists were famous musicians such as Xiaofen Min, Feifei Yang, Zhongbei Wu, Yuxiao Chen, Jiajun Hong, Xiaojie Fan and Meixu Lu.

Rick Stephens, Vice President of Alfred University, who was invited to watch the show, said he was very pleased to enjoy the fusion of music from east and west. He also mentioned he was proud to see Zhongbei Wu, a Guzheng performer from the university, joined the show.

 

Tai Chi Demonstration in Hornell, NY
On February 8, CIAU Tai Chi master Guifang Liu was invited to teach a Tai Chi demonstration class in the Hornell YMCA. Pat Lacourse, one of the Alfred Tai Chi class members, as well as the Tai Chi coach of Hornell Tai Chi class, first introduced CIAU and Master Fang. This is one of the New Year activities of CIAU.

During the event, Guifang Liu led 36 students and community residents to practice Baduanjin and Mawangdui Guide. The performance was well received by the attendees.

 

CIAU faculty joins Lunar New Year Celebration at Notre Dame High School
On February 9, 2017, CIAU faculty was invited by Peiling Zhong to perform guzheng and hulusi at Notre Dame High School. Students and parents participated in this gala.

Daisy Wu and Menglin Tong played the Chinese traditional musical instrument, Guzheng and Hulusi respectively.

Later, they introduced guzheng and hulusi to the audience and lots of students volunteered to experience guzheng on the stage. In the end, the students express their appreciation in Chinese to them.

 

Alfred University Chorus attended the 2018 Lunar New Year celebration by Chinese Consulate General in New York
On the evening of February 14, at the invitation of Chinese Consulate General in New York, Wilfred Huang, the director of CIAU, and Jijun Yu, the Chinese director of CIAU, and Alfred University Chorus attended the 2018 Lunar New Year celebration by Chinese Consulate General in New York. The Alfred University Chorus sang American song "Do not I Love Thee", Chinese songs "Tian Lu" and "Youth Dance" at the celebration. More than 300 people watched the show. Dr. Rick Stephens, Provost and Vice President of Alfred University, attended the celebration as well. Before the performance, Ambassador Qiyue Zhang, Consul General of Chinese Consulate General in New York, and Mr. Yongji Xu, Education Counsellor of Chinese Consulate General in New York met with all members of the chorus and spoke with director Wilfred Huang and Provost Rick Stephens respectively.

 

2018 Chinese New Year Gala at AU Knight Club
On February 17, the Confucius Institute at Alfred University sponsored its annual Chinese New Year Gala in the Knight Club in Powell Campus Center. More than 300 people from Alfred University and surrounding communities attended the gala and celebrated a traditional Chinese New Year.

Guests watched the video of Spring Festival celebrations held in different CIAU school districts. Then a special performance Dragon Dance was presented by AU students. After that, AU Provest Dr. Rick Stephens gave opening remarks.

Tai Chi class brought performances of Swimming Dragon and Swimming Dragon Sword. Furthermore, students from guzheng class played Chinese traditional instruments with CIAU teachers which were well-received. Also, delicious Chinese dishes were enjoyed by all.

The highlight was Sichuan opera face changing performed by magician Li Peng. Traditional Chinese costumes was well received by the attendees.

 

Confucianism Lecture at AU
CIAU teacher Andy Yu was invited by Mr. Chris Yarnal, professor of religion at Alfred University, to give a lecture on February 23 for the class on world religions. This was the fifth time CIAU was invited to give a cultural lecture at AU.

Professor Yu introduced the doctrine of Confucianism, which advocates an ideal of "sageliness within and kingliness without", and its magnificent influence on Chinese culture. He also discussed the similarities and differences in culture between China and Western countries.

 

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