Confucius Institute News
Alfred University (Shirley Zhu and Daisy Wu)
Eighteen students are enrolled in Chinese 101 this semester. Shirley Zhu has arranged for them to take the 1st-level HSK test in December.
Daisy Wu is teaching MUSI 200 a guzheng class in AU’s Music Department this semester.
Avon Central Schools (Huiyang Li)
Li has been teaching elementary middle school students for six weeks, 45 minutes per class. The students – and their parents – are very eager to begin Mandarin lessons.
Genesee Valley Central School (Jenny Wang)
Four classes of 9th graders are studying Han Dynasty history in conjunction with the class in World History. Topics such as the Great Wall, inventions (e.g. paper and the compass), musical instruments, and cosmology were introduced. Classes for 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th graders focused on Chinese characters (with their pictographic features) and the 4 treasures of the scholar’s table.
Naples Central School District (Ronald Zhang and Daisy Wu)
Ronald has been teaching elementary school students with new vocabulary centered on certain American icons such as the Statue of Liberty. Colors, family, and pronouns were main topics too.
Daisy continues the guzheng music classes for elementary students; nine students are taking her class as an after-school elective.
North Hornell Elementary School (Margaret Lin and Rosa Luo)
With a focus on animals, the classes featured animal vocabulary and songs about animals in Mandarin. The principal visited the classroom and was pleased with the students’ enthusiasm and abilities.
North Syracuse School District (Katie Wang and Emma Wang)
The Gillette Road Middle School and Roxboro Road Middle School 6th graders learned to count in Mandarin together with the commonly used sign languages in China. Special thanks to Barbara Poole, Principal of Gillette Road and James Obernesser, Interim Principal of Roxboro Road. And for the first time, the students began to write the Chinese characters by practicing proper stroke order and spacing using the squared-graph tracing paper that students use in China. Chinese Spring Festival traditions were introduced, and students learned to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Mandarin.
Windsor Central Schools (Jenny Wang)
The 2-month Chinese classes (Pre K – 5th grade, 233 students) at the C.R. Weeks Elementary School ended in the middle of November. Students were introduced to such aspects of Chinese culture as the traditional tools of the scholar’s table, Beijing Opera roles and masks, Chinese boxing, and martial arts.
New classes of elementary students at the Floyd L. Bell Elementary School (Pre-K – 5th grade, 301 students) learned about Chinese geography with a focus on Beijing: its architecture, monuments, and Olympic venues.
At the invitation of Principal Milanon, Jenny participated in the Special Education Department meeting in order to better understand how to teach special ed. students.
Guzheng Demo at Binghamton East Middle School on December 15
On December 15 Daisy Wu, the music teacher of CIAU, was invited by the Binghamton City School District to give two guzheng demos in Binghamton East Middle School.
After introducing the history and some master pieces of the guzheng using multimedia PPT, she described and gave a performance. Having never seen a guzheng before, the students were all very interested in the Chinese Culture and music program Daisy gave.
The principal, assistant principal and the mandarin teacher in East Middle School also took part in the demo. They praised Daisy and expressed their appreciation to CIAU.
The Confucius Institute Conference on December 12-14
The 6th Confucius Institute Conference was held in Beijing. Provost William Hall and CIAU director Wilfred Huang attended the event. This is an annual event for all Confucius Institutes from all over the world. “The Coming Ten Years for Confucius Institutes” is this year’s conference theme and has attracted the attendance of over 2,000 university presidents and Confucius Institute representatives from 105 countries and regions.
Launch of the HSK Chinese Proficiency Test at AU, December 4th
Chinese 101 instructor Shirley Zhu arranged for her students to take the HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test) for the first time at CIAU, now an officially-approved HSK test center. Thirteen AU students (Levels 1 and 2) took the test in Perlman Hall on December 4th. Ronald Zhang and Huiyang Li assisted Shirley in administering the tests, and in the evening, the Confucius House hosted a dinner party for everyone that featured dumplings made by several other faculty members.
The HSK test is important for anyone seeking certification as a Mandarin language teacher, studying in China, or planning to engage in work-related activities in China. The HSK will be offered twice a year at AU with the next test scheduled for April 20, 2012.
Guest lecture of Chinese Music for Alfred University’s Performing Arts Division, Dec. 1
Daisy Wu, music teacher of CIAU was invited by Dr. Luanne Crosby to give a lecture about Chinese musical instruments for Performing Arts Division at Alfred University. Students were very interested in Chinese music and many questions were asked. Professor Crosby had expressed her appreciation to CIAU, saying “we are very fortunate to have you (Daisy) here at Alfred University!”
Guest Lecture for Alfred University’s World Music Class, Nov. 27th
Huiyang Li was invited by AU faculty Luanne Crosby to give a lecture about Beijing Opera for her World Music Class students. Li talked about the opera’s long history and traditions of costume and make-up and showed videos of famous performers. Professor Crosby was very appreciative.
Thanksgiving Feast, Nov. 24th
AU Performing Arts faculty member Dr. Becky Prophet and her family graciously invited all CIAU faculty to her home to share in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. All who participated were delighted with the opportunity to learn about US Thanksgiving customs and to eat traditional American food.
Exhibition at Avon Middle School (Nov. 15th – Dec. 6th)
Li Huiyang set up an exhibition of Chinese photographs about the history of the relationship between China and the US with emphasis on the late 20th century opening of diplomatic relations and contemporary exchanges among students, tourists, and the like. The Avon administrators expressed their appreciation of the display as did the students, their parents, and other community members who visited the school.
Guzheng teacher Daisy Wu is organizing a recital for 9 elementary students from Naples Central School to be held in Miller Performing Arts auditorium on December 11.
Guest Lecture at Rochester International Early College School
CIAU faculty member Ronald Zhang and Margaret Lin were invited to give a lecture about China and Chinese culture on November 15.
Visits to Participating School Districts
From November 3 to 11, CIAU Director Wilfred Huang and Program Manager Shirley Zhu visited the six school districts in western NY which have been cooperating with CIAU for more than one year. The 2 faculty collected feedback and discussed ways to develop and expand Chinese programs in the future. Superintendents, principals, and administrators in charge of the Chinese programs from Binghamton, Windsor, Union-Endicott, Naples, North Syracuse, and Genesee Valley in Belmont expressed their thanks for CIAU’s bringing Chinese language and culture to their districts. In addition, they all expressed their commitment to continue the program through the next school year. Concerns about how to certify Mandarin teachers according to NY State requirements and how to extend Mandarin classes into their credit-bearing foreign language departments (in times of severe budget cuts) were also discussed. A method for the NY State Education Department to issue temporary teaching certificates was proposed.
Chinese Tea Ceremony at C.R. Weeks Elementary School, Windsor Central School District
On Oct 18, Margaret Lin and Dong Fengbing presented traditional Chinese tea ceremony to 5th graders at C.R. Weeks Elementary School. Margaret Lin introduced Chinese tea culture and Dong Fengbing demonstrated the art of making Chinese tea. Dr. Jason A. Andrews, superintendant of WCSD and Ms. Lisa, Milano principal of C. R. Weeks attended the tea ceremony. Students showed great interests in Chinese tea philosophy and tea tasting.
Ceramic Artist Tour
On October 7, Professor Debiao Ouyang arrived at Alfred University and started his two-week Ceramic tour of upstate New York. Professor Ouyang visited Alfred University and all 8 school districts now in cooperation with CIAU. He went to the art classes and introduced traditional Chinese pottery and porcelain art to students in K-12 schools. He showed the students and teachers a vivid slides show with photos and video about how to make Chinese traditional blue and white porcelain and he also demonstrated on the potter’s wheel about how he would make a piece of artistic pottery. With his guidance, students also tried to create their own works of art.
Professor Ouyang, a member of the Chinese National Artists’ Association,is now a professor teaching in the School of Arts and Communication, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan).
Exhibition on costume and makeup of Beijing Opera
Confucius Institute is presenting an exhibition of the costume and makeup for Beijing Opera at the east wing of Herrick Library at Alfred University from October 3 to November 4. A video on how to do makeup in Beijing Opera is shown every Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 2:30pm to 4:30pm. Interactive software, which enables the audience to learn about the history, different characters, costumes in Beijing Opera, is also played on site. People who have stopped by to watch the video have been impressed and even amazed by the effort and detail which goes into the makeup and costumes of Beijing Opera. This exhibition has earned many positive comments and much praise from the audience.
Chinese Classes at Avon Central School District
Chinese classes are offered to students at Avon Central School District starting on Sept 27. Avon Central School District is located in the town of Avon, New York State with a total enrollment of about 1000 students. Chinese Language class will be given to 5th grade students every Tuesday, and Chinese enrichment class will be carried out from first to fourth grades. It is expected that nearly 150 students will be enrolled into Chinese language classes where they will learn about Chinese language and culture. CIAU instructor Huiyang Li is the teacher there.
Guzheng Class in Naples Elementary School
The Guzheng class taught by Music teacher began in Naples Elementary School on Monday Sept 26. 10 students from 3rd to 6th grades were enrolled in the class and they will meet every Monday afternoon for an hour. Students will learn some basic Guzheng playing skills and learn how to play 3 songs in this fall. Students in Guzheng class will give a performance at the 2011 Fall Concert of Naples Centre School District.
Chinese lessons in North Syracuse Central School District
From Sept 26, 2011, two CIAU teachers Katie Wang and Emma Wang, began to present 6th and 7th graders at Roxboro Road Middle School and Gillette Road middle School with Chinese cultures and language in North Syracuse Central School District. Each week, about 300 students from at least 10 classes will learn the brief introduction to China, including Geography, Chinese four tones, Chinese Written System, the Great wall, the Forbidden City, 2008 Olympic Games, Typical Chinese food, Chinese Animal Zodiac, and etc. The American students also love to count the Chinese 10 numbers along with the Chinese sign language. The students as well as the teachers welcome the lessons with active interactions in class, hoping to know more about China and Mandarin Chinese.
CCA Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration
On Saturday Sept 24, all faculty of CIAU attended the Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration sponsored by Corning Chinese Association in Watkins Glen State Park. Director of CIAU Dr. Huang introduced the new Chinese teachers and led the group for a hike, enjoying the beautiful sceneries. All the Chinese expressed their missing mood to the family members in China and extended their best wishes to each other. The atmosphere of the celebration was warm and friendly and this strengthened the connection between CIAU and CCA.
Chinese class in Genesee Valley Central School District
Chinese class in Genesee Valley Central School District, a new school district in cooperation with CIAU, began on Sept 23 taught by CIAU instructor Jenny Wang. The Chinese class will cover about 139 students from 3-9 grades, which is a great opportunity for both the students and teachers to better understand China. They all showed curiosity on various aspects about China, and a strong desire to learn about Chinese culture.
Chinese Classes in George F. Johnson Elementary School, Union-Endicott Central School District
Since Sept 22, students in art and music class at George F. Johnson Elementary School in Union-Endicott Central District have been taking Mandarin classes twice a week with CIAU instructor Margaret Lin. Classes are tailored to appeal to the young students with a brief introduction to modern China, Chinese culture, arts-and-crafts activities such as drawing pandas, paper-cuttings, calligraphy plus learning songs and useful sentences to emphasize the language. Students displayed a great deal of interests in learning about Chinese language and culture.
Visit of CUG delegation
From Sept. 21 – 22, delegates Ms. Qinwen Zhu, Deputy Secretary General of China University of Geosciences (CUG in Wuhan); Prof. Mingxin Yang, Dean of Gemological Institute of China; Mr. Quwen Wan, Curator of Hubei Province Museum; and Deputy Dean of School of International Education of CUG, Prof. Lijun Zhang, paid a visit to Alfred University. The group visited the Confucius House and had a meeting with all the CIAU instructors. They listened to the report about the past two and half years and discussed the future development of CIAU. The delegates then had a meeting with President Edmondson in the morning of Sept 22, where they discussed possible further cooperation and academic exchanges between the two universities. The delegates then toured the School of Art and Design under the guidance of Dean Leslie Bellavance before leaving AU after a successful visit in the afternoon on Sept 22.
Class Visit at Alfred University
On Sept 21, Chinese Instructor of the CIAU Huiyang Li was invited by Dr. Christopher Churchill, Assistant Professor of History and Global Studies at Alfred University to give two guest lectures about Chinese history, culture in his class.
Huiyang Li first made a brief summary of 20th century’s Chinese history and then introduced Beijing Opera, including the arts of facial make-up, costumes and musical dialogues. He also touched on some introduction of CIAU and its fast-developing growth in the past two and half year.
Students showed much passion for the classes and Dr. Christopher Churchill commented “I thought they were really interesting”.
Chinese Classes in C.R. Weeks Elementary School, Windsor Central School District
Starting Sept 20, CIAU instructor Margaret Lin will work with 287 students from Prekindergarten to 5th Grade in C.R. Weeks Elementary School, Windsor Central School District, on every Tuesdays and Wednesdays to teach Chinese language and culture. Students showed excitement and great interest in learning about Chinese language and culture including Chinese words and Chinese characters writing, Chinese traditional songs, and Chinese cultural festivals and celebrations.
TaiChi classes at Alfred University
On Sept 19, TaiChi master Guifang Liu began another two TaiChi classes at Alfred University, one in the mornings and one in the evenings on every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday till Oct 28. The morning classes are featured with teaching of 24-Style TaiChi Quan to beginners, while the evening classes focus on the teaching of Swimming Dragon Quan --- an advanced class for those who have already learned 24-Style TaiChi Quan in the summer. She will be demonstrating the steps of TaiChi and leading participants through this complex martial art. This two classes has been welcomed by students, faculty, staff, and members of the public at Alfred community.
Southeast Chinese Language Conference
On Sept 17, Program Manager Shirley Zhu attended the first Southeast Chinese Language Conference held in Charleston, South Carolina and presented at the panel discussion about the K-12 Chinese language teaching.
Chinese class at North Hornell Elementary School, Hornell City School District
Starting on Sept 13, Chinese instructor Rosa Luo from CIAU began teaching around 150 students in 6 Kindergarten classes and 7 Grade 1 classes at North Hornell Elementary School in Hornell City School District. Students show great interests in learning Chinese and Chinese culture. Hornell City School District has received the FLAP grants for carrying out Chinese program and this is the third year it has been in cooperation with CIAU.
Moon Festival Celebration at Alfred University
On the evening of Sept 10, Susan Howell Hall at Alfred University was full of people from the community to celebrate the Chinese traditional Moon Festival. The celebration, sponsored by Confucius Institute at Alfred University for the third year, was well received and highly affirmed by the 180 people in attendance.
The celebration was started by a variety of cultural activities held on the second floor of Susan Howell Hall. The 20 people who have been practicing Tai Chi in the past two months wore their silk Tai Chi outfits and performed 24-Styles of Tai Chi Quan in front of over 100 guests. They showed everybody their commitment, enthusiasm and love for Tai Chi.
On the other side of the second floor, Chinese traditional paper-cutting and calligraphy also drew a lot of attention from guests. They were so amazed by Chinese characters and traditional folk art that they could not help but take up the brushes and scissors to make their own works of art.
Dinner was served after the cultural activities. Distinguished guest, President Charles Edmondson of Alfred University, gave a speech to every guest present and extended his best wishes to all on this special occasion of China.
The director of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University, Dr. Wilfred Huang, followed the president’s speech, welcoming all the guests to this event. He also introduced the faculty members and the Chinese Scholar Student Association members to all, expressing his appreciation of all the Chinese promotions they have made.
Distinguished guests also included the Provost of Alfred University Bill Hall, Associate Provost Nancy Evangelista, and professors from Engineering and the school of art. CIAU teacher, Margaret Lin, danced a traditional folk dance of Inner Mongolia and sent the two precious Hadas to the President and Provost.
Traditional Chinese food and moon cakes were served afterwards. Performances prepared by the faculty of CIAU were presented to everybody at the end of the dinner. They sang several songs related to moon with the music of Guzheng and showed everybody the vitality and energy of CIAU. American students who are now learning Chinese 101 at Alfred University also sang “The Moon Represents My Heart” together with their Chinese instructor Shirley Zhu, which won rounds of applauses from the audience.
The celebration was wrapped up in the happiness filled the whole hall. People all expressed their thanks and appreciation to CIAU to present such a wonderful celebration to the community.
Chinese classes at Naples Central School District
Chinese class in Naples High school taught by CIAU instructor Ronald Zhang began on Monday, Sept 5. The students, all beginners, will attend class at 1:45pm-2:30pm on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Students are diligent and are expected to reach HSK-Level 1 after the learning for a whole school year.
In the meantime, Chinese class in Naples elementary school began on Monday, Sept 26. 22 students in grades 3 to 6 take the class on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Students are very excited to study Chinese and they are expected to reach YCT-1 within the school year.
Chinese 101 and 201 at Alfred University
Chinese 101, a beginning Chinese course, and Chinese 201, an advanced Chinese course, began on Aug 29th and 30th at Alfred University. The 22 students registered for Chinese 101 began learning Chinese language and culture under the instruction of Shirley Zhu from CIAU. Students stated their reasons for learning Chinese ranged from basic interest in the culture to hopes of finding a good job in the future by means of being able to communicate in Chinese. All the students expressed their wish to take the HSK test to test their Chinese proficiency after one semester of study. Two students who have completed two semesters of Chinese study continue to move toward an intermediate level of Chinese proficiency.
Guzheng Class at Alfred University
This semester, Daisy Wu, CIAU’s music teacher, is offering a new music course featuring the traditional Chinese stringed instrument, Guzheng. Her Guzheng class, which began on Aug 29, is held in the Performing Arts Center of Alfred University where students meet every Monday and Wednesday morning.
Among the eight students in the class, seven are American and one is Chinese. The students are first learning some basic Guzheng skills and then learning to play 5-6 Chinese songs and also 2-3 American songs as well this semester.
The Guzheng class will give a recital performance on November 20th in Susan Howell Hall.
August 2, 2011 – Field trip of Rochester City School District
Around 40 students from Rochester City School District, who are attending Star Talk summer camp program, conducted a field trip to Confucius Institute at Alfred University. Students were split into two groups and experienced traditional music culture, Chinese paper-cutting and Chinese calligraphy with hand-on activities. Interaction between the students and the faculty at Confucius Institute at Alfred University gave everybody a good time.
July 25 – 29, 2011 – Chinese Day Camp at Alfred University
The Chinese Day Camp started its first class in Kanakadea Hall at Alfred University on July 25th. It is geared for students aged 7-16 who wish to participate in a dynamic summer experience in Chinese language and culture.All 9 CIAU teachers participated in this one-week Camp, providing a meaningful introduction to Chinese language and culture in an exciting, fun-filled, interactive environment. Students enjoyed themselves while at the same time learning a great deal from the patient and friendly faculty.
July 15, 2011 – Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for American High School Students 2011
Sixteen students and 2 chaperones from Binghamton City School Districts and Windsor Central School District departed for Beijing China on July 15th. Participants were selected and approved to attend this year’s summer camp in China together with other 500 students from all over the US. Organized by CIAU, the group will spend around two weeks in Tianjin learning Chinese and experiencing Chinese culture through various activities. The last 3 days will be spent in Beijing, sightseeing and attending the closing ceremony of the Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for American High School Students. They will return to the US on July 30th.
July 11 – 25, 2011 – New Chinese Teachers’ Workshop
On July 5, CIAU Alfred welcomed 6 new faculty members: Wang Yun (Katie), Wang Suping (Emma), Wang Jianci (Jenny), Zhang Zhe (Ronald), Li Huiyang (Lee), and Luo Sha (Rosa). They join Zhu Jing (Shirley), Wu Zhongbei (Daisy), Yang Lin (Margaret). All faculty took part in the 2-week New Chinese Teacher Workshop that began on July 11th. The Workshop covered a wide range of topics relating to work and life in the US, e.g., the university system, business methods, American Public School system, and cultural differences from the perception of both Americans and Chinese. CIAU also invited the Chair of Education Department at Alfred University, Ann Monroe- Baillargeon, to give a lecture on teaching in US elementary and middle schools. Team-building expert Patricia Debertolis gave a day-long workshop to all the CIAU faculty, wherein she addressed the importance of being a team member and working to build trust and cooperation within the team. English classes and driving classes were also scheduled on a regular basis. All nine CIAU teachers expressed their appreciation for having the opportunity to learn much practical knowledge and a better understanding of the work they are going to take on soon.
June 26 – 30, 2011 – Chinese Teachers’ Workshop at CIUB
CIAU Director Wilfred Huang and Program Manager Shirley Zhu attended the Chinese Teachers’ Workshop at the University of Buffalo sponsored by the Confucius Institute at the University at Buffalo (CIUB). The two-day workshop featured Chinese teaching pedagogy focusing on cognition and second language acquisition, teaching and learning Chinese through songs, integrating language and culture in Chinese classrooms, and demo teaching by experienced local teachers from the Buffalo City School District. Thanks to the workshop, Chinese teachers from either public schools or local Chinese schools, have expanded their knowledge of Chinese teaching theory. The workshop also served as a helpful platform for teachers to communicate and learn from each other about such issues as lesson planning and classroom management.
May 20 – July 1, 2011 - Business Chinese Class in Corning
The Business Chinese Class for beginning and elementary level students, taught by CIAU’s Shirley Zhu at Sullivan Park, Corning, Inc., successfully wrapped up on July 1st. About 15 engineers and managers from various departments of Corning, Inc. took the class where they learned some basic spoken Chinese and basic concepts about conducting business in China. All participants were pleased with the practical aspects of the class and in addition expressed an interest in continuing to study Chinese -- especially given the growing business relationships between China and Corning. This is the 2nd Chinese class that CIAU has offered Corning, Inc. with the focus on providing an introduction to China’s language and culture for professionals from Corning.
Mid-June,2011 - Tai Chi workshop
Starting June 13th, a group of Tai Chi fans have been gathering in the morning every weekday in front of the village bandstand in Alfred to practice Tai Chi. The instructor, Guifang Liu, who is from the Tai Chi Association in Hunan province, has practiced Tai Chi for 20 years and is now a 6th level martial art master in China. With the goal of learning the 24-step Tai Chi, the workshop will continue until August 12th; there will be a second class offered from September 9th to October 28th to satisfy the high level of interest in Tai Chi.
HSK and YCT Pilot tests
HSK and YCT Pilot tests were given at Naples High School and Windsor High School in mid-June. Around 10 students took the HKS 2 (Chinese Proficiency Test Level 2) and YCT 2 (Youth Chinese Test Level 2). AU’s Confucius Institute (CIAU) will become the test center for the HSK and YCT at the end of this year; official HSK and YCT will be administered at Alfred University on December 4, 2011and November 11, 2011.
April 23, 2011 – Proficiency Competition Finals Held in NY City
Pace University in NYC hosted the finals for the 2nd Eastern US Chinese Bridge Language Proficiency Competition. CIAU faculty member Shirley Zhu was invited to be a judge for the whole-day event which included a junior group in the morning and senior group in the afternoon. Twenty-seven winners from the 4 regional competitions participated. First-prize winners from each group will go to Beijing to compete further in the summer, and all contestants can apply for a scholarship to study Chinese in China for a year. Peng Keyu, Consul General of the NY Chinese Consulate attended and gave a short speech.
April 16 and 17, 2011– Knowledge Futures: Language, Culture, Technology Conference at Emory University, Atlanta, GA
CIAU faculty members Daisy Wu, Rebecca Fan, and Margaret Lin attended this conference, part of the on-going Knowledge Futures series held at Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Each of the 3 gave a presentation: Daisy’s was entitled “Integration of Multi-Media Methodology for Promoting Traditional Chinese Instrumental Music Overseas; Rebecca’s was “Chinese Movies as a Way to Teach Language and Culture”; and Margaret’s was “Strategies for Embedding ICT into Learning Chinese as a 2nd Language”.
CIAU’s faculty attended workshops on a variety of topics relevant to improving pedagogy and incorporating new technology into the classroom. Video resources and textbooks were shared.
April 14 – 16, 2011 National Chinese Language Conference in San Francisco
The 2011 National Chinese Language Conference was held from April 14 to 16 in San Francisco, California. Wilfred Huang, Xinquan Liu, and Shirley Zhu attended the conference.
The conference featured concurrent sessions and forums focusing on establishing and sustaining high-quality Chinese language programs in American schools and building international collaborations. It attracted thousands of Chinese teachers, educators, and school administrators from all over the U.S.
Topics discussed at the conference ranged widely: from technology and innovation to new Confucianism; from K-12 curricula and instruction; from local to global relationships; from teacher development to various teaching and learning resources.
Representatives from CIAU attended the opening ceremony, plenary sessions, breakout sessions, and a special reception at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. They met with officials from Hanban, administrators and teachers from other CIs in the US, administrators from school districts nearby, and Chinese teachers from all over the country.
April 12, 2011 – London Lecture
Carla Coch gave a lecture for the Oriental Ceramics Society held at the Royal Society of Antiquaries in London, U.K. Her topic was “Wang Bu: King of Blue-and-White”, a master Jingdezhen porcelain artist who lived from 1898-1968. Her talk was much appreciated, and she had the chance to network with scholars, museum curators, and art collectors.
April 7 – 9, 2011 – Southwest Conference on Language Teaching, Fort Worth, TX
The Southwest Conference on Language Teaching was hosted this year in Fort Worth, Texas. Rebecca Fan presented a paper entitled “The Character-Centered Cognitive Method in Chinese Language Teaching.”
April 6, 2011 – “Departure Training” at Windsor High School
CIAU began a “departure training” workshop for the 15 students who have signed up for the Summer Bridge Camp in China. Margaret Lin led the twice-weekly class that aims to prepare students for their trip by offering basic travel communications and information about the cities to be toured.
April 4, 2011 – Meeting with Hanban Officials at Binghamton University
Officials from Hanban (CI headquarters in Beijing) came to Binghamton and held a round-table discussion with CI’s in upstate NY (UB, AU, and SUNY-Binghamton).CIAU Director Wilfred Huang, Chinese Director Xinquan Liu, and Program Manager Shirley Zhu attended the meeting.
The Hanban officials talked about accounting regulations and gave recommendations about budget reports. There was time for Q & A, and the officials said they would take issues raised at the meeting back to Beijing for clarification.
Everyone was given a tour of the CI at SUNY-Binghamton’s costume and exhibition room for Chinese opera performances. This was the 2nd opportunity for all 3 upstate NY CI members to meet face-to-face with Hanban representatives.
April 2, 2011 - A2A Show
Sponsored by CIAU, Alfred to Asia (A2A) Show was held on April 2 in Holmes Auditorium, Harder Hall. For the past 5 years, A2A has brought Asian-inspired culture to the Alfred community. This year’s theme was Air Tour wherein audiences experienced a flight to Asia through performances including a traditional Chinese fan dance and a Korean pop dance.
This year’s A2A featured cultural activities such as the lion dance, instrumental musical performances, and a magic show.The guzheng band from Naples Central School, trained by CIAU guzheng master Daisy Wu, had practiced for just one semester; their performance, nonetheless, was impressive and enthusiastically applauded.
April 2, 2011 - The 2nd “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition was held at Alfred University on April 2, 2011 in Room 302, Olin Building
The afternoon event began with a talk and performance by CIAU Guzheng teacher Wu Zhongbei (Daisy), introducing one of the oldest traditional Chinese musical instruments, the guzheng to the audience and playing famous traditional guzheng music.
CIAU Director Dr. Wilfred Huang gave the welcoming speech, addressing the importance of encouraging more students to learn Chinese and of offering a good platform for Chinese learners to communicate and compete. He also expressed his thanks to the Confucius Institute at Binghamton University and the Confucius Institute at the University of Buffalo for cooperating with CIAU for the first time to make the Chinese Proficiency Competition a great event. Following the welcoming speech, CIAU Associate Director Carla Coch emceed the rest of the competition.
Altogether 16 students participated in the competition at three different levels: senior group of college students, junior group of college students, and high school students. Each student made a 2 -3 minute speech on a topic of choice followed by a talent presentation.
Topics for the oral part varied widely, including “the Year of the Rabbit”, “Horseback Riding”, “Why I Am Taking Chinese”, and “Travel to China.” The talent component included demonstrations of Tai Chi and Kong Fu, singing Chinese songs, making dumplings, and a pop song with dancing.
The level of competence was exceptionally high, and the audience – judges, students, and parents – was very impressed and delighted.
The panel of extraordinarily distinguished judges was comprised of Professor Xinquan Liu, Chinese Director of CIAU; Dr. Wenzhong (Eric) Yang, Executive Director of the CI at the University of Buffalo; Professor Zhang Hong, Senior Lecturer of Chinese at Binghamton University, director of the Song of Silk performance troupe, and mezzo-soprano soloist; Dr. Sidney L. Greenblatt (Xining Ge), retired professor of Sociology, simultaneous translator for diplomatic delegations to China, and Immediate Past President of the Central New York Fulbright Association; and Dr. Yu Ruixiang, Dean of the School of Arts and Communication at China University of Geosciences in Wuhan.
Before the announcement of the winners, insightful comments were made by two judges: Sidney Greenblatt on the high level of proficiency he had seen and the benefits of teaching Mandarin in our schools, and Hong Zhang on how to improve stage presence and performance confidence.
Prizes were awarded to each of the 3 winners and trophy prizes to every participant. Winners of the junior group and senior group of the college students, both of whom are from Binghamton University, will go to Pace University in NYC for the final of the 2nd Chinese Bridge- East USA Chinese Proficiency Competition on April 23rd. A festive dinner was held afterwards at the Powell Campus Center at Alfred University.
Overall, the competition was well-run and well-received. It showed the hard work of students and teachers and the commitment on behalf of everyone in attendance to the promotion of Chinese language and culture in western New York.
March 30, 2011 - Visit of NY Senator Kristen Gillibrand’s Regional Director
On Wednesday, March 30th, the Confucius Institute at Alfred University welcomed the visit of Senator Kristen Gillibrand’s Regional Director Melissa Fratello.Accompanied by AU Provost William Hall and Sue Goetschius, Director of Communications, Ms. Fratello arrived in the morning at the CIAU office. CIAU director, Dr. Wilfred Huang, Chinese Director, Prof. Xinquan Liu, and Program Manager Shirley Zhu welcomed them and showed them around the office. Ms. Fratello took a close look at the display boards with photos, which show the many achievements CIAU has made at the university and in K-12 public schools in the rural and urban areas of western and central New York -- all in the past two years since its opening.
Dr. Huang told Ms. Fratello that CIAU was going to expand during the next year and would have more cooperating school districts. Dr. Huang also pointed to the map of China and told her about Wuhan, Hubei Province, and CIAU’s partner university, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan). They also talked about the establishment of the new U.S. and China Institute for Change Management opening in October at Alfred University, which is expected to play an important role in facilitating the exchange of trade between US and China in New York State.The dedication ceremony will take place in Wuhan.Ms. Fratello expressed how much she enjoyed seeing the amazing progress CIAU has made and told us Senator Gillibrand, who is a fluent Mandarin Speaker, would also be very pleased to hear of CIAU’s successful programs and ambitious plans.
March 24, 2011 – Chinese Classes in LWW Elementary School, Union-Endicott Central School District
Since March 24, 3rd graders at LWW Elementary School, U-E District, have been taking Mandarin classes twice a week with CIAU faculty member Margaret Lin. Classes are tailored to appeal to the young students with arts-and-crafts activities such as paper-cuts, knot-making, and calligraphy plus songs, poems, and useful sentences to emphasize the language.The students display a great deal of interest in learning about Chinese language and culture.
March 10, 2011 – Dragon Dance Class in North Syracuse Central School District
Master Hu Kai introduced N. Syracuse students to the dragon dance and its cultural importance in China. Ordered from Shanghai, an 18-meter long dragon was assembled, and Hu Kai showed how to lift up sections in sequence and perform while running.After 2 days’ practice, the students became quite competent dragon dancers. Dr. Dave Morton, director of foreign languages, art, and music, coordinated the event and highly praised its outcomes.
March 7, 2011 – Tai Chi at Naples Central School
Hu Kai, visiting tai chi, chang quan (long boxing), and kong fu master from CUG, demonstrated martial arts for 5 class sessions with about 100 students at Naples Central School.Rebecca Fan explained the philosophy behind these practices. The students, phys. ed. teachers, and school administrators who participated thoroughly enjoyed learning about a subject unfamiliar to them and practicing basic moves.
March 9, 2011 – Tai Chi at Windsor High School
Hu Kai taught physical education classes at Windsor H.S. She offered 8 demo and practice lessons for about 30 students each throughout the day. The program was coordinated by Windsor athletics director Jack Tomcho and his staff.
March 2, 2011 – Chinese Bridge Competition Qualifiers in Naples
Eleven Naples High School students participated in a qualifying exam for the Chinese Bridge Proficiency Competition. Rebecca Fan, HS Principal Matt Frahm, and English teacher Kendall Wilt were the judges; they chose 4 students to go on to compete on April 2nd.
February 20, 2011 - Visiting Dean
Professor Ruixiang Yu, Dean of the School of Art and Communication, China University of Geosciences in Wuhan (CUG), came for a visit in mid-February. He will stay for 3 months during which time he will conduct research about US higher education, particularly art curricula and pedagogy. In addition, Professor Yu will discuss opportunities for faculty and academic exchanges between AU and CUG with Mary McGee, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
February 3, 2011-Art Exhibition
The painting exhibition entitled “Images of China: Selected Works by Huang Ying” opened in the Cohen Gallery on February 3rd.
A visiting scholar from CIAU’s partner institution, CUG in Wuhan, Huang Ying is teaching for the year in the School of Art and Design at AU, which sponsored the exhibition. Professor Huang uses traditional Chinese ink and watercolors in her paintings of flowers, especially peonies and orchids, landscapes, and portraits, including several groups of people in a very contemporary style.
February 4, 2011 – Kongfu Master Hu Kai Visits Union-Endicott
Hu Kai, visiting Kongfu master from China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, demonstrated her skills for the Union-Endicott School District Physical Education Department. She held classes throughout the day and gave a performance of “Chang Quan” (Long Boxing) and Tai Chi. Teachers joined her in the performance which was enjoyed by all. Margaret Lin from CIAU helped with translation; the two women were given mugs with the U-E mascot in thanks.
February 5, 2011 – Chinese New Year Gala Dinner
CIAU again sponsored this year’s Spring Festival Dinner, held in Susan Howell Hall at AU. The celebration was very well-attended by students, faculty, and members of the community who enjoyed the delicious food, watched short performances, and vied for door-prizes.
February 9 – 12, 2011 – CUG Troupe from Wuhan in Upstate NY
For the second year in a row, a troupe of dancers, singers, and instrumentalists from CUG in Wuhan gave multiple performances in upstate NY, specifically Syracuse (2/9), Rochester (2/10), and Corning (2/12). Several faculty members with professional credentials also performed. Audience participation was encouraged, to everyone’s delight.
On February 12, the CUG Troupe performed at the Corning Museum of Glass in collaboration with CIAU. Performances included dances from Zhuang and Tibet, solo and duet songs by CUG faculty, instrumental music by an ensemble featuring erhu, yangqing, and pipa. CUG artist Prof. Ouyang Debiao completed a 5-minute scroll painting of 2 fish, signifying, “may you always get more than you wish for,’ which was given to Mark Newhouse, CTO of Corning, US. Approximately 500 community members, Corning families, and other guests attended the gala show which brought Lunar New Year good wishes to all.
Launch of the Confucius Institute on Line (CIO)
CI’s central office, the Hanban, in Beijing, has launched a website (http://chinese.cn) to promote Mandarin and cultural exchanges. A webpage has been designated for CIAU (http://ciau.chinese.cn/en/).
At Windsor Central High School, Margaret Lin gave a presentation to introduce the website and demo some of its educational features. More than 150 students enthusiastically registered. In addition, she used the computer site to generate interest in Chinese arts and crafts in classes as diverse as social studies, art, computer, English, and Spanish.
February 18 , 2011– CIAU Partnership with K-12 Schools Conference
Provost Hall welcomed superintendents and other personnel from schools which have already established or wanted a partnership with CIAU to bring Chinese language and culture to their district. The all-day conference featured positive feedback from Jason Andrews, Superintendent of Windsor Central Schools; Suzanne McLeod, Superintendent of Union-Endicott; Kimberle Ward, Superintendent of Naples Central Schools; David Morton, Director of Foreign Languages at North Syracuse; and Peggy Wozniak, Superintendent of the Binghamton School District. Ann Monroe-Baillargeon concluded the session with a presentation about how to certify teachers of Mandarin in the NY public schools.
Several school administrators who had been to China with the Chinese Bridge Summer program spoke about their experiences. Daisy Wu provided a musical interlude with a performance on the guzheng, and Huang Ying did a calligraphy presentation. Lunch and dinner were served. The conference also attracted interest from area schools not yet partnered with CIAU. CIAU faculty provided much support for the conference.
Union-Endicott School District Activities
CIAU faculty member Clair Cao (Cao Huan) is continuing the program by teaching 2 days per week this spring semester to 3rd graders in the Johnson Elementary School and the Watson-West Elementary School. In addition, she continues the after-school Chinese Club for U-E junior high students once a week. On Chinese New Year’s Day, she threw a party in celebration and introduced students to many activities typical of the Spring Festival in China. Together, they made dumplings, learned a Happy New Year song, and were introduced to Chinese astrology and the Year of the Rabbit. U-E Superintendent Suzanne McLeod, Assistant Superintendent Ron Fisher, and Director of Secondary Education Chris Coveney all joined in the festivities and expressed their appreciation for being able to host such a program.
February 26, 2011 – Song of Silk Performance
The performance is jointly presented by the faculty of the Confucius Institute at Binghamton University, National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts and Confucius Institute at Alfred University. Song of Silk features Beijing Opera, Chinese traditional instrumental music, Chinese folk dance and Tai Chi.
January 27, 2011- Presentations in North Syracuse Central Schools
Kongfu master Hu Kai and guzheng teacher Daisy Wu presented a program of traditional martial arts and traditional Chinese music to over 600 students at Roxboro middle School and Gillette Road Middle School in the North Syracuse Central School District. They offered 5 class sessions with about 100 students for each. Shirley Zhu introduced the philosophy of Kongfu to the audience which then tried learn some basic moves. Eventually, half the students practiced Kongfu while the other half took turns playing the guzheng. The music and physical education department teachers were very appreciative of the chance to learn about these 2 important aspects of Chinese culture.
Chinese Cultural Courses Begin in Naples
CIAU faculty member Rebecca Fan launched a series of Chinese culture courses to complement the language instruction that began in 2009. Among other things, students learned about the Chinese New Year festivities and how to make dumplings, write relevant characters in Chinese calligraphy, and make folded paper crafts.