Confucius Institute News

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Winter 2017 Newsletter

November - December

Geneva West Street School District
Christmas is coming and the festive atmosphere is getting stronger and stronger. Teachers are carefully arranging classes and class activities to fit the holiday spirit. Mengwei Zhu, a kindergarten teacher in Geneva West Street, taught the Chinese vocabulary of Christmas to students. She showed the students how Christmas is celebrated in China and told the story of "Ping'an Guo." In class, students prepared Christmas cards for their loved ones. The class was a huge success, as students were eager to show their parents the work they've completed in class. Students weren't only instructed to create Christmas cards, they were also taught how to sing the Chinese song "Merry Christmas". They later showcased their talents by performing a sing along in West Street Primary School. Ms Mengwei Zhu received many holiday cards throughout the day, among them, a student by the name of Lin. Lin's parents wrote: "Happy Holidays! You are a patient, fun and kind teacher. I am very happy to see Lin Mu like Chinese!"

On November 12th, 2017, the tour by Confucius Institute at Alfred University (CIAU) and China Geosciences University (Wuhan) was successfully held at the Geneva Central School District. During the performance, each Chinese teacher introduced themselves on the stage. Mengwei Zhu introduced and performed Tai Chi Fan as well.

Students in Geneva West Street School showed an increase interest in Mandarin Chinese. They were given the opportunity to learn how to express their love for their family members in Mandarin Chinese. In learning about Chinese culture, the American students could depict some of the differences in the Chinese family system in comparison to modern American family system.

In hopes of keeping students engaged in Chinese language, Ms. Yuan tries to read Chinese stories with kids during class. This gives the students more practice on pronouncing full sentences rather than words. Mrs. Valliere expressed that her Kids were thrilled to see Ms. Yuan's every Tuesday. She noted that her kids were making huge progress and sometimes blurted out words in the Chinese language.

Ms. Yuan participates in the Open House in West Street School to be the bridge between parents and Chinese culture. Parents expressed their excitement with Ms. Yuan and how she has been able to teach their students Mandarin Chinese. They are excited to be part of this fabulous Chinese program.

During the middle of November, students in Mengqi Gu's class learned words about animals. Students were interested in this topic and learned to say the words fast. To help students to remember these characters easily, Ms. Gu asked students to draw pictures of these characters using the connection between the outline of the characters and the image of the animals. The pictures below are some students' work. They did a good job.

In December, students in Ms. Gu's class started to learn words about countries and nationalities. Usually it is hard and a little boring for students to write Chinese characters. Hence, she let students try to write the characters with brush. Students were so curious about it because they couldn't imagine how people could use the soft fur and ink to write words and they also wanted to know where the ink comes.

 

Geneva North Street School District
To arouse kids' interest and curiosities in learning mandarin and Chinese Culture, Wanda Wang arranged different topics for the mandarin classes, one of which is "my family". With this topic, Wanda combines handicraft with language learning together. She not only taught the kids how to say their family members in mandarin, how to introduce their family members to others with the sentence structures "zhe shi shui? (Who is he/she?)" "zhe shi------(This is---)", she also instructed them to fold a little book named "wo de jia (my family)" with a piece of A4 paper and asked them to put their family members including their pets on the pages. Many kids did an excellent job. Wanda asked the kids to bring their books home and share with their families. For many kids here, Mandarin Chinese seems rather difficult. To help them overcome the feeling of frustration, it's very important for the teacher to choose interesting and proper topics to motivate them.

While people in America were busy celebrating Christmas, Wanda Wang instructed the kids to learn to draw Chinese red lanterns to show how Chinese people celebrate the New Year's Day. Ms. Wang showed some pictures taken of her home, Bozhou, Anhui. In those pictures, there are some red lanterns hanging over the gate of some traditional buildings which covered with white snow.

The kids felt extremely attracted by the beautiful view and the red lanterns. Ms. Wang brought a red lantern for them to watch, feel and draw. Most of them did great jobs. Ms. Wang chose some of their works to display on the wall of the corridor. It is greatly welcomed by the staff in North Street School.

In November, the math of the third grade continued to be advancing, adding multiplication and division on the basis of double digit addition and subtraction. The first step is to get students to master important mathematical symbols. At the same time as oral practice, Haiyang Hu put the Chinese characters of add, subtract, multiply and division in transparent folders, and let the students use marker to trace. This can deepen students' memory and increase the pleasure of learning. At the same time, Ms. Hu made a number of cards with numbers. During the class time, Ms. Hu divided the students into groups and asked students to write down mathematical formula in the limited time. The students loved the paint, so Ms. Hu used it when they learned about weight units (grams, kilograms, and tons).

Ms. Hu made each of her students a behavior chart. Children will get the corresponding score during weekdays, and every five points equals one sticker. This chart along with the student's worksheet together in students' take - home folder, students will get it back to me after it being signed. Sometimes Ms. Hu write in the blank section, and parents will write down what they want to say to her. Parents feel very happy that they can communicate with Ms. Hu through this way as well as see their children's learning content. It is effective.

The most important thing in December is Christmas Day. Ms. Hu taught her students to draw Santa Claus, and also taught them to use paper to fold Santa Claus. After finished drawing and paper-folding, students wrote "圣诞�人" on it. This can practice the writing of Chinese characters. Students like it very much.

 

Northstar Christian Academy
On November 13, 2017, the tour by Confucius Institute at Alfred University (CIAU) and China Geosciences University (Wuhan) was successfully held at the Northstar Christian Academy (NCA).

Before the seminar, three teachers in NCA fully solicited the opinions of the school authorities and CIAU and made all preparations including making tour posters, publicity negotiating venues, equipment and actors' dressing lounges, preparing programs and rehearsals, etc.

On Christmas, students in Northstar Christian Academy are learning to write Christmas greeting cards in Chinese.

 

North Syracuse Central School District
In November, three Chinese events turned out to be successful, two in elementary school and one in Alfred University. On November 3rd, three teachers attended the 1st national conference on K-12 Chinese Immersion Program. They were given the opportunity to talk to a big audience on behalf of CIAU.

On November 8th, CIAU donated close to 300 Chinese books to two school libraries at North Syracuse. Three Chinese teachers carefully selected multiple books on Chinese culture for American students and teachers. "These books are great wealth for our teachers and students," said Mr. Leakey, the principal of Gillette Road Middle School. "It's a treasure for people who want to understand Chinese culture."

In the beginning of December, students from Gillette Road Middle School and Roxboro Road Middle School learned the Chinese poem, "Jingyesi," which was written by Libai during the Tan dynasty in China. The poem describes the writer's battle with home sickness. Students practiced the pronunciation at first and most of them could sing the poem along with lyrics by the time the lessons ended.

From December 11th to December 22nd, Shang and Zhou dynasty, the content in 6th grade social studies, is introduced by Chinese teachers Yuanhuan (Beverly) He, Suping (Emma) Wang and Ping (Kevin) Wang in Gillette Road Middle School and Roxboro Road Middle School. Students learned how bronzewares were used, how early characters came and what Chinese feudalism is. The students were very curious and questions like: "Why don't people use iron instead of bronze?" were asked during class. Students and teachers were particularly amazed by melodious Chime Bells (instruments made of bronze) performance by Jasmin. In the parking lot of Roxboro Road Middle School, a parent encountered Chinese teachers and expressed how her son returned home, spoke highly of lesson and showed her appreciation of teachers' arduous work. It was a delight for teachers to receive positive feedback from the lessons.

On December 19th, the Winter Wonderland event was held at Allen Road Elementary School. The evening provided students, staff and parents a fantastic opportunity to learn about cultures around the globe. Being invited by Ms. Wheeler, ESL teacher, Ping (Kevin) Wang and his wife were excited to cooperate with another Chinese family in teaching Chinese culture. Suping (Emma) Wang and Yuanhuan (Beverly) He, mandarin teachers at North Syracuse Central School District, spared no efforts to help with Chinese characteristic stuff. We can see paper cuttings, Beijing opera, Chinese knots and fans on display table. Besides, every student has the opportunity to get a red envelope and take "Fu" home ("Fu" which means fortune). The event was an enormous success, more than 400 people took part in it and because of it, plenty of people know more about Chinese culture. At last, Ping (Kevin) Wang gave two Chinese books as presents to ESL classroom. Ms. Wheeler appreciates the gift a lot and speaks highly of the event.

 

Webutuck Central School District
At the end of October, the seventh graders of the Webutuck Central School District held the "King of Jianzi" challenge contest. The winner also challenged Mr. Lynch, the principal of EBIS. The program aroused students' interests. Therefore, fifth graders held a competition of shuttlecock in November. The students compete and the top two were selected from each class. Then they compete for the top three spots in each grade. In the future Chinese New Year celebration, one can obtain the title of the "King of Shuttlecock", an honor that most students look up to.

Webutuck School District launched a colorful after school class activity in 4-8 grades. In November, Yi Zhang carefully selected a variety of cultural contents. Students immersed in the mysterious changes in formation of Chinese "Gobang", and obsessed with the beauty of Chinese calligraphy.

With the coming Christmas, Webutuck school's fifth and sixth graders completed the "Family" unit in December. In the final section titled "I Love My Family", students introduced their family members with their own family member's cabin book and examined the family members' appellation through "Super Mario" games. At last, they expressed their love for family members through the Chinese song "I Love My Home".

In December, seventh graders showed the story books they made by themselves and told stories by simple Chinese languages. The program shows the great progress of students in Chinese learning, and strengthens their interest and confidence.

 

Pine Plains Central School District
On November 21st, there was a dumpling class held in Stissing Mountain School. About 30 students and a few teachers participated in this special class. The students prepared the dumplings by themselves and cooked them. After working hard making dumplings, they enjoyed their own cooking. "This is amazing, the flavor is totally different from Chinese restaurant here," said student Nola. The superintendent Dr. Handler went to the class and shared stories of his experience in China.

 

Confucius Institute at Alfred University Successfully Held the National Conference on K-12 Chinese Immersion Programs
The first National Conference on K-12 Chinese Immersion Programs was held in Confucius Institute at Alfred University on November 3rd. Over 100 experts, scholars, and teachers in Chinese immersion programs took part in the conference. Important guests attending the conference are: Ambassador Qiyue Zhang, Consul General of the Consulate General of China in New York; Mr. Yongji Xu, Educational Counselor of the Consulate General of China in New York; Mr. Yang Zhang, Consul of the Consulate General of China in New York; Professor Xulong Lai, Vice President of China University of Geosciences (Wuhan); Yiling Li, president of UNESCO New York Association; Professor Wilfred Huang, Director of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University; Associate Professor Jijun Yu, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University. “We have received over 40 papers for this conference on Chinese immersion programs. And there will be more than 30 presenters from seven states of the US and five provinces of China.” Said associate professor Jijun Yu, chairman of this conference and the Chinese Director of Confucius Institute at Alfred University, “It’s been six years since Confucius Institute at Alfred University cooperated with Geneva city school district on Chinese immersive teaching. The Chinese immersion program at this school district has exerted a great impact on neighboring areas and has now become an important window to show the achievements of Chinese teaching. We hope the conference will become a platform where researchers, teachers, and administrators of Chinese immersion programs across the States can communicate with each other, thus promoting the sustainability of the Chinese immersion programs nationwide.”

On the morning of November 3rd, the opening ceremony of National Conference on K-12 Chinese Immersion Programs was held in Powell Center of Alfred University, Professor Wilfred Huang, Director of Confucius Institute at Alfred University, and Dr. David Terry, the head of the Education Department at Alfred University, gave the opening remarks.

After the opening remarks, seven keynote speakers presented their research findings on Chinese immersive teaching.

"Based on the content of the papers, we divided the presenters into three groups, which are teaching group, research group, and classroom practice group," said associate professor Jijun Yu, chairman of the conference. During the discussion of the conference, presenters exchanged their own experiences and research findings on Chinese immersion programs from difference aspects such as the basic theory, content, teaching project, classroom management, the development and sharing of resources, and the development and promotion of programs.

"I really learned a lot at this conference," said Shuping Song, a Chinese teacher at the Confucius Institute at the University of Buffalo. "Thanks for giving us this opportunity to communicate with and learn from each other.”

On the closing remarks, Mrs. Qiyue Zhang, the Consul General of the Consulate General of China in New York, Professor Xulong Lai, vice president of China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), and Dr. Rick Stephen, provost of Alfred University, gave praises to the work of Confucius Institute of Alfred University, and expressed warm congratulations to the success of the first National Conference on K-12 Chinese Immersion Programs.

"We thank all the experts, scholars and teachers for their active participation and support," said Professor Wilfred Huang, Director of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University. "The feedback we received was very positive and we will continue hosting the second session of the National Conference on Chinese Immersion Programs next year."

 

The opening ceremony of the International Calligraphy Exhibition by Mr. Guodong Li was held at Alfred University
On November 3rd, the opening ceremony of the International Calligraphy Exhibition by Mr. Guodong Li, an internationally renowned calligrapher, was held at Alfred University. As the first stop of the tour, Alfred University held the calligraphy exhibition by Mr. Guodong Li at Herrick Memorial Library for the month of November.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for this exhibition was held at Knight Club at AU. Professor Wilfred Huang greeted everyone and Ms. Yiling Li, president of UNESCO New York Association, made a brief introduction of the meaning, image, cultural meaning of Mr. Guodong Li’s calligraphy and the purpose of this exhibition.

Mr. Stephen S. Crandall, Dean of Libraries at Alfred University, said: “The library exists as an institution for preserving the cultural wealth of all ethnic groups. I am very pleased that our library can serve as the first stop for this calligraphy exhibition by Mr. Guodong Li.�

These calligraphy works not only convey the Chinese culture to the teachers and students of Alfred University, but also enrich the cultural value of Library in Alfred University.�

 

Legend of Silk – the closing ceremony concert of the first National Conference on K-12 Chinese Immersion Programs was successfully held
7:30 p.m. EST, November 3rd, 2017, Legend of Silk, the closing ceremony of the National Conference on K-12 Chinese Immersion Program hosted by Confucius Institute at Alfred University, was a complete success at the Miller Theater of Alfred University.

At the beginning of the evening, Dr. Rick Stephen, provost of Alfred University, gave a welcome speech and introduced the guests of the evening, Ambassador Qiyue Zhang, Consul General of the Consulate General of China in New York; Mr. Yongji Xu, Educational Counselor of the Consulate General of China in New York; Mr. Yang Zhang, Consul of the Consulate General of China in New York; Professor Xulong Lai, Vice President of China University of Geosciences (Wuhan); Yiling Li, president of UNESCO New York Association; Professor Wilfred Huang, Director of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University; Associate Professor Jijun Yu, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University. and nearly 100 experts, scholars and teachers of Chinese immersive teaching from all over the States. Miller Theatre was packed that night, more than 600 people including teachers and students from Alfred University and local residents shared the feast of Chinese culture.

Zhongbei Wu, director of the concert and Associate Director of Confucius Institute at Alfred University, said: Since 2010, Confucius Institute at Alfred University has been cooperating with the Division of Performing Arts at Alfred University in offering Chinese music and guzheng courses that are widely welcomed by students. Since then, the Division of Performing Arts has held magnificent Chinese concert every year with Confucius Institute at Alfred University. Chinese concert has become an important window for introducing Chinese arts and culture to Alfred University and local residents. The theme of the concert is 'Language Makes Life Better' as it's the closing ceremony of National Conference on K-12 Chinese Immersion Programs. We hope that this concert can show the achievements of Chinese teaching of Confucius Institute at Alfred University through performing arts of China, and show the support of Alfred University to Confucius Institute, the love of students to Chinese, and the community residents' enthusiasm for Chinese culture.

The concert lineup was ambitious: AU Chorus from the division of performing arts, Dance Company, Guzheng Ensemble, Dance Company from China University of Geosciences, the cooperative university of Confucius Institute at Alfred University, AU students from Chinese class, Tai Chi Group, students from Chinese classes in different school districts, etc. Nearly 150 performers took part in the concert. The opening of the concert was Lion and Dragon Dance by AU students from Chinese class. The wonderful performance of American students aroused audience’s constant applauses and exclamations.

The highlight of the concert was a group of more than 30 students of Chinese immersion classes from kindergarten to third grade at the Geneva School District in New York. Parents of those students excitedly brought their children to AU after two hours driving. The singing and dancing of kids amused all the audiences. Afterwards, Mengwei Zhu, a Chinese teacher from Confucius Institute at Alfred University, performed simulated teaching, "What's your name?" "How old are you?" "What color is this?" Each question was presented to the students. The audience responded to each answer with thunderous applause. "What do we sing next?" "We sing the Ode to the Goose." After the last question was answered, the children sang and danced the Ode to the Goose with the music. Mengwei Zhu said: "We are very happy to see that our children are doing very well on stage. We are looking forward to the greater achievements of Chinese immersion in the future."

Since its establishment in 2012, the project cooperated by Confucius Institute at Alfred University and Geneva City School District has continued for five years. Nearly 450 Chinese students from Kindergarten to Grade Five in the Chinese programs at North Street and West Street Elementary School have benefited. In September 2014, the Geneva School District started immersive Chinese classes in kindergarten. Currently, nearly 75 students from kindergarten to third grade participate in Chinese immersion classes.

AU students from Guzheng class also brought their wonderful performances. AU Guzheng Ensemble performed "Swordsman" that reflects the heroic spirit and freedom of Chinese martial arts. AU student Charles Miller, who won the gold medal at the 2016 New York Chinese Instrumental Competition, performed "High Mountain and Flowing Water", an award-winning track that won the appreciation of both Chinese and American audiences. The solo of professor Zhongbei Wu, the founder of AU Guzheng Ensemble, "Fighting the Typhoon" more vividly demonstrates the magnificent heroism of Chinese music and culture. In addition to performing in various parts of the United States and touring China in 2014, the AU Guzheng Ensemble was also invited to a reception hosted by the Consulate General of China in New York in November 2016, and the theme of the reception was "Humanities Exchange and Mutual Trust Bridge".

Audiences who like Chinese Wushu can find the essence of Kung Fu in "Swimming Dragon". Guifang Liu, the instructor of Tai Chi, and her students brought Tai Chi performance to the audiences.

Liz Cronin has been suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis for more than 20 years. In 2012, she magically felt her feet again after practicing six months in AU's Tai Chi group. Since then she has been practicing Tai Chi every morning. She said, "Tai Chi gave me a new life and made my body stronger and stronger."

The Tai Chi Group of Alfred University was founded in 2011, it has now developed into a group of more than one hundred members. Together with Guifang Liu, the Tai Chi group has performed in many cultural activities and is praised by local media as a window for people to understand Chinese culture. In August, 2016, the Tai Chi group went to Beijing to participate in the Swimming Dragon Exchange Conference. They won a group performance award, five individual performance awards, and four outstanding paper awards.

"How long will the full moon appear, wine cup in hand, I ask the sky..." AU Students from Chinese class recited the "Prelude to the Water Melody" by Su Shi, a poet in China's Song Dynasty, and it was accompanied by the "Spring River Moonlit Night" of Guzheng, erhu, pipa and bamboo flute.

When the Chinese melody of "Forbidden City" started, Chinese and American models dressed in cheongsam with calligraphy in hands came gently. The calligraphies in the show were provided by the famous calligrapher Guodong Li, and the show was choreographed by Ms. Yiling Li. Through the combination of calligraphy and dance, the audience felt the unique charisma of Chinese calligraphy.

The climax of the concert was three Chinese songs, Heaven’s Road, Pastoral Song, and the Youth Dance, by AU Chorus. The AU Chorus has traveled to China for music and culture exchanges in 2014 with the support of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University. The chorus' interpretation of Chinese songs fully demonstrates their understanding of Chinese music and expounds on the characteristics and charm of the multiculturalism between China and the United States to the audiences.

Accompanied by Zhongbei Wu with Guzheng, Luanne Crosby, professor at the division of performing arts, sang "the Flowing River", a famous Chinese song. The combination of west and east was elegant and appealing. Yuxiao Chen, a volunteer Chinese teacher from Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera at Binghamton University, performed the Flying Partridge with flute, which was delicate and rhythmical. Ambush from All Sides by Wenwen Chen was powerful and sonorous. Dragon Boat Tune by the dance company from China University of Geosciences reflected the humor and wildness of teenager from Tujia, a minority of China. Their performances fully demonstrated the profound culture of China and the pursuit of world peace. The audience has enjoyed a feast of Chinese culture.

 

Distinguished Guests from Wuhan, China
Xulong Lai, who is the Vice President of China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, visited Alfred on November 3rd.

CIAU Director Wilfred Huang introduced the development and prospects of CIAU to him, and he spoke highly in praise of CIAU.

AU Provost Rick Stephens and Vice President Xulong Lai discussed the future development of CIAU and a succession plan for the CIAU board of directors. They shared information about their universities. Xulong Lai suggested frequent communication between the two partner universities on high-level talents, international programs of cooperation, and a course to make CIAU a better platform for promoting Chinese language and culture. Xulong Lai made suggestions for the ten-year anniversary of CIAU in 2018.

In addition to this, Xulong Lai met CIAU faculty members and exchange scholars in Confucius House. The significant influence made by CIAU and the hard work of CIAU faculty members were recognized by Xulong Lai.

 

Visit from Chinese Consulate-General in New York City
On November 3rd, Ambassador Qiyue Zhang, Consul General of the Chinese Consulate in New York, Education Counsellor Yongji Xu, and Consul Yang Zhang visited the Confucius House in Alfred.

CIAU Director Wilfred Huang, Chinese Director Jijun Yu, and Associate Director Zhongbei Wu received them and had a friendly conversation with them.

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

The significant influence made by CIAU and the hard work of CIAU faculty members were recognized by Ambassador Qiyue Zhang, she spoke highly of CIAU.

 

CIAU Chinese Culture District Tour Came to an End
On November 6th, Chinese traditional culture tour organized by Confucius Institute at Alfred University, in cooperation with China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) started at the Pine Plains School District. Through North Syracuse Central School District, Geneva Central School District, Northstar Christian Academy, on November 14th, it staged in the last stop of Chautauqua High School District. With a total of more than 1,500 miles, including two performances in Geneva Central School District, a total of 6 performances have taken place with a total audience of over 4,000 people.

The tour mainly focuses on the Postgraduate Dance Group of China University of Geosciences (Wuhan). CIAU Associate Director Daisy played guzheng and Chinese teacher volunteer Menglin Tong played cucurbit flute as well. The audiences generated a positive response towards the performance.

 

A Sense of Han, Wash and Ink International Exhibition, was Held by CIAU
"A Sense of Han" Contemporary Wash and Ink International Invitational Exhibition organized by Confucius Institute at Alfred University and hosted by China-US Culture and Art Exchange Center (CUCA) was opened in the International Exhibition Hall of UNESCO New York Association. Artists from China and the US attended the opening Ceremony, Yongji Xu, Educational Counselor of the Chinese Consulate in New York, and Li Li, Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Consulate in New York, congratulated CIAU on the opening exhibit.

The guests all expressed their gratitude on the opening night of the exhibition and exchanged the experiences in promoting Chinese art and culture in the United States. Subsequently, the organizers and guests cut the ribbon for the opening of the exhibition together.

 

Tai Chi Demonstration in Wellsville, NY
On November 28th, CIAU Tai Chi master Guifang Liu was invited to give a Tai Chi demonstration class in the Wellsville Trinity Lutheran Church. 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 30 people participated in the Tai Chi class. They did Ba Duan Jin and Mawangdui Daoyin. Also, Master Liu and other Tai Chi class members performed the Swimming Dragon for attendees. Their demonstration was well received.

In the end, the local media "Daily News" of Wellsville interviewed Master Liu and Theresa.

 

HSK Test Held at AU
On December 3rd, the HSK Chinese Language Proficiency Test was offered at AU's Perlman Hall, home of the Division of Modern Languages. Two 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.

 

Guzheng Performance at AU Student Recital
A student recital was held by the AU Performing Arts Department at the end of the fall semester at Susan Howell Hall. This recital featured guzheng, woodwinds, brass, piano, and percussion. Over thirty students from AU Performing Arts classes performed at this event.

The recital started with the guzheng ensemble playing "Roar of the Ocean" and "Spring Breeze." The audience showed positive feedback as they frequently applauded throughout the performance.

As a credit-bearing course of AU's Division of Performing Arts, guzheng class has been taken by over one hundred students.

 


Autumn 2017 Newsletter

September - October

Geneva Central School District
Yuan Yuan started teaching Chinese at Geneva West Street School on September 11th. All 297 students in 16 classrooms from Kindergarten to 2nd grade show great interest in her class and think Mandarin Chinese is a fun language. In the first week, they were excited to learn their names in Mandarin. They say, "Yuan Laoshi hao," when they meet their teacher in the hallway. Jennifer Spina, 1st grade teacher, said, "It is very lucky for my kids to learn Mandarin Chinese at this young age, and I am happy to learn and practice this glamorous language with my students."

Ms. Hu worked at Geneva North Street Primary School, starting on the right track on September 11th. Her students are composed of students from four classes, mainly studying immersion literacy, math, and social studies. Hu also served as the Mandarin teacher for the language and cultural elective curriculum. Most of the students in the immersion program have been learning Chinese for two or three years. At present, Ms. Hu is at the stage of gaining further understanding with her students.

Na Wang started her Mandarin teaching at North Street School on September 10th, which happens to be Teacher Appreciation Day in China. Just after the Morning Meeting, a gift bag and a bunch of colorful flowers were sent to her classroom to show the students' appreciation and respect for Chinese culture. Ms. Wang was really moved and encouraged to do her work with full energy.

Ms. Zhu started her classes at Geneva West Street Elementary School on September 6th. There are 20 students in kindergarten this year. This is first year they have Chinese lessons. On the first day of school, the students were excited to get a Chinese name and try to read it with their teacher. Ms. Zhu chose according to their English names some nice words from Chinese for her students. Some parents know a name expresses good wishes for children in China.

At the first class, the students learned something about China and drew pictures entitled: "I know China is..." They learned that China is a big country and has a large population, the map of China looks like a rooster, and a national treasure of China is the panda. Students like pandas so much. The students are interested in China, which is a good start.

Students also learned words for greetings, numbers from one to ten, and a "Hello" song. They read a story, Ducklings Cross the Road, with Chinese pictographic characters including 日sun, 月moon, 山mountain, and 木wood.

Ms. Ding started the school year with Mandarin lessons at Geneva West Street Elementary School. All the 2nd graders in her class show great interest in Chinese language and culture. Her students enjoy Mandarin class and love to speak Chinese. They can say some basic daily expressions in Chinese, such as: hello, my name is ..., and good morning.

After they learned the words for colors, students liked painting Peking Opera masks very much. They also learned some Peking Opera culture: the patterns and coloring are thought to reveal personality.

Mengqi Gu started her first class on September 11th. Most of the students in her class have been learning Chinese for one year. On the first day of school, a little girl came to her and drew a picture of a panda for her, which made her so happy, because it showed that these kids already like Chinese, which is a good beginning.

To encourage students to learn new words, Ms. Gu invited them to take part in a game called, "Flies Pat". It's a good way to make learning words interesting. Everyone had fun. The most important thing that Ms. Gu learned from the Mandarin class is that learning just happens when people are playing, as does sharing of culture.

 

Northstar Christian Academy
On October 4th, 2017, Mid-Autumn Day in China, three Chinese teachers from the Confucius Institute at Alfred University made their way to Northstar Christian Academy (NCA) in Rochester, NY, and successfully conducted interesting Mid—Autumn Festival cultural activities with the K–6th graders.

 

North Syracuse Central School District
At the beginning of the new school year, CIAU faculty Suping (Emma) Wang, Yuanhuan (Beverly) He and Ping (Kevin) Wang began in two Confucius classrooms at North Syracuse Central School District. Ms. Annette Speach, North Syracuse Central School District Superintendent, praised the Chinese teachers' achievements in recent years. She spoke highly of the professionalism shown in celebrating the 2017 Chinese New Year Festival and Lantern Festival, and expressed willingness to cooperate in the long term.

In September and October, 271 students learned greetings, food, drinks, Tang poetry, and a "Clap Your Hands" song during Mandarin Chinese language classes. At the same time, the teachers went to students' social studies classes and introduced the Yellow River Valley Civilization, which was popular among the students.


 

Webutuck Central School District
On the morning of Sep. 5th, Superintendent R. Castellani convened the annual "day–before–school–starts" meeting of school district faculty and staff. Mr. Castellani put forward the development goals for the semester, introduced new colleagues for this year, including the Chinese teacher, Zhang Yi from the Confucius Institute at Alfred, and expressed the district's expectations for the development of Chinese language teaching. After lunch, Mr. Lynch, Principal of EBIS, held a teacher's meeting to clarify the requirements and arrangements for the new semester. After that, the teachers returned to their own classrooms to organize and prepare for the students returning to school the next day. Our "China Corner" was set up in the classroom to welcome the seventh grade students.

Webutuck School District held its Mid-Autumn Festival in October, celebrating the largest Chinese culture lesson since the beginning of the school year. Accompanied by the beautiful Chinese folk tune, "Moonlight Night in Spring River", Teacher Zhang told the students the marvelous love tragedy of the magnificent, heroic Hou Yi and the kind and beautiful Chang'e, and the students were moved by the story to sigh.

At the Mid-Autumn Festival, everyone tried a traditional Chinese food, moon cakes, in order to understand the origins of the Mid–Autumn Festival and the traditional celebration methods. Then the students each chose their favorite Chinese fan and a moon and began to paint. The rules of painting were: you can paint anything, but let your fan and moon belong to China; you have to give her a Chinese essence. Children's ability to learn and insight are super; some used the image of the Chinese dragon in the classroom, and some put the story of the rabbit as the protagonist, and some drew Chinese characters.

After the exhibition, we compared the works in the Mid–Autumn Festival Calligraphy Contest made in the previous lesson, and the students visited the exhibition area.

Different countries, different cultures. The same is that we each have loved ones, we love our own home, and home may simply be where our loved ones are. After this Festival, the children are better able to understand Chinese culture.

 

Pine Plains Central School District
The far–away district of Pine Plains enjoyed a funny and interesting Chinese Mid–Autumn Festival on October 4, 2017. The Chinese teacher, Mr. Huo, showed the Chinese Mid–Autumn Festival on the powerpoint and told the students the love story of Hou Yi and Chang'E. When the teacher showed the song video of Fay Wang's Shui Diao Ge Tou, the students said, "The Chinese Mid–Autumn Festival song is so beautiful and sad." After that, when the students gathered around the table to taste Moon cakes, all of them shouted about Chinese food: "It's so delicious!" Then the students wrote the Chinese characters "中秋快ä¹�" with calligraphy brushes on paper. More than a hundred students and teachers enjoyed this activity, expanding the celebration of the Chinese Mid–Autumn Festival.

 

Chinese Corner Resumes at Alfred University
On September 7, CIAU Chinese Corner at Alfred University resumed for the fall semester in the Foreign Language Department, Perlman 104. More than six people participated in the Chinese Corner, and with the help of Chinese teachers and volunteers, they listened attentively to reading, practiced writing, and performed role plays with great interest.

Chinese Corner meets every Thursday from 3:00–5:00 p.m. in Perlman 104 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.

 

Guzheng Performance at Chamber Music Society of Olean
On September 9th, CIAU Associate Director Daisy Wu was invited to give a guzheng performance in Olean at St. Bonaventure Church. The beautiful melodies of the guzheng attracted many visitors, and Olean Chamber Music Association chairman, cellist Rintaro Woda, expressed his thanks to Daisy Wu for her performance.

 

"How to Be a Good K–12 Teacher" Speech at Buffalo University
On September 16th, at the invitation of Associate Professor Huadong Yin, the Chinese director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Buffalo, Associate Professor Jijun Yu, the Chinese director of CIAU, went to give a speech on "How to Be a Good K–12 Teacher." The report received a warm response. Jijun Yu and Zhiqiang Liu, who is the director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Buffalo, also agreed on future cooperation between the two Confucius Institutes.

 

Dr. Rick Stephens and Dr. Wilfred Huang Visit Hanban, Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing
On September 18th, Alfred University Provost Rick Stephens and Dr. Wilfred Huang, the Director of CIAU, visited Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing. They were cordially met by Ms. Wei Jing, Deputy Director of Hanban and Vice President of Confucius Institute Headquarters. Hanban Deputy Director Shifang Ren and Project Manager Jiangwei Liu also attended the meeting. Lijun Zhang, the Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Department of China University of Geosciences presented at the meeting, as well. All present discussed the future development and key projects of CIAU in the coming years.

 

Autumn Course in Chinese Painting
On October 3rd, the autumn Chinese painting course offered by the CIAU was opened at the Wimodaughsian Library in Canisteo, NY, attracting 11 Chinese painting amateurs. Volunteer Teacher Yi Wenlin served as the instructor.

The starter was a goldfish. As Yi wielded the brush and sketched the contours, she explained in detail the keys to painting the goldfish's tail, stomach, and eyes, as well as the metaphor of goldfish for wealth and luck in Chinese culture.

After her demonstration, Yi instructed each member how to paint, step by step. More and more goldfish were vividly revealed on the paper as the artists practiced earnestly.

October 3rd was by chance the Mid–Autumn Festival in China, so the teacher and volunteer assistants introduced the traditional culture of the Mid–Autumn Festival and shared mooncakes, a traditional festival food, with everyone.

Joanne, the organizer of the Chinese painting course, said, "This is a very good platform for cultural exchange. We get together because we have the same hobby. There's nothing better than this."

 

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 October 9th for the class on world religions. This was the fourth 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.

 

"Confucius Institute Day" at Alfred University
On the afternoon of October 7th, the Confucius Institute at Alfred University held a Chinese cultural experience demonstration to celebrate "Confucius Institute Day." The second floor of the Joyce & Walton Center was divided into four exhibition areas for a lecture on traditional Chinese medicine, performances of guzheng, and opportunities to try calligraphy and other hand-crafts. Dr. Herbert Lau, a famous Chinese medicine practitioner from Buffalo, gave the experiential lecture on traditional Chinese medicine. Alfred University students, teachers, community residents, visiting scholars, and Confucius teachers attended the celebration.

 

Hunan University of Technology Visits AU
On the morning of October 23rd, Changfan Zhang, the vice chancellor of Hunan University of Technology (HUT), visited CIAU to sign an agreement strengthening cooperation between the two universities. Mark Zupan, the president of Alfred University, and Provost Rick Stephens met with Changfan Zhang and his entourage.

 

AU Chinese Class Experiences Chinese Food
On October 26th, CIAU held a dumpling-making activity for Chinese Corner at the Confucius House. Many students came to participate and experience Chinese culture.

The activity started with the introduction of some Chinese cultural knowledge, and then the CIAU faculty demonstrated the six steps of the whole process, including making the dough, making fillings, forming wrappers, wrapping the dumplings, cooking the dumplings, and serving the dumplings.

After the event, all the participants tasted their hand–made dumplings.

 


Summer 2017 Newsletter

May - August

Gates Chili School District
On May 4th, CIAU instructor Juan (Rita) Xu wrapped up the Mandarin Club at Walt Disney Elementary School. The children learned about the culture of China and did some traditional Chinese activities such as paper cutting, making lanterns, and using chopsticks, etc.

On June 6th, Ms. Xu finished the Chinese class at Florence Brasser Elementary School. The students enjoyed Chinese culture very much. They learned about such things as musical instruments, clothes, some traditional festivals, and money, and how to say some basic sentences.

 

Geneva West Street School District
On June 7th, the semester at Geneva West Street School came to an end. Mengwei Zhu, the Chinese teacher in first grade, prepared "lucky coins" for each student and worked with the students on "reunion dumplings".

On June 13th, the teacher presented students with blue and white porcelain tableware and helped them to observe the exquisite paintings. Paper plates and blue marking pens allowed students to give full play to their creativity in designing their own blue and white "porcelain" plates.

 

North Syracuse Central School District
In May, the social studies classes at both Gillette Road and Roxboro Road Middle Schools discussed Chinese history. The lessons were taught by Yao Zhang, Suping Wang and Yuanhuan He. Students in grade six were happy to learn about the four great Chinese inventions, the Silk Road, and the great explorer, Zheng He. The students' interest in silk was aroused, and they asked plenty of questions about it!

In mid-June, Suping Wang and Yao Zhang taught students at Gillette Road Middle School how to write calligraphy. For most students, it was completely new to hold a writing brush, fill it with ink and write Chinese characters. What a fascinating experience for them!

At the same time, Yuanhuan He taught students at Roxboro Road Middle School how to fold a special boat, called a Shaoxing boat, which is quite common in Jiangnan, China. The students were amazed by the transportation which the local people use in Jiangnan. They did a great job at completing the boat!

 

Chinese Summer Camp at Geneva North Street School
From July 24th to 27th, Geneva North Street Elementary School held a Chinese summer camp. In the four-day course organized by Chinese teachers Yuan Yuan and Yuanhuan He, students learned about the four great inventions and cuisine in ancient China. The last day, the third grade students presented to Yuan Yuan and Yuanhe He their gifts - their own paintings of Chinese characters and their feelings about learning Chinese.

 

Confucius Institutes of AU and UB Meet
On the afternoon of May 1, CIAU Director Wilfred Huang and Chinese Director Jijun Yu went to the University of Buffalo to meet with Professor Zhiqiang Liu, the new director of UB's Confucius Institute. UB Assistant Directors Qiaomei Lu and Bruce Acker attended, as well. They exchanged views on the sharing of resources, teacher training, and other cooperation between the two Confucius Institutes and reached a broad consensus.

 

CIAU Faculty Attend the 15th New York Chinese Teaching International Symposium
On May 6, fifteen teachers from the Confucius Institute at Alfred University attended the 15th New York Chinese Teaching International Symposium. During the seminar, four teachers from CIAU, Juan Xu, Lili Huang, Jing Wu, and Suping Wang, gave a report. The topics were "Cultural Teaching Methods in Teaching Children Chinese as a Foreign Language", "The Influence of Chinese and American Cultural Differences on Chinese Classroom Teaching in Primary and Secondary Schools and the Countermeasures", "How to Enter Chinese American Mainstream Education System", and so on.

 

Test Site of the Chinese Martial Arts Section Launched at CIAU
On June 9, CIAU Director Wilfred Huang signed the "Agreement on Cooperation Between the Chinese Wushu Association and CIAU". The cooperation as a test site of the Chinese martial arts section between the Chinese Wushu Association and CIAU was officially launched. CIAU became the second test site in the United States, after the Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona.

 

Wilfred Huang and Daisy Wu attend the U.S. – China – Thai (UCT) Health Forum
On June 11th, at the invitation of the UNESCO Association of New York and UCT International Culture Development, Inc., CIAU Director Wilfred Huang and Associate Director Daisy Wu attended the UCT Health Forum at the UNESCO Exhibition Center. Other attendees included Gordon Johnson, Deputy Speaker of the New Jersey House of Representatives, Yiling Li, Chairman of the UNESCO Association of New York, and Xu Lin, Senior Translator of the United Nations.

Professor Huang spoke on "Tai Chi and Health" at the forum, mentioning the popular Alfred Tai Chi group which has met each morning for the past seven years.

Professor Wu explained the concept of "harmony" in traditional Chinese music culture and the promotion of health through this ancient music. She then played the guzheng piece "High Mountain and Flowing Water" to demonstrate how music helps people to relax.

 

Daisy Wu Performs "Lin'an Hatred"
At noon on July 14, Daisy Wu, Associate Director of CIAU, performed as part of a "Sound Bites" concert during Alfred University's annual Most Arts Festival. Accompanied by West Virginia University Assistant Professor Lucy Mauro on piano, she presented a soul-stirring guzheng song, "Lin'an Hatred".

 

Chenchen Lin Performs Erhu at the Corning Children's Center
On the afternoon of July 14, CIAU office volunteer Chenchen Lin performed erhu at the Corning Children's Center, attracting more than one hundred children and parents.

 

CIAU Teaching Documentary Completed
A documentary of CIAU's involvement with various school districts has been completed by office volunteer Mengjia Zeng. Beginning on May 9th, Chinese teachers and students' parents were interviewed at Geneva School District, Northstar Christian Academy, and North Syracuse School District. On July 20, under the guidance of Chinese Director Jijun Yu of CIAU, the Chinese language teaching documentary of Alfred University was successfully completed.

 

Farewell to Departing Teachers, Hello to New Colleagues
On July 27th, teachers and volunteers at the Confucius Institute at Alfred University gathered at Seneca Lake Park in Geneva to bid farewell to friends whose term in the U.S. expired this year and also to greet some of the new arrivals.

 

CIAU Hosts 2017 Pre-Job Training for Teachers
From August 22 to 27, CIAU's annual pre-job training seminar went smoothly. A total of 16 Chinese teachers and volunteers attended the training.

Dr. Wenying Zhou of Michigan State University; Marty Fuller, AU Head Cashier and Bookkeeper; Zuyan Chen, professor in the Asian and Asian American Studies Department and Director of the Confucius Institute at Binghamton University; Professor Hong Zhang, Master of Music in Voice Performance and Instructor in Asian and Asian American Studies at Binghamton University; and David W. Morton, Chinese program coordinator at North Syracuse, were invited to give lectures.

Drawing from her many years of experience in English-Chinese bilingual teaching, Dr. Zhou gave a detailed and vivid explanation to the teachers about classroom culture, classroom management, game design, and other aspects.

 


Spring 2017 Newsletter

March - April

Gates-Chili School District
March 6th was the last day for the after-school Mandarin Club led by CIAU faculty Juan (Rita) Xu at Neil Armstrong Elementary School. Twelve students from 2nd and 3rd grades joined this club. They learned about the culture of China and did some traditional Chinese activities such as singing songs, kicking shuttlecocks, making lanterns, modeling with dough, doing ornamental paper cutting, and making other Chinese crafts.

On March 21st, Ms. Xu started another Mandarin club at Walt Disney Elementary School. The children came to the club every Tuesday and Thursday. Mrs. Xu taught them some Chinese words and phrases, and also introduced some interesting Chinese culture. The children were eager to learn. One girl told Mrs. Xu she loves learning Chinese.

 

Northstar Christian Academy
In March and April at Northstar Christian Academy in the Rochester School District, Ms. Wu   and Ms. Chen offered effective Chinese learning activities.

Ms. Wu was responsible for the high school and middle school classes. She covered two topics, school life and shopping. Through the study of these two topics, students learned the names of different courses, the names of school sports, and some sentence patterns, such as “What classes do you have today?” “How much homework do you have today?” or “We don't play football.” Students also learned Chinese phrases used while shopping, for example, “How much is the apple?” or “I want a chicken; how much is it?”

Ms. Chen was responsible for the primary school, where students learned about parts of the body and orientation. The body parts included head, shoulders, knees, toes, nose, arms, hands, and fingers. The children could use the question and answer pattern: “What is this?”  “This is the (body part).” Orientation words included up, down, left, right, middle, before, and behind. They were used in sentence patterns such as “Where is the table?” “The table is on the left.” Ms. Chen composed some children’s songs with these new words.  The children liked the songs and learned them quickly.

 

Geneva North Street School District
Ms. Yuan helped students at Geneva North Street School to appreciate the glamour of Chinese culture and writing by introducing the origin and development of the written characters.  Students imagined that they were the ancestors from ancient China and designed Chinese characters with pictures by themselves. They told Ms. Yuan that they were thrilled to write with Chinese characters. Also, Ms. Yuan was glad to introduce the culture regarding Chinese food to all the students at North Street School. The children were excited to express all the food items of their breakfast in Mandarin Chinese and to learn more about the differences between the foods of China and America. They felt curious about words borrowed from English used in Mandarin Chinese, which was a fun discovery in learning Mandarin.

With more students taking Mandarin classes, all the teachers from the Confucius Institute of Alfred University donated books about Chinese culture to the Geneva Public Library in order to give parents in the community more opportunities to learn about China. Wendy Freier, the Library Assistant for Collections, 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.”

 

Geneva West Street School District
After the cold winter, West Street School began to meet the spring. Ms. Zhu taught about a variety of small animals and helped her students to make handmade rabbits for Easter.

First grade student Victoria Madera likes Chinese class very much; she is diligent and good at thinking, and she made her own hand-made Chinese kite and paper firecrackers, which incorporated her knowledge of Chinese culture. She painted “China” on her firecrackers and drew her own zodiac tiger on her kite.

On April 12th, Teacher Zhu and Victoria Madera were interviewed by Heather Swanson, who works as Public Relations Officer for the Geneva City School District Office. She wrote the news and a post for The Geneva City School District Newsletter in May.

 

North Syracuse Central School District
In March and April, students at Gillette Road and Roxboro Road Middle Schools learned Happy Birthday, Family Members and Time during their language classes. The CIAU teachers went to students’ social studies classes and introduced to them the Qin Dynasty, which was popular among students. Also, three Chinese activities were successfully held in Syracuse schools and the community college.

On March 16th, invited by Ms. Wheeler, the ESL teacher, Emma Wang told the story of Brown Bear, Brown Bear in Chinese at the Allen Road Elementary School Literacy Night. Students and parents were thrilled to feel the charisma of another language from around the world.

On March 28th, Lucy Zhang and Emma Wang went to Smith Road Elementary School and taught Grade 1 students about the Chinese New Year, the   twelve-year zodiac cycle, and greeting words. All the students did a great job in learning. At the end of the lesson, students were deeply involved in making bookmarks with their own zodiac animal.

On April 26th, Onondaga Community College held an Asian Celebration Event. Lucy Zhang taught students calligraphy. For most college students, it was their first time to write Chinese characters with ink and brush. They wrote “爱” and “ç¦�”, which mean love and blessing. Some college students learned to write their Chinese names!

At the same time, Beverly He helped students make paper lanterns. Besides students, several teachers even took part in the activity. They made wonderful handcrafts!

Thy A. Bui, the Associate Professor in charge of the event, spoke highly of the Chinese activities.

 

Pine Plains Central School District

Professor Huang and Daisy Wu visited Pine Plains Central School District on April 26 and held a meeting with the superintendent, Dr. Handler. Dr. Handler expressed great appreciation to the Confucius Institute at Alfred University and hopes to expand cooperation in organizing a summer camp for American students in China and offering the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) in Pine Plains. The Pine Plains Central School District is the first school district to offer a Mandarin program in Dutchess County.

 

AU Professors from the Division of Performing Arts visit China

On March 6th, AU Prof. of Theatre Steve Crosby and Prof. of Voice and Chorus Luanne Crosby traveled to the China University of Geosciences (CUG) in Wuhan for a one-month teaching exchange visit.

Yuhui Gui, Director of CUG Arts and Media Division, gave the AU professors a warm welcome and set up their schedules. During their visit, Prof. Luanne Crosby gave students a series of lectures on chorus and vocalization practice, while Prof. Steve Crosby taught on drama performance. They also shared with teachers of the CUG Arts and Media Division. Their professional insights and knowledge impressed both the teachers and the students.

 

The First AU “Confucius Institute Cup” Ping-Pong Tournament

On April 1st, the First AU “Confucius Institute Cup” Ping-Pong Tournament was held by CIAU in the Joyce and Walton Family Center for Health and Wellness. More than forty people participated in this event and together enjoyed pizza, drinks, friendly but energetic competition, and making new friends.

The “best of three games” system was adopted for the singles event, with each game played to 11 points for both the Men’s Group and the Women’s Group.

After several rounds of competition, Xiaomin Li, Jacob Nordin and Madison Maley of the Men’s Group and Sola Prince, Jiaofeng Yang and Theresa Brown of the Women’s Group won the first, second, and third prizes, respectively. AU Provost Rick Stephens awarded the winners with the specially-designed trophies and congratulated them.

 

“Learning Chinese through Song” Workshop

On April 3rd, a workshop on “Learning Chinese through Song” was held at AU’s Powell Campus Center by CIAU. Prof. Hong Zhang from Binghamton University was invited as the guest speaker.

This workshop introduced the groundbreaking approach of teaching Chinese through song.  Ms. Zhang covered the why of singing as well as the how, noting that singing makes a person a better communicator, more confident, poised, and attractive. Participants, including AU students from Chinese language classes and local residents, went through a step-by step learning progression to grasp the basics of vocal techniques, including posture, breathing, voice projection, and singing expression.

Under the guidance of Prof. Hong Zhang, they sang popular Chinese songs together and even danced. Through singing, they learned how to improve their Chinese pronunciation, diction and language expression.

Professor Hong Zhang is a faculty member of the Department of Asian and Asian-American Studies and the Department of Music at Binghamton University. She holds a Master of Music in Voice Performance. She has given concerts, lectures, and workshops at dozens of universities nationwide and internationally.

 

“Sound of China” in Buffalo

Daisy Wu, Associate Director of the Confucius Institute at Alfred University (CIAU), was invited to give a musical program entitled “Sound of China” for the Twentieth Century Club in Buffalo. 

Over 100 club members attended this lecture on April 5. Along with performing on the traditional Chinese musical instrument, guzheng, Daisy Wu elaborated on the history and development of Chinese music, which was well-received by the audience.

Jean M. Jain, head of the Music Committee of the Twentieth Century Club, praised Wu’s performance and presentation as “very informative and educational about this unique instrument and its history.” “This was a unique opportunity for all of us to learn more about the music and culture of China,” she wrote in her letter of thanks to Ms. Wu.

 

Tea Party at Powell Campus Center

On April 11th, CIAU faculty was invited by the Asians in America Association at Alfred University to give a lecture on Chinese tea at the Powell Campus Center.

CIAU faculty member Yonghuan Zong introduced the history of Chinese tea and the basics of brewing tea. She demonstrated making some famous Chinese teas like green tea, black tea and dark tea, and invited all the participants to have a taste.

All who attended were interested in the benefits of Chinese tea, and they took home a sample of their preferred kind of tea after the tea party.

 

2017 Tai Chi and Health Week in Alfred
To introduce the Chinese Duanwei ranking system to martial arts practitioners in the United States, with support from the Confucius Institute at Alfred University, Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) in Beijing, and the Chinese Wushu Association, the First International Wushu Duanwei Ranking Evaluation took place during the Chinese Tai Chi and Health Week from April 12 to 14.

A special delegation from the Chinese Wushu Association also attended this year’s Tai Chi and Health Week event and provided the overseas clinics and evaluations for Duanwei ranking.

They introduced the clinics, evaluation, and certificates which are available for Chinese Wushu lovers. This opportunity is open to people of all ages and with all levels of Chinese martial arts proficiency.

Over twenty CIAU Tai Chi group members participated in the Wushu Duanwei Ranking Evaluation and the workshop training for it. For their diligence and years of practicing, almost everyone passed the test and acquired the first level of Wushu Duanwei.

 

“Melody of the Spring” in Webutuck

On April 21st, CIAU faculty visited Webutuck School District and brought a traditional music and Tai Chi performance entitled, “Melody of the Spring”.

Over two hundred students and teachers attended this event. The beautiful guzheng and erhu music won prolonged applause from the audience.

 

HSK Test Held at AU

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

C

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.

 

Dumpling Making at Chinese Corner

On April 28, CIAU held a dumpling-making activity for Chinese Corner at the Confucius House. This attracted many students to participant and experience Chinese culture.

The activity started with the introduction of some Chinese cultural knowledge, and then the CIAU faculty demonstrated the six steps of the whole process, including making the dough, making fillings, forming wrappers, wrapping the dumplings, cooking the dumplings, and serving the dumplings.

After the event, all the participants tasted their hand-made dumplings with chopsticks.

 



January - February

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

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

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

 

Geneva West Street School District

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

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

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

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

 

Northstar Christian Academy

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Webutuck School District

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

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

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

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

 

Pine Plains Central School District

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

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

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

 

“Chinese Language Wall� at Geneva West Street School

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

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

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

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

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

 

Chinese New Year Gala in Geneva School District

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

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

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

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

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

 

Master Fang Received the 2017 Alfred Community Spirit of Service Award

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

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

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

 

CIAU faculty joins Lunar New Year Celebration at Clinton Elementary School

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

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

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

 

Chinese Corner of this Semester Resumes

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

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

 

2017 CIAU Chinese Teaching Experience Exchange Conference held at AU

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

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

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

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

 

2017 Chinese New Year Gala at AU

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

 

Lion Dance

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

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

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

Students from Chinese class singing a Chinese song

 

Visit from Chinese Consulate-General in New York City

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

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

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

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

 

CIAU Faculty Participated in the Cultural Bowl

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

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

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

 

Confucianism Lecture at Alfred University

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

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

 

2017 Chinese New Year Gala in Rochester

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

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

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

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

 

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