This is a monthly newsletter from the Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning dedicated to Chinese language and culture programs in schools.

February 2015

In this Issue
Upriver at Qingming
CELIN Connection
Online Resources
News and Opportunities Analyses, how-tos, lesson plans, and much more.

Upriver at Qingming:
An Excellent Adventure

By Heather Clydesdale

A loose and fun American film from the late 1980s causes pangs of longing in the hearts of teachers. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure tells the story of two slacker students on the brink of failing social studies when a time machine whisks them off to meet Socrates, Abraham Lincoln, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon. They discover that history is riveting, relevant and, in their words, “Awesome, Dude!”

If all students had a time machine, they would undoubtedly have the same revelation. Fortunately, three educators of Chinese language have commandeered such a device, and are inviting others to share the ride. For instance, Dali Tan, president of CLASS and a former member of the Advanced Placement (AP®) Chinese Language and Culture Development Committee, explains how she uses the Song dynasty masterpiece Qīngmíng Shànghé Tú《清明上河图》(“Along the River at Qingming Festival”) to connect her students to Chinese history, culture, and language while building 21st-century skills. “I am frequently surprised,” remarks Tan, speaking in Chinese. “My students think that history is extremely rich.” Read on!

CELIN Connection

Happy Chinese New Year to you all! May the Year of the Ram bring you good health, happiness, and prosperity. 敬祝大家三羊开泰,喜气洋洋,扬扬得意!

CELIN is collecting information about curricula and materials used and needed in Chinese language education, especially in early language and dual language/immersion programs. Please take a few minutes to complete our online survey. The results will be informative and helpful to the field.

Please also take a look at our list of Books and Articles about Early Language and Immersion Education. Are there resources that we might add that would be useful to you and others? We encourage you to forward this newsletter to all Chinese teachers, colleagues, administrators, or parents whom you know – it's a great resource for anyone interested in the field.

We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at the National Chinese Language Conference in April in Atlanta, GA. In addition to breakout sessions, CELIN has organized a preconference workshop for program administrators, current and prospective: "I Love Chinese Early Language and Immersion Programs, but I Have Tons of Questions," on Thursday, April 16 from 1–4pm. Leaders from different programs in the U.S. will describe the key features of their programs and lessons learned. There will be plenty of time for asking questions and engaging in discussions. If this interests you, sign up soon! –Shuhan Wang and Joy Peyton

Online Resources 

A Road Map for Planning a Successful "DIY" Two-Way School-to-School Partnership Exchange Program: Part I
By Heidi Steele, Chinese teacher at Gig Harbor and Peninsula High Schools in the Peninsula School District of Washington State

This article is intended for people who are running a “DIY” two-way exchange in which a school’s language teacher/coordinator is handling all of the arrangements and logistics, rather than those who have partnered with an educational tour company to manage the process. If you are running a DIY one-way program, there may still be information here that you will find useful. Read on!

News and Opportunities from the Field

Comedy Meets Culture at the 2015 National Chinese Language Conference

Jesse Appell, also known as 艾杰西, is bringing Chinese comedy to you at the 2015 National Chinese Language Conference.

Register now and be part of the laughter as Jesse bridges cultural gaps through the art of xiàngsheng (相声) — a popular form of Chinese comedy. Learn more about Jesse here.

Join us in Atlanta, Georgia from April 16–18 for the 8th annual NCLC. Learn more and register today at

Career Opportunities at Asia Society
Our China Learning Initiatives team seeks an Assistant Director.
Our International Studies Schools Network seeks an Executive Director.

2015 Language Teacher Education Conference: The ninth International Conference on Language Teacher Education will be held from May 14–16 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Registration is now open and early bird deadline is April 1, 2015. Learn more.

CARLA Summer Institute 2015: This internationally known program reflects CARLA's commitment to link research and theory with practical applications for the classroom. Each institute is highly interactive and includes discussion, theory-building, hands-on activities, and networking opportunities. Registration is now open. Learn more.

Chinese Bridge Summer Camp for High School Students: Sponsored by Hanban, the Chinese Bridge Simmer Camp is an annual Chinese language and culture program aiming to enhance Sino foreign youth exchanges and to deepen students' understanding of Chinese language and culture. Students will have opportunities to take Chinese language classes as well as to participate in cultural activities. Learn more.

The China Learning Initiatives team wishes everyone a Happy New Year!
New Year artwork rendition by 8th-grader Kelly Tran from Murchinson Middle School, an Asia Society Confucius Classroom in Austin, TX.
We welcome your feedback and encourage you to share information that is of interest to the wider community. Please feel free to contact us at and forward this newsletter on to others who are interested in Chinese language and culture programs in the schools.

China Learning Initiatives Team
Asia Society
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