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

May 2015

In this Issue
Great LOL of China
CELIN Connection
TEQ Time
Online Resources
News and Opportunities Analyses, how-tos, lesson plans, and much more.

NCLC16: Save the Dates!

The 2016 National Chinese Language Conference will be held in Chicago, April 28–30. See highlights from past conferences at

Great LOL of China

In recent years, China seems to be entering every facet of American life—we can hardly avoid the mention of it when we turn on the TV or flip through the headlines. Yet, for most Americans, China and its history, people, language, customs and culture, still seem remote and exotic. Understandably, many respectfully relegate the study of these subjects to experts and scholars.

Too often and for too many, China invokes a monolithic concept—they savor the same cuisine, speak the same language, and sport the same fashion. Chinese people have been portrayed as fundamentally opposite to so-called Westerners—their views on family, friendship, education, wealth, success and patriotism.

We, as curious and intelligent individuals, can do better than that, and we are here to help.

We are proud to curate this video series, Great LOL of China, with Jesse Appell, Beijing's funniest American comedian, in order to bring to light the diverse yet unique aspects of Chinese people and society. Think of these as conversation starters; they won’t provide answers to all of your questions, but we hope they will pique your interest and lead to further inquiries and understanding about China, and all that it is reputed to represent.

A new video will be released every other week. Enjoy and pass it on! For videos, behind the scene photos and related blogs, visit

CELIN Connection

Program Profiles
This month, we are pleased to post a Program Profile of a Chinese language program in the Caesar Rodney School District, located in the suburbs outside of the Delaware state capital. The district is home to Delaware's first Chinese immersion program, with almost 300 students in grades K–2 in 2015, who learn math, science, and social studies in Mandarin.

NCLC Session Presentations and Videos
CELIN staff were delighted to organize four sessions at the 2015 National Chinese Language Conference. Slides and videos for the following sessions are available on the CELIN section of China Learning Initiatives:
  • I Love Chinese Early Language and Immersion Programs, But I Have Tons of Questions: a pre-conference workshop for program administrators
  • Voices and Perspectives of Chinese Immersion Program Coordinators
  • Focus on High-Quality Instruction
  • Creating and Sustaining Effective K–12 Study Abroad Programs for Immersion Students
 –Shuhan Wang and Joy Peyton

TEQ Time

Instructional Videos for Chinese Language Teachers
Part of Asia Society's professional development series for educators, these instructional videos for Chinese language teachers aim to share best practices in the field of Chinese language teaching. Learn more.

This month, we are featuring Ms. Mei Dong, a Grade 8 Chinese language teacher at Collegiate School in Richmond, VA. In the video below, you can see her in action in her classroom. You can also find her accompanying lesson plan.


Online Resources

Weeding out Errors Helps Language Bloom
By Heather Clydesdale
Cultivating high achievement depends on the patient efforts of teachers who are willing to get down in the weeds, so to speak. This is especially true when teaching Chinese as a foreign language, since students' speech and writing are often marred by misplaced conventions and peculiar errors. Read on!

Trends in Global Engagement for Chinese Language Learners
By Heidi Steele, Chinese teacher at Gig Harbor and Peninsula High Schools in the Peninsula School District of Washington State
In this article, Heidi Steele reflects on sessions she attended at the 2015 National Chinese Language Conference (NCLC) in the partnerships and community engagement strand. She identified and explored the common strengths and challenges of establishing and maintaining meaningful and purposeful school-to-school partnerships, and is excited to see the developments of partnership building in the field. Read on!

News and Opportunities from the Field

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

Workshop on The Nanjing Atrocities: Crimes of War: Facing History and Ourselves is hosting a professional development workshop to examine the events leading to the siege of Nanjing, the choices individuals and groups make during moments of collective violence, and the enduring legacies of the atrocities in Nanjing. By inviting educators to a critical analysis of and ethical reflection on one case of mass atrocities committed in the 20th century, this workshop hope to model a pedagogical approach to teaching difficult histories — histories that raise ethical and moral questions about humanity’s capacity for violence, as well as its capacity for empathy. This workshop will be held on June 5, 2015 from 9am–4:30pm at Asia Society New York. Learn more.

The Global Education Forum (formerly the PGL conference): Co-sponsored by Asia Society and Penn GSE, The Global Education Forum will be held on October 16 and 17 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The conference is an opportunity to engage in a critical conversation between K–12 and higher education educators about how best to prepare students for a global world. By attracting educators from around the world to discuss best practices, promising programs and research, the Global Education Forum will highlight the importance of learning with and from different education systems to help inform our own practice. Learn more.

Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) Institutes in August: CAL is continuing to expand its successful series of professional development institutes focusing on key issues for educators. CAL Institutes provide research-based strategies and practical, hands-on tools to help you develop effective classroom activities, including meeting the demands of the Common Core State Standards. Learn more.

Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition's (CARLA) Workshops on Chinese Immersion Teaching: New Chinese immersion teachers and administrators will receive a research-based introduction to the challenges, options, and issues in the unique world of immersion education (K–12). Targeted Institute participants include one-way (world language) and two-way immersion educators who teach subject matter through Chinese for 50–100% of the school day and promote continued development of English. Workshops will focus on issues of interest to new immersion teachers and administrators. Workshops will be from June 22–26, 2015 (Teacher Session), and June 22–23, 2015 (Administrator Session). Learn more.

China Institute Summer Program for Children Ages 3–14: The Children's Summer Program offers instruction of Chinese language and culture in an exciting and interactive environment to students of all proficiency levels. Language instruction is led by experienced Chinese language teachers and centers upon exciting themes design to inspire learning, participation and engagement. Learn more.

Chinese Teacher Training Program: Sponsored by Hanban, the Chinese Language Teachers Association of Greater New York is offering its popular teacher training summer program at Nanjing University for the 12th year in a row. Courses include Modern Chinese, Classical Chinese Literature, Chinese Characters and Calligraphy, and Seminar on Advanced Chinese. Upon the successful completion of the program, participants will receive graduate-level credits from Nanjing University which can be used to fulfill the subject credit requirement for teacher certification by US education authorities. Program dates: July 15–August 9. Learn more.

A Full-time Mandarin Teacher Position at Choate Rosemary Hall: Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut is looking for a full-time Mandarin Teacher to start on August 24, 2015. Learn More.

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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