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

September 2015

In this Issue
Eat (Mooncakes), Pray (for Auspice), Love (to Travel)
CELIN Connection
TEQ Time
Online Resources
News and Opportunities Analyses, how-tos, lesson plans, and much more.
Mooncake (happykiddo / Flickr)
Mooncake (happykiddo / Flickr)

Eat (Mooncakes), Pray (for Auspice), Love (to Travel)

By Kiril Bolotnikov

This year, Mid-Autumn Festival falls on September 27. To celebrate this holiday, we asked Kiril Bolotnikov, a junior at NYU Shanghai, to report on how international students celebrate this Chinese holiday. Here is his story.

As I bit through the mooncake’s flaky pastry into tender pork and sauce, still sore from the day’s biking, I reflected on my experiences with the Mid-Autumn Festival over the years as a student of the Chinese language, and later as an international student in China.
As an international student, I look at the Mid-Autumn Festival from four different angles: the mythical story behind this holiday, the actual celebration today, the travel, and the food.
The Myth Behind the Mid-Autumn Festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival rises out of an ancient myth of Houyi and his wife, Chang’e. There are many different versions of this story, but one of the more romantic ones goes like this: Houyi was a legendary archer—so when ten suns rose over the earth one day, bringing widespread disaster to the people, it was Houyi who shot down nine of them, leaving just one behind to light and warm the earth. Read on!

CELIN Connection

We hope that the school year is going well and that you and your students are enjoying many rich and exciting experiences learning and using Chinese!

Program Profiles
This month we are pleased to feature a Program Profile about the Mandarin Immersion Programs in Seattle, Washington, which serve students in grades K–7 and are expanding to higher grades. Started in 1995 by General John Stanford, then superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, the programs started with Spanish immersion and expanded to Japanese and then to Mandarin. The programs receive funding from many sources and offer rich opportunities for Seattle students to learn and use Chinese in the United States and Chinese-speaking countries. You can also read about other program profiles here.

The staff of the Mandarin Immersion Programs in Seattle are pleased to share the following curriculum resources:
Many additional resources are available in our collection of curricula and curriculum resources available from national organizations, states, districts, and schools. We believe that you will find this resource to be helpful. We would love to know about, and make available to others, curricula that you use in your Chinese language learning context. Please send your information to us at Thank you!
Don’t forget to visit the CELIN Program Directory to document your Chinese early language and immersion program or to search for other programs in your area or across the United States.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

–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. Shwu-fen Lin, a Grade 9 & 10 Chinese language teacher at Princeton High School, New Jersey. In the video below, you can see her in action in her classroom. You can also find her accompanying lesson plan.


Online Resources

Reflections on the 2015 China Studies Seminar: Silk Road Connects the World
As the world embraces China's geopolitically significant "One Belt, One Road" Initiative, named in tribute of the ancient Silk Road, Asia Society’s China Learning Initiatives organized the 2015 China Studies Seminar, entitled “Silk Road Connects the World,” in Shanghai in July of 2015.
The progressive seminar—one of two annual professional development workshops for Asia Society’s Confucius Classrooms network of schools, which develops and supports exemplary Chinese language programs across the US—brought together two teachers from each school: a Chinese Language teacher and a teacher of another subject in an effort to foster collaboration between subject areas, enrich content, and integrate relevant and timely Chinese elements into more classes. The week-long seminar consisted of expert speakers on the Silk Road old and new, as well as a practical workshop on incorporating China into existing curriculum in an engaging way, led by long-time Asia Society partner Dr. Wu Wei-Ling. At the conclusion of the workshop, teachers designed a roadmap to implement plans in their classrooms. To watch the 2015 China Studies Seminar video and to download lesson plans, click here.

Virtual Exchanges Strengthen Skills and Forge Friendships
By Heather Clydesdale
Nothing advances ability and rewards effort like making friends in a new language. How can Chinese language teachers establish connections between their own students and English learning peers in China? Dr. Hong Li, who teaches intermediate Chinese at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) has launched ongoing virtual exchange with a school in Hangzhou. She believes her program's success is due to careful preparation, appropriate technology, dedication on behalf of teachers, and the support of administrators. What about student enthusiasm and engagement? Read on!

China Night: An Annual Performance That Enhances Learning—Part I: What Does China Night Look Like?
By Heidi Steele
China Night is an important event for students to integrate what they have learned in their Chinese classrooms and share their knowledge with the school communities. However, organizing an exciting China Night event is not easy work and can be challenging. In a two-part article, Heidi Steele shares her experience planning China Night at Gig Harbor and Peninsula High Schools in the Peninsula School District of Washington State, with the hope of offering advice and strategies on how to make this a rewarding experience for students, teachers, and the community. Read Part I here.

News and Opportunities from the Field

2016 National Chinese Language Conference Request for Proposals Extended to October 16th: The National Chinese Language Conference (NCLC) provides a high–profile platform for sharing new ideas and best practices in the fields of Chinese language teaching and learning, Chinese arts and culture, and U.S.–China educational exchange. The 9th annual NCLC is organized by Asia Society and the College Board and will be held in Chicago, IL, April 28–30, 2016. Apply now to lead a session at the 2016 National Chinese Language Conference.

100 Thousand Strong’s “Find Your China” Student Video Series Social Media Campaign: In September, the 100,000 Strong Foundation launched “Find Your China,” a student video series following six students with six diverse interests in six cities across China. These stories reflect the diversity of young Americans and of China itself. The videos aim to promote study abroad to China and educate students on different study abroad options. See the video here and share with your friends. Watch the full series here.

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Scholarships to Study Language Abroad: The National Security Language Initiative for Youth offers merit-based scholarships to study one of seven critical foreign languages: Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, and Turkish. The NSLI-Y program is designed to immerse participants in the cultural life of the host country, provide formal and informal language practice, and spark a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures. The application deadline for summer 2016 and academic year 2016–17 programs is October 29, 2015. Learn more.

The Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching Program: The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational the Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). It seeks to promote mutual understanding among teachers, their schools, and communities in the U.S and abroad. Participants in this three- to six- month program for U.S. teachers (or four-month program for international teachers) are based at university-level schools of education. They take courses, lead master classes and seminars, visit local schools, collaborate with each other online and in person, and complete an inquiry project of their design. Application deadline for U.S. teachers is November 4, 2015. Learn more.

The IIE AIFS Foundation Generation Study Abroad Enrichment Grant: The IIE AIFS Foundation Generation Study Abroad Enrichment Grants is a professional development program to support U.S. secondary level (grades 6–12) teachers who have shown to be outstanding advocates for study abroad. The goal of the program is to help raise global awareness in the classroom and prepare students for global citizenship and study abroad. Fifty (50) enrichment grants of $1,000 each are available to teachers to conduct any learning activity in the U.S. or abroad that enhances their international outlook and global experience. Application deadline is December 1, 2015. Learn more.

The 5th Annual Conference of Southeast Chinese Language Association (SECLA): The 5th Annual Southeast Chinese Language Association Conference will be hosted by the Confucius Institute at Kennesaw State University in the metro-Atlanta area. This conference will delve into the theme of “Curriculum and Instruction: Teaching Chinese Language in the American Context.” It aims to supplement insight in curriculum development and integration and practical methods of Chinese language acquisition through presentations and forums. The conference date is October 24, 2015. Learn more.

2016 Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL): The Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages serves educators in all languages (including classical, less commonly taught, and ESL), at all levels from kindergarten through university, in both public and private settings. The theme of NECTFL 2016 is Developing Intercultural Competence through World Languages. The conference will take place in New York City at the NY Hilton Midtown from February 11–13, 2016. 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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