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

February 2014

In this Issue
Transform Language Education
NCLC14 Registration Open
Online Resources
Image of the Month
News and Opportunities Analyses, how-tos, lesson plans, and much more.

Transform Language Education

Eight Ideas to Spark a Learning Revolution
By Chris Livaccari

How many Americans have studied four or five years of French or Spanish in school and yet can barely manage a sentence of that language once we hit adulthood? Why do Americans continue to be ridiculed and sneered at by people around the world for our lack of linguistic prowess?

Many educators with a global outlook are wrestling daily with these legacies of American exceptionalism. The reality, of course, is that many Americans are multilingual. I think the problem is one of being a nation of extremes—a country in which you’d expect to find the very best language learners and the very worst.

Read on to learn how one educator took on the challenge of motivating Chinese language students, and in doing so developed eight ideas to spark a learning revolution.
Registration Open!
Don't miss the most innovative gathering of Chinese language programs. May 8–10, 2014. Learn more.
New! The only education conference dedicated to global competence now has a language learning strand. Learn more.

Registration Now Open for the 2014 National Chinese Language Conference: Building Capacity, Coast to Coast

Join us in Los Angeles, May 8–10, 2014 for the seventh annual National Chinese Language Conference! The 2014 NCLC will offer more than 70 breakout sessions and workshops with a focus on cutting-edge approaches to teaching that incorporate culture, technology, and international exchange; program quality and sustainability; early language learning; and best practices in the classroom leading to high levels of language proficiency and deeper knowledge of China. Learn how to effectively integrate the study of China and Chinese language; hear from visionary speakers and thought leaders in the field; enjoy performances that showcase cross-cultural artistic collaboration; visit Los Angeles-area schools to see K–12 Chinese programs in action. Take advantage of early-bird savings through March 10. Learn more and register today!

New Language Strand at Our Summer Conference!
The Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning annual conference is dedicated to preparing students to be globally competent and ready for college. The two-day event connects educators, business leaders, policymakers, and resource providers to share best practices, build partnerships, and advance policies to ensure the next generation is ready to lead in an interconnected world. The 2014 Partnership for Global Learning annual conference (PGL14) will be an exciting one. Please join us June 27–28 in New York City. Learn more and register

Online Resources

Create a Language: Understanding Expression
This month we introduce the second activity in a curriculum module, The Beauty of World Languages (not yet published in full), which is designed to help students learn to appreciate languages in a new way. The activities in this module are aligned to the four pillars of global competence, and are easily implemented in a language classroom or in partnership with a language arts or arts unit on communications.

We are pleased to share the second activity, called Create Your Own Language. In this one-hour activity, students gain an understanding of the nature of human communication and foster a scientific view on languages. Through class activities, games, reading, and analysis, students will learn that speaking a language is only one way people communicate information. In order to make a language understandable among groups of people, a system of rules is necessary. Languages and words are not the same thing. Not all languages have a written form. Words have enormous influence on languages. Finally, a natural language is not static. It is developing all the time over time, space, and social factors. Explore the essential questions: What is a language? How do we look at languages in the world? This lesson is a formative task that can be combined with others in The Beauty of World Languages series to build what can be a two-week unit. This activity takes one standard class period, plus after-class reflection. Learn more.
Videoconferencing: Take Your Students Back to the Future
Remember in Back to the Future II when Marty McFly goes forward in time? He travels to the year 2015. While kids may not have hoverboards or flying cars in the next two years, they already have handheld computers and the ability to videoconference as Marty did. Children today see and interact with far-away relatives before they can even talk. It's a wonderful thing. So why does it stop in so many classrooms? One of the ways we encourage schools and extended learning organizations to connect with the world is by partnerships with other schools and classes around the world. Skype has created a low-cost, easy way to do this through Skype in the Classroom. Google Hangouts, or even Facetime for those with Apple hardware, are other options. Whichever service, students will be engaged in learning through technology and teachers can become facilitators. Read on for some ways teachers are using videoconferencing to link their classrooms to the world.
中文 Matters
You may have noticed the calligraphy in our banner. The updated 中 (zhōng) and 文 (wén) have been selected from the work of Tang Dynasty calligrapher 颜真卿 (Yán Zhēnqīng): 多宝塔碑 (Duō Bǎo Tǎ Bēi/Duobao Pagoda Stele). 颜真卿 (709–785 AD) is popularly held as the only calligrapher who paralleled 王羲之 (Wáng Xīzhī), the "Sage of Calligraphy," and whose regular script style, Yan, is very commonly imitated by calligraphy learners in China, Japan, and Korea.


Image of the Month

Traditional tea farmers in Fujian Province believe that "handmade tea can store memories between people and nature." [Fan Zhen/China Daily]


News and Opportunities from the Field

CARLA Summer Institute: Registration is now open for the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) Summer Institutes for Language Teachers and Summer Institutes for Immersion Teachers. Linking research and theory with practical applications for the classroom, each institute includes discussion, theory-building, hands-on activities, and networking with colleagues. Learn more.

Leadership Institute – China on the World Stage: The 2014 Choices Geography Leadership Institute will be held June 24–27, 2014 at Brown University in Rhode Island. Secondary–level geography teachers, as well as teachers who incorporate a significant amount of geography in their teaching, are invited to apply. The Choices Geography Leadership Institute is an opportunity to examine the Choices Program’s materials and approach for teaching about contested international issues. There is no cost for the institute; meals, housing, and reading materials are provided. Application deadline: March 17, 2014. Learn more.

NCTA Summer Institutes: A summer institute for secondary teachers, "Citizens, Society, and the State: Adaptation and Transformation in Contemporary China," will be held on the University of Colorado Campus. Each institute is limited to 20 eligible teachers chosen through a selective application process. Participants will receive a travel allowance, room and board, materials, and a stipend. Dates: July 711, 2014. Application deadline: March 21. Learn more.

High School Teacher/Student Pair Study: Concordia International School Shanghai is offering an educational opportunity to two high school teacher/student pairs selected to take part in a travel-study program examining key events of 19th and 20th century China. The travel-study program visits Shanghai, Nanjing, and Changsha to examine leadership in many forms, including the Taiping  Rebellion, Sun Yat-sen's revolution, the development of the Chinese Communist Party, the role of Shanghai in China's re-emergence, and much more. Participants will meet with local students to discuss history, culture, and current events. Application deadline: April 7, 2014. Learn more.

Student Summer Study in Beijing: The CLERC–Peking University Summer Chinese Language Program is accepting applications through April 11, 2014. The six-week intensive Mandarin Chinese learning program is tailored to high school seniors and college students (freshman and sophomore) who wish to learn and improve Chinese language quickly, and to better understand Chinese culture. College foreign language credits will be awarded to qualified students and transcript transfer service will be provided upon request after the program. Learn more.

Study Abroad for Teachers: Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that runs low-cost summer professional development travel programs designed for teachers. The China itinerary runs from July 28–August 4, 2014. Learn more.

Chinese Teacher Education Program: The Certificate Program in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (TCSOL) at Teachers College, Columbia University, is currently accepting applications for the 2014–2015 session. Spaces are limited. 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.

Chinese Language Initiatives Team
Asia Society
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