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

May–June 2014

In this Issue
NCLC14 Recap
CELIN at Asia Society
Sparks to Ignite a Revolution
Online Resources
News and Opportunities Analyses, how-tos, lesson plans, and much more.

NCLC15: Save the Dates!

The eighth annual National Chinese Language Conference will take place at the Hilton Atlanta, located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia.

A Request for Proposals will be available later this summer.

Start planning a session to share your experience and knowledge now!

NCLC14: Building Capacity, Coast to Coast

Asia Society and the College Board were very proud to present the seventh annual National Chinese Language Conference last month. NCLC14 welcomed more than 1,200 educators and policymakers in Los Angeles; featured 200+ speakers in 70+ breakout sessions; extended workshops on critical areas like immersion and partnerships; and targeted visits to innovative language programs at five schools in the L.A. area, thanks to participating schools and the Confucius Institute at UCLA. This year’s plenary sessions kicked off with a keynote from Australia's former prime minister Kevin Rudd, a mesmerizing performance by Abigail Washburn, and throughout the three days featured students from elementary school to recent university graduates, with a focus on Chinese in the performing arts and a variety of immersive experiences in China. Catch all the engaging plenary sessions by video, download materials from the breakout sessions, and enjoy photos from the conference via the NCLC14 website.


CELIN at Asia Society

During the National Chinese Language Conference in Los Angeles, CELIN led sessions with presentations by leaders in the field of Chinese language education and research, who also serve on the CELIN advisory committee. On our Research and Resources page, you'll find a brief overview of each session, including presentation slides. 

We're developing an online directory of Chinese early language and immersion programs across the United States. If your program is not currently in the directory, we hope you will take a couple of minutes to provide us information about it. Learn more.

We would like this newsletter to be your liaison to the field. What would be helpful to you to include in the newsletter? What questions do you have? What stories can you share? Please send us your ideas:

Sparks to Ignite a Revolution in Language Education

Continuing with a series on transforming world language education for a new generation, Chris Livaccari reflects on presentations by Chinese students on a recent trip to China. He entreats teachers to "teach deeply to confront stereotypes and limited understandings," and offers examples of ways China and the west have influenced each other for centuries, producing a language and culture shaped by hundreds of millions of people. Read on!


Online Resources

The Nanjing Museum Experience: 4 Tips to  Design Projects and Engage Your Students
By Shawna Bryce
In the summer of 2011, I served as a guest English teacher at a two-week summer camp of the Nanjing, China sister-school of Union County Public Schools, North Carolina. One of the most powerful experiences was our visit to the Nanjing Holocaust museum. I had never heard of the Nanjing Massacre or the Rape of Nanking. Walking through the exhibit, reading the stories, seeing the pictures, hearing the music, I felt like a traitor because of the disrespect we had paid these innocent victims simply by not mentioning or teaching about them. So I vowed to change. After my trip, I was determined to find a way to link my American students to my experience in China and bridge the gap of understanding that is there mainly because we allow it to be. To do so, I integrated personal experience into my curriculum instruction and designed a project actively involving students in the learning process. Based on this experience, here are four tips on how to design similar projects. (Photo credit: flickr/Kevin Dooley)

Great Teachers in the U.S. and China: What Do They Do?
Sometimes classrooms seem like black boxes. We can only imagine what is happening behind those closed doors—both here and abroad. PISA or TIMSS results try to illuminate some differences in educational systems but this approach focuses only on outcomes of education. With that in mind, researchers at The College of William and Mary, Yunnan Normal University in Kunming, China, and the University of Connecticut set out to shine a light on the processes of education in the United States and China—two nations that are drastically different in demographics, history, political systems, and socioeconomic status—and also differ dramatically in teaching systems and instructional practices. We wanted to know: Which beliefs and practices of effective teachers cross the cultural divide? Which teacher beliefs and practices are unique to each culture? Read on. 

Learning from the "Shanghai Secret"
At Asia Society’s Global Education for a Global World forum in San Francisco, Dr. Minxuan Zhang of Shanghai Normal University and a leader in the Shanghai Education Commission (and winner of the 2014 Asia Society Leadership Award) gave an enthusiastic audience a glimpse of how Shanghai’s education system has succeeded, and where it’s going next. Framing four “traditional” elements and eight “modern” elements, Dr. Zhang provided lessons for other systems, schools, and districts looking to create a world-class opportunity for students. Read on.

“Exchange for a Day” with First Lady Michelle Obama
An American student, studying in China this year, discussed his experience in China with First Lady Michelle Obama. Access the webinar, the First Lady’s China blog, and a classroom guide to help your students build cultural awareness and global citizenship.

News and Opportunities from the Field

Asia Society Education Is Hiring! Learn more. 

Languages for All? Final Report: In September 2013, the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL) convened an international forum on language education and policy entitled "Languages for All? The Anglophone Challenge." More than 150 government, education, and industry leaders examined the feasibility of breaking down language learning barriers at every level. The forum asked whether developments in language education have affected decisions to support increased language learning, and the final report is now available. To download Languages for All? Final Report: Can All U.S. Residents Have the Opportunity to Learn a Second Language?, click here.

STARTALK is holding Chinese-specific summer institutes in many different places across the country for teachers and teacher-leaders in grades K–16, including in heritage schools. Learn more.

Host an Exchange Student: Hosting a U.S. government-funded international exchange student brings classroom lessons into your home in ways far more effective than any book or teacher could describe. Different perspectives open windows to the world and host families and their exchange students form bonds that can last a lifetime. Learn more.

CARLA Summer Institute: There are still a few slots open for the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) Summer Institutes for Language Teachers and Summer Institutes for Immersion Teachers. Learn more.

Teen Travel Writing Scholarship: The Society of American Travel Writers invites teens to submit travel blogs that are serious, funny, or contemplative for cash awards and other prizes. Deadline: July 27, 2014. 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 Bridge Delegation: The College Board and Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters are pleased to announce the 2014 Chinese Bridge Delegation, a one-week education trip focusing on school visits, cultural activities, and educational workshops with the aim of helping education decision-makers start and expand their Chinese language and culture programs. Program dates: November 5–13, 2015. Application deadline: August 4. Learn more.

Challenge 20/20 is an Internet-based program that pairs classes at any grade level (K–12) from schools in the U.S. with counterpart classes in other countries; together the teams (of two or three schools) tackle real global problems to find solutions that can be implemented at the local level and in their own communities. Applications accepted until August 15. 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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