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

May 2016

In this Issue
Recap of NCLC16
CELIN Connection
TEQ Time
Online Resources
News and Opportunities
Ambassadorship in Action at NCLC16
L to R) John Thornton Jr., Juliet Petrus, Agata Nartowska, Alyssa Berkowitz, and Travis Tanner discuss using Mandarin as an ambassador between people and cultures. (David Keith)
(L to R) John Thornton Jr., Juliet Petrus, Agata Nartowska, Alyssa Berkowitz, and Travis Tanner discuss using Mandarin as an ambassador between people and cultures. (David Keith)

The ninth annual National Chinese Language Conference held last month in Chicago was a tremendous gathering of 1,600 educators from across the U.S. and abroad. Chicago Deputy Mayor Steven Koch welcomed "this truly international event" and Illinois Senator Mark Kirk emphasized that those who enable cross-cultural communication — like the many Mandarin instructors in the audience — are becoming more important as the world continues to globalize.

Over the three-day conference, four plenary sessions looked at how people working in very diverse fields help to serve as "cultural ambassadors." Pipa virtuoso Wu Man dazzled the audience with her traditional Chinese compositions; reporters from outlets including The New Yorker and China Radio International discussed how the American and Chinese medias "tell each other's story;" culinary experts explained how food can serve as a gateway to a new culture; and accomplished Mandarin students talked about how language learning transformed their lives and helped them to connect people. 

Read conference highlights, videos, and photos on the recap page.

CELIN Connection

The 2016 National Chinese Language Conference in April in Chicago was a wonderful experience, and it was a pleasure to see and collaborate with so many of you. CELIN staff and colleagues held the following sessions, which were very successful. The PowerPoint slides are all posted on the Asia Society website.
  • Chinese Language Learning for the Real World
  • Mapping Chinese Language Learning Outcomes
  • Developing Initial Literacy in Chinese: What Administrators Need to Know
  • Effective Study Abroad Programs for K–12 Students
The first three sets of PowerPoint slides are related to the CELIN Briefs, and they are linked to the briefs themselves. Please share these briefs with your colleagues (either the English or the Chinese version). We have created a tool for communicating with you. Please give us your feedback on any of these briefs, how you use them in your work, and what new topics you would like us to address in the future. Let's keep talking.

Yinghua AcademyWe are pleased this month to feature Yinghua Academy in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in our program profiles. Yinghua opened in 2006, as the first public charter Chinese immersion school in the United States and the first Chinese immersion school in the Midwest. In 2015, Yinghua was named a National Blue Ribbon School based on academic excellence. You can also watch an excerpt of Yinghua’s 2016 Lunar New Year performance of the Monkey King story presented at Benson Great Hall.

If you haven’t done so yet, please register your Chinese language program or update your information in the CELIN program directory. Or just send us an email, giving us your program name and contact information, and we will follow up with you ( Stay connected!

Shuhan Wang and Joy Peyton

CELIN is the Chinese Early Language and Immersion Network under China Learning Initiatives.

TEQ Time

For this month's TEQ Time, we're pulling from the archives to feature Ms. Yiyu Liu's Grade 6 Novice-Mid Chinese Class at Blake Middle School in Medfield, Massachusetts. See her classroom in action in the video below, and follow her accompanying lesson plan here. Ms. Yiyu Liu teaches her 6th grade novice-mid Chinese class at Blake Middle School in Medfield, Massachusetts.

Online Resources

China's QWERTY Keyboard Is a “Smart Keyboard”
The China Blog at the Los Angeles Review of Books features a Q&A with Tom Mullaney, a history professor at Stanford University who has been conducting pioneering research on Chinese interactions with information technologies that depend on characters instead of alphabets.

"The Long March from China to the Ivies"
What do Chinese students go through to get into top American universities? "To prepare for the SAT and TOEFL exams, Christina worked double shifts, slogging through mountains of gaokao school work while taking test-prep classes late into the evening. (She fell asleep at night watching episodes of 'Friends.' Her mother didn’t like it, but Christina, who has studied English since kindergarten, says the show was 'my best study tool.')" Read more at 1843.

News and Opportunities from the Field 
Summer is right around the corner, and in our May issue, you will find opportunities and resources for language teachers on summer courses and workshops.
2016 ACTFL Proficiency Training Summer Institute: OPI Assessment Workshops: The ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) Assessment Workshop is a four-day professional development workshop designed to introduce language educators to the Oral Proficiency Interview, the ACTFL rating scale, and the techniques for conducting and rating oral proficiency interviews. In daily plenary presentations, participants address general concepts and strategies for oral proficiency testing. This information is then reinforced and practiced in language-specific break-out sessions by observing model interviews, participating in hands-on rating activities, and conducting and rating live practice interviews. These practice interviews and ratings are discussed and critiqued in the language-specific groups. Following the workshop, eligible participants may pursue Limited or Full OPI Tester Certification (must have Superior level proficiency to apply). ACTFL is also offering a two-day intensive Modified OPI Workshop. Learn more.

The Certificate Program in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (TCSOL): Columbia University's Teachers College is accepting applications for the 2016–2017 academic year. The TCSOL certificate program is a one-year program, providing the state-of-the-art training in Chinese pedagogy and educational linguistics. The program offers a cutting-edge curriculum that sets trainees on a fast and efficient track to gain knowledge and skills necessary for operating effectively in current and future classrooms in various contexts. The program spans 12 weekends over one academic year (Fall and Spring semesters) and is ideal for both pre-service teachers and in-service teachers who look to develop or enhance their ability to teach through an accelerated program.The deadline to apply is July 30, 2016. Learn more.

China Learning Initiatives Team
Asia Society
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