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

March 2015

In this Issue
Flagship Participants Find Their Voice
CELIN Connection
Online Resources
News and Opportunities Analyses, how-tos, lesson plans, and much more.

Flagship Participants Find Their Voice
By Heather Clydesdale

The success of early language immersion raises a question about those who begin studying Chinese in college: Have they missed the boat when it comes to language mastery? Students and recent graduates of the Chinese Language Flagship Program (Flagship) at Arizona State University (ASU) give a definitive answer: Attaining a superior level of Chinese in four years is feasible. In addition, the Flagship model significantly affects the course of students’ lives as they step into their careers.

Recently Madeline K. Spring, at the time professor of Chinese and director of Flagship at ASU (now professor of Chinese and director of the Chinese Language Flagship at University of Hawai’i at Manoa), brought together four participants to share their journeys. They described how the program consistently helped them attain linguistic proficiency and cultural competence, while accommodating their divergent experiences, interests, and aspirations. Read on!

CELIN Connection

It looks like we are finally ready to welcome Spring! Happy Spring to all of you!

This month we are launching a new section of the CELIN web pages, Program Profiles, where specific Chinese early language and immersion programs will be profiled, with a link to the program in our online program directory. Our first featured program is HudsonWay Immersion School (HWIS), focused on Mandarin and Spanish, which has been in operation for 10 years and serves students in PreK-Grade 5 in New York and New Jersey. On March 8, their students joined a performance at the Lincoln Center in New York City, reciting a classical Chinese poem, Mulanci 木兰辞. Congratulations to the proud students,  parents, and staff at HWIS! See photos of their performance.

The National Chinese Language Conference in April in Atlanta, GA, is coming up soon. The program is now online:
We hope to see you at the CELIN workshop and sessions there!
  • I Love Chinese Early Language and Immersion Programs, But I Have Tons of Questions, a pre-conference workshop for current and prospective program administrators: Thursday, April 16, 1–4 pm, Room 201
  • Voices and Perspectives of Chinese Immersion Program Coordinators: Saturday, April 18, 11 am–12 pm, Room 210
  • Focus on High-Quality Instruction: Friday, April 17, 11:10 am–12:10 pm Room 208
  • Creating and Sustaining Effective K–12 Study Abroad Programs for Immersion Students: Friday, April 17, 3:25-4:25 pm, Room 212
If you haven’t done so already, please take a few minutes to complete our online Chinese curriculum and materials survey: Your contributions will be extremely helpful to the field. If you have colleagues who might fill this out as well, please send it to them. Thank you so much for your collaboration with us in this important project!
–Shuhan Wang and Joy Peyton

Online Resources 

Student Ambassador of the Month

Cole Marshall Pergament, also known as 彭坤, a Junior in Jericho Public Schools in New York (a member of Asia Society Confucius Classrooms) is selected by 100K Strong Foundation as the March Student Ambassador of the Month for his outstanding work in completing his student projects. He reflects, "“I am beyond thrilled to accept the honor of March’s Student Ambassador of the month! When I sought to further the study of the Chinese language and culture as a Student Ambassador, I began to create and develop an online resource that provides an expansive vocabulary and unique personal experiences to students around the world. What I have built, along with the help of my editorial team, is the result of true passion for a multi-cultural connection.” His blog is an inspiration to those studying Mandarin. Read his personal blog about learning Chinese language and culture at:

Strong School-to-School Partnerships: Part II 
By Heidi Steele, Chinese teacher at Gig Harbor and Peninsula High Schools in the Peninsula School District of Washington State
As our second semester is beginning, we hold our first meeting with the finalized group of families. This meeting provides an opportunity for all of the parents and students to meet one another. I give them an overall outline of how we will get ready for the trip, review the costs and outline the timeline for making payments. Read on!

Asia Society Professional Development and Resources for Chinese Language Teachers
As demand for Chinese language programs skyrockets in the U.S. Schools, Asia Society continues to play a leading role in training and developing Chinese language teachers. On January 15–17, the Asia Society's China Learning Initiatives held the 5th Annual Teachers Institute in Houston in collaboration with Asia Society Texas Center. More than 100 participants from 21 states were selected to attend the conference, which was themed "Effective Chinese Language Instruction: Step by Step." Participants visited k–12 Chinese language programs in Houston and attended lectures and workshops. In addition to this annual conference, Asia Society's year-long Chinese Language Teaching Fellows program selects promising candidates from schools nationwide, provides one-on-one coaching with experts, films real classroom teaching, and makes exemplary instructional videos: TEQ Series available online. 

News and Opportunities from the Field

Join the 2015 National Chinese Language Conference as the conference bridges the Pacific through comedy and music, and much more!
The 2015 National Chinese Language Conference will be held in Atlanta, GA, from April 16–18. Learn more and register today at

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

2014 STARTALK Sample Curricula: STARTALK compiled sample curricula from different language programs, including Chinese, and these are now available online. Learn more.

2015 Conference on Language, Learning and Culture: The School of Education at Virginia International (VIU) will be hosting its second Conference on Language, Learning and Culture (CLLC). The 2015 theme, Next-Generation Assessment, intends to frame assessment in terms of its ability to meet the needs and achieve the goals of all stakeholders: empowering students with awareness of their strengths and areas for development; giving educators additional diagnostic information and tools to adapt their instruction; and providing administrators, testing organizations, policy makers, and community members with rigorous data on outcomes that can be used to improve educational programs. Through the sharing of best practices and emerging trends, the goal is to begin a solutions-oriented dialogue on the next generation of innovations in assessment by acknowledging the interplay among a variety of factors related to language, learning, and culture.The conference will take place from April 10–11, 2015. Learn more.

Workshop on A New Approach to Teaching To Kill a Mockingbird by Facing History and Ourselves: This workshop introduces Facing History's newest resource, Teaching Mockingbird, which incorporates civic education, ethical reflection and historical context into a literary exploration of Harper Lee's beloved novel. The workshop will offer a fresh approach that integrates multimedia resources, historical sources, and Common Core-aligned strategies, deepening students' understanding of the novel and illuminating fundamental questions of human behavior. This workshop will take place on April 24, 2015 in New York. Learn more.

New book from IIE examines higher education policy and impact in Asia: Asia: The New Higher Education Superpower?, edited by two leading experts in higher education, critically examines the local and global trends driving higher education policies in Asia and their impact on the local and regional knowledge economies. With the advent of a large middle class and new openness driven by economic imperatives, Asia appears to be shifting onto the world’s center stage. Chapters authored by an impressive group of leading scholars, practitioners, and education policy experts look at how governments, universities, the private sector, and international organizations are responding to recent trends and meeting the diverse challenges and opportunities across the region. The book is the 9th in the Global Education Research Reports series published by the Institute of International Education in collaboration with AIFS Foundation, which explores pressing issues in international higher education. Edited by Rajika Bhandari, Ph.D., Deputy Vice President, Research and Evaluation, Institute of International Education, and Alessia Lefébure, Director of the Alliance Adjunct Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. Available now from IIE offers a 30% discount for orders of 10 copies or more; contact

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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