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

December 2015

In this Issue
Asia Society Confucius Classrooms Awarded
CELIN Connection
Online Resources
News and Opportunities Analyses, how-tos, lesson plans, and much more.
On left, William Arthur, Head of School, International School of Tucson, accepts the Confucius Classroom of the Year award at the 10th Confucius Institute Conference. On right, Richard Alcorn, Executive Director, Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School, accepts the Confucius Classroom of the Year Award at the 10th Confucius Institute Conference.
On left: William Arthur, Head of School, International School of Tucson. On right: Richard Alcorn, Executive Director, Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion  Charter School. (Jeff Wang/Asia Society)

Congratulations to The International School of Tucson and Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School

Two Asia Society Confucius Classrooms Network schools were named ‘Confucius Classroom of the Year’ out of more than 1,000 Confucius Classrooms worldwide. Ten schools were chosen for this honor, three of which were from the US, including Asia Society’s two honorees.

On December 6, 2015, a delegation of ten Confucius Classrooms Network representatives led by the China Learning Initiatives' Jeff Wang, Rob de Picciotto, and Yang Guo, attended the award ceremony hosted by the Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong in Shanghai. The two schools awarded from Asia Society’s network were International School of Tucson, where Mandarin has overtaken Spanish to become the most studied language in the school, and where its Early Age Mandarin Program is regarded as one of the best in Arizona; and Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School, which was also recently ranked the top-performing high school in the state of Massachusetts for the 2014–2015 school year.

“Asia Society has been working in the field of Chinese language capacity building and instruction for almost 10 years and we are thrilled to support schools around the country in growing their programs and expanding their impact,” said Jeff Wang, Director of China Learning Initiatives at Asia Society. “This global award for the International School of Tucson and Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion School recognizes both the outstanding work of these two programs as well as the growing strength of Chinese language programs in the United States.”
The award ceremony is part of the annual Global Confucius Institute Conference. This year’s 10th annual Confucius Institute World Conference, held at the Shanghai World Expo Center, welcomed more than 2,300 attendees from 134 countries, including Confucius Institute center directors, university presidents, and diplomats. Yuan Guiren, Minister of Education for China, hosted the opening ceremony, and Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of China and Chairwoman of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, provided keynote remarks.
Congratulations to our two Confucius Classrooms. To learn more about Asia Society Confucius Classrooms Network, visit our website.


CELIN Connection

2nd grade math lesson. (Ann-Marie VanTassell Photography)It was a pleasure to see many of you at ACTFL 2015 in San Diego in November. CELIN sponsored a session called Chinese language curricula: What curricula are available, and what is needed? The session included presentations on features of curricula that prepare students for participation in the real world, approaches to mapping learning outcomes, and curriculum resources available from CELIN. Presentation slides are also available on our website.

This month we are pleased to profile Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Established in 2008 by a group of parents, Washington Yu Ying is the only public elementary charter school in Washington, DC, to offer Mandarin Chinese language immersion. Yu Ying combines Mandarin immersion with the inquiry-based International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme curriculum framework to provide tuition-free, high-quality education to 551 students in pre-kindergarten to grade 5.

The CELIN Program Directory is growing and is making strong contributions to Chinese language education in the United States and beyond. If your program is not yet in the directory, please enter your information. If it is already in the directory, please take a few minutes to review it and see if there are updates or additions that you would like to make. Either way, please access the online form on our website. If you would prefer, you can give us just your program name and your contact information, and we will follow up with you. Please spread the word about the directory to your colleagues.

Happy December, a time of celebration and rejoicing!

—Shuhan Wang and Joy Peyton

Online Resources

What Makes Materials Authentic? Part 2
By Heidi Steele
The value of integrating authentic materials into the classroom is clear. They can and should form the backbone of our curriculum for teaching Chinese language, making the language real by bridging the gap between the sheltered environment of the classroom and language as it's used "in the wild." This month, Heidi Steele shares the second part of her experience using authentic materials to teach Chinese language at two high schools in Washington state and provides examples from her own curriculum on how she has accomplished this. Read Part I of this article if you missed it in our last issue.

West Hartford Public School students play Chinese Jianzi (shuttlecock) at Hall High School. (Lauren Drazen)How to Make Learning Fun for Your Students
By Lauren Drazen
This is Lauren Drazen's tenth year teaching Chinese at Hall High School, one of the two public high schools in West Hartford, Connecticut. Hall offers Chinese in grades 9–12, in levels I through AP. This year, of the 1,450 students at Hall, 230 are studying Chinese. Next year, West Hartford will offer Chinese in the middle schools for the first time. In this article, Ms. Drazen explains the background behind the success and popularity of her program. Read on!

Going Beyond Language: Preparing Students for the 21st Century
By Vivien Stewart
At a recent meeting of Asia Society's Global Cities Education Network, the American cities of New York, Denver, and Seattle, as well as the Asian cities of Singapore, Hiroshima, Shanghai, and Seoul, shared their strategies and challenges in integrating 21st century competencies into their school systems. Vivien Stewart, Senior Advisor, Asia Society, explains. Read on!

The Year in Strokes: 2015's Top Chinese Characters
Have you wondered what Chinese characters are en vogue? This Wall Street Journal video shows the most notable Chinese characters of 2015 among various character-using communities.


News and Opportunities from the Field

In this December issue, you will find various and interesting resources including a report on International Educational Exchange, several conference opportunities for Foreign and Chinese language teachers, as well as fellowships for doctoral-level students.

Open Doors 2015 Print Report Now Available for Pre-Order: The print edition of Open Doors 2015: Report on International Educational Exchange is now available for pre-order. Open Doors provides a longstanding, comprehensive statistical analysis of academic mobility between the United States and the nations of the world. The new Open Doors data was released online in mid-November. Learn more.

The Chinese Language Education Forum (CLEF) 2016: The Chinese Language Education Forum brings together P–16 educators and administrators from around the world to share best practices, research findings, and ideas. The 2016 conference theme is "Literacy: The Core of Global Competency," and online registration is now open! To take advantage of the early bird rate (40 percent off), register by January 22, 2016. Learn more.

TCLP is Looking For Host Schools: Are you interested in increasing the global competency of your students by hosting a guest Mandarin or Arabic teacher at your school? Learn more about hosting a fully-funded teacher with the Teachers of Critical Languages Program (TCLP) during an online chat with an alumni host and TCLP staff members. The deadline is January 25, 2016. Learn more.

Call for Proposals: The Sixth International Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education welcomes proposals for papers, discussions, symposia, poster sessions, and teacher swap shops on all aspects of the education and professional development of language teachers. Proposal deadline: February 1, 2016.

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.

IIE Doctoral Fellowships: IIE has launched two fellowship opportunities for doctoral-level students in the arts, education, humanities, and social sciences with a focus on China: The PhD in China Fellowship and the Research PhD Fellowship (in its second year), sponsored by Hanban and under the umbrella of the Confucius China Studies Program (CCSP.) IIE will host an information session about the fellowships on December 2. The application deadline is February 15, 2016. Learn more.

The 14th New York International Conference on Teaching Chinese, sponsored by the Chinese Language Teachers Association of Greater New York (CLTA-GNY), New School University and Nanjing University, will be held on Saturday, May 7, at New School University in New York City. You are invited to submit a proposal for this conference! Deadline: February 15, 2016.

Columbia Teachers College TCSOL/TESOL Certificate Programs: The Center for International Foreign Language Teacher Education (CIFLTE) at Teachers College, Columbia University, currently offers two certificate programs: The TCSOL Certificate Program in New York and the TCSOL/TESOL Summer Dual Certificate Program in Beijing. Both programs are currently accepting applications, with priority deadlines on March 15, 2016, and final deadlines on June 30, 2016. Learn more.

The China Learning Initiatives Team wishes you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! See you in 2016.

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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