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China Learning Initiatives, Center for Global Education at Asia Society
Chinese Language Matters January 5, 2017
China in Plain English
China in Plain English
Two Intrepid Explorers + One Big China + Zero Dictionaries = Unlimited Learning
The Center for Global Education's China Learning Initiatives is pleased to present the second of our China Straight Up series, China in Plain English. Follow Howie Southworth and Greg Matza (creators of the popular Sauced in Translation series) as they make their way through China—the thing is, neither are proficient in Mandarin! Through their many (mis)adventures, we learn about China through the lens of a different culture, discover how much mutual interest exists between people of China and the U.S., and see how accommodating people in China are to foreigners—even to those who don’t speak their language.
China Straight Up is one of several projects the China Learning Initiatives team is cultivating to bring awareness to the diverse, unique aspects of Chinese people and society, with the hope of piquing interest and leading to further inquiry and understanding about China.
China in Plain English is an 11-episode series with weekly releases through March 2017. Check in each Thursday for the latest episode, and for tips on how to use these videos in your classroom. And, in case you missed them, the episodes in our first series—the Great LOL of China—were among the top-watched videos from Asia Society in the year they were released.
CELIN Connection
From Shuhan Wang and Joy Peyton
We hope that you had a lovely holiday season. May 2017 bring you fulfillment, peace, and joy!

This month we feature the state of Delaware’s Chinese Language Immersion Programs, supported by the Delaware Governor’s Office and the Department of Education. Current programs in grades K–5, following a 50/50 instructional model, involve 700 students and 32 teachers. Six middle school and six high school Chinese programs have been established, and plans are underway to create a K–12 articulated program.

Two important studies of the dual language immersion programs in Oregon's Portland Public Schools (PPS) have recently been released. The first is a four-year study by RAND, the American Councils for International Education, and Portland Public Schools, which examines the effects of dual language immersion on student achievement in math, English language arts, and science, and how this effect differs for native English speakers and speakers of other languages. The study also seeks to document variations in language instruction among immersion classes and between immersion and non-immersion classes and document the costs of immersion instruction in the district. Contact Jennifer Steele to learn more about the study.

The second study, conducted by the Center for Second Language Studies (CASLS) at the University of Oregon, focuses on the Mandarin Dual Language Immersion Program, which has been offered for two decades, with preschool and kindergarten entry points. In the last decade, PPS has partnered with the University of Oregon to build a well-articulated K–16 Mandarin immersion and world language program pipeline. The ethnographic study examines the historical development of the program, sets forth key components of Portland's model that other districts may replicate, and examines catalysts and disruptors to the language immersion model. Read the report. For more information about the Portland Chinese programs, please read its profile on the CELIN web pages.

The CELIN Program Directory gives us an important way to learn about programs and connect with each other around issues that are important to program success. It is also a way for you to document information about your program so you can compare your program growth from year to year. Join us in this effort to document more programs. Just send an email to Ethan Pan at, include your program name and contact information, and we will follow up with you.
Seeing with "Other Eyes"
From New Ways of Seeing: How Multilingualism Opens Our Eyes and Trains Our Minds for a Complex World
A Forthcoming Asia Society Publication by Chris Livaccari
Those of us who regularly speak and read multiple languages know that the personas we adopt in each of them may well be radically different, and that the modalities of learning and communication we employ within the different linguistic worlds we inhabit give us a unique ability to think flexibly, adapt to new situations, and see things in ways our monolingual peers are seldom able to do.

The curious thing to note, of course, is that there is ultimately no such thing as strict “monolingualism.” What my ten-year-old son means by the word “awesome” is completely different from what my grandmother would understand by that term. Even beyond the obvious differences between the varieties of English (American, Canadian, Australian, Irish, Indian, etc.) that we speak, even within a single linguistic community, there may be significant differences in the terms and expressions we use or the ways in which we articulate or make meaning. These differences correspond to cultural and educational background, social and economic status, and various other forms of personal and collective identity. Read more from the chapter »
China's Education System: The Oldest in the World
For high school seniors preparing for life beyond graduation—perhaps for university, a gap year, or technical school—they may appreciate a little perspective via their peers' education trajectory in China. Chelsea Shieh, a senior at Columbia University in New York, offers some stats and observations about the oldest education system in the world.

But what does the future hold? Last month at Asia Society in New York, Kit-Tai Hau (professor of educational psychology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong) spoke on a panel discussing the newly released results from the 2015 round of PISA testing. Ahead of the panel, Hau spoke with Asia Blog about education reforms in China, how the country can bridge the rural-urban education divide, and where global competence falls amid a tough political environment.
News and Opportunities from the Field
TCLP Is Looking for U.S. 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. Application deadline: January 23, 2017.

Global Competence Certificate: Applications are open to join the next cohort of the premier, online, graduate-level certificate program in competence education for in-service educators. Single-course registration is open until January 10, 2017.

Concordia Language Villages: Summer "villages" combine language immersion, cultural activities, and fun camp activities, and are offered for students aged 7–18 in many languages, including Chinese. Programs are one, two, four, or six weeks long, with the four-week program offering one year of high school language credit. Scholarship deadline: February 24, 2017.

David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships: Boren Awards provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study abroad, where they can add important international and language components to their education. Deadlines vary by campus, ending in February 2016.

TEA-NCTA Summer Institute on Critical Issues in Contemporary China: The Program for Teaching East Asia is offering a summer institute on China, open to U.S. secondary social studies teachers, on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. Deadline: March 17, 2017.

#GlobalEdChat: Join us weekly on Twitter for #GlobalEdChat, an hour-long discussion on current issues in global education. Thursdays at 8 pm Eastern time.
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China Learning Initiatives Team
Center for Global Education at Asia Society
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