On February 10th, 2013, 20 Chinese Hanban teachers and their mentors from 17 schools of 15 school districts gathered at Conway to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival and to attend Chinese teachers’ workshop hosted by UCACI.
At the gathering, Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of UCACI extended his best wishes to all the participants for their healthy and happy New Year of Snake. He then outlined the five-year strategic plan of UCACI and the projects to be conducted in 2013. Dr. Zhuang expressed his thanks to all the Chinese teachers and their mentors for their commitments and efforts made for the Chinese program. He hoped that the Chinese teachers could constantly reflect their teaching experience to create a friendly and sustainable environment for Chinese teaching and learning so as to build up a strong Chinese program in their schools and school districts.
At the workshop, Chinese teachers and their mentors discussed the issues concerning course designing, teaching planning, cultural activities, classroom management and parent/student-teacher relations. They brought out their concerns and problems and shared their experience. All the participants found this kind of workshop was very helpful, as for the Chinese teachers who are in a totally different culture, the most critical issues are how to adapt themselves to the new school environment, how to manage classroom efficiently and how to deal with the parent/student-teacher relationship. The second year Chinese teachers’ experience and other foreign language teachers’ experience would be very beneficial to the new Chinese teachers.
On the evening of Spring Festival, all the Chinese teachers and their mentors were invited to the Chinese Spring Festival Gala hosted by UCACI and CSSA in the Reynolds Performance Hall at UCA. The Gala was spectacular, with Chinese folk dancing, Chinese traditional musical instrument performance, Chinese Gongfu, modern dancing, western opera and violin performance. What impressed the audience most was the skit by a group of American students from Chinese minor classes at UCA. The play, which was directed by UCACI Chinese teacher, depicted the funny stories these American students had experienced in learning Chinese, and it won a lot of applause from the audience.