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UCA Delegates Attend the 8th Confucius Institute Conference

Picture2    The 8th Confucius Institute Conference was held in Beijing from December 7th to December 8th, 2013. Over 2,000 participants attended the conference, including host university presidents and representatives from 440 Confucius Institutes in over 110 countries and the Chinese partner universities. The University of Central Arkansas delegates, Dr. Wendy Lucas, UCA Associate Provost, Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of UCA Confucius Institute (UCACI), and Dr. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI, attended the Conference.

    Madam Liu Yandong, Chinese State Councilor and Chair of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, delivered a keynote speech at the conference. She extended warm welcome to the delegated from all over the world. She spoke highly of the development of the Confucius Institute with the cooperation between Chinese and foreign partners, which made great contribution to meeting the Chinese learning demand of foreign people and strengthen the friendship between Chinese and foreign people.

    At the conference panels, delegates engaged in active discussion in topics such as the development and certification of Chinese teachers, brand cultural activities with special features, Confucius Institute and MOOC, etc.

    The annual conference is a grand gala of the Confucius Institutes around the globe. Having been successfully held for seven times, it aims to foster close cooperation and exchange by drawing on the past experience, and advance the development of the Confucius Institutes in a rapid and sound manner.

 

UCACI Participated in the World Fest of the UCA International Education Week

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    November 19, 2013, Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) participated in the World Fest of the UCA International Education Week.

    This International Education Week was hosted by UCA International Engagement, and the World Fest was one of the main activities. At the station of UCACI, photos of previous Chinese cultural activities and programs were shown on exhibition boards, such as Chinese Bridge Competition, Chinese Culture Club, Chinese Immersion Program in Shanghai, etc. Besides the photo exhibition, various other Chinese cultural exhibits, such as tea set, bamboo slip, Beijing opera mask, Chinese musical instrument, go, Chinese chess, Chinese games, palace lantern, Chinese knots, etc. Participants also got flyers of the Chinese activities, Chinese language programs, Confucius Institute Scholarships, HSK and other detailed information from UCACI staff. Meanwhile, participants could get a Chinese name and have it written in Chinese calligraphy. This activity was very popular and attracted many people.  

     As an important part of World Fest, an International Students Fashion SInternational Education Week-World Fest (1)how attracted a lot audience. Organized by UCACI, Chinese students showed the clothes of Han Dynasty, Uyghur and Tibetan ethnic groups, etc. They also dressed up to give a wonderful Tai Chi performance, which not only showed the dynamic beauty of the clothes, but the oriental charm of Taiji. The Chinese fashion show won a great applause.

    By participating in the World Fest, UCACI displayed Chinese cultures to the UCA community, and also promoted Chinese courses and programs. This will get more students involved in the Chinese activities and Chinese courses in the coming semester. 

 

UCACI Chinese Teachers participate in the Professional Development Program Organized by Hanban

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From November 15 to 17, fourteen UCACI Chinese Teachers participated in the Professional Development Program for Chinese Teachers in the U.S. organized by Hanban at Memphis.

 On the night of the 15, all teachers participated in the communication meeting to exchange thoughts about teaching and living in the U.S. The opening ceremony was held on the morning of the 16. After that, teachers were divided into four groups (pre-K, elementary level, junior high school level, and senior high school level) to attend the lectures given by teaching specialist. The lectures focused on classroom management, teaching techniques, classroom activities. After the lectures, teachers had the chance to further communicate with the specialists. On the morning of the 17, two writers of two Chinese textbooks, Mrs Lirong Cheng (Tiandi Xiongmao) and Mrs. Wanqian Lin (Chinese Treasure Chest ) gave introductions and examples on how to use the textbooks they composed respectively.  At the end of the training, Dr. Hsiang-te Kung, Director of the Confucius Institute at University of Memphis invited teachers to visit the Confucius Institute at University of Memphis.

 This Professional Development Program provided all Chinese teachers a valuable opportunity to communicate with each other, solute their questions, and learn from specialists, which received favorable response from all participants.

“Chinese Food: Making Dumpling” Activity Held at Faulkner County Library, Conway

Conway Library activites (2)November 2, 2013, Confucius Institute at UCA (UCACI) hosted an activity on Chinese Food Culture: Dumpling at the Faulkner County Library, Conway. This activity was the third and last one in the series activities of Exploring Chinese Culture in collaboration with the Faulkner County Library. Over twenty people from local community participated in the activity.

 The first part of the activity was a short introduction on Chinese dumplings given by UCACI Chinese instructor. The first part was about what is dumpling and popular recipes. The second part was about the history of dumplings and when Chinese people make and eat dumplings. The third part was how to make dumplings. UCACI staff demonstrated the process of making dumplings starting from making the dough and filling to folding the wrap. From the introduction and demonstration participants had a basic understanding about Chinese dumplings and how to make them.

 The second part was hands-on activity instructed by UCACI staff.  Participants were divided into two groups to experience the full procedure of dumpling-making from preparing the dough, rolling the wrap, to folding the wrap and boiling the dumplings. From elementary school children to senior people, participants all took part in wholeheartedly and enjoyed the process of making dumplings. Later, they had a taste of dumplings made by themselves, which they thought to be very delicious. Some participants were quite inquisitive about different styles of folding the wraps as well as combinations of fillings. Some of them even made some extra dumplings to take home, planning to share them with family members or friends.

 Careful preparation and enthusiastic participation from local community made this activity a huge success.  Many participants expressed their hope to have more activities on Chinese food in the future. At the end of the activity, Mrs. Nancy, staff at Faulkner County Library, said that this Adventure in Chinese Culture activity series opened a window for local people to know China and Chinese people’s life, which also enriched the cultural life of the local community.

 UCACI will continue the partnership with the Faulkner County Library to host such activities in the next spring.

 

Experiencing Chinese Handcrafts Activity Held at Faulkner County Library, Conway

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October 26, 2013, Confucius Institute at UCA (UCACI) hosted an activity of Experiencing Chinese Handcrafts at Faulkner County Library, Conway. This activity was the second in the series activities of Exploring Chinese Culture in collaboration with the Faulkner County Library.

 The traditional Chinese handcrafts featured in this activity are paper-cutting and Chinese knots. First, two Chinese instructors from UCACI gave a short introduction lecture on Chinese paper-cutting and Chinese knot respectively. In the lectures on Chinese paper cutting, topics like origin, function, and patterns were introduced. For Chinese knots, the lecture covered its history, characteristics, symbolic meaning, and various types. During the lectures, participants actively took part in the quiz rounds and were rewarded with souvenirs of Chinese knot and paper-cutting. Participants were amazed by the beauty and artistic value of these two kinds of traditional Chinese handcrafts. 

 After the lectures, participants were divided into two groups according to their choices to learn how to make paper-cutting and Chinese knot. In the group of paper-cutting, UCACI staff showed participants how to cut double happiness and flower patterns. For participants who chose to learn to make Chinese knot, UCACI staff taught them how to make a four-row Pan Chang knot.

 At the end of the activity, participants and teachers took a group photo of with their work pieces. participants expressed that they would like to teach their children or friends how to make these handcrafts and wished UCACI hold another activity like this to learn more about Chinese knot and paper-cutting.

“Chinese Tea Culture” Lecture Held at Faulkner County Library, Conway

October 12, 2013, Confucius Institute at UCA (UCACI) hosted a lecture on Chinese Tea Culture at Faulkner County Library, Conway. This activity was the first in the series activities of Exploring Chinese Culture in collaboration with the Faulkner County Library.DSC_1350

At the beginning of the activity, a video of tea and Chinese people’s daily life was shown to the participants informing them   of the important role that tea plays in Chinese people’s life. Then, Dr. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI, gave a lecture on Chinese Tea Culture. Starting with tea and Confucian Thoughts, the lecture covered topics like tea and health, types of tea, the ways to select tea, tea wares, etc. While talking about how to brew tea and serve tea, Dr. Lu demonstrated Chinese tea ceremony to the audience. Participants were interested in different types of tea and the ways of brewing them, and they also learned how to appreciate green tea, white tea, and black tea. On the topics of tea and etiquette, Dr. Lu showed the participants some simple Chinese etiquette and expressions, like knocking the table twice to mean thanks, “nihao” (how are you?), “qingzuo” (Take the seat, please), “qing hecha” (Have some tea, please), “xiexie” (Thanks), etc. Participants learned these Chinese expressions and started to use them during the appreciation of tea.DSC_1405

With the help of UCACI staff, participants began to brew tea by themselves. They were especially interested in various tea wares, so they picked each of them up to observe and learned to brew tea. While brewing tea, participants also asked UCACI staff a lot of questions about tea and tea culture.

 

At the end of the activity, participants all gave high praise of Chinese tea and tea culture, and expressed thanks to UCACI for hosting such activities. Mrs. Nancy, staff at Faulkner County Library said, this activity displayed the profound Chinese tea culture in easy-to-understand approach and enriched the cultural life of the local community

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UCACI Directors Attend the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators Conference in Little Rock

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On October 21, 2013, Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI), and Dr. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI, attended the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators (AAEA) Conference in Little Rock. Dr. Zhuang introduced the development of Chinese programs and education in Arkansas K-12 schools.

 At the Conference Opening Luncheon Session, Mr. Michael Rowland from Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) gave a presentation on the Arkansas-China business relationship and the Teach Chinese in Arkansas program. Mr. Rowland stressed the remarkable enhance in the trade volume between Arkansas and China, as well as China’s emphasis on English education as the necessities to promote Chinese education in Arkansas educational system, in order to prepare Arkansas youth better for the future. Also, he introduced the collaboration of ADE with UCACI since 2008 to strengthen ties and mutual understanding between Arkansas and China. Another important mission of this collaboration is to promote Chinese language and culture with Arkansas through the Teach Chinese in Arkansas program. From the newsletter featuring the development of Chinese programs in current schools made by UCACI, participants got a better understanding about the programs.

 Dr. Zhuang then introduced the various programs available for Arkansas students and educators to experience China through a project called Chinese Bridge, such as Summer Camp for American High School Students, Arkansas Educator Group’s Tour to China, Chinese Proficiency Competition, etc.  These programs are offered by UCACI and Confucius Institute Headquarters.

 Mr. Rowland and Dr. Zhuang’s presentations gave educators from major schools of Arkansas a close understanding of Chinese education and programs in Arkansas, which has a great positive influence on the promotion of Chinese programs in Arkansas.

UCACI Delegates attend the 2013 Joint Meeting of U.S. Confucius Institutes/Classrooms

 

a9e23511-e00e-4884-bd6a-8606118a9987September 28th to 30th, 2013, Dr. Gou-ou Zhuang, Director of Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI), and Dr. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI, attended the 2013 Joint Meeting of U.S. Confucius Institutes/Classrooms held at the West Kentucky University in Kentucky. During the meeting, issues like “Confucius China Study Plan”,  Core Teacher Program, Local Chinese Teacher training, and Joint-established Major in Teaching Chinese were discussed.

 At the opening ceremony, Madame Lin Xu, Director-General of Hanban gave a keynote speech. She stated that Chinese government attaches great importance to the Sino-U.S. relationship and provides great support to Confucius Institutes, especially those in the U.S. She then briefed the development of the Confucius Institute in recent years and expressed her sincere thanks to all those who give their strong support to the sustainable development of the Confucius Institutes in the U.S.

 During the meeting, Dr. Zhuang and Dr. Lu, along with the delegates from other five Confucius Institutes whose partner university is East China Normal University (ECNU) (CI at Tulane University, CI at Oregon University, CI at Iowa University, CI at China Institute, and. CI at Chicago) met with the delegation from ECNU led by Dr. Bing Mei, Vice-President of ECNU. Representatives also visited the Confucius Institute at West Kentucky University and its Chinese Learning Center.

 On the plenary session on Sept. 29th, representatives discussed over three core issues: (1) implementation of “Confucius China Study Plan”, (2) local teacher training, core teacher program, (3) plan for the 2014 “Confucius Institute Chinese Language Day”. Dr. Zhuang expressed his views on the implementation of “Confucius China Study Plan”, and gave some constructive suggestions on this plan.

Delegations from over 90 Confucius Institutes and over 260 Confucius Classrooms in the U.S. attended the three-day 2013 Joint Meeting of U.S.

UCA Confucius Institute Hosts Series Activities to Celebrate the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

   September 18 to 22, 2013, Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) hosted a series of activities to celebrate the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival with Chinese students, UCA faculty and staff, and local community, to share the happiness of the festival, and to introduce Chinese festival culture.mid-autumn celebration 1

On September 18, UCACI sent Mid-Autumn Festival cards to the administrative departments and colleges at UCA, in order to share the best wishes with the faculty and staff at UCA, and also express thanks for their continuous support to UCACI’s programs and activities.

On the afternoon of September 21, Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of UCACI, Dr. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI, and three other Chinese teachers at UCACI, invited 25 UCA faculty and American friends to the Mid-Autumn celebration party to taste the moon cakes, make dumplings, and play games. Participants showed great interest in the tradition of Mid-Autumn Festival and in making dumplings. They engaged actively and tried to make some themselves. During the party, Director Zhuang gave a short speech, giving festival greetings to the guests and expressing thanks to their help and support. After the dinner, Chinese games such as Jigu Chuanhua, matching pictures with characters, and picking up beans with chopsticks were played. Participants were given craft chopsticks, calligraphy brushes, and Chinese knots as souvenirs. Both Chinese teachers and foreign friends enjoyed the event greatly.  As one of the UCA faculty said, “Thank you for all your hard work to make these cultural experiences possible. We feel thankful to have you here with us to share your rich culture. We value our friendship with all our Chinese colleagues and students”.mid-autumn celebration2

On the evening of September 22, at the Ida Waldran Auditorium of the Old Main, UCA, the UCA Chinese Scholars and Students Association (CSSA) and UCACI co-hosted a Mid-Autumn Celebration Gala. More than 500 people attended the gala. This is the first time that CSSA and UCACI worked with five other universities within Arkansas (University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas Little Rock, Arkansas State University, etc) to hold the event. Before the show, UCA President Tom Courtway came to the auditorium and met with the UCACI staff and CSSA performers. He thanked UCACI and CSSA to hold such a great event to enhance the diversity of UCA community, and he also wished the performance a great success. Chinese students from six universities presented a wonderful performance for local Chinese people and UCA community. After the show, audience and performers walked into the lobby to taste moon cakes and share feedbacks on the performance. About 30 American high school students from Hot Springs School Districts together with their Chinese teachers were invited to the Celebration Gala.mid-autumn celebration3

The series activities to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival held by UCACI were presented in different forms, which attracted a large number of people. These activities not only provided chances for Chinese students, and Chinese community to get together and celebrate the festival, but also actively involved the local communities in appreciating Chinese culture, and thus strengthened the friendship between Chinese living in Arkansas and the local community.mid-autumn celebration5

Deputy Consul-General Zhang Chuanbing from Chinese Consulate General in Houston Visits UCA

September 11 to 12, 2013, Deputy Consul-General Zhang Chuanbing from Chinese Consulate General in Houston visited University of Central Arkansas with Consul Xu Baiyu, Duan Fenghua, and Deng Saiying. The UCA Confucius Institute (UCACI) assisted in the reception of the visiting group.websize (4)

On the evening of September 11, Deputy Consul-General Zhang and the Consul Deng gave a lecture on China-U.S. relationship, preventive consular protection, and safety issues to Chinese students from several universities in Arkansas at the Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center, UCA. In the lecture, various consular protection cases were discussed as examples in order to raise the safety awareness and preparedness of students. After the lecture, members of the visiting group interacted with the students and answered their questions.

On the afternoon of September 12, the visiting group met with the UCA Provost Dr. Steve Runge and Associate Provost Dr. Wendy Lucas, accompanied by Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of UCACI, and Dr. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI. They exchanged ideas and strategies on campus safety and the safety of Chinese students. After the meeting, the visiting group had a campus tour with the company of UCACI staff.websize (1)

After that, group members came to UCACI and visited the Chinese resource center and looked at the bulletin boards of UCACI. Deputy Consul-General Zhang was greatly impressed by the programs and activities offered by UCACI. The group members also met with the Chinese teachers and students representatives at the UCACI meeting room. They had a friendly and cordial talk about the work and college life abroad.

The teachers and students all expressed that the lecture on safety issues was very useful in enhancing their safety awareness. And during the conversation with the consuls, they truly felt the concern from Chinese government. They stated that they will abide by the laws and stay safe while studying in the U.S.

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