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Confucius Institute at UCA hosts Chinese Culture Fair

On August 26th, 2013, the Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) hosted a Chinese Culture Fair in the center area of UCA campus. The event lasted from 10am to 4pm, with over 500 students, faculty, and people from the community participating in the fair and about 150 students signing up for Chinese cultural activities.DSC_0638

The Chinese Culture Fair consisted of three main sections: the exhibition section, the cultural experience section, and the information section. In the exhibition area, photos of previous Chinese cultural activities and programs were shown on four exhibition boards, such as Chinese Bridge Competition, Arkansas High School Students Summer Camp in China, Arkansas Educators’ China Tour, Chinese Culture Club, Chinese Immersion Program in Shanghai, etc. The exhibition boards gave participants a vivid presentation of the various activities organized by the Confucius Institute at UCA. 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, attracted many people to drop by.  Students showed strong interests in the exhibits introduced and explained by UCACI staff and they tried some hands-on activities.

At the information section, participants got flyers of the Chinese activities, Chinese language programs, Confucius Institute Scholarships, HSK and other detailed information from UCACI staff. At the same time, they could sign up for the cultural activities of Chinese club this fall semester. Many participants showed their enthusiasm in the activities, and some of them said they would consider taking Chinese courses in the semester to come.20130827-Chinese Culture Fair- News-2

At the cultural experience section, many students were excited to get a Chinese name and to have it written in Chinese calligraphy by Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of UCACI. They found that the Chinese calligraphy was “very cool” and they would like to frame their Chinese names and put them on the door of their dorms. This activity was very popular and people waited in a long line to get their Chinese names written in calligraphy.  Chinese snacks, like spring rolls and fried dumplings, were also a great  attraction.

The Chinese Cultural Fair helps UCA community get more information about the Chinese language programs offered by UCA and UCACI, inviting the university community to get involved in Chinese programs and cultural activities. It will be a regular activity of UCACI each semester.

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Arkansas High School Students Participate in the Chinese Bridge – Summer Camp for American High School Students

July 10 to July 25 2013, nine students from four Arkansas high schools and one chaperone went to China to participate in the Chinese Bridge – Summer Camp for American High School Students in Beijing and Tianjin, held by the Confucius Institute Headquarters.IMG_2959

The first week of the summer camp was in Tianjin. Students spent the mornings studying Chinese at the Tianjin Normal University and doing cultural projects like Chinese painting and paper cutting. In the afternoon and evening, students did some cultural excursions to places of interests in Tianjin, such as the 5 Avenues District, the Ancient Culture Street, Tianjin Museum, Yangliuqing, and they also had the opportunity to watch a Chinese Opera show. During their extracurricular time, students learned a cultural dance for their performance in Beijing at the end of the summer camp.

 

 

 

 

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In the second week, students went to Beijing to visit famous culture relics. They visited the Forbidden City and climbed the Great Wall.  The great history, splendid architecture, and profound culture of China impressed students and teachers a lot. Kim Rowan, the chaperon teacher from Bentonville High School, said that she will never forget this trip, and this kind of activity can encourage more students in Arkansas to learn Chinese, take part in the activities offered by the Confucius Institute, and even work and study in China in the future.

Students also wrote in their feedback that, they have made great progress in Chinese by learning in an immersive environment, and they had first-hand experience about the profoundness of China’s past, the beauty of an old and modern twist. Besides, they are impressed with the breakneck speed of modernization in China and the friendliness of Chinese people. They all expressed their desire to share their trip with family, friends, and classmates, and decided to work harder on Chinese, hoping one day they can visit China again.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) made great efforts in promoting this summer camp program by organizing the registration and preparation work in Arkansas. On 25 May, the Confucius Institute at UCA gave the campers a Pre-Departure Orientation.

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome-Luncheon for the New Hanban Chinese Teachers

On August 5th, 2013, the Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) held a Welcome- luncheon for new Hanban Chinese teachers at President Dining Room at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA).DSC_0552

Mr. Tom Courtway, President of UCA, Dr. Maurice Lee, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Ms. Barbara Culpepper, Dr. Frank Servedio, and Ms. Ann Crosser from Arkansas Department Education (ADE), Dr. Phillip Bailey, Chair of World Languages and Culture, Ms. Ashley Pettingill and Ms. Lisa Shoemake from International Engagement ,  superintendents, principals and mentors from school districts were invited at the luncheon.

At the luncheon, President Tom Courtway gave an opening speech. He said that UCACI did a great job in enriching the foreign languages programs at UCA and in Arkansas. He welcomed the new Chinese teachers to Arkansas. Dr. Zhuang, Director of UCACI expressed his thanks to UCA, ADE and school districts for supporting the Chinese Program; meanwhile, he gave a brief introduction of the development of UCACI and Teach Chinese in Arkansas Program to all attendees. He expressed his hope to open more Chinese programs in the rest of the school districts in Arkansas. Ms. Barbara Culpepper from ADE stated that she was very glad to see that Teach Chinese in Arkansas Program has developed very well with the dedication of ADE and UCACI. She appreciated what UCACI has done for enhancing the Chinese Language proficiency of the people in Arkansas in the past few years, and said it was very meaningful for Arkansas’s Education. Ms. Kimberly Rowan, chaperone for this summer’s  Summer Camp for  American High School Students in China introduced her wonderful experience in the Summer Camp this July and Ms. Laura Rymel shared with others her unforgettable experience as a member of the Arkansas Educator Group China Tour. Both of the programs were sponsored by Confucius Institute Headquarters and organized by UCACI.

After the Welcome luncheon, the six new Hanban Chinese teachers were taken to their school districts for further orientation of their new teaching  career in Arkansas. They will begin their Chinese classes in the mid-August.

 

 

 

 

Confucius Institute at the UCA Welcomes 9 New Hanban Chinese Teachers

Dr. Zhuang, Ms. Lu and New Chinese Teachers

Dr. Zhuang, Ms. Lu and New Chinese Teachers

On July 4th 2013, 9 new Hanban Chinese teachers arrived at the Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI). UCACI hosts a welcome luncheon for the new Chinese teachers on their first day in Arkansas.  The new Chinese teachers will have a one-week orientation organized by UCACI. After that, they will take part in the first round of Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure (APPEL) program which is held by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) from July 15th to August 2nd at UCA. In addition to the APPEL training, they will need to pass the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), Writing Proficiency Test, PraxisⅠand PraxisⅡto get their teacher licensures.

In the first one-week orientation, Dr. Shoudong Feng and Dr. Dong Xie, from College of Education at UCA are invited to give lectures on cross-culture adjustment, Arkansas public education and how to teach in Arkansas for the teachers. UCACI also invites Ms. Jamie Bird, an experienced foreign language teacher and former Foreign Languages Department Chair from Conway High School to give a workshop for the new Chinese teachers. UCACI also helps new teachers to adjust themselves to the local life sooner.

Together with other local American teachers, the Chinese teachers take part in the APPEL program which is designed for those who want to get teacher licensure to teach in Arkansas. Through the training program, they will get more knowledge about American education, classroom management and classroom teaching. They also learn how to integrate technology into foreign language learning and teaching.

The first-round of APPEL program will finish on August 2nd. UCACI will hold a farewell luncheon for the new Chinese teachers on August 5th. Superintendents, principals and mentors from the related school districts will come to meet the new teachers at the luncheon and UCA administrators will be present as well.

The Chinese teachers will begin their teaching in the mid-August.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four UCA Faculty Members attend International Philosophy Conference at ECNU in Shanghai

Four UCA faculty members33 were invited to attend the International Philosophy Conference with the theme of “Chinese Culture Cognitive Dimension” held by the Department of Philosophy at East China Normal University (ECNU) on June 22 and June 23. During the two-day conference, the UCA delegation, which included Dr. Jim Shelton, Dr. Clayton Crockett and Dr. Nicolas Brasovan from Department of Philosophy and Religion and Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang, Director of Confucius Institute, gave paper presentations on the theme from different perspectives. Their unique insights and comparative perspectives on Chinese and Western philosophy aroused a heated discussion among the colleagues from both China and America.

Apart from the presentations at the international conference, Dr. Jim Shelton and Dr. Clayton Crockett were invited to give lectures to ECNU faculty and students during their visit in Shanghai.

With UCACI as a bridge, the academic exchanges between UCA and ECNU are greatly strengthened. As Dr. Zhenhua Yu, Chair of the Department of Philosophy at ECNU puts it: The international conference provides a very good opportunity for ECNU scholars to meet with UCA scholars and to exchange ideas on the common issues. It is just a beginning, and we hope there will be more exchanges in the field of liberal arts.

 

 

 

 

 

Dean Maurice Lee from the College of Liberal Arts, UCA visited ECNU, Shanghai

DSC_0290   On June 9, 2013, Dr. Maurice Lee, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts visited East China Normal University (ECNU). As the Chair of the World Short Story Conference, his main purpose is to seek the collaboration with ECNU to host the 14th International Conference on the Short Story in Shanghai in 2016.  During his visit in Shanghai, Dean Lee met with Dr.  Youqun Ren, Vice President of ECNU and Deans of the School of Liberal Arts, the School of Foreign Languages, the School of Fine Arts, Directors of International Exchange Affairs. At the meeting, Vice President Dr. Youqun Ren expressed ECNU’s strong support in collaboration with UCA to host the 14th International Conference on the Short Story in Shanghai. He also introduced to Dean Lee the prominent work of the scholars and writers at ECNU on literary criticism and creative writing

Accompanied by Dr. Guo-ou Zhuang and Ms. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, directors of UCACI, Dean Lee also visited and examined the conference venues and hotels for the 14th International Conference on the Short Story. On his visit, he was also invited by the School of Foreign Languages to give a lecture to students and faculty at ECNU on African-American literature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arkansas Educator Group Participates in Chinese Bridge – China Tour Program

On June 7, 2013, a group of Arkansas educators led by Ms. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI) arrived in Shanghai to begin their 10 day Chinese Bridge —China Tour program. This program is sponsored by Confucius Institute Headquarters, and co-organized by UCACI and East China Normal University (ECNU),UCA’s partner University in Shanghai.

During their 10-day program, the Arkansas Educator Group participates in a variety of cultural activities, including visiting two schools in Nanjing, observing classes, talking with the Director of Education Bureau and principals in Nanjing to get better knowledge of Chinese education and to explore the possibilities of exchange program between American high schools and Chinese high schools. They watch live acrobats, take Pujiang River Cruise, visit Shanghai Museum, Silk Museum, Chinese traditional gardens, etc. They also have some hands on activities like practicing Chinese calligraphy and making dumplings.

Arkansas Educator Group   This China Tour program has enriched their overseas experience, expanded their global horizon, and deepened their understanding of Chinese culture and its people. As Dr. Karen Morton, Director of Data Analysis from Bentonville School District puts it: “This program provides an extraordinary opportunity to see China. I cannot imagine a more educational and meaningful time (than this).”  Mr. Donald Ward, former Mayor of Beebe, and Chair of Social Studies at Beebe High School expresses the similar idea in his feedback. He says that this China Tour program has helped him to understand both past and present China better, and he now has more vivid details to share with his students about Chinese culture and its people. He is greatly amazed by what he actually sees and hears in China.

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese Bridge— China Tour Summer Camp for American High School Students Pre-Departure Orientation

May 25, 2013, 1:00p44m, nine students from Hot Spring High School, Bentonville High School, Arkansas School for Math, Science, and the Arts, and Conway High School, led by the chaperone Ms. Kimberly Rowan from Bentonville High participated in the Pre-Departure Orientation of the Chinese Bridge – China Tour Summer Camp for American High School. This orientation was organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Central Arkansas (UCACI). Dr. Gou-ou Zhuang, Director of UCACI, and Mrs. Lucy Xiaohong Lu, Deputy Director of UCACI gave summer campers a brief introduction of current Chinese situation, summer camp program, safety issue, travel tips, etc. Dr. Zhuang and Mrs. Lu answered various questions from students and their parents.

This summer camp is sponsored by Chinese Confucius Institute Headquarters, starting from  July 10 to July 25. During the ten-day camp, students will visit the places of interests in Beijing and Tianjin, experience Chinese culture, learn Chinese language, and also have the opportunities to stay with the local Chinese families and have in-depth communication with Chinese peers.

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese Music and Dance Presented by Nanchang University Performance Group on UCA Campus

IMG_3268UCA Confucius Institute invited Nanchang University Performance Group to present Chinese Music and Dance on April 17, at 7:00 pm at Ida Waldran Auditorium, UCA.

 

Nanchang University Performance Group consists of highly talented singers and performers, including the National first level Erhu player, the National first level Chinese flute player, the first prize winner in the Chinese Drama Award, the first prize winner in the Golden International Vocal Competition in the United States, and the national level choreographer. This Group has toured and performed extensively in recent years, including France, Mexico, Indonesia and America. Selected by Hanban, Nanchang University Performance Group is to give their performance tour in several universities in the United States, including the University of Central Arkansas, Miami Dade College, University of South Florida and Xavier University in Louisiana.

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On the evening of April 17, 2013, Nanchang University Performance Group presented the audience a splendid and unique Chinese music, dance and drama performance featuring a local martial opera “Monkey King Hunting Treasure”, an episode adapted from one of the Chinese famous classic novels Journey to the West; Jiangxi opera Change Faces, and Chinese minority group dance. There was an interactive activity between the performers and the audience. This performance provides the local community a good opportunity to experience Chinese culture.

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Two UCA Students Win Prizes at Chinese Bridge- Chinese Competition for College Students in Houston

Savannah Barlow Won Third Prize

Savannah Barlow, and Alex Peebles, two students who study Chinese at UCA have won the Third Place and Honorable Mention respectively at the 2013 Chinese Bridge— Chinese Competition  for College Students in the Southern States held in Houston on April 21st. The competition is sponsored by Confucius Institute Headquarters and organized by Chinese Consulate in General in Houston. This year, fourteen college students representing eleven Confucius Institutes and three regional Chinese programs in eight southern states participate in the competition. The first prize winner will go to China to contest in the semi-final Chinese Competition.UCA Confucius Institute collaborates with the Chinese instructors in the World Languages Department to screen and prepare UCA contestants for the 2013 Chinese Bridge— Chinese Competition.

Savannah Barlow, a UCA junior who is working on her Chinese minor, impresses the judges and the audience with her eloquent speech and accurate pronunciation. And her lively and graceful Tibetan dance in her talent show wins a loud applause from the audience. Alex Peebles, a UCA senior, gives a very witty speech on his experience in China which wins him most laughs from the attendees. His talent show with his nunchuks greatly amazes the judges and the audience.

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Alex Peebles Won Honorable Mention