American Indian girl won the third place of national Chinese story telling competition in Singapore

Amercian Indian girl Meera came to settle down in Singapore with parents when she was 1-year old. The first language she picked up is Chinese. Her mother arranged her to learn Chinese from a neighbor working as a Chinese language teacher. They make Chinese conversation for two hours every day to practice the speaking and pronunciation.

Nine years later, Meera won the third place of the national Chinese story telling competition in Singapore, with clear articulation and mellow tune. In the past one year, she has won twice the third place in two Chinese speech contests.American Indian girl won the third place of national Chinese story telling competition in Singapore

Meera’s mother Subra understood the importance of Chinese language and started to cultivate the her daughter’s interest in Chinese language. She said, “We hope that she gets the spiritual connection with Chinese culture, especially when people from all over the world gather together, we cannot ignore the multi-culture because of our Indian origin.”

Meera is a fourth-grade student in Anthony girls’ school, studying Chinese as her second language. Since the second grade, she has been always assigned to the best Chinese language class and leading the way. When she joined Chinese drama class, Meera was praised by the teacher of her acting talent.

Meera said, “I like telling stories and won’t feel nervous at the stage. I want to participate in more such competitions in the future.”

Because Meera’s parents can’t speak Chinese, she went to the cram school for Chinese language classes from 4 to 8-year old. When she goes to bazaar with parents, she will grasp the opportunity to practice the dialogue with the vendors. Subra said, “Once we ran into one taxi driver, he insisted on not charging us because he thought Meera’s Chinese is so great.”

At home, as a Hindi language teacher, Subra communicates with Meera in Hindi and Meera’s father in another Indian dialect Konkani to make sure that Meera masters the mother language. Meera can also speak basic Philippine Tagalog and Spanish. Her parents plan to let her study one Chinese dialect such as Hokkien or Teochew.

It is reported that Chinese story telling final match of Singapore national primary schools was held recently in Tao Nan School, with a total participant of 56 schools and 106 students. The competition has marked its 12th anniversary.

Wales Chinese language teaching project forum held in Confucius Institute at Cardiff University

Wales Chinese language teaching project forum held in Confucius Institute at Cardiff University

Recently, 9th Wales Chinese teaching project forum was held in Confucius Institute at UK’s Cardiff University. 32 language teaching heads from Confucius Institutes at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Bangor University and the primary and secondary schools in Wales, were present at the forum.

The forum, taking “Gather strength, Improve together” as topic, aimed to sum up Chinese teaching experience and achievement in the past half a year and to overcome the difficulties encountered in local Chinese teaching, which facilitate the integration of the Chinese language to Welsh language teaching system and determine the future development plan of Chinese teaching projects in the primary and secondary schools of Wales.

The forum opening ceremony was presided by Rachel Williams, primary and secondary teaching project manager of Confucius Institute at Cardiff University, and Chinese dean Yubei Zhou delivered a welcome speech. Rachel made a comprehensive summary of the development of Chinese language teaching in Wales over the past eight years. She emphasized the important support from Chinese national Hanban and Welsh government for Chinese language teaching. She also pointed out that the focus of Chinese teaching in primary and secondary schools in the coming years will be cultivating local Chinese language teachers.

Later on, some Confucius classroom directors discussed one after another about the impact of globalization on school education. They said that language teaching plays a vital role in helping better adapt the local citizen to the new circumstances. The development of Chinese language teaching has set up a communication bridge between Wales and China, which benefits the regional development in the long term.

After one day of a heated discussion, the delegates proposed many methods of localizing Chinese language teaching, for instance, drawing the reasonable teaching outline, providing teachers with a probation period, attracting parents on Chinese teaching and so forth. They also made an agreement on intercollegiate and regional (e.g. with England) exchange and cooperation. The delegates generally believe that improving communication channels and strengthening the publicity can effectively promote Chinese language and culture in Wales.

It is understood that Confucius Institute at Cardiff University places a great importance on Chinese teaching in the local primary and secondary schools since its establishment. So far, more and more schools in Wales have absorbed Chinese teaching into Welsh Baccalaureate. Welsh government has also given a strong support for Chinese teaching.

A new record of examinees for Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) in Japan

On July 28, HSK test was held for third time in 2016 in the Chinese language test center of Confucius Institute at Japan’s Kansai Gaidai University.

The test center is located in Study and Research Urban campus of Kansai Gaidai University, with 10 test points and over 30 supervisors. A total of 711 people took part in the examination (738 people registered for the test).

During the examination, Confucius Institute set up a special test room for the physically challenged students.

A new record of examinees for Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) in Japan

In recent years, besides English, more and more Japanese companies are considering Chinese language level as an important condition of promotion. The HSK test, as the Chinese language proficiency test recognized by Chinese government, is getting increasing number of examinees year by year.

A new record of examinees for Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) in Japan

It is learnt that Japan’s Kansai Gaidai University signed a contract with Chinese Testing International Co., Ltd. (CTI) (Beijing) and has started organizing HSK tests since 2010. This year the Confucius Institute is going to hold HSK tests four times. This time the test is approaching the final exam in the university, so a lot of students took it as an opportunity to check their Chinese learning skill and participated in the exam, the registration number of which created a new record of this year.

Chinese language center to be set up in India and South Asian countries

On June 16th, Doctor Ganguli, president of India Online Education and Mr. Monirul from Bangladesh visited Kunming University. Mr. Xiang Li, vice principal of the University, held a warm welcome reception to the overseas guests. Both parties had in-depth exchanges and signed a joint agreement of establishing Chinese language center. At the same time, they discussed on the details about the student admission oriented to South Asian countries and joint undergraduate program in the field of hotel management and business management.

Chinese language learning center to be set up in India and South Asian countries

The meeting was presided by Mr. Xiang Li, with the presence of leaders from International exchange department, College of Economy, College of Tourism and College of Humanities of the University. The two sides had a detailed talk on the joint establishment of Chinese language training center for India and South Asian countries, as well as a deep understanding on the need of Chinese language learners in India, the Chinese language education progress, the selecting condition of Chinese teachers and issue of certificate. College of Humanities will draw up the teaching plans while Indian Online Education will start up the admission as soon as possible. The program will facilitate Chinese language learners in India and South Asian countries and Kunming University will dispatch regularly experienced teachers to India to carry out Chinese teaching.

Chinese language learning center to be set up in India and South Asian countries
Kunming University

Both sides had a warm discussion about joint training of hotel management and business management undergraduate. With the grant especially set for new foreign students, the two sides had a final agreement on the undergraduate enrollment of South Asian students to Kunming University. Indian Online Education plans to send the first batch of about 100 South Asian students to the University in the second half of this year for the undergraduate programs of hotel management and business management. Leaders from College of Economy and College of Tourism said they are actively engaged in all kinds of early-stage preparation.

Chinese language learning center to be set up in India and South Asian countries
Teaching building of Music

After the negotiations, both sides have been clear about the tasks and agreed to take the projects into practice as early as possible.

Chinese language learning center to be set up in India and South Asian countries
Library

“Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition held in Mauritius

“Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition held in Mauritius“Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition held in Mauritius

According to the news released by Chinese Ministry of Culture, the 15th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students was successfully held in Chinese culture center of Mauritius. Mr. Yanqun Song, cultural counsellor of Chinese Embassy and director of Chinese culture center in Mauritius attended the activities and delivered a speech.

Mr. Song said that language is a bridge of communication, learning Chinese will open up a door for the future and help students to realize their dreams. Chinese culture center in Mauritius has been engaged in promoting Chinese teaching and aims to accentuate the cultural exchange and friendship between two countries.

Under the support of Mauritian Ministry of Education, Chinese culture center in Mauritius widely launched the advertising campaign through the mainstream media and Facebook, with 14 competitors signed up, primarily from several local colleges such as University of Mauritius, Institute of Gandhi. Five contestants got shortlisted after the initial selection. The competition took “Dream lights up the future” as theme and was divided into speech, talent show and Chinese culture quiz. The competition jury was comprised of the course experts and Chinese teachers dispatched by National Hanban in China.

After two rounds of fierce competition, David and Mary, respectively from Open University of Mauritius and University of Mauritius, stood out. In their speeches, David hoped to learn well Chinese, understand Chinese culture, make a lot of Chinese friends and even meet the Chinese girl in life when he was young, while Mary said that young people should have dreams and not rely on luck but themselves for a bright future. The excellent speeches and talent shows such calligraphy and paintings had deeply impressed the spectators and the judges.

Each contestant was awarded certificates and prizes by Mr. Song at the end of the competition. A host of young spectators wished to learn Chinese and know more about China and Chinese culture.

Chinese Embassy in Belarus held a film reception to assist local students with learning Chinese

On April 13, Chinese Embassy in Belarus organised a special fim reception for the local primary and secondary school students who are learning Chinese. About 80 attendees were invited, including Chinese volunteers from Confucius Institute and the teacher and student representatives from schools running Confucius classrooms and Chinese language courses. They watched together the Chinese movie “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate”.

Chinese Embassy in Belarus assist students with learning Chinese

Mr. Qiming Cui, Chinese Ambassador in Belarus, made a speech at first. He warmly welcomed the guests and said that with the relations between Belarus and China developping rapidly in recent years and the bilateral cooperation continuously deepened in various fields, Byelorussian and Chinese young people’s interest in learning the other country’s language and culture is increasing. More and more primary and secondary school students opt for Chinese courses in Belarus. Relevant activities would be carried out in the Embassy to help them understand better Chinese language and China.

 

Chinese Ambassador in Belarus made speech about learning Chinese

Byelorussian teachers and students watched the Chinese movie with strong interest, afterwards, Mr. Cui, the Ambassador, communicated actively with the students and answered their questions about Chinese history. At the end of the reception, the students showed the great pleasure to have such an opportunity to participate in, saying that the activity had offered them the medium of learning Chinese culture and enhanced their motivation to learn Chinese language and culture.

Filipino-Chinese students join Mandarin summer camp in Quanzhou

On 18 April, 104 Filipino-Chinese students from Chinese language Summer Camp 2016, with their 5 leading teachers, reached Quanzhou Normal University and started their Chinese learning journey for a period of 55 days.

Filipino-Chinese students from Chinese language Summer Camp 2016

During their stay, Quanzhou Normal University will offer several basic courses such as Chinese intensive reading, listening and speaking, reading, writing and so, as well as some skill courses such as folk customs, music, dance, Chinese film appreciation. In addition, trainings and sightseeing activities specialised in Chinese tradition are provided to the studnets, for instance, Southern Fujian culture presentation, calligraphy and Chinese Kung Fu, Quanzhou Culture tour, inter-college fellowship activity and natural local scenery tour. Through learning and cultural exchange in the camp, the students will gain a better understanding of Quanzhou city and the profound Chinese culture, which will strengthen the affection on their ancestral home. Filipino-Chinese students from Chinese language Summer Camp 2016

It is reported that the Chinese language summer camp for Filipino-Chinese students is hosted by China Overseas Exchange Association and COEA of Fujian province, sponsored by Mr. Yongcai Chan, famous overseas Chinese leader and honorary chairman of Quanzhou Normal University. The camp has been held 15 times since 2001, benefitting over millions of students. For Quanzhou Normal University this is the 6th succesfully organised summer camp in the campus.

paper cutting in Chinese Summer Camp

Happy 2015 Chinese New Year – Year of Goat!

Chinese New Year is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name.

Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. It falls on February 19th in 2015.

2015 Chinese New Year - Year of Goat

5 Traditions to be followed during Chinese Spring Festival:

No.1 “Săo chén” – Sweep the dust

"Săo chén" - Sweeping the dustIn Mandarin, “chén”(dust) and “chén”(old) share the same pronunciation. Sweeping the dust during the Spring Festival has become an old custom, indicating “sweeping away the bad luck and welcoming the new beginning”.

 

No.2 “Shǒu suì” – Stay up all night on New Year’s Eve

"Shǒu suì" - Staying up all late on New Year's EveShǒu suì is the most important activity on Chinese New Year’s Eve when all the family members reunite together, have a superb dinner and stay up all night to greet the arrival of the Chinese New Year. Around the countdown moment, most families would set off firecrackers.

 

No.3 “Bài nián” – Make New Year greetings

"Bài nián" - Make New Year greetings

During the whole festive period, Chinese people will visit the elders, relatives and friends. Before entering their houses, everybody shall make new year greetings, with the hands in gesture as above. The most common greetings are “Xīnnián Hăo” (Happy New Year), “Shēntǐ Jiànkāng” (In good health), “Wànshì Rúyì” (All the best)…

 

No.4 “Tiē Chūnlián” – Put up Spring Festival couplets on the doors

"Tiē Chūnlián" - Put up spring couplets on the doorsThis tradition dates back to the Chinese ancient ritual. The couplets are considered as the protection against evil spirits and the invitation to auspicious gods to home.

 

No.5 “Hóngbāo/Yāsuìqián” – Red envelope/Lucky money

"Hóngbāo/Yāsuìqián" - Red envelopeIn ancient time, Chinese people thought that kids are easy to get disturbed by ghosts. Since “suì”(ghost) has the same spelling as “suì”(year). Therefore, when the younger make new year greetings to the elder during the spring festival, the elder shall put certain amount of “Yāsuìqián” in the “Hóngbāo” and gift to the younger so that they can have a safe and lucky new year.

Craze of northern France in Chinese study

Confucius Institute in Artois University (Université d’Artois) was founded in France in 2008. The establishment of the organization is to create a cross-cultural communication platform and is open to all sections of society. In February 2015, the 1st session of China Arts Festival (Arts Chine) will soon be open here. Chinese opera, cultural exhibitions, as well as a series of cultural lectures will be displayed to the students with the support of their vice-president Stephen Rowley.

Craze in Chinese study in northern France

Aims to popularize Chinese culture

Stephen Rowley said, “To teach Chinese language, to organize Chinese language proficiency test and to train the Chinese teachers in France are the main goal of Confucius Institute. We will also hold someseminars, related courses and practice activities. Students can participate in the activities such as
Chinese calligraphy, music, Tai Chi, oriental cooking and Chinese drama. China plays a very important role
in the strategic layout of the university. We offer enlightenment courses of Chinese culture for the extracurricular activities. So far in France, Arras is the only city that Chinese courses are offered from primary schools to doctoral courses.” According to the vice-president of Artois University, more than 200 students there are learning Chinese and many others are already studying in China. Some of them are doing internships in China and some already settled down. In addition, the university plans to organize one summer camp, “We will invite Chinese students to stay for one month in Artois University. They will live together with French students here and get exposed to local French culture.”

 

Why would French people be interested in Chinese?

English language is still in the dominant position by far, but we have already seen a new force coming from Chinese language, which is the positive impact from the world’s largest economy and at the same time has attracted the attention of many French students. French students like Chinese life, some of them do business and settle down in China. Artois University will introduce a new Master degree of Chinese language (le chinois, langue étrangère) in September 2015.

Movie night: “American Dreams in China”

The first time I finished watching this movie, I was feeling so touched, because it reflects what really happened in one Chinese generation that strived to go to US, to study there and tried to settle down by any means.

The movie is about 3 friends, as any student of their generation at that time, who hold one same dream of going to US and meet various difficulties while chasing for that dream. They were very close friends and then apart because of the dream, and finally they again reunited in China and built a successful English language school called “New Dream”. This school helps Chinese teenagers to make their dreams of going to US come true. Before the three co-founders were standing proudly in American stock market for IPO, many story happened with them.

It is said that this stroy is actually telling the real history of China’s largest GMAT, GRE training school “New Oriental”, while the leading actor was interpreting almost similar life of its founder Minhong Yu.

That generation was a hard-working one, many of whom have become successful and are living a decent life in US, but the efforts they put and the pain they went through at that time can only be illustrated in microcosm by this great movie.

This week, one of my Indian friends came to give the sweets, for he has got US Visa and is leaving to Texas next month for further study. In China, the same is also happening. More and more Chinese students go to foreign countries to study and many Chinese families are also applying for immigration to US, Australia, Canada etc.

While the life of next generation is getting better and better, do we still remember to tell them such a story where everybody is struggling for an opportunity to go abroad?