汉语教学之初体验 First Experiences of Teaching Chinese

By Yaqian Gai, University of Idaho Confucius Institute instructor in Boise, ID. She teaches an Exploring Mandarin Culture and Language Class at Boise High School. English translation found below. 一生之中至少要有几次冲动的念头,为奋不顾身的爱情,为说走就走的旅行,为闺蜜的友情等等。二零一七年的八月二十三日我为了教中文来到了地球的另一边,为实现自己的梦想,开启了汉语教学之旅。 有的人每天都在抱怨生活的空虚与孤寂却也不愿意跳出舒适的生活圈子。外面的世界很精彩也很无奈,我勇敢的走了出来,为自己走出的这一步鼓掌。 我来到的城市是爱达荷州的首府博伊西,这个城市的秋天美的让人沉醉和窒息。而我所在的中学又是博伊西最好的高中,我是这个学校的第一个中文老师,在学校门口张贴的教职工照片当中有了第一个中国来的汉语老师,每当看到自己的照片,我的内心是无比的骄傲,为自己更为祖国而自豪。在博伊西高中的历史上,在这个百年名校中,第一次有了中国老师的身影。我所教授的是中国文化和汉语语言。美国语言学家萨丕尔指出语言不能脱离文化尔而存在,不能脱离社会继承下来的各种做法和信念。跨文化交际看起来容易做起来难,需要各方面的综合素质。作为一名对外汉语教师,应在平时就注意培养自身的跨文化交际能力,并以此为基础积极推动汉语教学在世界范围内的推广。 我的学生对中国的文化有着浓厚的兴趣,我带领他们了解了中国的剪纸,大熊猫,中秋节的习俗,还给他们分享了月饼;我们认识了北京,长城,故宫,还了解了北京大学清华大学的国际留学生与专业。总而言之带领我的学生们了解它们感兴趣的中国文化与中国习俗。比较突出的一节课是介绍的北京京剧和脸谱介绍。孩子们通过看视频了解京剧的角色扮演,颜色所代表的人物性格。之后学生根据自己喜好的颜色对脸谱涂色,一方面是熟悉颜色另一方面了解京剧脸谱。与此同时,我们开展了一系列的活动和游戏来加强孩子们对脸谱和颜色的认识。从而加深他们的印象和认识。孩子对这一系列的教学安排显得好奇而激动,他们热情的参与其中,圆满的完成了这节课的教学任务。 对于孩子们的表现我真的想给他们全部点赞,你们太棒了。 There must be at least a few impulsive thoughts in your … Continue reading 汉语教学之初体验 First Experiences of Teaching Chinese

Spokane 一个既熟悉又陌生的城市

作者:施浩洁 来到美国,西雅图是我入关的第一座城市。因为电影《北京与西雅图》,我的内心对西雅图充满了幻想。但是还没来得及展开想象,飞机已经把我带到了另一个城市。这个城市是我此行的目的地。那就是Spokane(斯波坎)。 来美国之前,我从来没有听说过斯波坎。也没有搞清楚,为什么我要去的是爱达荷州,却要在华盛顿州的斯波坎降落。这是我和斯波坎的第一次接触。惊鸿一瞥,匆匆过客。我就去Post Falls 赴任了。 刚到美国,各种的不适应。最想念的还是中国的食物。有人曾经说过,改变一个人应该从改变他的胃开始。可见一个人的胃是如何的不可改变。经过研究,发现我的周围只有斯波坎这个城市是有亚洲超市的。这令我对这个华盛顿州的第二大城市刮目相看。我又一次来到斯波坎,买了所有我认为需要的食物。满意而归。 第三次来到斯波坎,是我的朋友来访,他们从网上查到斯波坎有个美丽的瀑布,就在城市的中央。这令大家感到好奇。因为,我们了解的瀑布,大多是在山里的。在城市的中央有瀑布? 大家决定驱车前去参观。来到大瀑布前,果然没有让人失望。瀑布和城市建设浑然一体。旁边就势建了一个发电站。让人惊叹,美国人民的创造力和合理利用自然的能力超乎想象。 第四次来到斯波坎,是来参加一次汉语教学的培训会议。洪满春老师来自台湾,在美国已经生活几十年。从事汉语教学也已经有十几个年头。她精妙的课堂设计,一步一步深入细致的引导。教会了我这个从事汉语教学不到三个月的菜鸟老师,如何根据美国的国情,设计课堂活动。教会学生authentic 汉语。整个培训时间并不长,但是我们每个参加培训的老师都感觉收获满满,不虚此行。我们期待着和洪老师的再次交流,希望学到更多的实用的汉语教学方法。 因为我居住的城市离斯波坎非常近,开车就是30分钟的路程。所以,注定了我的美国之行和这个城市有着种种不解之缘。一次一次来到斯波坎,我对这个城市由陌生转向熟悉。也许这个城市还存在很多的未知,等待我去探索。但也正是因为有这样的未知,才吸引着我一次又一次驱车前往,探索这个既熟悉又陌生的城市。斯波坎,是我美国之行的第一个城市朋友。  

Mikayla Frey Joins UICI!

By: Mikayla Frey

mmexport1508440324880A few months ago if you would have asked me where Moscow is, the answer would have been somewhere in Russia. I would have never guessed that it is a tiny town nestled amongst mountains and hills. A tiny town that holds the University of Idaho. A tiny town that hosts a Confucius Institute. Most importantly a tiny town that I would soon call home.

So how did I end up here and why? Well, the second question is easier to answer. I came here to join the Confucius Institute and the Vandal family. I came here to be the new Administrative Coordinator for the Confucius Institute. So hi everyone, glad to meet you (well—electronically meet you)!

The second question though, the answer to that has been 5 years in the making. It really started my first semester of college. That year I had to pick a language. I had already taken German in high school and I thought French pronunciation was way too difficult. Which left Chinese. Cue the sense of dramatic irony because little did I know I was going to spend the next year tripping over sounds I had never learned to hear before. However, this wasn’t a bad thing. In fact, I loved every second of it.  Seeing the way the characters pieced together was amazing and truthfully a language with no conjugation was a huge plus in my book.

However, I wasn’t really sold on Chinese until I went to China. I was given the opportunity to go after my second year when I received the National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarship.  I found out a few months later that I would be going to spend the year in Shanghai. It was there, that I truly knew that studying Chinese culture and introducing others to it was what I wanted to do. Which I know is cliché and I wish I had one moment that was the defining moment to share with you all, but I don’t. What I can say is that it came in little moments. Moments like starting the Calligraphy club and watching Chinese and American students come together. Moments like talking to my host sister about slang on subway. Moments like telling my friends and family back home about all of these things.

After coming back, I transfer to Concordia College where I studied Asian Studies and minored in Chinese. I also continued planning Chinese cultural events. Okay, so at first I was mostly just helping plan events. The Chinese Club on campus met weekly, but they really shone during traditional Chinese holidays when they collaborated with the college Chinese department and community members to plan large events. Of course, as with most big events, they were also looking for volunteers. Something I was always glad to do. In my senior year I was elected to be the president of the Chinese Club, and so got to take on a more active role in these events. Despite how many hours I worked and how many schedule changes I dealt with, these events were really the highlight of my year.

So, with graduation fast approaching, I was in need of a job. I knew I wanted to work in a non-profit. One where ideally I could continue doing some of the things I had previously been doing. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure that a job like that even existed. None the less, I started my search. It wasn’t long until I came across the Confucius Institute. It was really kind of perfect. So I waited until a job that I qualified for opened up and it just so happened to be the one here at the University of Idaho.

So that’s my story. The story of how I ended up here and I how I ended up in the realm of Chinese culture. Hopefully, this will help to introduce myself to you all as you see a new face in the office, or at an event, or even just a new name at the end of an email.

 

 

 

 

 

Moscow Community Classes- Fall 2017

Moscow

Fall 2017 University of Idaho Confucius Institute

Mandarin Language and Chinese Calligraphy Course Offerings

Please Note: Please read course descriptions to identify which level is appropriate for your needs. For further guidance, please ask your current UICI instructor or email confucius@uidaho.edu.

To register for a course, please send your full name, contact phone number, and desired course title to confucius@uidaho.edu. Payment for the classes will be accepted in cash or checks made out to University of Idaho Confucius Institute on the first day of class.

All courses begin the week of October 2 and finish the week of December 11. Late registrations will be accepted until October 13. There will be no classes the week of Thanksgiving.

 

Mandarin Language Offerings 

Chinese Calligraphy

  • Dates and times:
    • October 3, 2017- December 12, 2017
    • Tuesdays
    • 7:15 p.m.- 8:15 p.m.
    • Note: Class will not meet the week of Thanksgiving
  • Location: Moscow Chamber of Commerce 411 S. Main St., Moscow, ID 83843
  • Fee: $25, payable in cash or check on the first day of class.
  • Mandarin I
    • This level is appropriate for students who have no previous Chinese learning experience. This class will teach students Chinese pronunciation using pinyin. Students will learn simple sentence structures and vocabulary. Students will learn 1-3 simple Chinese characters each week.
    • Dates and times:
      • October 2, 2017- December 13, 2017
      • Mondays, Wednesdays
      • 6:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m.
      • Note: Class will not meet the week of Thanksgiving
    • Location: Moscow Chamber of Commerce 411 S. Main St., Moscow, ID 83843
    • Fee: $50, payable in cash or check on the first day of class
  • Mandarin II
    • This level is appropriate for students who previously took UICI’s Mandarin I course or students who already have a basic Chinese language foundation (1-2 semesters of Mandarin). Students will work on correct pronunciation and tones in spoken Chinese. Students will continue to write simple sentences in Chinese pinyin while learning some Chinese characters. The class will continue learning new sentence structures as well as vocabulary. Students will read short sentences using pinyin and Chinese characters.
    • Dates and times:
      • October 3, 2017- December 14, 2017
      • Tuesdays, Thursdays
      • 6:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m
      • Note: Class will not meet the week of Thanksgiving
    • Location: Moscow Chamber of Commerce 411 S. Main St., Moscow, ID 83843
    • Fee: $50, payable in cash or check on the first day of class.

 

 

 

Boise Community Classes- Fall 2017

 Boise

Fall 2017 University of Idaho Confucius Institute

 Mandarin Language and QiGong Martial Art Course Offerings

Please Note: Please read course descriptions to identify which level is appropriate for your needs. For further guidance, please ask your current UICI instructor or email confuciusboise@uidaho.edu.

To register for a course, please send your full name, contact phone number, and desired course title to confuciusboise@uidaho.edu. Payment for the classes will be accepted in cash or checks made out to University of Idaho Confucius Institute on the first day of class.

All courses begin the week of September 18 and finish the week of December 11. Late Registrations will be accepted until September 29. There will be no classes on October 5 or the week of Thanksgiving.

 

Mandarin Language Offerings 

  • Mandarin I- Section 1
    • This level is appropriate for students who have no previous Chinese learning experience. This class will teach students Chinese pronunciation using pinyin. Students will learn simple sentence structures and vocabulary. Students will learn 1-3 simple Chinese characters each week.
    • Dates and times:
      • September 18, 2017- December 13, 2017
      • Mondays, Wednesdays
      • 5:30 p.m. -6:45 p.m.
      • Note: Class will not meet the week of Thanksgiving
    • Instructor: Ms. Ming Jin
    • Location: Idaho Water Center – 322 E. Front Street, Boise, ID 83702. Room 150.
    • Fee: $100, payable in cash or check on the first day of class

 

  • Mandarin I- Section 2
    • This level is appropriate for students who have no previous Chinese learning experience. This class will teach students Chinese pronunciation using pinyin. Students will learn simple sentence structures and vocabulary. Students will learn 1-3 simple Chinese characters each week.
    • Dates and times:
      • September 19, 2017- December 14, 2017
      • Tuesdays, Thursdays
      • 12:00 p.m.- 1:15 p.m.
      • Note: Class will not meet Thursday October 5th or the week of Thanksgiving
    • Instructor: Ms. Ming Jin
    • Location: Idaho Water Center – 322 E. Front Street, Boise, ID 83702. Room 348 A.
    • Fee: $100, payable in cash or check on the first day of class.

 

  • Mandarin II
    • This level is appropriate for students who previously took UICI’s Mandarin I course or students who already have a basic Chinese language foundation (1-2 semesters of Mandarin). Students will work on correct pronunciation and tones in spoken Chinese. Students will continue to write simple sentences in Chinese pinyin while learning some Chinese characters. The class will continue learning new sentence structures as well as vocabulary. Students will read short sentences using pinyin and Chinese characters.
    • Dates and times:
      • September 19, 2017- December 14, 2017
      • Tuesdays, Thursdays
      • 5:30 p.m.-6:45 p.m.
      • Note: Class will not meet Thursday October 5th or the week of Thanksgiving
    • Instructor: Ms. Ming Jin
    • Location: Idaho Water Center – 322 E. Front Street, Boise, ID 83702. Room 150.
    • Fee: $100, payable in cash or check on the first day of class.

 

  • Mandarin III
    • This level is appropriate for students who previously took UICI’s Mandarin III course or students as this class is the continuation of that course. This course is also appropriate for students who have a solid Chinese language foundation (2-3 previous semesters of Mandarin). Students will continue to work on improving their spoken and written Chinese. Students will write simple sentences in Chinese characters and continue learning new sentence structures as well as vocabulary. Students will read short sentences using Chinese pinyin and some characters.
    • Dates and times:
      • September 19, 2017- December 14, 2017
      • Tuesdays, Thursdays
      • 7:00 p.m.-8:15 p.m.
      • Note: Class will not meet Thursday October 5th or the week of Thanksgiving
    • Instructor: Ms. Ming Jin
    • Location: Idaho Water Center – 322 E. Front Street, Boise, ID 83702. Room 150.
    • Fee: $100, payable in cash or check on the first day of class.

 

  • Mandarin IV
    • This level is appropriate for students who have previously taken UICI’s Mandarin IV as this course is a continuation of that course. It is also appropriate for students who have 2+ years of previous Chinese language education. Class will be taught almost fully in Mandarin. Students will work on conversing only in Chinese and improving their listening skills. Students will write longer sentences in Chinese characters, read medium length passages in Chinese character using only some pinyin, and continue learning new sentence structures as well as vocabulary.
    • Dates and times:
      • September 18, 2017- December 13, 2017
      • Mondays, Wednesdays
      • 7:00 p.m. -8:15 p.m.
      • Note: Class will not meet the week of Thanksgiving
    • Instructor: Ms. Ming Jin
    • Location: Idaho Water Center – 322 E. Front Street, Boise, ID 83702. Room 150.
    • Fee: $100, payable in cash or check on the first day of class

 

  • Mandarin V
    • This level is appropriate for students who have previously taken Mandarin V as this course is a continuation of that course. It is also appropriate for students who have 4+ years of Chinese language education. Class will be taught fully in Mandarin. Students will use their Chinese listening and speaking skills to pose questions, debate, and converse with their classmates. Students will learn higher level Chinese vocabulary through written passages. Students will compose short essays in Chinese characters. Students will work on perfecting their grammar and pronunciation through classroom activities.
    • Dates and Times:
      • September 19, 2017 to December 14, 2017
      • Tuesdays and Thursdays
      • 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
    • Instructor: Ms. Yaqian Gai
    • Location: Idaho Water Center – 322 E. Front Street, Boise, ID 83702. Room 236.
    • Fee: $100, payable in cash or check on the first day of class.

 

Martial Arts Offerings 

  • Chinese QiGong “Eight Silken Movements”- Section 1
  • This course is designed for students who want to learn more about the form of Chinese martial arts called “Baduan jin” or the “Eight Silken Movements.” This practice is a form of Chinese QiGong that is used as both physical exercise and to open the energy pathways of the body. Practicing QiGong can be beneficial for mental and physical health. Over the course of the semester the instructor will teach about each of the 8 silken movements and help students to master the movements.
    • Dates and times:
      • September 18, 2017- December 13, 2017
      • Mondays, Wednesdays
      • 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
      • Note: Class will not meet the week of Thanksgiving
    • Instructor: Ms. Yaqian Gai
    • Location: Idaho Water Center – 322 E. Front Street, Boise, ID 83702. Room 156.
    • Fee: $100, payable in cash or check on the first day of class.

 

  • Chinese QiGong “Eight Silken Movements”- Section 2
  • This course is designed for students who want to learn more about the form of Chinese martial arts called “Baduan jin” or the “Eight Silken Movements.” This practice is a form of Chinese QiGong that is used as both physical exercise and to open the energy pathways of the body. Practicing QiGong can be beneficial for mental and physical health. Over the course of the semester the instructor will teach about each of the 8 silken movements and help students to master the movements.
    • Dates and times:
      • September 19, 2017- December 14, 2017
      • Tuesdays, Thursdays
      • 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
      • Note: Class will not meet Thursday October 5th or the week of Thanksgiving
    • Instructor: Ms. Yaqian Gai
    • Location: Idaho Water Center – 322 E. Front Street, Boise, ID 83702. Room 162.
    • Fee: $100, payable in cash or check on the first day of class.

 

 

 

 

Coeur d’Alene Community Classes- Fall 2017

Coeur d’Alene

Fall 2017 University of Idaho Confucius Institute

 Chinese Language Course Offerings

Please Note: Please read course descriptions to identify which level is appropriate for your needs. For further guidance, please ask your current UICI instructor or email confucius@uidaho.edu or call 208-364-4054.

To register for a course, please send your full name, contact phone number, and desired course title to confucius@uidaho.edu. Fee for one semester is  $75 for adult and $50 for students. Payment for the classes will be accepted in cash or checks made out to University of Idaho Confucius Institute on the first day of class.

All courses begin the week of September 25 and finish the week of December 14. There will be no classes the week of Thanksgiving.

Location: UI CDA Campus, 1031 N. Academic Way, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814

 

Chinese Language Offerings 

Chinese I [Adults]

  • This level is appropriate for students who have no previous Chinese learning experience. This class will teach students Chinese pronunciation using pinyin. Students will learn simple sentence structures and vocabulary. Students will learn 1-3 simple Chinese characters each week.

Days: Mondays, Wednesdays
Section 1-Times: 12:30 -1:45 p.m. Room 145C

Section 2-Times:  4 :00 -5:15 p.m. Room 240B

Section 3-Times:  6:15  -7:00 p.m. Room 240B
Instructor: Ms. Chan Lin

 

Chinese II [ Adults]

  • This level is appropriate for students who previously took UICI’s Chinese I course or students who already have a basic Chinese language foundation (1-2 semesters of Chinese). Students will work on correct pronunciation and tones in spoken Chinese. Students will continue to write simple sentences in Chinese pinyin while learning some Chinese characters. The class will continue learning new sentence structures as well as vocabulary. Students will read short sentences using pinyin and Chinese characters.

Days: Tuesdays, Thursdays
Section 1-Times: 12:30 -1:45 p.m.  Room 145C

Section 2-Times: 4 :00 – 5:00 p.m. Room 145C

Section 3-Times: 6:15  – 7:00 p.m. Room 242G
Instructor: Ms. Chan Lin
Fun with Chinese for Beginners!

  • This level is appropriate for students who have not previously studied Chinese. The course will focus on learning Chinese through songs, games, and other fun, hands-on activities. This class will focus more on speaking and listening ability.

Section 1-Monday       5:00-6:00 p.m. Room 145C

Section 2-Wednesday  5:00-6:00 p.m. Room 145C
Instructor: Ms. Haojie Shi

My Chinese Teaching Experiences at the University of Idaho Confucius Institute

I am wrapping up my Chinese teaching experiences in University of Idaho’s Confucius Institute (UICI) in a few weeks, though I am really reluctant to do so. Two years ago, I stepped out of my former comfort zone of life in Guangzhou, China and nervously arrived at Moscow, Idaho, to become a Chinese teacher in the Confucius Institute, University of Idaho. I had had asked myself such questions many times before I finally got here, “Is it an adventure or just making myself a goof ball?”, “Is it a challenge or just a getaway?”, “Is it going to be a series of surprises or disappointments?”

These questions have always been lingering on me in the past two years as well. Nonetheless, as I am wrapping up my trip and looking back today, the answers to these questions suddenly become clear. Adventures are exciting and full of joys; therefore, this special experience is not being silly. Challenges coexist with hopes. Therefore, when you meet with challenges, you are not escaping from but seeking for new hopes, which bring constant surprises to your unchanged life. These hopes and surprises help you explore and discover new balance, comfort and beauty of your life.

As a Chinese teacher, my primary job in the past two years is to teach Chinese. However, I have accomplished the most complicated teaching tasks and met with the most diversified students over my 25 years of teaching career. Being a full-time, part-time or substitute teacher, I have taught students ranging from kindergarten to adult community class. Therefore, students are varied not only in their ages and interests, but also in their races and nationalities. Among them, there are three or four-year old preschoolers, cute primary school pupils, rebellious adolescents, youthful high schoolers, vigorous college students, mature and rational middle-aged people, and sophisticated and experienced senior citizens. Faced with so complicated and diversified students, many a time I am suspicious at myself and do not know whether I can cater for their individual needs while trying to finish my assigned teaching tasks. Fortunately, what I can relieve myself now is that I have tried my best to make things done when I look back.

As for preschoolers and elementary school pupils, I spent most of my time on the organization and management of teaching, tried every possible means to prepare suitable and effective teaching facilities and tools, made efforts to explore and attract the kids’ interests and attention, so that they can experience and feel the charm of Chinese language and culture while learning some basic Chinese words and expressions. I believe, for kids, interest is the best teacher. So long as they develop interests in Chinese language and culture, they will have the potentials to make everything possible, not to mention to continue to learn Chinese language.

As for high school and college students, their learning ability is strong enough to accomplish various tasks independently. Therefore, language teaching should not stagnate on words and expressions. Instead, teachers should help students comprehend sentences and discourses, in order that students can become active learners from passive ones, thus passive language learning can change to active language acquisition. I personally hold that in order to realize this goal, the only effective way is to feed the students with reading materials with appropriate difficulty, so that the students can cultivate and enhance their linguistic sensitivity from constant and sufficient reading, thus further strengthening their language learning motivation and improving their language learning efficiency. The implementation of this teaching conception benefits my students a lot. Most of my students can achieve their goal of having the basic ability to listen, speak, read and write in Chinese and realize basic communicative purpose after one or two years’ constant learning.

As is known to all, language learning is not merely for language’s own sake. It is more important to know about the culture behind the language and to facilitate communications in all aspects with language as a carrier. This is especially true for some community students and short-term trainees. Their ultimate goal of learning Chinese is to help meet some practical needs in work and life, not to grasp the linguistic rules of Chinese language, for instance, Chinese Pinyin, tones, syntax, etc. They do not want to waste time on these theoretical aspects. Therefore, I deem that teaching must be more pertinent. Adult students are innately restricted in their language learning conditions. Failing memories, time shortage, mother-tongue transfer, poor pronunciation or intonation, and so forth are all negative factors that prevent them from fast learning of a language. However, teachers should not be depressed by these factors because adult students have their own advantages as well. In general, adult students are highly motivated and possess stronger analytical ability. In addition, they have stronger integration and combination than their younger counterparts. Therefore, for these students, I have to make a more customer-based syllabus and teaching plans to satisfy their individual needs, although which might be varied, from business purpose to marital factors, from travel destination to dietary reasons.

In short, my teaching experience in UICI is short but fruitful and precious for me. It not only enables me to have this opportunity to better know about the American society and participate in American education, to have chance to observe ordinary Americans’ daily life in a closer distance, but also helps me utilize my Chinese teaching experience to washback my English teaching after I return back to China.

陈洪 (Chen Hong)