Thu,May 29,2014document.getElementById(“bdshell_js”).src = “” + Math.ceil(new Date()/3600000)LanguagesChineseJapaneseFrenchSpanishRussianArabicKoreanGerman12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec20072008200920102011201220132014{resetselect()}Home|Politics|Business|Military|World|Society|Culture|Travel|Science|Education|Sports|Opinions|Special Coverage|Photo|VideoEnglishPeoples Daily Online ExclusivesEditors PickChinese Kung Fu charms Silicon Valley
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College graduate launches organic agricultural cooperative in hometownConfucius Institute at UNL – A Successful Win-Win StoryBy Wen Xian (Peoples Daily Online)    17:00, May 29, 2014Email|Print|Comments      twitter    facebook    Sina Microblog    reddit    Increases the bookmarkdiggGoogleDeliciousbuzzfriendfeedLinkedindiigostumbleuponQzoneQQ MicroblogTwenty excited eighth-graders in Goodrich Middle School entered the classroom for the 9 am Chinese Language class. The classroom is full of Chinese elements, with a piece of Chinese calligraphy hanging above the door, reading “Small streams converge into a river.””What color do you like?” is the topic of this lesson. The students learned the Chinese word “喜欢 (like)”, and used it to make sentences. A girl whose Chinese name is Ge Tianya explained to a journalist from Peoples Daily: “I like to learn Chinese, because I want to give myself more opportunities in the future.””I like to learn Chinese, because it is very challenging,” 13-year-old Avery says, with a look of determination on his face. “My parents are so proud of me for taking this course.”Associate Principal of Goodrich Middle School Ms. Kelly Apel tells the journalist in the interview that the Chinese language program brings diversity to the school and has been well received by students and parents. It impresses her deeply that the Chinese teacher tutors students on her lunch break.”Teaching and learning complement each other” gets new meaning here. “Classroom management was the most challenging for me when I first came,” said Chinese teacher Julia Yang, who came from Yiwu, Zhejiang province. “I cried, but that was the past. The students told me that they were talkative because they treated me as their friend.” Confucius famous saying “Worry not about having no position, but having no excellent qualification for the position” inspires Chinese teacher Bo Liu, who comes from Taian, Shandong province. “I used to teach Chinese by telling students stories,” he said. “When I learned American teaching methods, I am trying to make stories with my students in Chinese language class. Sometimes I worked till 2 a.m. to prepare for my lesson.”Confucius Institute will come to fruitionGoodrich Middle School is one of the schools in UNL-CIs Chinese language program. “It is incredible – we had only 300 students when the Confucius Institute was established at Nebraska in 2007, but now we have ten thousand,” said John Gale, Secretary of the State of Nebraska, in his interview with Peoples Daily. “As an old saying goes, a small dedicated band of people can change the world. The establishment of the Confucius Institute has been profoundly significant and influential. As the time goes by, the positive impact on friendship between Chinese and American people will be increasingly apparent and the ties will grow more solid. Mutual understanding helps us enhance cooperation and aim for a win-win situation. The world will be more peaceful. Dreams of many people will come true. The seeds sowed by Confucius Institute will offer a rich harvest. Actually, the work done by Confucius Institute at UNL helped Nebraska to establish the relationship of Sister State/Province with Shaanxi Province.”Nebraska, whose nickname is the “beef state”, is in the Midwest of the U.S.A. It ranks 15th in size among the 50 states, with 200,017 square kilometers of land, but its population is less than 2 million. “We want to turn our small population into our strength,” said UNL-CI Director Professor David Lou. Chancellor of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Harvey Perlman serves as the Board Director of the Confucius Institute, which ensures the direct leadership and support from the University.According to Executive Associate Director Rachel Zeng, UNL-CI not only invites people “coming in” to the Chinese culture presentations, but also those “going out” to support local cultural activities, and to build collaborative relationships with local government, public schools and communities. After participating in the Chinese Culture Workshop organized by UNL-CI, Goodrich Middle School social studies teachers Mr. Trevor Shalon and Ms. Cindy Renner started the Pen Pal program with Xian Jiaotong University High School. More than 200 students now write letters to communicate with one another. A few letters from the other side of the ocean are put on the wall of a Goodrich Middle School classroom. “Some of the students could not locate China on the map before the program. Now they are interested to know more about China,” Shalon said. In western Nebraska, a family moved from another town to Scottsbluff, where there is UNL-CIs Chinese program, as the parents want their five children to learn Chinese.Governor Dave Heineman of Nebraska believes that the Confucius Institute acts as a valuable resource in improving communication and creating positive international relations, with far-reaching benefits to both sides. During the time he has been in the governor position, both Nebraska and China have been the beneficiaries of the growing global trade and business.Chancellor Harvey Perlman says the Confucius Institute shortens the distance between the Chinese and American people and promotes economic relations and trade of Nebraska with China. This is a successful win-win story. John Gale believes that the Confucius Institute boosts the cultural and educational exchanges between Chinese and American. “We realize that Chinese and American people are common in many aspects through the exchange, which will have a profound impact on the students.””The Confucius Institute introduces the Chinese culture to the classroom,” Lincoln Public School Superintendent Steve Joel tells the Peoples Daily journalist. “CI opens the window and builds the bridge for us to understand and learn more about China.”American People Want to Learn More about ChinaIn 2004, the United States established the first Confucius Institute at the University of Maryland. To date, the United States has the largest number of CIs in the World – 100 Confucius Institutes and 356 Confucius Classrooms. In the past ten years, the momentum of growth is unstoppable, though some people are pointing fingers. George Mason Universitys former Vice President Joy R. Hughes, who is the co-founder of the Confucius Institute at GSU, says in his interview, “CIs in US are in a trend of unstoppable self-growth.” In the face of the facts, the malicious propaganda against Confucius Institute is proven groundless, says William F. Reeder, Dean of the College of Visual and performing arts.People follow trends. The rapid development of the Confucius Institute in the United States demonstrates the urgent desire of young American people to have an objective knowledge and understanding of China. According to John Gale, the United States is a young country while China has a long history. In the past, most Americans learn European history, which is only part of the world history. In the current international situation, Americans need to learn about Chinese history and culture. And Confucius Institute provides an ideal channel to meet this demand. Harvey Perlman says, “We hope our university will be more globalized, and China is for sure our major target country.”Through nearly 10 years of development, the positive significance of the Confucius Institute has won increasing recognition from the American people. Rebecca McGinnis has witnessed the establishment and development of the Confucius Institute in the University of Maryland. “I have personally watched the first Confucius Institute in the United States develop from blueprint to reality, from classroom to institute,” she tells the Peoples Daily journalist. “The goals and the activities of the Confucius Institute help to improve the development of Sino-US mutual understanding as well as contributing to a more peaceful world.”In her interview with the Peoples Daily journalist, office Associate at UNL-CI Angela says that she knows some Americans are “afraid” of China. Working at the Confucius Institute, she has changed some of the misunderstandings on China.For the growth of the Confucius Institute in the U.S., we need American people to work with us, as well as the continuing improvement of the management of the CI and quality of teaching. “Wherever you are, you will achieve your goal if you put in effort,” Professor David Lou says.(Editor:Sun Zhao、Yao Chun)Related readingSecond confucius institute opens in SerbiaRegional Center of Confucius Institutes for Latin America opens in Chile Feature: Confucius Institutes bigger role8th Global Confucius Institute Conference held in BeijingInstitute keen to spread word about ChinaChina sets up 440 Confucius institutesConfucius Institutes to hold annual conference in BeijingGrowing demand fuels Finland’s interest in Chinese: AmbassadorAlbania launches Tirana Confucius InstituteWe RecommendOpening ceremony of 67th Cannes Film Festival
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