Fourth Annual K-12 Chinese Conference Closed with Great Success
October 8, 2014
The fourth annual conference on K-12 Chinese was hosted by the USF Confucius Institute on October 4 with over 120 participants, most of whom K-12 were teachers from Florida and five other states. The conference was a tremendous success because of our partnership with the Southeast Chinese Language Association (SECLA), particularly the CIs from Kennesaw State University, Middle Tennessee State University and Miami Dade College that brought many teachers.
At the opening, Dr. Roger Brindley (Vice Provost and Associate Vice President of the USF World) welcomed all with an inspiring message on cross-cultural understanding. Then Chane Eplin (Chief of Bureau of Student Achievement through Language Acquisition, Florida Department of Education) expressed his joy of seeing so many Chinese language teachers and presented data on the number of students taking Chinese language. In the 2013-14 school year, 8,011 students are enrolled in Chinese program in the Florida public schools.
USF-CI Director Kun Shi introduced all participating CIs and later shared the USF-CI through a short video (more at http://global.usf.edu/confucius). Then, Anna Lamm (CI Director of North Carolina State U) introduced SECLA as a regional association (more at http://www.secla.org), and Yi Zheng introduced the 2015 National Chinese Language Conference in Atlanta and Asia Society (more at http://asiasociety.org/china-learning-initiatives).
During the General Session, Dr. Frank (Lixing) Tang from NYU discussed a cross-cultural approach to teaching culture which integrates, connects, and compares the target culture and the students’ own culture, and emphasizes on the importance to develop students’ cross-cultural communication competence. (Dr. Tang’s presentation PPT is here.) Then Dr. Xizhen Qin from USF presented the importance and effectiveness of teaching behavioral culture based on a year-long research of classroom observation and interviews. (Dr. Qin’s presentation PPT is here.)
In the break-out sessions in the afternoon, the teachers enjoyed the resourceful presentation by Ms. Ping Wu on “Using Videos to Increase Student Engagement and Create Cultural Authenticity in the Classroom.” (Wu Laoshi’s presentation PPT is here.) Then, three speakers (Ms. Yun Qin from Asia Society and Ms. Hongxia Zhang and Patty Duann from Florida) presented materials related to Chinese language and culture learning. Dr. Tang provided comments to the speakers. In Track B, the CI directors and administrators discussed challenges and opportunities facing the SECLA and K-12 Chinese programs. It was decided that the next SECLA conference will be hosted by Kennesaw State University and Kun Shi will serve as the SECLA president till fall 2015 when the next conference is held.
Based on 84 completed evaluations, the feedback for the conference is overwhelmingly positive. Co-sponsors of the conference include USF Confucius Institute, SECLA (CIs from Miami Dade College, UWF, UNF, Kennesaw State U, Presbyterian College, Middle Tennessee State U, North Carolina State U and Auburn U), USF World, Department of World Languages, USF College of Education, Florida Department of Education, Chinese Language Teachers Association-FL, and Florida Chinese Teachers Association.
More information about the conference is available at: http://global.usf.edu/confucius/download/K-12ChineseConferenceOutline2014.pdf