Confucius Classroom Program
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Confucius Classroom is a non‐profit institution with the purpose of enhancing understanding and friendship between the people of China and the Unites States by sponsoring courses of Chinese language and culture in primary, middle, and high schools. A Confucius Classroom is generally one school or several schools within an ISD (Independent School District) that may include one or more classrooms. The Confucius Classroom program aims to help ISDs and schools that are willing to start their Chinese language and culture program for their students and for schools that already have the Mandarin program and would like to have it further developed.
The first Confucius Classroom administered by the University of Wisconsin – Platteville Confucius Institute is St Mary Central High School (http://tcces.org/smc/) located in Neenah, Wisconsin.
St Mary Central High School celebrated with a Grand Opening Ceremony November 22, 2013 at 6:30pm. The celebration included a Qipao fashion show featuring traditional Chinese clothing and music, demonstrations by Chinese nationals and performances by Mandarin Chinese students. The highlight of the evening showcased an authentic Qinlin Eye-Opening ceremony with a dancing lion and unveiling of the beautiful brass plaque announcing SMC as the site of a Confucius Classroom. A reception featuring a few Chinese culinary treats completed the evening.
St Mary Central High School Confucius Classroom resembles an ancient Chinese classroom with low tables and pillows for seating, colorful walls and rich wood accents. A Smart board engages students in learning to read and write Mandarin Chinese with the latest technology. In addition, an inviting sitting area has been created outside the classroom and features Chinese-style decorations and seating, as well as bookshelves with informative books about China and Chinese cultural interests. A huge, stunning mural of the Great Wall of China, peonies (China’s national flower) and a poem in Chinese characters aligns the walls.
This is the only Confucius Classroom in the Fox Cities, and one of a handful in the State of Wisconsin.
The following basic requirements should be met for a school to be accepted into the Confucius Classroom (CC) Program:
- Both the ISD and schools have strong interest in offering the Chinese language courses to the students with the school principal or the associate principal taking charge of the Confucius Classroom directly
- The school will provide an appropriate site for teaching and for office space; the school is willing to upkeep the management, staff, and maintenance of the facility
- The school will provide the necessary administrative personnel and the related payment for the CC
- The school will provide housing and transportation arrangement along with the medical insurance for the volunteer Chinese language teacher(s) should the school apply for volunteer Chinese teacher(s) from Hanban
Once a school is accepted into the Confucius Classroom Program, the school will have the following benefits provided by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban):
- Start‐up fund up to USD$10,000 and up to USD$20,000 worth of Chinese language teaching and learning materials
- 1,000 volumes of books, audio, visual, multimedia materials and courseware
- ISD superintendents and/or school principals will be invited for sponsored trips to China
- Students will be invited for sponsored summer camps in China and to take part in the “Chinese Bridge” Competition
- Students can take Chinese Language Proficiency tests (HSK and YCT) to apply for scholarships to study in China
- The CC school is eligible to apply for other project funds when specific programs are set up within the contract years
The CC classes will help students understand the standard Hanyu with an emphasis on listening and speaking, reading, and writing. Students will be able to grasp the four tones in Mandarin Chinese language and understand the Pinyin system. The CC school puts the curriculum together and provides textbooks for the students. The students will be eligible to take the Chinese Language tests (HSK: Chinese Language Proficiency Test or YCT: Youth Chinese Test) for opportunity to apply for a scholarship to study in China when sufficient score is achieved according to Hanban standard.
When a school is interested in the Confucius Classroom (CC) Program, the Confucius Institute at UW-Platteville will assist the school with the application process. There is no application fee.
Here are the steps:
Step One: The school prepares the required materials (accompanied in a Chinese translation) and submits the application to the UW-Platteville Confucius Institute (UWPCI).
- A letter of support from the ISD Superintendent expressing his/her interest to support the establishment of a Confucius Classroom within a school.
- A letter of confirmation from the principal of the school expressing his/her interest to support the establishment of the CC at the school.
- A proposal which includes:
- Brief introduction of the ISD and the candidate school and the interest and demand for the Chinese language from the school and the community at large
- A plan for the Chinese language program: yearly plan of the Chinese courses, level of the students, the projected time to start, the assessments and other activities
- The teaching site location and the equipment the school will provide for the CC Program
- The management staff and a sufficient fund with fund raising plans
Step Two: The UWPCI will help with the revision of the application and send it to Hanban.
The application process can take up to several weeks, as the documents will go through different divisions within the Confucius Institute Headquarters before it is signed for approval by the top administrators.
The UWPCI will keep an eye on the application process while keeping the school informed.
Once the Confucius Classroom (CC) application is approved by the Confucius Institute Headquarters, UWPCI will help the school with the establishment of the CC. The school will sign a contract titled “Agreement between Confucius Institute at the UW-Platteville and [CC school name] on the establishment of the Confucius Classroom at [CC school name]” that represents Hanban. Once the contract is signed, the school starts the operation of the Confucius Classroom, including but not limited to:
- Setting the budget
- Apply for funding from the headquarters
- Select the 1,000 volume of materials
- Apply for volunteer Chinese language teachers if there’s a need
- Write reports, book keeping, planning for the following year, the programs to be launched in the foreseeable future and so on and so forth
If you have any questions concerning the Confucius Classroom, please do not hesitate to contact Mei Reeder at 608.342.6014 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or
Mail: The UW-Platteville Confucius Institute
106 Royce Hall
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818
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