Confucius Classroom is a nonprofit 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 Smartboard 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 following benefits will be provided by Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban):
- Startup 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 to 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 location is preferred to be within 100 miles of UW-Platteville vicinity
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 the 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 is a document of the most recent application materials and procedure of applying for a Confucius Classroom under the Confucius Institute:
If you have any questions concerning the Confucius Classroom, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Mei Reeder.
Mail: The UW-Platteville Confucius Institute
106 Royce Hall
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818