On May 8, 2014 at 10:00am, The Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and Director General of Hanban, Madam Xu Lin met the Director of the Arizona Department of Education, Mr. John Huppenthal at the Westin Los Angeles, as a coordinated effort of the Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona (CIUA). CIUA Co-Director Professor Chen Zhao from the University of Arizona and CIUA Chinese Director Professor Wei Zhao from Shaanxi Normal University also attended the meeting.
The meeting focused on a discussion of support for Arizona Department of Education in establishing Confucius Classrooms in the state and Chinese "immersion" teachers by Hanban. Mr. Huppenthal provided a detailed introduction to Arizona primary and secondary school Chinese language teaching and outlined future plans. Madam Xu Lin highly praised the Arizona Department of Education’s proposal for promoting Chinese language teaching in primary and secondary schools on a large scale and said that Hanban will provide strong support to help with recruiting teachers and Chinese teaching materials as well as funding. The two sides also exchanged views on short and long term goals of Chinese language teaching in Arizona, and Chinese language and culture teacher training. Both Xu and Huppenthal also made requests of the Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona to assist the state of Arizona in Chinese language teaching and cultural exchange activities with China. CIUA Co-Director Dr. Chen said CIUA would fully cooperate with and assist in the development and promotion of Chinese teachers in Arizona, teacher management, teacher training and cultural activities such as dissemination of Chinese language teaching.
The meeting lasted for an hour in a friendly and warm atmosphere of mutual understanding. Madam Xu Lin later recommended the Arizona Department of Education to submit written comments on the extent of the state’s teacher needs and requirements that would lead to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding based upon consensus goals.
After the interview, Dr. Zhao Chen was interviewed by a correspondent from the China Daily international edition, during which she introduced the Asian educational philosophy and characteristics of the Confucius Institute at the University of Arizona.