In order to improve the professional ability of local Chinese and new CIUA teachers and help them better understand the new structure of language teaching in the US basic education reform, Prof. Wenling Li of Trident University International lead a two-day training held on September 8th and 9th.
The theme of the training was “Teaching Chinese as a Second Language: Critical Reading and Writing”. The training hosted 45 local Chinese teachers and Confucius Institute teachers from Tucson.
At the beginning of the training, CIUA Chinese director Wei Zhao introduced Prof. Li who graduated with a PhD from Beijing Normal University. She also did post-doctoral research and worked as a senior researcher at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. She began her research in children’s reading at the UofI Urbana Champaign and is a founder of the Chinese shared reading research project. Prof. Li is now the director of the Educational Leadership program at Trident University International. She has published five books and many articles in children’s literature and language development and is an editor of multiple academic journals.
The training on Sept. 8 focused on teaching Chinese language in US classrooms. Prof. Li asked the Chinese teachers to discuss the differences between Chinese and US teaching styles, the US common core curriculum, English and Chinese language syntax, and how they teach Chinese in the US. She then had them form groups to discuss the key points of teaching Chinese to US students and the classroom management strategies they use. The teachers were fascinated by Prof. Li’s theoretically profound and experience-based lecture and they shared many unique teaching methods, strategies, and experiences.
During the morning portion of the Sept 9th lecture, Prof. Li shared her research on Chinese picture books, the classification of picture books, teaching methods using picture books, critical reading and thinking, and the assessment of Chinese teaching. She used the examples of “I am a Panda” and “Cao Chong Weighs the Elephant” to guide the teachers in developing a teaching design with her new teaching concept, which inspired another dynamic discussion.
Prof. Zhao concluded the training session with a summary and awarded certificates of completion to the teachers. She said CIUA would provide a platform for learning and exchange in teaching Chinese for teachers in Tucson and would always be at their service. A fun raffle was held after the ceremony.
The teachers said they benefited tremendously from this informative and innovative training organized by CIUA, in which they not only learned more about the latest development in the language teaching reform in US basic education system but they got hands-on experience for the new teaching methods and strategies and also had the chance to meet other Chinese teachers. They expressed their appreciation for CIUA and hoped CIUA would organize another training soon.
The director of CIUA, Prof. Zhao Chen, thanked the teachers for their hard work and contribution to the course “Teaching Chinese as a Second Language”. She also debriefed them about the development of CIUA in the past five years, its future prospects and plans for teacher trainings as well as the upcoming cultural events. She said the institution will continue to organize high quality Chinese teacher trainings, develop a local Chinese teacher training base to help improve the teaching level of local Chinese teachers. Finally, she wished them a happy holiday as it was China’s Teachers Day and presented them with carnations as a holiday gift.