Ms. Kuo-Hsiu Feng馮國秀
Dr. Lih-Ching Chen Wang 陳麗卿
The Confucius Institute at Cleveland State University (CSU) held its 2011 Teacher Appreciation Celebration at CSU’s main classroom auditorium on September 12th. Approximately 500 Chinese language teachers and their students participated, along with the school administrators in their buildings and districts, which set a historic record for this ceremony - the number of participants has doubled since last year.
The host, Dr. Lih-Ching Chen Wang, founding Director of the Confucius Institute at CSU, said that “the purpose of this annual event is to honor Confucius and his continuing influence on education, to share Confucius’s ideas with the world, and to help more people in the Western world better understand Chinese culture and language. The event also honors administrators and teachers in the NE Ohio area, who are promoting Chinese culture and language, as well as their students who are learning Chinese language, which is a window into Chinese culture”. Dr. Wang further emphasized that the Confucius Institute at CSU appears to be the first of the more than 320 world-wide to combine Confucius’s birthday with such a Teacher’s Day celebration. She also noted that this is the most propitious time in all of Chinese history for the spread of Chinese culture and language to other parts of the world.
Mr. Anthony Yen, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Confucius Institute at CSU, who has recently received an honorary Doctor of Education degree from CSU, observed that the Confucius Institute was completing another year in its successful series of efforts to promote Chinese culture and language in the state of Ohio. Dr. Sajit Zachariah, Dean of the College of Education and Human Services at CSU, affirmed these sentiments regarding the success of the Confucius Institute and wished the Confucius Institute a prosperous future.
The audience was amazed by performances from nine groups of students, who were led by their Chinese language teachers and came from six school districts: Cleveland Heights-University Heights, Shaker Heights, South Euclid-Lyndhurst, Beachwood, Brooklyn, and Twinsburg. The students provided a variety of performances including Mandarin Chinese songs, folk dancing, flag dance and rap that were absolutely authentic and fantastic. They showed their efforts and talents in learning the Chinese language and culture spontaneously through their classroom activities. Dr. Wang praised the efforts of the students and teachers, observing that today’s performances showcase the diligence and success of American students learning Chinese as part of their public school education.
We have seen that school administrators have been working diligently on promoting Chinese learning and that it does help students prepare to be global citizens. There were 20 administrators from a variety of schools who received certificates of appreciation. They were: Mr. Anthony Yen, Dr. James McLoughlin, Dr. Richard Hurwitz, Dr. Sajit Zachariah, Ms. Julie Beers, Dr. Ron Abate, Mr. Douglas Heuer, Dr. Joseph Micheller, Ms. Tara Grove, Ms. Melissa Garcar, Mr. Patrick McNichols, Mr. Michael Wasser, Dr. Mark Freeman, Dr. Bernice Stokes, Ms. Marla Robinson, Dr. William Zelei, Dr. Veronica Motley, Ms. Larraine Freeman, Mr. Robert Hardis, and Ms. Lori Crum-Glenn.
An increasing number of schools and school districts have recently begun to offer Chinese language programs. Six schools and school districts received awards for partnering with the Confucius Institute at CSU in these endeavors. The six were: Cleveland Heights-University Heights, Campus International School, Shaker Heights, South Euclid-Lyndhurst, Beachwood, and Warrensville Heights.
Fifteen teachers received appreciation certificates for teaching Chinese culture and language. The teachers were: Ms. Su-Jane Chen, Ms. Rui Zhao, Ms. Pi-Nung Grace Chen, Ms. Kuei-Fang Tai, Mrs. Michelle Chen-Kieger, Ms. Luling Li, Ms. Qiuhui Li, Mrs. Hui-Ling Haldeman, Ms. Ai Lan Lin, Ms. Shuling Tai, Ms. Hong Zenisek, Ms. Ning-Lun Chang, Ms. Hong Zhang, Ms. Hui-Ying Lee, and Mrs. Shou Chun Seday. In addition, three 2001 Chinese Bridge Summer program chaperones, who are also teachers, received appreciation awards. These chaperones were: Ms. Ching-Ling Huang, Ms. Hong Zenisek, and Ms. Tamula Drumm.
It takes highly qualified teachers to help students learn a new language. It was because of such a need in the area of Chinese that Dr. Lih-Ching Chen Wang initiated a degree program at CSU in Spring 2011 called “Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: PreK-12 Education in Chinese Language (Initial Licensure)”. The Confucius Institute at CSU is instrumental to the running of this program. Dr. Wang said that this program was designed to provide an opportunity for fluent speakers of Chinese to learn pedagogical skills appropriate for PreK-12 classroom instruction and to earn Ohio state teaching licensure. This program will continue to provide additional qualified teachers in the field of Chinese Language. The master of ceremonies at this event was one of this program’s students, Ms. Kuo-Hsiu Feng, and several of the program’s other students also volunteered for important tasks during the ceremony.
Dr. Wang closed with congratulations to all the administrators, teachers, and students involved in the program for their dedication and their efforts, and thanked all parties concerned for making this year’s event such a resounding success.
Cleveland State University
College of Education & Human Services
Center for Urban Education
2121 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Julka Hall Room 291
2485 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland , OH 44115
Ms. Janine Handlovic