UCLA Confucius Institute Inaugurates Three Confucius Classrooms
Los Angeles, October 3rd, 2011 - the Confucius Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) held a ceremony to inaugurate three new Confucius Classrooms ratified by Hanban at the California Room of the UCLA Faculty Center.
UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and Vice President of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) Xu Fei attended the ceremony, and delivered passionate speeches. Chancellor Gene Block extended his congratulations on the inauguration of the classrooms and fully affirmed the positive significance of setting them up, pointing out that the language and cultural programs offered by the Classrooms would help prepare their students for a changing world. Vice President Xu Fei briefly reviewed the UCLA-SJTU joint establishment of the Confucius Institute, and noted that the Confucius Classroom program marked a new stage in the development of the UCLA Confucius Institute. The Institute’s Executive Director Susan Jain ensured the full support of the Institute to the constant improvement and development of the Classrooms, so as to fulfill the service obligations of the Institute.
Afterward, Principals from Broad Elementary School, Norton Space and Aeronautics Academy and Los Angeles County High School for the Arts where the 3 Classrooms are located, as well as the Principal of Hangzhou Art School, the Chinese partner of the Confucius Classroom at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, all walked on the stage to deliver speeches. In their brief speeches, the excited Principals talked about their expectations to the future exchange programs regarding language and culture with China.
Dressed in traditional Chinese costumes, pupils from Broadway Elementary School walked on to the stage to introduce them in Mandarin, which helped liven up the atmosphere. They are beneficiaries of the Mandarin Immersion Program which is taught in Chinese language only. The teaching methods will greatly inspire the students' potential in learning languages, and can also help improve their Chinese language skills. The establishment of the Confucius Classroom will surely redouble the strength of Broad Elementary School and help expand its offerings using Chinese teaching methods. A student from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts who majors in saxophone and can also play the Chinese folk musical instrument - hulusi very well gave an inspired performance. The performance of hulusi music brought down the house, which showed that the trendy Sino-US cultural exchange has been seeping into the people’s heart. Students from the Hangzhou Art School staged the dance Liang Zhu which was specially prepared for the event. All the audience members were deeply moved by their brilliant presentation of the ancient Chinese love story.
In the evening, the SJTU Students Orchestra presented a spectacular concert in the Schoenbery Concert Hall of UCLA, to add fun to the ceremony, as well as to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation between SJTU and UCLA. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and his wife were also invited to the concert.
In recent years, the UCLA Confucius Institute has been committed to promoting Chinese language and cultural exchanges, and also to building a bridge of cooperation between SJTU and UCLA. The fact that both Chinese and American students performed on the same stage is the result of the efforts put forth by the Confucius Institute.
The successful closing of the inaugurating ceremony does not mean the end of the course. There is still a long way to go to demonstrate the exemplary role the Classrooms can play in promoting Chinese language. The UCLA Confucius Institute has seen the facts clearly and is ready for new challenges.
SJTU and UCLA students performing the erhu music “Horse Racing”
Three Confucius Classrooms being unveiled at the same time