The 6th National Chinese Language Conference Held in Boston

[Source]    Hanban [Time]    2013-04-10 15:36:48 

The guests attending the opening ceremony of the Conference, the winners of the “Chinese Bridge” Chinese proficiency competitions giving performances, and the students of Confucius Institute in a group photo

The Winners of “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competitions and the Students of Confucius Institute Performing on stage at the Opening Ceremony of the Conference

Hao Ping, Chinese Vice Minister of Education Delivering a Speech at the Opening Ceremony

Xu Lin, Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters and Director-General of Hanban delivering a speech at the opening ceremony

Group Photo of Guests Participating in the Conference

Boston, April 7 - The 6th National Chinese Language Conference, which was jointly sponsored by the College Board of the U.S., the Asia Society and the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), took place in Boston. More than 1,200 guests including officers from Chinese and U.S. educational departments, educators of higher learning, principals, superintendents and Chinese language teachers of primary and secondary schools, etc. participated in the conference to discuss the status quo of Chinese language education in the U.S. and its future development path.

The 3-day conference whose theme was “Engage the Future” consisted of 5 plenary sessions and 7 panel sessions as well as multiple symposia and teaching resource exhibitions, etc. Chinese and U.S. participants including Henrietta Fore, Co-Chair of the Asia Society, David Coleman, President of the College Board of the U.S., Deborah Delisle, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, Hao Ping, Chinese Vice Minister of Education, and Xu Lin, Chief Executive of Confucius Institute Headquarters and Director-General of Hanban, etc. attended and addressed the opening ceremony. They spoke highly of the significant influence of Chinese language education on the promotion of Sino-U.S. cultural exchanges and boosting of Sino-U.S. relations, and discussed with the conference participants the development of Chinese language education in the U.S.

At the welcome dinner, winners of “Chinese Bridge” Chinese proficiency competitions performed “clapper talk” and sang folk songs on the stage. Students of Confucius Institute also performed the Chinese and Western instrumental ensemble “The Butterfly Lovers”, a classical Chinese concerto, which won thunderous applause from the guests. After the performances, Roland and Marisa, who are brother and sister and won first place at the 3rd and the 4th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese proficiency competitions respectively, expressed their deep love for Chinese language, “I started to learn Chinese four years ago. I like Chinese language very much, and I also love Chinese culture. I think Chinese culture is totally different from American culture. The U.S. is a relatively new country, while China is an ancient country. It is very interesting.” “In the present-day world, China is getting stronger and more important. In trade, diplomacy and various aspects, China will become more and more important, so there are more and better opportunities to become a talent needed by the society (through learning Chinese).”

The National Chinese Language Conference is dedicated to encouraging the exchanges between the Chinese teaching institutions and the teachers all over the U.S. and boosting the development of Chinese language education in the U.S. It is the most influential and wide-scale conference for discussion of Chinese teaching and learning in the U.S. Since 2008, the conference has been held annually, and there have been more than 5,000 representatives from 48 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia, as well as China, Australia, Canada, Singapore and Britain, etc. participating in the conference.

With the active promotion of the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), Chinese language education has developed rapidly in the U.S. Now, the U.S. has founded the largest number of Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms in the world. In 2011, there were nearly 160,000 registered students, and more than 2,800 cultural activities with the participation of a total of 1,470,000 people. Moreover, in 2011 over 5,000 public universities, primary and secondary schools in the U.S. offered Chinese courses, with more than 200,000 students learning Chinese language, and over 1,000 universities offered Chinese language as a major, with the student enrollment amounting to 52,000.