US Primary and Secondary School Students “Experience China” in Chinese Consulate General in New York

[Source] [Time]    2017-05-17 13:29:16 

On the afternoon of May 5th, local time, the activity of “Experience China-US Primary and Secondary School Students in Consulate General” in 2017 kicked off in the Chinese Consulate General in New York. More than 200 American primary and secondary school students, teachers and parents from more than 10 schools in New York were invited to the activity. This is also the second open day activity held by the Chinese Consulate General in New York for local teachers and students since 2016.

During the event, the performance "Sharing Chinese and American Values" by the students of Monteville Township School and the wonderful Chinese yo-yo performance by a Chinese Yo-yo Club from Bay Area Middle School gained audience's applause and cheers from time to time. It is worth mentioning that the students of Sunshine school, a Chinese language school for the children of diplomatic personnel in the consulate general, also joined the activity. By making friends and communicating with other students, the students presented a wonderful picture book reading program My Father and My Mother while some calligraphy–lovers from the school helped American students try calligraphy with ink brush.

Students are learning how to write Chinese characters with ink brush

In order to stimulate children's interest, Li Zhaohong, a teacher from McDonogh School in Massachusetts presented on-site Chinese teaching, vividly showing the fun of learning Chinese. Through both entertaining and informative teaching demonstration, the students actively interacted with each other, practiced time and again and soon mastered the content.

Students learning how to make the Chinese knot in the activity

Cheng Lei, Acting Consul-General said in his speech that China is one of the four ancient civilizations with a history of 5,000 years. Learning Chinese is of great significance to understanding Chinese culture and even eastern culture. During the visit to the United States in September 2015, President Xi Jinping announced that over the next three years, a total of 50,000 students from both China and the United States will be funded to study in the two countries. The United States announced that it will strive to achieve the goal that one million American primary and secondary school students are to learn Chinese by 2020. In the first meeting between the two heads of state lately, Chinese President Xi Jinping once again pointed out that people-to-people and cultural exchanges are the foundation of China-US relations. China and the United States should strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges and expand friendly contacts between the two peoples to provide more positive energy for the long-term and healthy development of China-US relations. China and the United States will also establish four high-level dialogue mechanisms, including social dialogue and people-to-people and cultural dialogue. We believe that with the joint efforts of all parties, there will be more American students studying Chinese and studying in China, which will lay a solid foundation for the two peoples’ mutual understanding and friendship, for China-US friendship and for world peace.

The girl showing her paper-cut works delightedly

Students attentively listening to the teacher explaining the essentials about playing Guzheng

Daniel, Assistant President of Bay Area Middle School, said in his speech that the Chinese language teaching not only strengthened the communication of the teachers and students with China, but also inspired students to understand and learn different cultures. He encouraged the students to persist in Chinese learning. Jason from Medgar Evers College shared his experience in learning Chinese. He hoped that everyone could have their own “Chinese dream” from today, and they should go for further study and to experience the wonderful culture and social development in China so as to promote the communication and exchanges across the world in the future.

Students and their parents carefully listening to the on-site Chinese teaching class presented by Li Zhaohong from McDonogh School in Massachusetts

The students from Chinese Yo-yo Club of Bay Area Middle School showing wonderful Chinese yo-yo performance

The organizer of the open day activity also carefully designed experiencing activities such as calligraphy, paper cutting, chopsticks competition, origami, knitting Chinese knot, character formation and Guzheng playing, which not only reflected the traditional Chinese culture, but also made the activity entertaining and informative. These activities enabled the students to understand China, to learn Chinese culture and to experience Chinese food in a relaxed and lively atmosphere of the game. Bearing away the prizes, the students’ interests and motivation in learning Chinese are greatly enhanced.

It is understood that the open day activity of the consulate general has gained great supports from various parties, including the Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban, Confucius Institute at University of Massachusetts Boston, Confucius Institute at China Institute, Confucius Institute at Pace University, Confucius Institute at Alfred University, Confucius Institute at New Jersey City University, Confucius Institute for Business at the State University of New York, Confucius Institute at Suny College of Optometry, and Chinese language Teachers Association of Greater New York. They designed a variety of experience programmes for the activity, and send a number of teachers and volunteers to guide the students.

(Story by Zhu Jing, Wang Lu., New York, May 9th, Photos by Zhu Jing)


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