US Host Families of Volunteer Chinese Teachers and Cooperative Teachers Return Banquet Kicks off in Utah State Capitol

[Source]    Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) [Time]    2018-05-28 13:26:56 

On May 18th, 2018, a return banquet was co-hosted by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) for host families of volunteers and cooperative teachers under the Chinese Immersion Project in Utah.

In Utah State Capitol, the Council Hall with a magnificent dome enjoyed a full house with 400 attendees. Sydnee Dickson, USBE Director, Zhao Guocheng, Deputy Director-General of hanban and Deputy Director of Confucius Institute Headquarters, Robert Davis, Director of Chinese Language and Culture Program initiated by the College Board, Bonnie Flint, Foreign Director of Confucius Institute at UC Davis, officials and cooperative teachers from USBE, various schools and school districts, volunteer teacher representatives, volunteer host families, students as well as parents from both China and America attended the banquet. Zhao Guocheng and Sydnee Dickson made addresses respectively at the banquet.

In his speech, Zhao Guocheng thanked all the volunteer host families for their years of selfless dedication to and warm care for the volunteer teachers. Furthermore, he also expressed his gratitude to all the cooperative teachers participating in the immersion project for years of teaching assistance and guide for the volunteer teachers, as well as their contributions to the steady improvement of the quality of Chinese immersion teaching.

Zhao Guocheng delivering a speech

Beyond that, Zhao Guocheng also briefed on some examples that volunteers established long-standing and solid relations with their host families. “Friendship between the people holds the key to sound state-to-state relations”, he quoted. People of the two countries have deepened their understanding and respect for each other’s language and culture through the Volunteer Chinese Teacher to US Program, which he acclaimed as “people to people” exchanges in a real sense. Besides, he highly praised the contributions made by the Chinese Immersion Project in Utah to China-US people-to-people and cultural exchanges.

Sydnee Dickson stated that volunteer teachers sent by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) to the US constitute the main faculty resources for the Chinese Immersion Project in Utah. The burgeoning and steady growth of the project over the past nine years benefits from the vigorous support of the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban). Given such a chance, children in Utah could learn Chinese from kindergarten, laying a solid foundation in Chinese as well as developing their ability to learn other subjects in Chinese. The project greatly enhances the global vision and international competitiveness of local children. She said that Utah would always support Chinese Immersion Project, and she also hoped that Hanban would continue to send more volunteers to teach in Utah.

Sydnee Dickson delivering a speech

Representatives of volunteer teachers, volunteer host families and volunteer cooperative teachers also shared moving stories at the banquet. In the end, Zhao Guocheng presented certificates of appreciation to representatives.

Zhao Guo presenting certificates of appreciation

At the banquet, pupils from Calvin Smith Elementary Confucius Classroom under the Confucius Institute at the University of Utah performed a festive lion dance. The US folk band Matteo and Center Stage Dance Troupe also presented wonderful Chinese folk music and dance performance respectively.

Pupils from Calvin Smith Elementary Confucius Classroom performing lion dance

Matteo playing Chinese folk music


Given the Chinese teachers shortage in the US schools, Hanban has, in cooperation with the College Board, sent 12 batches of volunteers totaling 1999 to the US since 2007. Volunteers have been teaching in more than 40 states of the US, and their students have reached 400,000. During the past decade, Utah has embraced a total of 390 volunteers. The Chinese immersion teaching model has been adopted by more than half of schools in Utah. The Chinese teachers cooperate with local teachers to teach mathematics, arts, natural sciences and other subjects in Chinese. The teaching efficiency has helped to increase the students’ Chinese proficiency and disciplinary knowledge.


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