It was one year ago, the Confucius Institute introduced itself to the superintendents and personnel in Owensboro and Daviess County centered on the Chinese language program on the campus of WKU-O. The meeting was organized through the assistance of Regional Chancellor Gene Tice and conducted by the Confucius Institute staff.
Much of the feedback from the initial meeting was the Confucius Institute program was so new, and different, it was hard to gauge how the students would react. Just after seven short months since the Owensboro and Daviess County introduced their K-12 students to the Chinese language and culture, it is clear that this was a great decision.
Through the assistance of Dr. Tice, WKU-O recognized the three Confucius Institute teachers’ hard work and dedication, at a celebration held on the campus of WKU-O on Monday (March 18). Judy Rouse orchestrated the event, which honored Wang Ling (Owensboro Middle & High School), Hu Zhi (Apollo High School) and Cui Jing (Deer Park Elementary School).
Attendees to the event included principals and administrators from the local schools, faculty/staff from WKU and the Confucius Institute staff. The event started with testimonials from administrators within the Owensboro/Daviess County districts to discuss how the teachers and the program have impacted the students and administrators in the local area.
“Teenagers speaking Chinese was not the norm around here,” said Julie Clark, director of middle and secondary schools for Daviess County Public Schools. Many of the administrators spoke highly of the teachers, not only how the teachers have impacted the students and the schools, but the positive impact that the teachers have had on them personally.
The Confucius Institute teachers also shared their experiences of working with many of the administrators in attendance, and the students. They all three agreed that the American classroom is much different than in China. They said American students are much more active, with shorter attention spans, but are equally passionate, and can learn very fast.
Two of the teachers, Cui Jing and Hu Zhi, have enjoyed their experience so much that they will be returning for another year at their current schools. This is a testament to the community making the teachers feel welcomed and appreciated for the effort and dedication that they have put forth for the Confucius Institute program. The Confucius Institute is thankful of the partnerships developed with both Owensboro and Daviess County districts, but most importantly, to WKU-O.
The CI at WKU and Hanban, China’s Ministry of Education, work to promote understanding of the Chinese language and culture through children’s programming, training courses, cultural workshops and community events. Together, these organizations have introduced fully articulated K-16 instruction in Modern Standard Chinese into local school systems, serve as a regional center for Chinese teacher training and Chinese curriculum development, and build connections and partnerships between Kentucky and China.
Contact: Betty Yu, (270) 745-2836; or Terrill Martin, (270) 745-2530.