Wonderful Storydancing Chinese Class

We had a special guest teacher, Cindy Chan, came to our last CLCC class. She is a movement integration specialist, so she lead us to have a wonderful storydancing Chinese class.

In the class, we read a Chinese book together, which was “你一半,我一半.” We learned sharing, such as how we share our good news with our friends and how we share food with our parents. We also did some exercises to let our students deeply understand sharing, such as we did “chopsticks activity,” and “big umbrella activity.”

This is our “Chopsticks Activity.” Students use a chopstick to share strength. If you push too much, your chopstick will fall down. Thus, students discuss with their group members, and let their chopstick keep stay between their fingers.


This is “Big Umbrella Activity.”


That was a wonderful and fun Chinese class! Thank you Chan LaoShi:)

How Mandarin can unlock our children’s potential in an increasingly connected world

Written by: MARK HERBERT, Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2017/01/10/mandarin-can-unlock-childrens-potential-increasingly-connected/

With over one billion speakers worldwide, the global significance of Mandarin Chinese cannot be denied. But with the continued growth of English as a lingua franca of business, travel and international relations, do we really need more young people in the UK to learn it?

The reality is that, at a time when the UK is repositioning itself on the world stage, young people across the UK need to have the knowledge and skills to unlock their potential in an increasingly connected world – and to my mind at least, there are few abilities more valuable than speaking Mandarin Chinese.

The good news is that parents across the UK seem to think so too. Research released last week as part of the Mandarin Excellence Programme highlighted that those with children aged under 18 see Mandarin Chinese as the ‘most beneficial’ non-European language for their children’s future – followed by Arabic and Japanese. As well as 51 per cent of those surveyed believing that speaking Mandarin would boost their children’s career prospects, 56 per cent saw it as a skill that would open their children’s minds to an ‘exciting and dynamic culture’.

Secondary school student reading out loud in classroom

But are parents correct in thinking that Mandarin Chinese will prove fruitful for their children’s futures? What are the advantages of being able to speak and understand this particular language?

For starters, there are many personal advantages that speaking another language can bring. What we so often forget as a mostly monolingual nation is that languages are essential for our trade, prosperity, cultural exports, diplomacy and national security. So for those who do decide to learn a language, there are many rewards to be reaped, particularly when it comes to boosting individual job prospects. Successive surveys of businesses that already work internationally or want to expand into other markets indicate that having employees who are familiar with the language and culture of the place they want to do business, is an important advantage, if not essential.

And if we look at Mandarin Chinese specifically, parents are correct in their belief that it is one of the most important languages for our young people to learn. Not only is it the language of the world’s second biggest economy, research by the CBI just last year showed that 28 per cent of almost 500 British companies rate Mandarin Chinese as being useful to their business. So with less than one per cent of the UK population currently able to hold a conversation in it, for those who do speak Mandarin Chinese, it provides a standout skill in a competitive job market.

More than that, learning another language is a great way to connect with another country – to quote the late Nelson Mandela: ‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.’ And if we want to build the kind of trust with people from other countries that underpins any kind of meaningful relationship – it is hearts that we need to be talking to, not just heads.

Learning a language doesn’t simply allow you to speak different words but to open up to and understand different cultures. This is more important than ever for the UKs place in the world. And again, parents are certainly not wrong in their thinking that learning Mandarin will open up their children’s minds to a ‘dynamic’ and ‘exciting’ culture – China is a fascinating country with much to offer young Britons who choose to take on Mandarin Chinese.

That said, the reality is that the number of UK school pupils studying Mandarin Chinese is low when compared to languages such as French, German and Spanish. Last year, for example, approximately 140,000 young people sat a GCSE in French while only around 4,000 took one in Mandarin Chinese. And while it’s important to note that uptake is steadily rising, how do we get even more young people speaking this important language?

Good work by individual schools, a number of universities, the network of Confucius Institutes and Classrooms, corporates such as HSBC and Swire have all contributed to the growth of Mandarin over the last ten years.  However for a school to choose to teach Mandarin it needs to match supply and demand. Do enough students and parents want Mandarin to be taught given the time commitment needed to get good grades? Can the school afford and recruit a high quality Mandarin teacher over and above their French, Spanish or German teachers, particularly if the numbers of students wanting to learn Mandarin are low, at least initially?

In England the Department for Education’s new Mandarin Excellence Programme aims to respond to schools’ need for more teachers and support to get a robust Mandarin Chinese programme under way.

Launched in September last year, the programme will see at least 5,000 school pupils in England on track towards fluency in Mandarin Chinese by 2020. Participating schools are at the forefront of delivering the programme with pupils on it studying the language for an average of eight hours a week – a significant increase on the one to two hours per week that most Year 7 secondary pupils tend to spend on foreign languages. Headteachers and teachers in the fourteen schools who joined the first year of the scheme have reported that they are pleased that rather than being daunted by an intensive programme of Mandarin, the children are energised by studying a subject which opens up new possibilities.

Admittedly I have a particular interest in this as the British Council and UCL Institute of Education (IOE) are partners in delivering the Mandarin Excellence Programme on behalf of the Department for Education.  However, whether we had been asked to operate the scheme or not, we would have been completely supportive. Why? Because at the heart of the British Council’s mission is to build mutually beneficial relationships between the UK and other countries. So just as millions of Chinese are learning English, and tens of thousands study at our universities, we need many more young people here to be learning Mandarin if our two countries are going to trade and cooperate together internationally.

In the short term, the flow of business and investment may seem like it matters most but in the long term it is the web of institutional, corporate and people-to-people connections that will ensure that UK-China relations continue to thrive.  For all of these reasons, Mandarin is undoubtedly a language which can help to unlock our children’s potential in an increasingly connected world.

Mark Herbert is the Head of Schools Programme for The British Council

Happy New Year

In the last Chinese class this year, our lovely students already learned a lot of Chinese characters and Chinese culture. First, Our students made a beautiful calendar to explain 6 things that Chinese people need to do before Chinese New Year. They knew Chinese culture!

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And then, our students learned 5 different Chinese idioms to wish their friends and families have a great new year, which were 新年快乐(Happy New Year);身体健康(May You Keep in Good Health);恭喜发财(Hope You are Prosperous) and 吉祥如意 (May Everything Goes as You Wish). They learned Chinese characters!

In the end, we invited our students’ parents to join in us and celebrated the new year. Our students said the Chinese idioms that they learned from class to their parents, and we ate dumplings to enjoyed the happy moment. Such a wonderful class!!

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Childhood Memory

Such culturally abundant two weeks!

In the last two classes, our kids got the chance to experience how the three teachers spent their childhood in China. The class watched popular TV shows and listened to well-known fairy stories among children in the 1990s, and even tasted the most popular candies and snacks from China.


While on Week 6, Chinese Kungfu culture took over the classroom. After watching a couple of videos, children now can excellently distinguish different Kungfu styles in northern and southern China. Moreover, the kids participated in a wonderful game called “Kungfu Championship” and finally relaxed themselves by learning some Taiji gestures.


Let’s look forward to the last class of the term for even more funny activities!

Daily Life in Beijing!

The CLCC welcomed all of our lovely and energetic students back after a no-class Friday last week. In this week, we together “went to” Beijing, which is the capital of China, experiencing Beijingers’ lives by “taking subways”, “watching movies”, “going shopping”, “eating roast ducks” as well as “seeing spots”.

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We worked in groups to design our own ways of visiting the city on the subway maps designed and made by two leading teachers Deng laoshi (Mrs. Deng) as well as Li laoshi (Mr. Li). As teachers, we are more than glad to see all students actively engaged in both learning the language and designing routines. In the end of our class, kids got a chance to taste roast ducks from Eugene!

Birthday Egg

As the second lesson of the term, we learned how to say number 1-12 in Chinese! Students now are ready to learn the 12 months in Chinese using the numbers they learned today.

In addition to that, we experienced the very Chinese birthday culture  – Eating red eggs and making Long-life noodles.

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Red eggs are usually shared by new moms to her relatives and friends as an announcement and celebration of the birth of their babies. However, eating eggs on birthdays is also a tradition in the wish for smartness and fluency in the coming year.

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It looks all of the kids enjoyed the hard-boiled eggs with the fantastic red colors on them. These eggs are actually prepared by our program coordinator Keli, who just had her birthday last week!

Happy birthday, Keli! 祝你生日快乐!

Welcome to the Chinese Club in 2016

Hello everyone! As the new Fall term beginning, our Chinese Club in Edison school starts again in this following week. In this term, we have three Chinese teachers and are all native Mandarin Chinese (Pu tong hua) speakers. Adam Li is from Henan Province, across which the Huanghe flows. Yan Deng was born in Gansu Province which was a part of the Silk Road. Reeya Zhao is from the capital of China – Beijing. We will see you on September the 30th!

Chinese Club starting again 9/30/2016!

Welcome to a new year at Edison! We welcome all 3-5th graders who would like to learn about Chinese language and culture to join us this Fall on Fridays after school. Please contact Keli Yerian at yerian@uoregon.edu for a registration form, OR ask for one at the front office from Nan, OR keep a lookout for the pink registration form in the next couple weeks among the papers that come home with children. The club is free, but all students must register. See you soon!

My Chinese diary book

What’s new in CLCC this fall term?

Our new term-long project “my Chinese diary book” was a success!



This term, students kept track of the works they’ve done. Each student left CLCC this term with a diary book as a final product that demonstrates their accomplishments. In each diary book you will find character writings, paper cuts and drawings.



It’s a joy to see students feel excited and motivated to write in their diary book every time in class.



CLCC spotlights

FullSizeRenderName tag:

At CLCC, each student has a Chinese name. Making Chinese name tag is a tradition we do each term in the first class. It is proven to be one of students’ favorite activities. Many students decorated their name tags with art works they did throughout the term.




IMG_2952Character writing:

Many students expressed interest in writing Chinese characters. We integrate character writing in every lesson in our curriculum. It is always exciting to see students being able to write quite a bit of Chinese by the end of each term.






Sharing community:

We keep the classroom a safe and friendly learning environment. Students are encouraged to share their stories and thoughts. They are also expected to be respectful and helpful to others. In the past, students have brought in things from home that are related to China and shared their stories in class.