Eden Prairie School district hosts students from Loudi, China

By Greg Hugh, staff writer

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A record group of 48 Chinese students and four teachers arrived in Minnesota on the evening of July 16 from Loudi No. 1 Middle School, Hunan PRC, to start their 10-day visit in Minnesota. Their host families greeted them at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as they began the trip . . .

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By Li Yuan

Over the last decade, the number of Chinese studying abroad has ballooned. Besides providing an economic boost to the host countries, returned Chinese students from overseas are benefiting their own country with newly gained knowledge, skills and experience.

Australia was the first country opening to Chinese students on a large scale. Li Ping, CEO of Aoji Education Group, was an early trailblazer and headed to the country in 1985 for self-funded study. In the following years, as Li went from student to CEO of a study abroad service agency, he bore witness to great changes in the study abroad market in
China.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a few thousand Chinese students went abroad for study each year. Most received government funding. One of very few self-funded students, Li Ping studied in Australia for two years. It was during his time “down under” that he came up with the idea of starting a business serving Chinese students studying overseas.

 

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American Councils for International Education is pleased to announce the 2013 Intensive Summer Language Institute in Changchun, China. The Intensive Summer Language Institute provides fully funded fellowships for non-native speakers of Chinese who are teaching Mandarin to spend six weeks overseas studying intermediate and advanced-level Chinese at Northeast Normal University. Fellowships are available to current K-12 teachers and community college instructors of Mandarin Chinese, as well as to students enrolled in education programs who intend to teach Mandarin. This U.S. Government sponsored language program is funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and implemented by American Councils for International Education.

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The Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota’s (CIUMN) executive director, Joan Brzezinski, was awarded a 2012 Confucius Institute Individual Performance Excellence Award. She received the award at a ceremony during the 7th Annual Confucius Institute Conference in Beijing, held on December 16-18, 2012. This honor, given to only 30 people who are affiliated with the 400 Confucius Institutes worldwide, recognizes Ms. Brzezinski for exceptional service and leadership.

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Part II 

By Will Ahern, Staff Writer

Success in teaching lies with the teacher. A visit to a second-year Chinese class at Minnetonka High School, a western suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota, demonstrated several technologies and applications implemented in a seamless way. The iPads in the Chinese classroom are proving to be very effective and true accelerators of learning as presented by a masterful instructor, Ms. Lillian Dang. Though in her fifth year teaching at Minnetonka, this is Dang’s first year using the iPads in the classroom. The lǎoshī (teacher) managed the classroom in a casual manner allowing for some spontaneous energies to bring out enthusiasm. Ninth- and tenth-grade students appeared to be quite pleased to be in this class. Dang lǎoshī knew all the students by their first names and spoke to them frequently. There was mostly incidental chatter, but always respectful. The Internet accessed by WiFi tested out in excess of 25 Mbps for a download speed.

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By University of Minnesota China Center


The University of Minnesota celebrated the grand opening last year of a unique center that will share U.S. culture with the Chinese people through the medium of sport. The American Cultural Center for Sport is funded by a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State and will be a partnership between the University’s China Center and School of Kinesiology and the Tianjin University of Sport in Tianjin, China.

The main objective of the center is to demonstrate to the Chinese people how sport culture and values are integrated into the larger American society and how these cultural values influence American viewpoints, global outlook and engagement in everything from business and politics to arts and communication.

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Part 1  

By Will Ahern, Staff Writer

Students celebrated their good fortune-magic had arrived! The panacea to educational excellence was now within the reach of all ninth graders at Minnetonka High School (MHS). Apple iPads were being distributed to the students for use in all their classes.

Minnetonka, a school district of academic excellence in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities of Minnesota, was indeed distributing iPads to all ninth graders for use in all their classes, including Chinese. This was not a capricious or trendy solution, but a school district at the right place and at the right time able to leverage technology to accelerate and extend learning for its students—a long-established technology initiative supported by a communitywide referendum that worked in their favor. A 22-year Chinese program brought tremendous teaching experience to bear.

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