(Reported by the Confucius Institute at the University of Pittsburgh
Reporter: Tang Cheng, Liu Chen, Lou Tianxiao)
On October 16, 2016 Autumn CLTA-WPA & Chinese Teaching Symposium was held at Carnegie Mellon University. It was organized by the Chinese Teachers Association of West Pennsylvania (CLTA-WPA) and co-sponsored by the Confucius Institute at the University of Pittsburgh (CI-PITT). Prof. Wu Sumei (Department of Chinese, Carnegie Mellon University) and Vice Chairman Yu Yueming (Director of the Department of Chinese, Carnegie Mellon University) presided over the meeting. A total of 120 Chinese teachers and students from Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh were invited to participate in the symposium. Prof. Xiao Ying, Director of CI-Pitt, and ten CI-Pitt Chinese volunteer teachers attended the symposium.
The symposium lasted from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It was separated into two venues. A total of 21 Chinese teachers shared their teaching experiences. Ms. Wang Haixia, the graduate student assistant of CI-Pitt, introduced the importance of Chinese songs in teaching, which are of great interest to the students while they are learning Chinese. She also emphasized that we should focus on simplifying the songs to make them fit the class. Lei Zhechao, the volunteer Chinese teacher of CI-Pitt, gave a presentation about her independent study “The Strategy of Teaching the Verb ‘打’in a Second Language,” which triggered a lively discussion. Liu Shijuan from Indiana University shared a case study on successful language learning processes, and discussed with teachers about successful learning methods which will promote language teaching.
In addition, three teachers from CMU, Zheng Xiangyao, Zhou Difan and Han Yiting, conducted on-site teaching simulation, showing a wonderful teaching site, which is lively and interesting. Prof. Yuyue Ming stressed that we should pay attention to the distribution of the target language and the mother tongue, and try to use the target language more to help students feel the target language context.
CLTA-WPA was established in Pittsburgh in May 2014 with the assistance of CI-Pitt. Dr. Guo Tingting, the former Chinese Director of CITT, and Prof. Xiao Ying, the Chinese Director of CI-Pitt, are the board members of CLTA-WPA. CLTA-WPA has successfully hosted five Chinese teaching seminars since its inception, which has helped the Chinese teachers of Pennsylvania in academic exchange and resource sharing. CLTA-WPA will join forces to promote the development of Chinese language teaching in Pennsylvania.