Exciting things happened at the Confucius Institute at Mason during 2012!
The Confucius Institute at Mason organizes and sponsors a variety of events on campus and in the community highlighting Chinese culture, artists, and performers. Activities have included performances by acrobats and musicians from China and lectures by renown scholars on Confucian philosophy, Chinese calligraphy, historical reflections, and current affairs.
KORUS Forum Panel Discussion
Nov. 30, 2012
The Confucius Institute at Mason was invited to participated in the KORUS Forum hosted by the Korean Cultural Center Washington D.C. Mr. Gao Qing, Managing Director of the institute and assistant professor of arts management at George Mason University, was one of three speakers on a panel discussing government support of the arts in Korea, China, and the United States. Panelists discussed how to encourage creativity and cultural development in the arts, both traditional and modern cultural arts, and reviewed major organizations involved in arts development and sources of financial support. They also discussed the varying approaches of the three countries in the field of arts development and the impact of cultural diplomacy internationally. More details can be found on the KORUS website:
Chinese Language Table
Every Monday at Noon
Sept. 17 – Dec. 10, 2012
Do you want to practice your Chinese language skills with our teachers from China? Please join the Chinese Language Table on Mondays from 12:00-1:00pm.
We meet at the Panda Express Restaurant, University Hall on the George Mason Fairfax campus. All levels of Chinese speakers are welcome! Come join us on Mondays from Sept. 17 – Dec. 10, 2012 (except holiday weekends). This event is self-pay.
Language Buddy Program
Every Other Wednesday
Sept. 12 – Dec. 12, 2012
The first meeting of the fall Language Buddy program welcomed over 25 Mason students from the U.S. and China. The Confucius Institute at Mason initiated the “Language Buddy” program in fall 2011 to help students from around the world meet others interested in learning about China.
The 2012-2013 Language Buddy program will meet every other Wednesday from 3:00-5:00pm at Confucius Institute at Mason. The program will feature a different cultural lecture and hands-on activity each month. Everyone is invited to join these free cultural activities!
First China OnScreen Biennial Film Festival
Oct. 26 – Nov. 11, 2012
A showcase of new and classic Chinese films for American audiences, highlighting China’s fast-transitioning media, will be presented at the Freer-Sackler Gallery in Washington D.C., co-sponsored by the Confucius Institute at George Mason University and the Confucius Institute at the University of Maryland. Following an engagement in Los Angeles coordinated by the Confucius Institute at UCLA, the Washington film festival seeks to increase cross-cultural dialogue through the art of film. Local screenings include:
Fri. Oct. 26 (7pm) “Beijing Flickers”, Meyer Auditorium, Freer-Sackler
Fri. Nov. 2 (7pm) “Double Xposure”, Meyer Auditorium, Freer-Sackler
Sat. Nov. 3 (2pm) “The Resurrection”, Hoff Theater, University of Maryland
Sat. Nov. 3 (5pm) “Sauna on the Moon”, Hoff Theater, University of Maryland
Sun. Nov. 4 (2pm) “The Ditch”, Meyer Auditorium, Freer-Sackler
Sun. Nov. 11 (2pm) “The Red Detachment of Women”, Meyer Auditorium, Freer-Sackler
The Nov. 11 screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the Honorable Chas W. Freeman, Jr., former Ambassador and Assistant Secretary for Defense, Dr. Chi Wang, President, U.S. China Policy Foundation, Prof. Carma Hinton, Robinson Professor of Visual Culture and Chinese Studies, and Prof. Michael Chang, Associate Professor of History, George Mason University.
For full program details, go to
Language Buddies Event – Learn Chinese Chess
Nov. 7, 2012
Come learn how to play Chinese chess (xiang qi) while making friends interested in Chinese. This workshop will feature a short introduction into the history of Chinese chess and the influence on international chess, followed by actual games using Chinese chess sets. No reservations required.
The Language Buddies meet twice a month from 3:00 – 5:00pm on alternating Wednesdays at the Confucius Institute’s Reading Room. Come join Chinese and English language learners to play Chinese board games or learn Chinese crafts. This event is free and open to all.
Chinese Culture Series: “Chinese Chess”
Nov. 2, 2012
The ancient game of Chinese chess was profiled in this workshop. Participants heard a short lecture about the history of xiang-qi (Chinese chess) and the connections between Chinese and international chess. They then learned the basic rules of the game by playing with real Chinese chess sets.
Chinese Culture Series: “Mahjong”
Friday, October 19
The third workshop of the Chinese Culture Series focused on the Chinese game of Mahjong. The program was offered in English and discussed the history and cultural significance of the game of Mahjong in China. Participants later were divided into groups of four and learned the basic rules of Mahjong while playing with actual Mahjong tiles.
Chinese Cultural Series: “Chinese Lanterns”
Friday, Oct. 5, 2012
The second lecture of the fall 2012 “Chinese Cultural Series” featured a short lecture on the history of Chinese lanterns, followed by a hands-on activity where participants made a paper lantern to take home. Participants at this free event included members of the public and Mason community.
2012 Children’s Chinese Cultural Performance
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012
Over 75 local are students performed Chinese songs, dances and poetry during this cultural celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The program began with a Chinese dragon dance and was followed by performances by PreK – 12th grade students from 7 area schools. The audience included over 200 students, parents, teachers and interested members of the public.
The performance was sponsored by the Confucius Institute at Mason in cooperation with local Chinese teachers. The event, held at George Mason University’s Fairfax campus, was free and was open to the community.
Chinese Cultural Series: “Chinese Paper Cuts”
Friday, Sept. 21, 2012
cimThe Confucius Institute at Mason offered the first workshop of the fall 2012 “Chinese Cultural Series” on Chinese paper cutting. A short lecture on the history of Chinese paper cuts was presented, followed by a hands-on activity where participants created a variety of paper cuts to take home. The free event was attended by Mason students, staff and members of the general public.
Prince William Social Studies Teacher Workshop
August 9, 2012
The Confucius Institute at Mason (CIMason) was participated in the summer teacher training workshop for Prince William County social studies educators. CIMason Deputy Director Lucia Claster introduced a variety of the curriculum supports that the institute makes available to K12 schools including the “Traveling Trunk” Chinese artifact kits, language textbook donations, and the new Baoku digital library about China for K12 educators.
Educators who participated in the training were from 12 different elementary schools. During the workshop, they also learned how to pronounce in Chinese the names of dynasties, historical figures, and geographic sites that are included in the Virginia Standards of Learning social studies curriculum.
Educators Delegation to China
July 15 – 26, 2012
The Confucius Institute at Mason sponsored a delegation of 11 principals and social studies curriculum specialists on an educational tour to Beijing and Shanghai. Principals from Washington D.C. and Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William counties, as well as high school curriculum specialists, participated in this 10-day trip tp Beijing and Shanghai.
During their visit, delegation members took classes on Chinese architecture, history, language, calligraphy, and painting. They also had the opportunity to visit themselves a number of the historical sites which are included in the Virginia Standards of Learning social studies curriculum about China. Delegation members also met with educators at local schools and had discussions with various curriculum specialists at Beijing Language and Culture University.
Most of the schools represented in the delegation already feature Chinese language as part of their school curriculum. The trip gave the principals and curriculum specialists an opportunity to learn more about China in order to develop more programming related to China at their schools.
Chinese Cultural Lectures at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
June 21 – July 5, 2012
Prof. Ning Yang, a visiting professor from Beijing Language and Culture University who is teaching at the Confucius Institute at Mason, gave a series of three Chinese cultural lectures to members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), an organization affiliated with George Mason University.
The series of three lectures focused on different cultural aspects of China: the use of bamboo in Chinese traditional design, the symbolism in Chinese lanterns, and the cultural significance of the game of Mahjong. The lectures were very popular, with over 80 participants at each lecture.
Chinese Papercut Workshops
June 11 and June 15, 2012
cimTwo free introductory workshops were offered at the Confucius Institute at Mason as part of the “Experience Chinese Culture” series. With only paper and scissors, over twenty participants created an amazing variety of Chinese characters, animal figures or traditional decorative designs.
cimParticipants learned about the history of Chinese paper cutting and also created a paper cut to take home. For most of the participants, this was the first time they had been exposed to Chinese paper cuts.
“EuroAsia Shorts” Film Screening
June 4 – 8, 2012
The Confucius Institute at Mason co-sponsored “EuroAsia Shorts”, the annual festival of short films from Europe, Asia, and the United States. EuroAsia Shorts 2012 included films from France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Japan, Korea, Thailand, China and the United States. Screenings were held at the Goethe-Institut, the Letelier Theater, and the Japanese, Korean and Italian embassies.
With the support of Mr. Yang Wenhuo from the Journal of the Beijing Film Academy, the Confucius Institute of Mason recommended two Chinese short films for the opening and closing day’s film screenings: “The Opposite Shore”, directed by Ao Shen, and “Running People”, directed by Xiang Wang. As one of the invited commentators, Dr.Yang Ning of the Confucius Institute provided insights into multi-cultural phenomena and cultural diversity in modern China with the viewers during the after-screening discussions. EuroShorts welcomed hundreds of viewers this year and was featured in reports in the Washington Post and more than twenty other international websites.
For more information, please go to
Kojo Nnamdi Radio Show Focuses on Confucius Institutes
May 29, 2012
The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU 88.5 radio featured a discussion about approximately 80 Confucius Institutes and more than 300 Confucius Classrooms that China has established around the United States. Bill Reeder, Dean of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and Co-executive Sponsor of the Confucius Institute at Mason, was one of the featured guests. Other speakers included Prof. Dan Mote, former President of the University of Maryland, Prof. Tobie Meyer-Fong, Co-chair Brent Elementary School PTA foreign language committee, and Prof. Arthur Waldron, University of Pennsylvania.
Dean Reeder highlighted the Confucius Institute at Mason’s outreach programs to K-16 classrooms, including teacher training programs, donations of language textbooks and “Traveling Trunks” Chinese artifact kits, sponsorship of high school study tours to China, scholarships for university students to study in China, and curriculum grants for Mason professors to develop additional course materials related to China. The Kojo Nnamdi show is broadcast daily to listeners throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. To hear the complete radio broadcast or view the transcript, go to:
Open House Event at the Chinese Embassy
May 24, 2012
More than 300 students and parents from Washington D.C. public schools, including Brent Elementary School where the Confucius Institute at Mason has a Confucius Classroom, took part in an open house event at the Chinese Embassy called “Experiencing Chinese Culture”.
The visitors enjoyed performances of Chinese kungfu, music and Peking opera and saw videos about China. Students also gave wonderful Chinese performances and later practiced some Chinese calligraphy, learned how to use chopsticks, tasted traditional Chinese foods, and participated in a quiz about China.
Ambassador Zhang Yesui welcomed all the visitors and encouraged the students to learn Chinese language and culture so that in the future they could be the conduit to strengthen friendship ties between China and the United States. Ambassador Zhang was delighted by the “Great Wall” art works made by the Brent Elementary School students and exchanged gifts with their principal, Peter Young. Gao Qing, Managing Director of the Confucius Institute at Mason, and four Chinese teachers from the institute helped to organize this event.
China Tour Orientation
May 5, 2012
The Millennium Art Salon invited the Confucius Institute at Mason to give a “China Tour Orientation” for a tour group which is going to China in June. Dr. Yang Ning, who organized the half-day presentation session, gave an introduction to Beijing city, its’ people and cultural life, with pictures and videos. Her lecture was followed by presentations from Miss Zhang Chong and Miss Yuan Li about Shanghai and Chongqing cities, traveling tips for China, and how to say simple Chinese sentences that the participants could use with local people.
The orientation concluded with a speech from Gao Qing, Managing Director of Confucius Institute, who expressed his best wishes for the group’s visit to China and his hope for further cooperation with Millennium Art Salon. He said that the Confucius Institute at Mason endeavors to help Americans understand more about Chinese language and culture. Juanita Boyd Hardy, the president of Millennium Art Salon, expressed her appreciation on behalf of the group and thanked the teachers for the very interesting presentation.
Spring 2012 Chinese Pedagogy Workshop
April 28, 2012
The Confucius Institute at Mason, in cooperation with the Chinese Language Teachers Association of the National Capital Region (CLTA-NCR) sponsored the Spring 2012 Chinese Pedagogy Workshop at the George Mason University Fairfax campus. The workshop was co-chaired by Dr. Karl Zhang, Director of Mason’s Chinese Language Program and Education Director of the Confucius Institute at Mason and Ms. Li Shanying, President of CLTA-NCR. More than 80 local K16 Chinese teachers attended the all-day program that included presentations on teaching methodology, curriculum design, culture-based learning and the application of linguistic theories to teaching practice provided by a variety of local experts. Confucius Institute at Mason faculty member, Dr. Wang Jing, presented a lecture on the differentiation of functional words in Chinese, while Dr. Yang Ning reviewed key textbook and online resources produced by Hanban (Confucius Institute Headquarters) that are most useful for Chinese language learning. Managing Director, Gao Qing, and Chinese Resident Director, Dr. Wang Lihong welcomed the participants and awarded the speakers with certificates.
Visit of BLCU Delegation
April 12 – 16, 2012
The Confucius Institute of Mason hosted a delegation from Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) led by Mr. Zhao Min, Vice President of BLCU. The four-person delegation met with the President of George Mason University, Alan Merten, as well as the Co-Executive Sponsors of the Confucius Institute at Mason: Dr. Joy Hughes, Vice President IT and CIO and William Reeder, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. They discussed progress on key outreach projects underway as well as ways to further promote and develop the teaching and research work of the Confucius Institute at Mason. The delegation later had meetings with teachers and students at the Confucius Institute at Mason. On April 14 the delegation attended the National Chinese Language Conference in Washington DC and the following day observed the “Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for College Students” that was being hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Maryland.
Time Shadows Poetry Readings on Music
April 12, 2012
The fourth annual Time Shadows poetry reading was hosted by the Confucius Institute at Mason. Co-sponsored by the Goethe-Institut of Washington D.C., the Chinatown Community Cultural Center, and the D.C. Public Library, this annual poetry reading project features poetry from three cultures: Chinese, American and German. The theme of this year’s program was music and readings were presented in Chinese, German and English by poets, translators and professors. The poetry compilation highlighted how the universal role that music plays in the life of both communities and individuals cuts across language and cultural barriers.
Annual Polyglot Performance
April 9, 2012
The annual Polyglot performance was hosted by Mason’s Modern and Classical Languages (MCL) Department at the Johnson Center. The Mason community was treated to performances of songs and poetry by Mason students studying various world languages at Mason. The Confucius Institute at Mason provided practice space, costumes and coaching assistance to the MCL students performing in Chinese. Several Chinese classical poems were read, accompanied by Chinese traditional music. The performance ended with an enthusiastic group dance entitled “Speak Chinese” set to the tune of a Chinese pop song. View a video of the performance.
Confucius Institute Offers First Class via Telepresence
April 9, 2012
The Confucius Institute at Mason offered for the first time a class via telepresence to the Mason Arlington campus. The first session of the six-part class, “Business Chinese: Language and Culture”, was beamed from the telepresence classroom at Nguyen Engineering Building on the Mason Fairfax campus to Founders Hall on the Mason Arlington campus. Designed by Cisco, telepresence is a system that is far more high tech than conventional video conferencing. This technology creates the effect that people from other locations seem to be present in the same room. In language education this is an innovative way to promote long-distance learning. As the first Confucius Institute to utilize telepresence technology in Chinese language teaching, Resident Director, Prof. Wang Lihong, opened the course with excitement and confidence and Chen Wen, lecturer from Beijing Language and Culture University assigned to Mason, taught the class using this new tech application. The one and a half hour class successfully brought students seemingly ‘together’ from two separate campuses into one virtual classroom. The Confucius Institute at Mason hopes to develop more classes that utilize telepresence technology in the future.
Madam Chen Zhili Visited the Brent Confucius Classroom
March 29, 2012
The Confucius Classroom at Brent Museum Magnet Elementary School in Washington D.C., hosted a visit by a Chinese delegation led by Madam Chen Zhili, Vice Chairman of Standing Committee of the 11th National People’s Congress and President of the All-China Women’s Federation. The delegation was warmly welcomed at Brent Elementary School and was treated to a performance in Chinese by the school’s second grade students. Madam Chen talked with the children in Chinese and encouraged them to keep on learning Chinese so that they could win a scholarship to study in China one day. The Brent Confucius Classroom, established with support from the Confucius Institute at Mason in 2011, has become a dynamic center in the nation’s capital to learn Chinese language. Students in every grade take Chinese classes every day. The Confucius Institute at Mason continues to provide teacher training and curriculum studies support to the teachers and staff at Brent.
The above two pictures are from the website People (www.people.com.cn)
New HSK Held in March
March 18, 2012
The Confucius Institute at Mason offered the spring session of the New HSK (Chinese Proficiency Test) on its Fairfax campus. The HSK test is the most widely accepted standardized exam to evaluate the Chinese language proficiency of non-native speakers. HSK results are required for all scholarship applications offered by the Chinese government and the Confucius Institute of China (also known as Hanban) to study in China. The Confucius Institute at Mason will offer the fall session of the HSK test in October 2012. Plans are underway to provide an Internet-based HSK test in 2013 where students will complete answer sheets directly online.