Confucius Institute at Texas A&M University Co-sponsors Chinese Language Teaching Conference
- Released on Aug 31, 2008
College Station - The Confucius Institute at Texas A&M University (CI-TAMU) co-sponsored the Chinese Language Teacher Association (CLTA) - Texas 2008 Annual Conference, which was held at the Dallas Chinese Community Center in Richardson on August 30, 2008. Approximately 150 teachers and administrators from schools around the State convened at the conference to explore ways to promote the teaching of Chinese language and culture in the K-12 environment in Texas. The hosting of the 2008 Olympics has undoubtedly put China in the limelight. The rise of China in the international economic and political stage has made learning Chinese as a second language a global trend in the last few years. In U.S. schools, the number of students learning Mandarin jumped from an estimated 5,000 to 50,000, a ten-fold increase, between 2000 and 2005. Randy Kluver, director of CI-TAMU and director of the Institute for Pacific Asia at Texas A&M University, attended the conference to introduce the Confucius Institute to the organization. He said one of CI-TAMU’s goals was to significantly increase the offerings of Chinese language throughout the state. “One of CI-TAMU’s priorities is to work with relevant agencies to develop a certification program for Chinese language teachers in Texas,” said Kluver. “This will increase the supply of teachers to meet growing demand.” Other guest speakers included Shannon Baker, Director of Curriculum of Texas Education Agency, and Lucy Lee, Founder and former President of Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary School (CLASS). The Annual Conference presented six panels discussing issues related to all levels of Chinese language education.