Posts tagged cli
Posts tagged cli
In the United States, China is often only seen as a taker of jobs and supplier of cheap goods. However, one may be surprised to learn that China is the third largest importer of U.S. goods. “In 2012, China purchased nearly $109 billion worth of U.S. goods, from soybeans to scrap metal, electronic components to heavy machinery.” In order for the U.S. economy to be strong, a strong partnership with China is a must.
In this article from Forbes, Kenneth Rapoza writes which U.S. States experienced the biggest export growth.
Where China Goes To Buy Made In The U.S.A.
6 May 2013 by Kenneth Rapoza | Forbes
China buying more Made in America. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
China loves Made in the U.S.A.
The No. 2 economy kept its spot as the third largest importer of U.S. goods last year, second only to neighborly Canada and Mexico.
“The U.S.-China trade relationship strengthens America’s economy and creates well-paying jobs for many
American workers across the country,” said the U.S. China Business Council’s President John Frisbie.
In 2012, China purchased nearly $109 billion worth of U.S. goods, from soybeans to scrap metal, electronic components to heavy machinery. China will undoubtedly play a significant role as importer of Made in the U.S.A. as locals keep getting richer. Some estimates forecast that China may have nearly 600 million middle class consumers by the end of the decade, as measured by the World Bank’s definition of middle class.
“Our exports to China remain a bright spot for many companies, particularly with European demand weakening,” said Frisbie in a statement last week.
Even though China’s economic growth slowed last year, growth in U.S. exports to China rose 6.5% from
2011, representing an increase of $6.6 billion.
Take a look at the top 10 states where Chinese companies go shopping for Made in the U.S.A. here.
New Mexico high school students are learning Mandarin and loving every minute of it. The Rio Rancho School District has made a commitment to provide their students the necessary tools to succeed in life. As the world becomes ever more global, Mandarin instructor Ms. Koeler believes the Mandarin language is a universal tool that will allow her students to be successful.
In this article from the Albuquerque Journal, Elaine Briseño writes how New Mexico students are preparing for a more global economy by acquiring the tool of speaking Mandarin.
Learning to speak Chinese
9 April 2013 by Elaine D. Briseño | Albuquerque Journal
When students walk in to the Rio Rancho classroom of Ariana Koers, they are greeted with “ni hao” instead of “hello” and Chinese music drifting from the speakers of the classroom radio.
The opportunity to learn Chinese at the high school level, Koers said, might be unexpected in a New Mexico classroom, but it’s useful into today’s growing global economy. Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, with more than a billion people speaking it.
Rio Rancho High principal Richard VonAncken said schools are aware that China has become an economic powerhouse and that interested students should be exposed to the language. The challenge, he said, is finding a teacher who is adept enough to teach it.
“We are fortunate enough to have that teacher,” he said. “Most high schools provide Spanish, German or French. But to provide Chinese is unique.”
Even Albuquerque Public Schools, New Mexico’s largest district with 13 high schools, offers a Chinese language course only at its Career Enrichment Center, which provides enrichment courses to students districtwide. Spokesman Rigo Chavez agreed that one of the greatest challenges is finding a teacher for the course.
Koers teaches Chinese at both RRHS and V. Sue Cleveland High. She grew up in Santa Fe and Taos but went to a California college and participated in an exchange program that took her to China for the first time. She hadn’t taken a single semester of Chinese to that point.
“I came home and told my roommate ‘Wait. If I’m moving to China, I might have to actually learn to speak Chinese,’” she said. “He laughed at me.”
Koers lived in Xi’an in 1997 for a year, becoming a fluent speaker but unable to write or read the language. She returned to the United States and was determined to also read and write Chinese, which eventually she was able to do. She lived in China two other times – in Zibo in 2000 and Beijing in 2002, for a year each – and has visited at least half a dozen more times, helping to keep her skills sharp.
She’s been teaching Chinese in the school district for six years. In conducting a recent class, Koers begins to skillfully speak in Chinese, switching to English every few sentences and then back to Chinese. Some of her 20 students reply in Chinese.
One of those was freshman Lindsay Anders, who started learning Chinese in sixth-grade at a charter school she attended. She said in seventh-grade she became friends with a girl who had moved to Rio Rancho from China. The girl didn’t speak any English and it gave Anders a chance to practice. Her family also provided a private tutor for her.
“I can understand it quite a bit,” she said. “My dad is taking me to China in about a year.”
In today’s class, students practice calligraphy. Koers passes out sheets of paper with 24 squares each for students to write the character that means forever.
“Hold the brush like this,” she says. “This takes years of practice. Take your time. Remember the video. ‘Slowly. Slowly.’”
One student in her class, 10th-grader Christian Apolonio, tells Koers jokes about his terrible calligraphy skills.
“This looks so bad,” he says. “It’s not even funny. I’m seriously not doing this right.”
But he keeps trying and says despite the challenging nature, he likes the class. This is his second year with Koers, and he said he can speak some and understand more.
“Everybody does Spanish,” he said. “Nobody thinks ‘Oh, I’ll take Chinese.’ I wanted to do something different.”
Sophomore Luis Conejo was more practical about his reasons for enrolling in the class.
“I already speak Spanish,” he said. “China has a growing global economy. I thought it would be useful and cool to learn Chinese.”
Koers will participate in a six-week Associated Colleges in China Intensive Language and Culture program in Beijing this summer. She said a scholarship pays for her flight and room and board. The program instructs teachers on how to successfully teach Chinese.
“The exciting thing is we have to take a pact to speak only Chinese while we are there,” she said. “China is also changing so fast. It will give me an opportunity to see what is new.”
Timothy Weber, a sophomore at Rio Rancho High, practices calligraphy in his Mandarin Chinese class. He’s practicing the Chinese character that means “forever.”
— This article appeared on page 06 of the Albuquerque Journal
Read full article here.
California boasts the largest Chinese-American population and has more investment ties to China than any other U.S. State. Even with these economic relations Californians, and Americans in generall, know relatively little about the country that has 600 times more students studying English than Americans studying Mandarin. This trend is about to change as California’s Governor Jerry Brown announced, with collaboration from the 100,000 Strong Foundation, an initiative to provide community college students $250,000 in scholarship money to study Mandarin Chinese.
In this article from The Examiner, Fang and Cooper write how this new initiative will ensure that the next generation of Americans will have the skills needed to interact with America’s biggest trading partner.
Building California’s economy by deepening understanding of China
16 April 2013 by Florence Fang & Chris Cooper | The Examiner
During his visit to China, Gov. Jerry Brown promoted investment opportunities in industries such as clean energy, infrastructure and alternative-fuel vehicles that have the potential to remake California’s economy for decades.
Yet another initiative he highlighted might prove to be more far-reaching — an investment in the capacity of Californians to understand and directly connect with the people now building China’s economy.
While in Beijing, Brown announced a new program to send dozens of community college students to study in China starting in 2014. This initiative is made possible by a $250,000 gift from the Florence Fang Family Foundation, based in San Francisco, in support of the 100,000 Strong Foundation, launched recently by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to encourage young Americans to learn Mandarin and study in China.
The program will begin by helping students from the San Mateo County Community College District and will expand to other community colleges throughout the state. The program will seek to ensure that the next generation of Americans has the skills and knowledge to work with China, thereby growing businesses and our job base through greater exports and increased investment in the U.S.
This effort fills a great and growing need for our country — and especially California. China is not only the world’s second-largest economy, but it is also our second-largest trading partner and our third-largest export market.
China will continue to represent huge potential markets for American goods and services, including major California industries such as aerospace, telecommunications, information technology and entertainment.
With our Pacific orientation, the largest Chinese-American population in the nation and more investment deals from China than any other state, California is uniquely positioned to lead the U.S. in developing job-creating, business-building economic relationships with China.
In 2012, California exported roughly $14 billion in goods and services to China, in high-skill, high-wage and high-value-added sectors such as computers and electronic products. China is an especially important market for the Bay Area: During 2011 alone, the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont area exported $2.1 billion in goods and services to China, an 86 percent increase since 2005.
However, for all the bright promise of U.S.-China economic relations, large gaps in understanding may yet threaten our two countries’ economic prospects. Most Americans, including Californians, know relatively little about China.
Ten times more Chinese students come to the United States for educational programs than Americans going to China, and 600 times more Chinese study the English language than Americans study Mandarin.
Moreover, we must also ensure that opportunities to learn about China are not restricted to those from privileged backgrounds. That is why it is important to not only grow but also to diversify the roster of Americans who are engaged with China. For example, while approximately 43 percent of American undergraduates are enrolled in community colleges, just 3 percent of them study abroad. By focusing on community college students, the California program will begin to bridge this gap.
Through collaborations with the 100,000 Strong Foundation, California will play an increasingly important role building bridges of knowledge and understanding between the U.S. and China. Ultimately, these collaborations will not only build lasting relationships between our great nations, but a prosperous economic future for the Golden State.
Florence Fang and Chris Cooper are board members of the 100,000 Strong Foundation.
Read full article here.
After 1460 days of fun, hard work and dedication, the CLI community came together this weekend to celebrate its four-year anniversary! Over the past four years, we have welcomed an unforgettable spectrum of friends and family to our home in Guilin, and we look forward to elevating our impact to new heights throughout our fifth year and beyond.
Year four at CLI witnessed great press coverage from the likes of Frommer’s and the China Daily, formed new strategic partnerships with educational institutions, enjoyed the addition of several talented new team members, and celebrated the completion of a comprehensive renovation to our 5-story learning center.
To celebrate CLI’s anniversary we bypassed pin the tail on the donkey, pointy birthday hats and piñatas for a cave dinner inside one of Guilin’s beautiful mountains. The cave had a magical atmosphere with a calm lake outside, red lanterns hanging overhead, sizzling Chinese cuisine, and most importantly, the warm sound of conversation and laughter.
The anniversary party continued on Sunday with a vegetarian feast. CLI welcomed over 250 Guilin residents for an afternoon of great food, traditional Chinese music, paper cutting, and educational lectures. CLI strives to be a positive and integral part of the Guilin community, providing local and international students alike the opportunity to seamlessly immerse themselves within Chinese language and culture. For many locals it was their first time interacting with Mandarin-speaking foreigners – and boy were they taken back by our students’ Mandarin language ability!
As CLI continues to grow and expand its network throughout China and abroad, there is one thing that will always remain constant – our dedication to delivering a highly personalized cultural and language experience. We would also like to extend a big 谢谢 (xièxiè) to all former and current students, partner institutions, and all those who have put their trust in CLI. Without you CLI would not be possible.
Study Abroad Cultivates Global Leadership
08 February 2013 by Dr. Allan E. Goodman | Diplomatic Courier
Read full article here.
Mark Robinson, founder and president of HandicappedPets.com and the inventor of the Walkin’ Wheels adjustable dog wheelchair, was initially motivated to learn Chinese strictly for business reasons. He wanted to better communicate with Chinese manufacturers. However, Mark quickly realized that learning about Chinese language and culture provided him a sense of discovery and enjoyment other subjects simply couldn’t provide. Below, Mark shares one of his favorite cultural exchange moments from studying in Guilin.
The Adventures of Living in China
By Mark Robinson, CLI Immersion Student
One of the highlights of my stay in Guilin was the Sunday I spent going to English Corner. Sunday was a warm and sunny day. People still had their jackets on, but the sun was out and you could see a few patches of blue sky peering through the clouds.
My friend Edwin in Nashua recommended I meet some of his friends while staying in Guilin. They are the organizers of the Guilin English Corner that meets every Sunday at 10 AM. Like most of my excursions I had no idea what to expect.
Edwin had given me the QQ (China’s popular instant messaging software) address of Lisa, who sent me the location, in Chinese, of the place I was to meet them. I carefully copied the characters for the address on notepaper to give the taxi driver. He dropped me off about 30 minutes early and I went in search of breakfast.
Looking through American eyes I saw a dirty, open storefront where a toothless old man takes 3.5 RMB (about US$.56 cents) from the dozen or so people in line. As they get to the window, a matronly woman spits a few questions then serves a bowl of noodles from a makeshift pot adding chunks of brown stuff, a handful of green stuff, and a spoonful of balls of something-or-other. The people take the bowls to a table with a dozen cups of condiments, add several, and then sit on kindergarten-style plastic stools on the curb where they prod their food with chopsticks until it slides into their mouths.
My turn. She asks her questions. I nod and say “hào” (good). Sometimes you can nod and say “hào” and everything works out fine, no luck this time. She asks again. I have a line in reserve, just in case. “Wǒ shuō zhōngwén shuō de bù hǎo, kěshì wǒ hěn è.” This translates roughly to, “I cannot speak Chinese well, but I am very hungry.”
Success! She smiles, chuckles, and points to various pots and I keep saying “hào” as she adds a spoonful of their contents to my bowl of white rice noodles. There are four kinds of meat on the cutting board. She waves her finger and I point to one – pork, I’m guessing (guessing is always an adventure). I added a few condiments like I watched others do, found a stool, and began my chopstick attack. I’m good, but the noodles were better and I spent the next 15 minutes slurping up an incredibly delicious breakfast.
During a recent meeting with New York City teenagers, Gary Locke, U.S. Ambassador to China, stressed the positive impact that learning Mandarin would have on their future. Locke emphasized that learning such a far reaching language could almost guarantee a job in their chosen field. Lock feels that it is not only important for these students’ future, but for the future of the world. The ambassador believes that most of the world’s largest issues could be solved if the USA and China begin to work together; a movement that can only begin with our children studying Mandarin.
In this article from Asia Society, Anthony Jackson details Ambassador Locke’s visit to New York City and how he inspired a group of students to learn Mandarin.
Gary Locke Advises Students: To Get a Job in 21st Century, Learn Chinese
21 December 2012 by Anthony Jackson | Asia Society
This week I watched as New York City teens talked about pirates. They weren’t talking about Robinson Crusoe in class. Nor was their conversation about the Pittsburgh Pirates, and it certainly wasn’t about Captain Jack Sparrow.
They were talking about very real pirates off the Eastern coast of Africa. And they were talking about it with the Honorable Gary Locke, U.S. Ambassador to China.
The students came from seven secondary schools throughout the city that have an international studies focus, and they were all Chinese language learners. Their questions came as easily as their comfort in hanging out with a United States Ambassador.
Sequoya Fahie asked about bilateral relations solving common problems. “We’re not going to be able to solve many of the world’s problems unless China and the United States are working together,” the diplomat explained. There are many international security issues that the United States and China work on together: the war in Afghanistan, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in North Korea, and water security issues related to global warming.
The discourse about international affairs was important to the students, but perhaps more so was how they can make a difference in the world.
Isaac Guerrero asked about career pathways into a life of civic service, like the one Locke has chosen. Locke started out in law, and then went into local government. His advice to the students, however, didn’t mirror his own experience.
“[In the 21st century], learn about history. Learn about culture, and language,” he advised. “If you can speak Chinese or Spanish, you are practically guaranteed a job in your chosen field.”
Ambassador Locke said that people of his father’s generation often stayed in one job throughout their working lives. “The thing to understand,” he told the students, “is that you have many possibilities throughout your life. ”Beyond diplomacy, he encouraged students to follow their many passions, whether law or writing, dance or running a business. The key? “Get a good education.”
“It’s not so important to memorize things as it is to be able to analyze things,” Locke said. He encouraged students to pursue deeper learning: ask questions, have an informed opinion, and be able to defend their positions. While he encouraged them to be strong in the humanities and sciences, he stressed that their ability to think critically would set them apart.
Hearing the many questions the students posed to Ambassador Locke — from heritage and identity issues to international relations — it’s clear to me that these students are getting exactly the kind of education Locke urges them to pursue. They are able to raise good questions and express themselves clearly, and they are confident in their quest to learn more about the complex world around them.
In this interconnected world, every student should have this type of education. As Ambassador Locke said, with it, “you’ll be set for life.”
There may not be snow in Guilin, but winter is still winter and with the changing seasons come new opportunities to experience Chinese culture. Last weekend, CLI students partook in what some locals deem a winter tradition by traveling into the mountains for a soak in the hot springs.
The hot springs, or nature’s “hot tub”, provided students the opportunity to relax in the mountain’s natural beauty without feeling the effects of its cool, stinging wind. Besides being surrounded by scenery fit for a postcard, the sulfur springs are also believed to have many health benefits. The sulfur springs are used to treat ailments ranging from arthritis to skin irritations to high blood pressure.
After a relaxing day, students sat down for a traditional Yao minority dinner. Students enjoyed homemade rice wine, local produce, and the traditional Spring Festival meat, làròu. Yao minority women are known for their colorful handmade clothes, silver jewelry, and long hair. Their hair often reaches lengths of over one meter.
The next morning, as the sun climbed over the mountains and steam billowed off the water, students return to the hot springs for an early morning soak before hiking to a nearby village for lunch. The consensus amongst students was that everyone should have the opportunity to start their day in this tranquil manner. Once in the water it was tough to leave, but a flowing waterfall and lunch were waiting in a nearby village.
To get to the nearby village and waterfall students trekked alongside a meandering river. The water rushing over rocks and quacks of webbed foot inhabitants provided the optimal hiking soundtrack.
At the village students had the opportunity to practice speaking Chinese by ordering lunch. After lunch was ordered, students relaxed near the local waterfall while waiting for the food to be prepared. A hot pot lunch was eaten outside in the shadow of the mountains. Food was plentiful as each student did their best to finish the heaps of food that were placed before them.
After lunch, it was time to hike back to the van that would return us home to Guilin. It was tough to say goodbye to the comforts of the hot springs, but with Monday fast approaching and homework still needing to be done it was time to go. It’s a safe bet to assume many wished CLI had its own nature’s “hot tub” to relax in.
More students are realizing the importance of learning a second language at a younger age. Dallas-area schools are giving their students the chance to learn Mandarin. As China becomes a growing world influence, school districts across the United States are looking to offer Mandarin as a second language. Dallas-area schools are not alone as estimates show that around 100,000 K-12 students are currently studying Mandarin and that number is showing nothing but growth.
In this article from the Dallas Morning News, Wendy Hundley goes into detail on why school districts are choosing to learn Mandarin and how students are receiving the new opportunity.
Mandarin Chinese catching on in Dallas-area schools
19 November 2012 by Wendy Hundley | The Dallas Morning News
Thomas Cheatham had planned to study Latin during his sophomore year at Hebron High School.
But when he learned that the Lewisville school district was going to offer a Mandarin Chinese class, he quickly changed his mind.
“I thought it would be more beneficial than Latin,” said Cheatham, who is now in his second year of studying the official language of China.
He speaks Mandarin to order food at Chinese restaurants and can read Facebook postings from his Chinese-speaking friends.
While it’s a difficult language to master, the high school junior, who plans to study computer engineering, thinks it will be an asset in his career.
“Chinese is a good language to know, especially with China becoming a growing power,” he said.
Many experts agree that proficiency in a language spoken by a billion people worldwide will give American students an edge in the global economy.
“People are looking at China as our next economic competitor, and interest in Mandarin Chinese is growing,” said Marty Abbott, executive director of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. “We’re seeing it in all parts of the country.”
The number of students studying Mandarin in public schools nationwide in grades seven through 12 grew from 20,000 in 2004-05 to 60,000 three years later, according to the council’s most recent survey.
Abbott estimates that as many as 100,000 students are now studying Mandarin in public and private schools throughout the nation.
She said the U.S. government has designated Mandarin to be a “critical needs” language and provides professional development programs for teachers.
“Our government wants to increase our language competency for national security and economic competitiveness,” Abbott said.
At the same time, the Chinese government is spreading knowledge of the Chinese language and culture through Confucius Institutes established in many states.
The Confucius Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas, founded in 2007, sponsors Confucius Classrooms at 11 local public and private schools where more than 700 students are learning Mandarin.
One of the beneficiaries is the Westwood School, a Dallas private school, where 240 of the 283 students are learning Mandarin.
“Ni hao,” says a student as she passes teacher Janet Lin on her way to a Confucius Classroom at the school’s International Baccalaureate high school.
Lin began teaching Mandarin at the school in 2010. A grant from the Confucius Institute last year allowed the program to expand to all grades and provided books, audiovisual equipment and two temporary teachers from China.
Now Lin leads a group of preschoolers in singing songs in Chinese before heading to the high school to teach a small class of seniors. Once they graduate, they’ll be qualified for Chinese 3 classes at the college level.
“I wanted to try a new language that I didn’t know anything about,” said Tommy Hendricks, 18.
Natasha Houshmand, 15, thinks knowledge of Mandarin will be an attention grabber on college applications and will be an asset in her medical career. “It opens up a lot more doors,” she said.
In China, 300 million people are studying English, said Ming Dong Gu, director of the Confucius Institute at UTD.
“More and more English-speaking people realize the necessity of learning Chinese,” he said. “In this age of globalization, with the immigration of ideas, people, capital and technology, we need to learn foreign languages.”
Although China has 56 ethnic groups and many dialects, Mandarin is spoken or understood by more than 90 percent of the population, Gu said.
“Even if you speak another language, [Mandarin] is the written language,” said Gu. He is convinced that Chinese proficiency is an added benefit for job seekers.
He said a student landed a job with AutoZone, which does business with China, “simply because she knows Chinese.”
For some local school districts, online learning is one way to add Chinese to the foreign-language lineup in a cost-effective way.
Lewisville and Irving school districts began offering Mandarin classes through mylanguage360.com, an Austin company that provides online teachers for 52 districts nationwide.
Last year, half of the teachers lived in Beijing and had to adapt their teaching schedules to the 14-hour time difference.
“Some of the Beijing teachers would work at 2 in the morning,” said Myken Nordquist, who manages enrollment for the company.
Now, she said, many of these teachers have moved to the United States, easing the certification process and avoiding middle-of-the-night classes.
Scheduling conflicts convinced Lewisville district officials that evening classes worked best for students who couldn’t squeeze another class into their busy schedules.
Cheatham is one of a dozen students who meet in a live, interactive class between 7 and 8 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays.
“It’s as difficult as I expected,” he said of the unfamiliar Mandarin characters and tones he studies in real time with the online teacher.
To learn about the country, the students create avatars to take virtual visits to places like the Forbidden Palace and the Great Wall of China.
“I really enjoy the online aspect of the class,” he said. “It’s better than a textbook.”
In the Irving school district, 60 students at MacArthur and Irving high schools are enrolled in Mandarin classes that meet during the regular school day.
The online class costs the district $600 per student, or $36,000 for the yearlong program.
Officials estimate that it would cost a minimum of $100,000 to hire teachers for each high school, saving the district at least $64,000.
“We were concerned with the teacher being so far away,” said Julie Soberanis, lead counselor at MacArthur. “But the kids have done very well.”
Ruth Tanner’s daughter, Lily, earns A’s in her class at MacArthur. She’s also finding a link to her past.
“I adopted her from China when she was 18 months old,” said Tanner, who doesn’t speak Chinese and found that Lily quickly forgot the few Mandarin words she knew after coming to America.
Now Lily is relearning her native tongue and reconnecting with her heritage.
“I think it’s important because she’s learning positive things about her culture,” Tanner said. “This is an opportunity to be proud of who she is.”
Read full article here.