Featured Panels

China 100 - An Online Exhibit for the Centennial of Chinese Studies at University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

Song Jiang, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Dongyun Ni, Hamilton Library, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Shana Brown, Department of History, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

Founded through the advocacy of Hawai’i-born Chinese supporters, the University of Hawai’i (UH) has offered courses in Chinese language and history at UH-Mānoa since its founding in 1920. Over the fifty years following 1920, the field grew significantly within UH, with specialists joining academic departments to teach Chinese language, literature, history, politics, and many other fields. The institutional investment in Chinese (and other Asian) language and culture programs helped create a distinctive program of study that continues not only to bolster the UHM curriculum, but also significantly influences Chinese studies at many other US universities. Those first fifty years of Chinese studies at UHM continue to impact the university, our community, and global academia. We created an online exhibit to document and explore the significance of Chinese studies at UHM and how the distinctive institutional culture continues to influence contemporary Chinese studies locally and beyond.

To trace the history of Chinese language teaching at UHM, this panel will give an account of the contributions of the representative scholars who played essential roles in the establishment of the Chinese language program at the university, including Wang Tien Mu (serving time 1921-1922), Lee Shao Chang (1922-1943), Chao Yuen Ren (1938-1940), John Young (1964-1974), John DeFrancis, (1966–1976), Li Fang-Kuei (1969–1972), etc. We will discuss the Chinese curriculum, course content, teaching methods, and course offerings in different historical periods and discuss the historical significance of the development of Chinese teaching at UHM, its past impact on the American Chinese teaching community, and the present inspiration it brings to current Chinese language teaching in the US.

The library had been collecting materials on China since its early days. Identified as a chief source of strength, the China Collection continued to grow to provide high-quality research collections and instructional support to all Chinese studies-related programs and services. By revealing the first half-century development of the China Collection from archival materials and other resources, we intend to showcase the collective effort in building and supporting the China Collection at UHM.

The Chinese Language Education Association of Hawai‘i (CLEAH): Born in Strife, Vibrant, but Still Facing Challenges

Cyndy Ning, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Joyce Leung, retired, Kawananakoa Middle School and Roosevelt High School
Rebecca Lin, Iolani School
Meiyi Shade, Maryknoll School

The Chinese Language Education Association of Hawai‘i was created in 1977 in a desperate attempt by nine educators to save the Chinese language program at Kawananakoa Middle School from elimination. The teacher who was at the heart of that struggle, Joyce T. Leung 梁雷庆桃, became its first president. She opens this panel presentation by describing the Association’s early turbulent years.  

From those lean times, Chinese language education in Hawai‘I has grown steadily, and CLEAH too has kept pace, with its current membership exceeding 130 educators. Current CLEAH president Cyndy Ning 任友梅 will give a brief overview of the history and current status of Chinese language education in Hawai‘i.  

One of the key institutions offering Chinese in Hawai‘i, Iolani School (prestigious private school and the alma mater of Dr. Sun Yatsen), has a thriving Chinese language program. CLEAH secretary Rebecca Lin 林皑如, will give a brief description of the life on the ground of a hard-working Chinese language teacher.  

As we look to the future, Hawai‘i has followed one of the fastest growing trends in U.S. foreign language education—immersion language programs. Meiyi Shade 刘美仪, immersion teacher at Maryknoll Elementary School, will describe the wonder of grade school American children who speak fluent Chinese.  

Finally, Cyndy Ning will close with some cautionary notes about navigating the waters in these times of US-China tension.

Brief yet Rich: The History and Development of Business Chinese Teaching, Research and Practice

Mien-hwa Chiang, University of Pennsylvania
Jane Kuo, retired, University of California, San Diego
Chin-Chin Tseng, National Taiwan Normal University
Haidan Wang, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Business Chinese can be traced back to the popular Chinese textbooks Nogeoldae 老乞大 lit. “Old Cathayan” and Bak Tongsa 朴通事 lit. "Pak the Interpreter" (1392-1910) in the Goryeo Dynasty. However, its recent development in the past 40 to 50 years has been particularly remarkable, with the rise of Taiwan's economy (1970s-80s) as well as mainland China’s Reform and Opening starting from the 1980s. Different from Chinese as a Second Language in general, Business Chinese seeks to meet the special requirements of its learners by advocating situation-based teaching and training. In presentation of the teaching, research, and practice of Business Chinese in the past decades:

Chiang, Mien-hwa (蔣冕華) describes the business Chinese courses, textbook compilation, and teaching methods at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) over four decades. Starting from the needs of the American state and policies in the last century, UPenn’s business Chinese has gained support from the National Humanities Foundation, developed a complete curriculum for year-round courses for all levels, auxiliary to the business Chinese program at the Lauder Institute of the Wharton School.

Kuo, Jane (郭珠美) presents the development of business Chinese teaching materials at the Thunderbird School of Global Management since 1974. The trajectory is actually closely connected with China's economic system reform and the historical trajectory of globalization.

Tseng, Chin-Chin (曾金金) presents the development of business Chinese along with the creation of Chinese textbooks since the 1960s through oral history research. The history of commercial Chinese teaching and textbook creation formed with the learners'; needs as the starting point will be highlighted, under the backdrop of Taiwan's economic and trade development.

Wang, Haidan (王海丹) surveys the development of business Chinese in the field of special-purpose Chinese teaching since the birth of relevant curricula and teaching materials and summarizes the analysis of teaching materials, the evolution of teaching methods, curriculum setting and program design. Strengths, limitations, and future directions of the field will also be discussed.

Interviews on Teachers Trained in Reserve for Teaching Chinese Language Abroad by Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China (1961-1964)

Shi Zhengyu - School of Chinese as a Second Language of Peking University
Peng Lemei - School of History of Beijing Normal University
Liu Jialei - School of Chinese as a Second Language of Peking University
Zhao Mei - School of Chinese as a Second Language of Peking University

It was in the 1960s that the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China established the Programme of Teachers Trained in Reserve for Teaching Chinese Language Abroad (hereinafter referred to as the "Chinese Teachers Training Programme") under the leadership of Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and Foreign Minister Chen Yi to train bilingual Chinese language teachers and to create a dedicated Chinese language teaching team. This programme was a landmark national programme in the history of Chinese language education in contemporary China. From 1961 to 1964, four batches of 150 university graduates were selected for this programme. They took foreign language classes (Arabic, French, English and Spanish) in Beijing Foreign Studies Institute (Beijing Foreign Studies University now), Peking University and Beijing Language Institute (Beijing Language and Culture University now) respectively. Then the team became the first national team to undergo special foreign language training in the history of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language on the Chinese mainland. From 2020to present, Professor Shi Zhengyu (施正宇) has led her team in visiting and interviewing nearly a hundred teachers enrolled in this program as well as their acquaintances. They clarify the origins of the Chinese Teachers Training Programme and provide an objective basis for determining the position of this Programme within the history of Chinese language education in contemporary China by analyzing relevant historical documents and archives and utilizing extensive primary source materials.

There are four presentations in this group in total. Firstly, Professor Shi Zhengyu will present the origins, the training plan, the teaching model, as well as the selection and study of the teachers of the Chinese Teachers Training Programme, based on the results of their interviews and archive searches.

Peng Lemei (彭乐梅), Liu Jialei (刘佳蕾) and Zhao Mei (赵美) will present personal interviews of He Ziquan (何子铨,studied French in 1961), Sun Hui (孙晖,studied English in 1963) and Qi Yikai (漆以凯, studied English in 1963) respectively, which will introduce these teachers' experiences of personal study, being selected as reserve teachers, foreign language study, teaching Chinese abroad, etc. Through the microscopic perspectives of the individuals, the research team hopes to present a macroscopic view of the Chinese Teachers Training Programme and the basic state policy of Chinese language dissemination in contemporary China, as well as providing historical experience that may be applied to Chinese language instruction development in the future.