UISFL 2016-2019 Enhancing Undergraduate Chinese Language and Culture Studies:  Integrating Faculty and Curriculum Development
Hosted by Asian Studies Development Program
The China Project

Enhancing Undergraduate Chinese Language and Culture Studies:
Integrating Faculty and Curriculum Development

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Project Activities

The major activities around which this 3-year project is organized are: 1] annual two-week Summer Seminars that will enable teams of faculty from each campus to develop core courses on Chinese Cultures and Histories (Year 1) and Contemporary China (Year 2), and to explore how best to foster the integrated development of language and cultural content courses on their campuses; 2] annual, two-day Core Course Workshops held on each of the campuses in the consortium; 3] a consortium-wide Language Workshop (in Year 2) focused on language pedagogy and strategies for integrating language learning into humanities and social science courses; 4] a two-week Summer Field Seminar in China (Year 3) that will afford participant teams from each school to explore experiential learning opportunities and partnerships for student study abroad courses; and 5] a consortium-wide Lessons Learned Conference (Year 3) that will enable representatives from consortium schools to share lessons learned and develop sustainability plans, including plans for building student-faculty study abroad programs.

Boy with Water Buffalo; Qing dynasty, 18th century,
China; Jade; Photo credit:  www.metmuseum.org
Two-week Faculty Development Summer Seminars on Building Chinese Studies

Five-person, interdisciplinary teams, including a Chinese language teacher, from each campus, will attend both the Year 1 and Year 2 Summer Seminars, and each year will be responsible for drafting a core course in Chinese studies that reflects the thematic focus of the Summer Seminar. Over the course of the subsequent fall and spring semesters, teams will refine core course drafts and host briefings on each Seminar’s content for other interested faculty on campus, including adjuncts. Over the three years of the project, teams will also work together to infuse China-focused humanities and social science courses with basic Chinese language instruction materials and will develop a set of at least ten humanities and social science courses infused with significant Chinese content.

Each of the two-week programs will feature over 35 hours of instruction time, including: ten individual lectures and discussions led by relevant, nationally recognized Chinese studies experts in both humanities and social science disciplines; pedagogical sessions aimed at developing strategies for infusing Chinese content into existing core courses in the humanities and social sciences; a targeted discussion of primary source materials useful in a wide range of undergraduate courses and available in both Chinese and English translation; an introduction to Chinese cultural learning resources on line; and an evening series of films and cultural performances. During each Summer Seminar, teams will meet with ASDP staff and the Seminar Director to discuss their curriculum projects and campus goals.

Core Course Curriculum Development Workshops on the U.S. Mainland
In each year of the project, Core Course Workshops will be hosted on each of the four consortium member campuses. These workshops will bring two relevant Chinese area studies specialists and the Project Director to each campus for two days. Following content-based presentations in a seminar-like setting for the 6-member campus team and other interested faculty members and students, the visiting specialists and Project Director will meet with the team members to assess revisions of the course curriculum designed the previous summer. The visiting experts will also: offer feedback on the host institution’s progress in improving and expanding Chinese language and area studies offerings; make presentations to the entire campus community; lead discussions in two to three classrooms; and meet with appropriate administrative personnel.

The Core Course Workshop in Years 1 and 2 will be organized to further explore the content areas focused on in the Summer Seminars that precede them. The Year 3 program will be organized around themes, identified by the six-person teams at each institution, around which to organize a student study abroad course. As such, planning for the Year 3 workshop will fold into planning for the Summer Field Seminar in China. With recognition that peer advocacy is particularly effective in generating interest in study abroad opportunities, the Year 3 workshops will also include a student symposium on “Why China Matters.” Students who have taken Chinese language and area studies courses will be invited to submit short essays on the symposium theme and two student prizes of $200 will be awarded on each consortium campus, selected by campus project participants.

Consortium-wide Language Meeting
This meeting, hosted in Year 2, will be attended by the primary language instructors and key project coordinators from each of the four consortium schools, and will be directed by Dr. Cyndy Ning. Consortium school representatives will share lessons learned from their current curricula and language development efforts to date, and will present their drafts of language enhancement plans for both peer-review and critical engagement by Dr. Ning. Following this, Dr. Ning will make a series of presentations that will introduce participants to new approaches to Chinese language pedagogy, including multimedia approaches being developed by Dr. Ning, and that will help language instructors integrate academically significant cultural content into their teaching. This meeting will also provide an opportunity for Dr. Ning to assist consortium teams to begin the process of articulating rationales and strategies for mainstreaming student study abroad programs to China. The Language Workshop will be hosted by University of Central Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, OK.

Summer Field Seminar in China
The Summer Field Seminar will enable two teachers from each consortium team to travel for two weeks in China. The Field Seminar will combine experiential learning with a program focused broadly on the current dynamics and historical underpinnings of China’s reemergence as a global power over the last quarter century. Input from project participants regarding themes around which to structure the Year 3 Core Course Workshop and future student study abroad programs will be used to plan the Field Seminar lectures and site visits. Through carefully planned visits to the national capital and two provinces, the program will afford insights into the complex and shifting relationships among: national ideals of unity and social harmony; local realities of uneven development; cultural and ethnic difference; and the challenges of squaring central government policies with provincial and regional interests.

Planning and logistical arrangements for the program will be facilitated by the Office of International Relations (OIR) at Peking University (PKU). In addition to assisting with activities in Beijing, our key contact at PKU, Ms. Zhou Manli (OIR Deputy Chief of the Division of Exchange Programs), will help coordinate planning with the foreign affairs offices at our provincial university partners: Yunnan University in Kunming and Fudan University in Shanghai. The project directors will draw upon the experiences and relationships developed in the course of ASDP’s eleven field seminars hosted in China from 1993 to 2013 to ensure that the project itinerary will meet educator needs and address program themes.

Consortium-wide Lessons Learned Conference
The consortium-wide Lessons Learned Conference (in Year 3) will enable representatives from consortium schools to: discuss challenges and lessons learned from their faculty and curriculum development efforts; work collaboratively among institutions to refine curriculum materials; and develop plans for sustaining and enhancing institutional commitments to Chinese studies, including grants development, student-faculty study abroad program development, and strategies for introducing adjuncts to the databases of curricular materials developed by the project participants on each campus. Each consortium member school will send three faculty members or appropriate administrators, including the campus coordinator. The Lessons Learned Conference will be hosted by Berea College in Berea, KY.