SF State’s Confucius Institute honored

SF State’s Confucius Institute was named a program of the year by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters, an international Chinese language education organization. President Robert A. Corrigan accepted the honor and signed a 5-year renewal agreement with Madam Xu Lin, director of Hanban, in Beijing on Dec. 12.

A photo of a Chinese singer in front of the American and Chinese flags and a Confucius Institute SFSU banner.

A performance at Chinese Culture Day, sponsored by the Confucius Institute.

Twenty-five institutes out of more than 350 worldwide were recognized as 2011 Confucius Institutes of the Year. Only four institutes from the U.S. were recognized, including SF State.

Established in 2005 and inaugurated the following year, the Confucius Institute at San Francisco State University (CISFSU) was the first Western U.S. home for the international education program. A partnership between SF State and the Beijing Normal University, the institute provides opportunities for Chinese language programs throughout Northern California. The SF State program provides learning opportunities at all levels, including Chinese language courses, teacher training, Chinese Language Bridge courses for American principals and superintendents, Internet-based Chinese proficiency tests, Chinese culture and arts performances, and a Chinese proficiency competition for college students. Addressing the unique needs of the Bay Area’s diverse population, the CISFSU also offers classes in Mandarin for Cantonese speakers.

“The Confucius Institute complements SF State’s goal to prepare students for international involvement,” said Jiaxin Xie, director of the CISFSU. “It also provides an excellent opportunity for us to greatly enhance our Chinese language learning and instruction programs.”

Xie, a native of China who has directed the CISFSU since 2008, expects this Confucius Institute recognition will encourage even more faculty exchange and curriculum sharing between SF State and the Beijing Normal University. Faculty from Beijing have already taught courses in Chinese idioms and Chinese modern culture on campus. “These kinds of courses are invaluable to anyone who plans to do business in China or work with Chinese professionals,” Xie said.

A public institution affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education, Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters provides international Chinese language and cultural teaching resources and services to encourage multiculturalism and a harmonious world.

-- Denize Springer