Pellissippi State Community College will host a dedication and reception in recognition of the college’s newly established Confucius Classroom on Feb. 16. The classroom is the result of a prestigious grant Pellissippi State received though the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis.
Representatives from Pellissippi State and the Confucius Institute will be on hand to welcome faculty, staff, students and the community to the event.
Pellissippi State is the only community college in Tennessee to receive a grant for the establishment of a Confucius Classroom. It began offering courses in Chinese language and culture in January.
Already, the classes have proven popular. “Beginning Chinese I” was at full capacity even before the spring semester got under way. Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, and it is estimated that 100 million people worldwide are learning to speak Chinese. The course offers instruction specifically in Mandarin Chinese.
The grant awarded to Pellissippi State covers not only general financial support for start-up costs, but it also supplies computer hardware and software for Chinese language instruction. As part of the grant, the Confucius Institute will provide 1,000 books to the Pellissippi State library.
The award also establishes funding for a full-time instructor from China to teach the language and culture classes. Qiao Gui-qiang, also known as “Freeman,” serves as the instructor for both courses.
As part of the Confucius Classroom grant, Pellissippi State will be able to offer “Beginning Chinese II” during the fall 2011 semester, a definite advantage for students who seek to lay the foundation in their Chinese language instruction prior to transferring to a four-year institution.
The dedication and reception will feature light refreshments and entertainment, as well as a chance for attendees to meet Freeman and representatives from the Confucius Institute.
The Confucius Institute, under the leadership of the Chinese Ministry of Education, is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious public institution that provides Chinese teaching resources and services for all countries. Confucius Institutes are established by the China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (colloquially known as Hanban), headquartered in Beijing.
“Being selected for a Confucius Classroom is a tremendous honor,” said Allen Edwards, Pellissippi State president. “We are excited to be able to offer our students not only courses in Chinese language and culture but also learning tools and support materials.
“We’re committed to making international education available and affordable to our students. In today’s global economy, it’s essential for them to learn about and experience other cultures. The Confucius Classroom also affords us the opportunity to share Chinese culture with the entire community.”
The dedication and reception begin at 3 p.m. in the College Center in the J.L. Goins Administration Building on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
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