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For the second year in a row, the Confucius Institute was awarded a STARTALK grant for its summer institute on Cultural Integration for Proficiency-Oriented Mandarin Instruction (CIPOMI). Chinese teachers from various programs came together for a two-week course to analyze and apply theories and research about culture and culture learning, create objectives for culture learning, and examine curricular models for integrating language and culture. They then constructed lesson plans that used cultural context to teach language objectives. It was an exciting time and very challenging for the teachers to adjust their teaching in this way. One participant suggested that thinking about language and culture in this way was “revolutionary.” A big thank you to our returning instructors, Professor Martha Bigelow, Dr. Wang Yu, Ms. Margaret Wong, and Ms. Johanna Ennser-Kananen.
Workshop participants had the opportunity to explore the teaching and learning of Chinese cultures, create curriculum to use in their own classes, and make lasting connections to other Chinese teachers. CIPOMI participants had the opportunity to develop and micro-teach on various Chinese culture topics.