禮贊70年 | 加深了解,推動中美兩國友好交流

來源:SOHU  [  作者:孔子學院.   ]  責編:楊麗  |  侵權/違法舉報

原標題:禮贊70年 | 加深了解,推動中美兩國友好交流





My name is John Brender and I have been director of the Confucius Institute (CI) at Wayne State University (WSU) since 2008. As director of a CI, I provide programming and events for various audiences, being mindful of our community, its needs, and interests.I also have the pleasure of bringing many people together, often in meaningful and significant ways.

Having been a volunteer at the Michigan Japanese Quiz Bowl, I launched an annual Michigan China Quiz Bowl for middle and high school students. Although Quiz Bowl is a time- intensive and challenging endeavor, I am proud to have offered this catalyst since 2009 for many hundreds of students, who, perhaps as a result, have taken their Chinese to a higher level!

Having been a foreigner in Japan, I understand the isolation experienced by many Chinese teachers in our area and quickly founded an annual conference for them. Our CI has now sponsored eleven such conferences with 100-120 attendees each year. The event provides a venue to exchange ideas, advice, and encouragement—and to hear language-learning tips from students!

In 2011, my staff and I decided to shoot a series of short videos, spotlighting Chinese idioms. In each video, a Chinese speaker and a curious learner discuss a phrase, model the pronunciation, and provide an opportunity to repeat it. The“Learn a Chinese Phrase”video series now offers 130 videos, touts 160,000 views, and has been seen in over 120 countries. We were selected as one of the top ten free Chinese video series of 2015 by Appbrain2 and on rare occasions, we are even stopped for selfies!

Other programming includes K-12 outreach visits, summer camps, study abroad programs, adult outreach programs, weekly lectures, speech contests, etc. As an educator, I am thrilled to provide so many learning opportunities to my community.

My greatest satisfaction is seeing the relationships that have come about through our CI.Many students, volunteers, and Chinese graduate assistants have kept in touch with us and many more have kept up with each other. We have social media to thank, but the efforts to visit one another and share milestones have transformed many former students, staff members and volunteers into not just friends but surrogate family members!

Our retired volunteers have often welcomed our Chinese assistants into their homes and taken them on excursions. One couple in their 70"s, known as“yéye”(爺爺) and“n?inai”(奶奶), is preparing for their second trip to Europe, where they will visit with former assistants in England and France. Another couple traveled to China last year, and met with former assistants in Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Wuhan, and Xi"an! Our students who study or work in Wuhan have ready-made networks and we have even joked about starting an“Americantown”there!

I keep in touch with many former assistants and visit them, along with WSU students, when I am in Wuhan and other places. I have written many letters of recommendation and spoken with recruiters on their behalf. While my personal accomplishments are limited, I take solace in seeing our assistants blossom during their time with us. Some have gone on to graduate schools in China, the US, and the UK; some have become highly effective teachers of Chinese; and some have taken on impressive positions at companies such as Alibaba, JD.COM, China Mobile, China Resources, and Capital Airlines.

In sum, I am happy to have helped Americans and non-Chinese people learn about China and help Chinese learn about the U.S. I have learned a lot and presented my research at Chinese and American universities. More than anything, I believe in the power of bringing people together as a way to broaden our thinking and minimize our prejudices.

When my Chinese director and I were young, the US and China had no diplomatic relations. In our respective countries, we learned to fear one another and to treat each other’s values with suspicion and disdain. Now that we have been exposed to each other’s country and have brought many Americans and Chinese to do the same, I have hope that future generations will better think for themselves, and hopefully become less subject to the agendas of powerful and sometimes exploitative forces.

我叫卞約翰(John Brender),自2008年以來一直擔任美國偉恩州立大學孔子學院的院長。作為孔院院長,我為社區群體提供各類計劃與文化活動。我很高興能以有意義的方式把許多人連接在一起。


我曾為密歇根日語知識競賽(Michigan Japanese Quiz Bowl)做過志愿者,后來我發起了專門面向初中和高中生的年度密歇根漢語知識競賽(Michigan China Quiz Bowl)。




目前,“學習漢語短語”(Learn a Chinese Phrase)視頻系列共有130個視頻,總觀看量達16萬次,在120多個國家/地區播放。我們曾入選AppBrain2的2015年十大免費漢語視頻系列,甚至偶爾會有人攔下我們來張自拍照!














John Brender is Director of the Confucius Institute at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He has taught Spanish, Japanese, English, linguistics, and language teaching methods. He has also worked as a corporate trainer. His research has focused largely on international and ethnic student identity at North American universities.


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