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

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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。

舉辦活動,互相成長

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)。

盡管舉辦知識競賽是一項既耗時又富有挑戰性的工作,但我很自豪能從2009年以來為數百名學生提供這項活動,他們的漢語水平也由此上了一個臺階!

作為一名曾經身處日本的異鄉人,我對我們地區許多中國教師所遭遇的孤獨感深有體會,所以我很快就為他們設立了年度會議制度。我們的孔院目前已經主辦了11場這樣的會議,每年都有100到120人參會。這項活動為教師之間交流經驗、相互學習以及互相鼓勵提供了場所,同時還能在會上聆聽學生分享語言學習竅門!

2011年,我和我的員工決定拍攝一系列短片,重點介紹漢語習語。在每個視頻中,都有一位講漢語的人和一位愛問問題的學習者討論一條短語,示范發音,還反復重復這條短語。

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!

我們的其他計劃包括K-12訪問、夏令營、留學計劃、每周講座、演講比賽等等。作為一名教育工作者,我很高興能為社區帶來如此多的學習機會。

凝聚人心,收獲友情與愛情

最令我滿意的事情,就是我們的孔院促成了很多合作和聯系。許多學生、志愿者和中國研究生助理與我們保持了聯系,還有更多人相互之間保持著聯絡。我們得感謝社交媒體,然而相互拜訪和分享里程碑式的成就才真正讓許多從前的學生、職員和志愿者不僅變成了朋友,還親如家人!

我們的離任志愿者經常歡迎我們的中國助理去他們家里做客,帶他們就近游覽。一對70多歲的夫婦(漢語里就叫做“爺爺”和“奶奶”)正準備第二次前往歐洲,看望遠在英國和法國的前助理。

去年,另一對夫婦前往中國,在北京、深圳、上海、武漢和西安與之前的助理見面!我們在武漢學習或工作的學生已經坐擁現成的人脈網絡,我們甚至開玩笑說要在武漢建立一座“美國城”!

促進交流,減少偏見

我與許多前助理都有聯系,當我待在武漢和其他地方時,就會和偉恩州立大學的學生一起拜訪他們。我寫了許多推薦信,并代表他們與招聘人員交流。

雖然我的個人成就很有限,但我很欣慰地看到我們的助理在與我們共事期間取得了累累碩果。有些人進入了中國、美國和英國的研究生院;一些人已然成為出色的漢語老師;有些人則已在阿里巴巴、京東、中國移動、華潤和首都航空等公司擔當要職。

總之,我很高興能幫助美國人了解中國,幫助中國人了解美國。我學到了很多東西,也在中國和美國的大學展示了我的研究成果。最重要的是,我相信將人們凝聚在一起的力量可以拓寬我們的思維、減少我們的偏見。

在我和我們中方院長年輕的時候,中美兩國還沒建交。當時,在我們各自的國家中,我們只學會相互畏懼,以懷疑和不屑的態度對待彼此的價值觀。

現在,我們已經深入了解了彼此的國家,帶動了許多美國人和中國人相互交流,我希望子孫后代能夠有更強的獨立思考能力,避免受到政治議程的影響。

作者簡介

————

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.

卞約翰博士,美國偉恩州立大學孔子學院美方院長,曾教授西班牙語、日語、英語、語言學及教學法。主要研究領域為跨文化交際,北美大學國際學生的身份認同等領域,專職任偉恩州立大學孔子學院美方院長11年。

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