For the past several years, the administrative team has been working to develop a Chinese culture and language program here at GA. This year we are proud to report that we have successfully developed such a program at home and with partners in China. These initiatives began with a fun Chinese New Year Celebration and will continue through 2013.
GA hosted its first Chinese New Year Celebration in February 2011 in the Common and Dining Rooms. Ms. Wendy Chen, the instructor of Lower School’s Chinese Culture and Language, led nearly 20 students from ASAP (After School Academic Programs) through a performance of Chinese song and dance to a large and delighted audience.
The Chinese Testing Center opened in May 2011 when Director of Chinese Exchange Programs/Director of Confucius Classroom Susan Xuan administered the first test of oral and written Chinese language proficiency (YCT) to more than 40 children throughout the area. This testing center is the FIRST of its kind in the area and will expand to include all ages in the fall when GA opens its new Confucius Classroom. GA is one of the first schools in the area to have a Confucius Classroom as designated by the Chinese Hanban organization.
GA's study program in China entered its second year in May 2011 with 10 seniors, accompanied by Judy Krouse 1760, traveling for 3 weeks in Shanghai, Xian and Beijing for their Senior Project.
US Math Department Chair Ruth Carver was invited to spend two weeks in China working with Chinese AP (advanced placement) teachers on teaching tools for AP Statistics.
GA’s Confucius Classroom was the first one to be named in the state of Pennsylvania, cooperatively established with Chinese secondary school, High School Attached to Capital Normal University. This distinction award gives GA and the surrounding area students and community members unprecedented access to Chinese language studies, travel to China and friendship-building opportunities with Chinese students, teachers, and professors. Ms. Chen, GA’s first Chinese Program Manager and teacher of Upper School Chinese I, will plan curriculum for all divisions and develop programs for cultural learning and non-native speaking classes for both the GA and outside communities. We are excited to get started."
-Head of School Jim Connor 1760
LS Assistant Division Head Sherrea Chadwin 1760 traveled to China in July with 13 students where they took intensive Chinese language and culture classes before meeting up with 600 other American students in Beijing for celebrations and sightseeing as part of the Hanban Summer Bridge Program.
The Confucius Classroom will open in the newly renovated Administration Building in September 2011. Confucius Classrooms were established to make Chinese language instruction and Chinese cultural studies available to high/primary school students around the globe by the Chinese Government.
Ms. Chen will teach Chinese I in the Upper School beginning in 2011-12 and will also work in the Middle School to establish an Asian Club and plan the Chinese language curriculum there for the following school year. In Lower School, Ms. Chen will pilot Mandarin as the second World Language in conjunction with Spanish in Kindergarten, 1st Grade and 2nd Grade beginning in September 2011. She will also offer Independent Study Advanced Topics in Chinese for native speakers this coming year.
GA will be hosting 11 students and one teacher from one of our partner schools in China in October. The group from Jincai, a stellar boarding high school in Shanghai, will visit GA and the Philadelphia area for a week.
There will be ceremonial opening for the Confucius Classroom in spring 2012.
Fall 2012-Spring 2013
The Hanban program will send a full-time teacher over from China for the 2012-13 school year to help with the curriculum in all divisions.