CHMS offers Confucius class
Published 4:00 am Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Troy University and Charles Henderson Middle School partnered to establish the first Confucius Classroom in Pike County and finalized the decision with a ceremony Monday. The classroom will allow seventh and eighth grade students to engage in the Chinese culture and language.
According to Aaron Brown, CHMS principal, approximately 60 students are interested in the program.
“We want to entice the students in learning a language, making them more valuable in the job market,” Brown said. “We want our students to be at the very top.”
CHMS has a new classroom and a new teacher that will bring the Chinese culture and language to the campus.
“We are excited about having a classroom on our campus and our teacher there to work with our students on a day-to-day basis,” said Dr. Lee Hicks, Troy City Schools superintendent. “It’s a new classroom. There are new technologies and a teacher there who will go over cultural aspects of the Chinese culture, as well as exposing our students to all-around different lifestyles that we are seeing today.”
Iris Xu, director of the Confucius Institute said the students will be able to experience Chinese culture with the presence of the on-campus classroom.
“We promote the Chinese language and the Chinese culture, so we ask the students to localize it,” Xu said. “They will see the Chinese culture on campus and learn the Chinese culture and language on campus.”
Brown emphasized that the class offers more than just a language.
“It’s not just learning a language, it’s learning a culture. It’s learning the arts, the cuisine and a way of life that is different from that of our own.”
While this classroom is the first in Pike County, it is not the first overall. According to Hicks, this Confucius Classroom is one of four in Alabama.
“We are excited about this because we are constantly trying to improve the relationship between Troy City Schools and Troy University.”
According to Earl Ingram, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at Troy University, the Troy University Confucius Institute has been named as one of the best in the country.
“Our goal is to be the best, if not one of the best, Confucius Institutes,” Ingram said. “If we are able to reach out to elementary schools, middle schools and high schools, we generate more interest in Mandarin Chinese as a desired language to learn. The Confucius Institute is especially equipped to reach out and help young people and grasp an interest.”
Hicks said there are future plans to bring the Confucius classroom to the elementary and high school levels as well.
“We are looking at opportunities and stages of growth and globalization,” said Charles Jones, administrative support specialist for the Confucius Institute. “When they are ready for college, they can be HSK certified, which is the Chinese proficiency test, for the Chinese language. They can actually apply for scholarships to study in China and other parts of the world that is sponsored by Hanban, the sponsor of our program.”