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About CIMSU

Learn Chinese - Experience China

Established in May 2006, theMSU Confucius Institute (CI-MSU) is a collaborative effort of Michigan State University, Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban), and the Open University of China. CI-MSU offers innovative programs and services to meet the rising demand for high-quality Chinese language and culture education worldwide. It has been selected for three consecutive years as the Confucius Institute of the Year by the Chinese Ministry of Education. Its eTextbook, Chinese Your Way, has won several international Chinese language curriculum awards. CI-MSU offers Chinese language and culture instruction to over 30,000 students worldwide. CI-MSU has fostered partnerships with dozens of schools, districts, intermediate school districts and community colleges in the U.S. Through these partnerships, CI-MSU has helped its partners to receive over $3 million in grant funding to support their Chinese language programs.

CI-MSU understands the diverse needs of Chinese language learners and the institutions that wish to offer Chinese language programs. To address these needs, we have developed a host of services. CI-MSU has custom-designed products, programs and services for young children, K-12 students and adults. Our mission is to serve the whole community, both individual learners and larger institutions. We offer online courses to meet the needs of students who do not have traditional access to second language opportunities; we also support face-to-face instructions in schools across the country. We offer culture summer camps for elementary to high school students in both the U.S. and China. We have pioneered the most effective way to place high-quality, trained Chinese language teachers in classrooms quickly while certifying them as Chinese language teachers through MSU's Teacher Preparation Program. Most importantly we are here to help, responding to schools' unique needs by customizing our programs and services to deliver the best quality Chinese language instruction possible.

This is reflected in our goals to:

  • Meet the ever-increasing demand for Chinese education in the U.S.
  • Promote Chinese culture and language worldwide.
  • Provide quality Chinese learning materials and experience to both K-12 students and adults.
  • Develop new teaching resources and for teachers and schools as well as provide consulting to existing teachers and school districts.
  • Recruit and train highly qualified & certified Chinese teachers for K-12 schools.
  • Conduct research on issues specific to teaching Chinese as a foreign language.
  • Reform and create an innovative & effective learning and teaching system for Chinese language and culture.

Revolutionary Ways to Learn Chinese Language and Culture

iStock_000011086411XSmallCI-MSU takes pride in its innovative, yet practical, approach to meet the needs of our learners. It was the first to offer online Mandarin courses for high school students. It was the first to design and offer community college-level courses in the virtual environment Second Life. It was also the first to release a Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) for teaching language and culture. Below are a few examples of how you can experience CI-MSU's revolutionary way of teaching Chinese language and culture.

Chinese Your Way is a high quality Chinese culture and language courseware system designed by CI-MSU that was created specifically for English-speaking middle and high school students. Chinese Your Way was built using research and best practices in second language instruction, addressing students' learning styles and needs. Chinese Your Way enables students to learn Chinese at their own pace with thousands of interactive multimedia and video language encounters. With multiple years of research and development behind Chinese Your Way as a language learning software, it is no surprise that it received the Hanban's "Outstanding Teaching Material" award in 2008.

Extensive Partnerships and Cooperation across the World

CI-MSU believes in collaboration and partnerships. We have built a strong and extensive network of partners with more than 20 schools and school districts in both U.S. and China. Cooperating with Michigan Virtual School (MVS), a non-profit online education and training corporation funded by the Michigan Legislature in July 2000, CI-MSU offers online Chinese courses to secondary school students using interactive teaching methods. CI-MSU has been working collaboratively with the MSU College of Education and the Beijing Channel Consulting Ltd., to develop a comprehensive Chinese teachers recruiting, training and support program, which is providing highly qualified Chinese language teachers and educational support to schools nationwide. CI-MSU is also part of the larger Confucius Institute network of over 500 Confucius Institutes worldwide. As more and more schools, institutions and businesses join in cooperation with us, there is a rapid extension of partnership possibilities encompassing the globe.

Elite and Professional Working Teams

Established in the MSU College of Education, rated No. 1 in Teacher Education by U.S. News & World Report for more than 20 years, CI-MSU is supported by a strong research & development teams. Professional teacher training teams composed of professors from the College of Education provide high quality training programs for the Chinese Teacher Certification Program. Researchers recruited from top academic institutions develop our educational ideology and best practice educational approaches in Chinese language instruction. The development teams are devoted to designing and launching new programs with superior technical foundations that push individual, group and formal Chinese language instruction in the classroom and online. Groups of experienced teachers provide continuing support and consulting for teachers and schools nationwide. The program's development and execution at CI-MSU rely on the abundant resources, techniques and support from the Open University of China, which is the first in China to develop a modern long distance teaching model using multi-media, radio, TV, audio-visional materials and computer networks.