Learn Chinese – Experience China

Established in May 2006, the MSU 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 K-12 students worldwide. CI-MSU has fostered partnerships with dozens of schools, districts and intermediate school districts 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. 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.
  • 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

Confucius drawing

CI-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 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 (MV), 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 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.

Policies, Decision-Making and Funding

All the CI-MSU curriculum is developed by CI-MSU based on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the Michigan Department of Education’s standards for World Languages. Programming decisions are made by the permanent CI-MSU staff.

CI-MSU works with an Advisory Board, chaired by MSU President. The Advisory Board is composed of MSU and the Open University of China administrators and faculty. Our visiting scholars support our work but, like all visiting scholars, have no decision-making control.

Hanban 49%. Domestic Revenues 51%

Funds for CI-MSU are 49% from the National Office of Chinese Language Council International, also known as Hanban, and 51% from domestic revenues that benefits American K-12 students. These funds support activities such as online courses and summer camps. These funds do not support faculty tenure-track positions nor university instructors for Chinese language courses. MSU does not contribute general funds to the CI-MSU.

Internal Audit

An audit of the MSU Confucius Institute was completed by the Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance: Internal Audit Department (IAD), for the twelve months ending December 31, 2018. The audit did not result in significant concerns or recommendations for the MSU Confucius Institute. The audit was performed using a risk-based approach, every financial and operational process was not evaluated, nor were all transactions that occurred during the audit period reviewed. The Office of Audit, Risk and Compliance: IAD concluded that the control environment implemented by the MSU Confucius Institute was adequate to address risks.