Mason’s College of Education and Human Development Opens Doors for Learning Chinese

Posted: January 13, 2014 at 5:01 am, Last Updated: January 15, 2014 at 7:04 am

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Dean Ginsberg signing documents

College of Education and Human Development Dean Mark Ginsberg signs an agreement with Beijing Language and Culture University. Photo courtesy of CEHD

George Mason University’s College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) recently signed a partnership agreement with representatives from the Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) for a new collaborative graduate program centered on Chinese language teaching.

“Learning and teaching the oral and written form of a language is also learning about the culture of native speakers that it represents,” says CEHD Dean Mark Ginsberg. “In this case, learning about and being able to teach about the culture and history of China is associated with language instruction.”

The new agreement provides opportunities for BLCU students to study at George Mason to earn a master’s degree while also completing some of their required courses in Beijing. In addition, the agreement opens up opportunities for Mason students to study at BLCU and for faculty exchanges and research collaborations.

Mason delegation at China conference

Ginsberg with, from left, Joy Hughes, Gao Qing and Lihong Wong. Photo courtesy of CEHD

“Part of the mission for the College of Education and Human Development is to form partnerships with universities around the world that will open doors for study and research,” says Ginsberg. “I’m excited about the opportunities that our partnerships with colleagues in China and other parts of the world will provide for our faculty and students.”

CEHD has partnered with BLCU on several other programs, including one that allows doctoral students to come to Mason and spend time in residence in the college. Several BLCU doctoral students are at Mason this year as visiting scholars. Several CEHD faculty have also visited BLCU, and Ginsberg envisions additional collaborations.

While in Beijing, Ginsberg attended the eighth annual International Conference of Confucius Institutes at the Chinese National Convention Center. The Mason delegation also included Joy Hughes, special advisor to the president and senior vice president at Mason, and Gao Qing and Lihong Wong from Mason’s Confucius Institute.

The group was among more than 2,300 delegates from nearly 450 Confucius programs around the world who met to discuss a range of issues and participate in workshops and seminars.

Confucius Institutes are dedicated to teaching Chinese language and culture, including supporting teacher training. Each institute teaches students in kindergarten through college and adults of all ages while also serving as a hub for Chinese culture on college campuses. This year, Mason’s Confucius Institute was recognized at the conference with a special award as one of the leading programs in the world.

This article was previously published in a slightly different format on the CEHD website.

Write to Colleen Kearney Rich at ckearney@gmu.edu

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