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Utah Legislature Recognizes “Enormous Contributions” of Confucius Institutes

University of Utah, Davis School District, and Southern Utah University are recognized in a Citation of Honors

This article was originally published on May 21, 2018 on the Confucius Institute US Center website.


 (Washington, DC – May 21, 2018) -- Confucius Institutes across the state were honored by the Utah legislature at the state capitol on May 17. The legislature presented a citation of honor to a delegation from the Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing (Hanban) attending the Eleventh National Chinese Language ConferenceSenator Curtis Bramble (R – District 16) said that this citation recognizes the efforts of the people of Utah to advance Chinese language programs with the support of Confucius Institutes. 

The conference is the largest annual gathering in the US and North America of leaders and practitioners in the field of Chinese language and cultural education.  It serves to build the teaching capacity by sharing cutting-edge practices among Chinese language educators and informing policymakers of the value of the US-China educational partnership.  

 

Sen. Curt Bramble and Sen. Howard Stephenson (left) presented the citation of honor to Mr. Zhao Guocheng Deputy Director-General of Hanban at Utah State CapitolSen. Curt Bramble (right) and Sen. Howard Stephenson (left) presented the citation of honor to Mr. Zhao Guocheng, Deputy Director-General of Hanban, at the Utah State Capitol. Image via Confucius Institue US Center.

 

At the conference opening ceremony, Utah Governor Gary Herbert affirmed his commitment to advancing Utah's Chinese dual language immersion program, citing the value of Chinese language education for Utah's economic development and workforce employability. 

Since the establishment of the first Confucius Institute in Utah in 2007, more than 13,000 students have participated in Chinese language classes. Supported by Confucius Institutes, Utah's dual language initiative has become a leading program in American immersion language instruction, preparing Utahns to thrive in a globalized society. In his meeting with Utah students and educators, Senator Orrin Hatch (R) called the Confucius Institutes’ programming "really critical and crucial" and said "learning [Chinese] ... is in [the US'] best interest.”

Senator Howard Stephenson (R - District 11) said that "the success of Utah's Chinese language program would not have happened without the Confucius Institutes and the caliber of teachers provided through these partnerships." He added, “I have never seen more dedicated teachers than those from the Confucius Institute." An advocate for dual language immersion in Utah, Sen. Stephenson claims "monolingualism is the illiteracy of the 21st Century."  

Following the recognition, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Hanban and the Utah State Board of Education on May 18. The MOU recognized Utah’s dual language Chinese immersion education program and the role of the Confucius Institutes in promoting people-to-people exchanges between the US and China. Hanban pledged ongoing support of Confucius Institutes to meet Utah's growing demand for Chinese language and culture classes.  
 
Zhao Guocheng, the Deputy Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, said "through robust partnerships and collaborations between American and Chinese educators, Confucius Institute has become one of the most important and effective bridges for people to people exchanges between these two great countries. This recognition from Utah legislature is indeed an encouragement for everyone who is involved in and supports Confucius Institutes."
 

 

Last Updated: 6/2/18