Home » Asbury University launches Chinese language and culture program

Asbury University launches Chinese language and culture program

Confucius Classroom consists of classes and exchange program

WILMORE, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2016) — Asbury University will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. on Thursday to introduce its Confucius Classroom, a five-year Chinese language and culture program funded by the Confucius Institute of the University of Kentucky.

Chinese scholar Wei “Joy” Zhang comes to Asbury from Hebei, China.
Chinese scholar Wei “Joy” Zhang comes to Asbury from Hebei, China.

“This is a terrific opportunity for our campus,” said Tina Wei Smith, director of Asbury’s Global Engagement Office. “It’s an asset to our Chinese language program in the Ancient and Modern Languages Department and a great resource for students — particularly for those hoping to go abroad for ministry and work-related purposes.”

The program will offer Chinese language classes, an exchange program and activities related to Chinese language and culture. With the Confucius Classroom, Asbury will receive $10,000 of operating funds for the first year, $10,000 of project funds per year throughout the five-year program, interactive media equipment and 1,000 volumes of educational materials and textbooks.

Asbury’s new Chinese Scholar, Wei “Joy” Zhang, will be closely involved with the Confucius Classroom during her residency over the next two years, teaching classes and coordinating with the Global Engagement Office on community classes, seminars and lectures. Zhang will combine traditional classroom methods with experiential teaching. Already, students have practiced Chinese calligraphy and enjoyed a lesson in cooking—and eating—Chinese dumplings.

“I love the students here, as well as the campus environment,” said Zhang, who comes to Asbury from Hebei, China. “Asbury is an awesome university, and I’m excited to be part of helping students engage with Chinese culture.”

Quinnette Connor ’18, an Audio Production major, said she looks forward to continuing her study of Mandarin through the Confucius Classroom and expanding her understanding of Chinese culture.

“I’m excited about getting to learn Chinese and being able to communicate with and learn from different ethnicities and races,” Connor said. “I think the Confucius Classroom will give students a good sense of cultural perspective in regard to Christianity and cause us to be more engaged with other cultures.”