Bathing in Chinese language and culture

first_imgIn the wake of expanding globalization, the new director of Harvard’s Chinese Language Program is prepping the University’s next generation of students to compete in an international arena increasingly dominated by the growing economic and military power of China.That road to competitiveness, she says, requires both linguistic and cultural expertise.“America’s well-being is tied to the role that China plays in today’s world, and so learning its language — but also its culture — is so important,” said Jennifer Li-Chia Liu, who is focusing on those topics to help develop an increasingly integrated pedagogy within Harvard’s curriculum. “I want to break the boundaries to see how language instruction can be part of the foundational tools of all pursuits.”Liu’s innovative approach builds on the efforts of Diana Sorensen, Harvard’s dean of arts and humanities, who has expanded the language curriculum in recent years to include bridge courses that connect Harvard’s language offerings with content such as history, art, and culture. Liu said her work is also based on the success of her Harvard colleague, Professor of Chinese Literature Xiaofei Tian, and her content-based courses including “Art and Violence in the Cultural Revolution,” which includes readings and discussions in Chinese.This fall, Liu will teach “Chinese in Social Sciences” that will mirror topics covered by Michael Szonyi, professor of Chinese history. Liu’s students will sit in on Szonyi’s lectures about the society and culture of late imperial China in English, but will be required to write a summary of the class discussions for Liu in Chinese. Next spring, Liu will help students appreciate some of China’s written masterpieces, along with David Der-wei Wang, Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature. Course work will involve writing research papers in Chinese, and presenting them via videoconferencing to faculty members at universities in Taiwan and China.That type of intense language training needs to be “built into the system,” said Liu, “so that students see that this is part of their whole learning, not just something else that they have to fulfill.”Liu’s multilingual childhood informed her interest in languages and cultures. Growing up in Taiwan, she spoke Taiwanese and Mandarin, and developed some understanding of Cantonese. English classes were a requirement in middle school. But she never imagined herself pursuing a career studying foreign languages. Later, in high school, her exposure to great English literature, creative writing, and rhetoric began to unlock the language’s nuance and meaning and fueled her desire to know more. She majored in foreign languages and literatures at National Taiwan University and headed to the United States shortly after graduation in 1986 to pursue a master’s degree in comparative literature at the University of Oregon.“By the time I graduated, I realized I had learned so much about great American literature, but I had never really experienced American culture.”Not long after her arrival, she changed course. While working as a language instructor, she shifted her focus from the rigorous exploration of books to the creation of teaching methods and practices. Teaching, she said, tapped into her desire to help others “acquire fundamental concepts and language skills.”“I found my passion in dealing with human beings.”Much of that new work involved developing computer models to help students learn Chinese characters and read Chinese texts. She received a master’s degree in instructional systems technology in 1988, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, specializing in applied linguistics and foreign language education, in 1992.Liu landed next at Indiana University. During her 19-year tenure, she founded its Center for Chinese Language Pedagogy. And with the backing of the U.S. government, she created the Indiana University Chinese Language Flagship program. The initiative, part of the National Security Education Program of the Department of Defense, is an intense language training program that includes accelerated learning, a year of study abroad involving a semester of enrollment in a Chinese university, and a four-month, fulltime internship, as well as demanding courses in a variety of disciplines.She wanted, Liu said, to “design something transformative for language education.”The results prove that she has. Many graduates of the program have chosen to pursue advanced degrees in China, while others have remained there to work.She hopes to emulate that type of training at Harvard, continuing to merge language and content and helping Harvard students to immerse themselves in another culture before graduation. “Training and preparing students to have a real, authentic experience before they graduate is critically important,” said Liu. “With today’s global society, this opens doors and worlds for them.”And no place is better suited for the goals she is planning than Harvard, said Liu, who is looking forward to collaborating with colleagues across the University.“It’s extremely stimulating and exciting, especially given the kind of intellectual culture it fosters,” she said.Liu, a self-admitted workaholic, will soon leave for China, where she will head the Harvard Beijing Academy, an intensive, nine-week language immersion program.While she “gets a lot of fun out of work,” she also enjoys crisscrossing the globe with her two teenage children, who have traveled extensively with her, exploring other languages and cultures.“That’s the greatest reward,” said Liu. “I want my children to grow up internationally minded, with an interest in peoples and cultures and languages from all over the world.”last_img read more

MasterChef contestant to sell Brisbane house with showstopping kitchen

first_img Inside the luxurious kitchen.She would at least have had an indoor pool, hot tub, ice bath, sauna, gym, billiards room and bar to work through the stresses of the day.“What inspired me for the huge benchtops was the kitchen in the MasterChef house where we stayed,” Ms Moreno said.“It had six metre benches and I loved them.“What was important was that everything was organised and in proximity to my working bench space.“My utilities draw, my oven. I have an integrated dishwasher, two warming doors for entertaining, a steam oven, two fridges, and there’s an integrated bar fridge at the end of both benches.“I have a storage room and a cold room that’s about 4m x 3m inside with four big shelves.” More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus11 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market11 hours agoThere is a drop-down screen and projector in the pool room so you can watch movies while you swim.Queensland Sotheby’s International Realty agent Tyson Clarke is selling the five-bedroom property by private tender and said he has never seen a home kitchen like this one.“It’s got 6.1m ceilings too,” he said. The cinema room.The mother-of two directed her post-show culinary skills to helping parents create a healthy food culture at home. MasterChef finalist Sandra Moreno (right) hosting cooking classes for parents in 2010 as part of a government grant to tackle child obesity. Picture: Jeff Camden. She is now studying interior design and moving on to a new career as a property developer.Her house will be listed on realestate.com.au on Monday. FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK The kitchen and living area at 34 Mareeba Rd, Ashgrove.ONE of Queensland’s first MasterChef contestants is selling her Ashgrove home and it comes with a showstopping designer kitchen. The kitchen has two 6m long island benches. “I have a passion for cooking and being a contestant in MasterChef made me want to develop a huge kitchen where I could have everything I wanted,” Ms Moreno said. The renovated house and extension at 34 Mareeba Rd, Ashgrove took 18 months to complete.Sandra Moreno spent 11 weeks in the MasterChef universe and was one of the final 10 contestants in 2009. Sandra Moreno (right) with fellow season one Queensland MasterChef contestant Geni Papacostas.If she’d been preparing 600 canapes for an A-list crowd in the kitchen of 34 Mareeba Rd, Ashgrove, with dual island benches, a walk-in scullery and cold storage room, she might have won the elimination challenge in the hit Channel 10 reality cooking show. Brisbane home values on the risecenter_img MORE REAL ESTATE STORIES Island’s lighthouse couple revealedlast_img read more

Bruening gets best of Deery Series foes in 30th annual Late Model tour

first_imgTyler Bruening was champion of the 30th annual Deery Brothers Summer Series for IMCA Late Models. At right is IMCA President Brett Root. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)DECORAH, Iowa – Tyler Bruening admits that there were a few sleepless nights before the end of his Deery Brothers Summer Series dream season.Bruening and Jeff Aikey took their race to the 2016 IMCA Late Model tour title down to the final event. While engine issues sidelined the seven-time champion, Bruening rocketed from 21st starting to sixth at the finish to capture his career first crown.“This was a huge dream come true. When I started racing, my goal was to not get lapped so we’ve obviously come a long way. We have come leaps and bounds with our entire program,” he said. “I’m really proud of becoming the Deery Series champion. When my dad (Greg) raced, this was a goal of his. I’m very proud to have accomplished this feat.”From Decorah, Iowa, Bruening qualified for his first Deery feature in 2005 and has been a series regular since 2009.He won the Yankee Dirt Track Classis and $7,500 at Farley Speedway – all three of his career tour wins have come at the Yankee – and recorded another six top five finishes in 16 series starts this season.“The whole year was a highlight for us. Winning a third Yankee was definitely a huge feat. We’d gone through a dry spell and one year didn’t even make the show at Farley,” said Bruening. “When I went to Farley the first time, I loved the track. It’s super racy and had been one of the tracks we’ve gone to and had success.”Forced to take a provisional after mechanical problems sidelined him in both his heat and ‘B’ feature, Bruening proved his mettle in the 30th annual series’ finale at West Liberty Raceway.“It was nerve wracking, to be honest. I didn’t sleep well the couple nights before and with the way the night started it seemed like the cards were stacked against us,” he said. “I knew I had a good car and definitely raced well to get to sixth.”He celebrated his birthday and the Deery Series championship with a friendly get together in October. Friendly nemesis Aikey and his crew were among the guests.Starts: 16Wins: 1Additional Top Fives: 6HIS CREW: Father Greg and Zeb Holkesvik. HIS SPONSORS: Bruening Rock Products, Skyline Construction, Truck Country, Olson Explosives and Hovden Oil, all of Decorah; Bennett Explosives of Manchester; Minnowa Construction of Harmony, Minn.; Capital Race Cars of Woodstock, Ga.; and Clement Racing Engines of Spartanburg, S.C.last_img read more