WSU Launches Distance Education in Chinese


Last December, the Confucius Institute at Wayne State University began piloting an online Chinese program with J.E. Clark Preparatory Academy on Detroit’s eastside. The program took place each Tuesday and Friday after school.

Huilin Chen (also known as “Kay”), a visiting scholar with the Confucius Institute at Wayne State University, oversaw the program. Twice a week, she offered one hour of instruction to students in grades 3-8, supplementing her lessons with a series of videos, produced by former Wayne State Confucius Institute staff members.  After six months, students were able to count to 100; introduce themselves and their family members; recite and recognize dates, months, and years; and express desires, interests, and hobbies—all in Mandarin!

Students and their parents expressed deep gratitude for the Chinese classes and enthusiastically requested to continue the program. J.E. Clark Principal, Monica Hester, said, “I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Kay and the Confucius Institute in order to provide after-school Chinese instruction for my young scholars.  Students and parents are very excited about their children being exposed to and learning a new language . . . and have hopes of traveling to China one day!”

Markela Singleton, a regular participant in the J.E. Clark program, said, “I have been having a ball in Chinese! I finally learned a new language.  I had so much fun learning Chinese with the other students. Kay is a great teacher and I hope to see her again!”

Another student, Isis Jennings, remarked: “I have been inspired by Ms. Kay. She taught me that if I start something, never to quit or give up. She is a one-of-a kind Chinese teacher.  When I first started to learn Chinese, I thought it was difficult, but now it doesn't seem as hard.  I love the language and I am happy that Kay was my teacher.”

Instructor Kay Chen concluded, "I am grateful for this program and  was excited to see the kids every time. Their cleverness and willingness to work hard moved me greatly!"

The Confucius Institute at Wayne State University has been offering outreach activities to over 50 K-12 schools in Southeastern Michigan since 2008. Given the growing demand, however, the staff is moving toward offering some its services online. School officials in the metro Detroit area interested in an after-school distance education program in Chinese, should contact the Confucius Institute at Wayne State University by email at or by phone at: (313) 577-0153.

The program will continue with J.E. Clark Preparatory Academy in September, led by a new visiting Chinese scholar at Wayne State’s Confucius Institute.


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WSU Launches Distance Education in Chinese 7/2/2018
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