CIG participated in the 15th Chinese language teacher training at the Confucius Institute of the University of Geneva   [02.04.2023]

CIG participated in the 15th Chinese language teacher training at the Confucius Institute of the University of Geneva


After a four-year absence, colleagues and friends were able to reunite at the 15th Chinese language teacher training at the Confucius Institute of the University of Geneva. The offline courses, which had been interrupted due to the pandemic, finally resumed. Seven CIG teachers participated in this event. 

The theme of this course is "Integration of Chinese Language Teaching and Traditional Chinese Arts and Crafts". Ms. Songyu Zhu, a Chinese-language writer and media person in Switzerland, was invited as the keynote speaker to deliver a unique lecture and activities to more than 30 scholars and Chinese language teachers from the French-speaking area of Switzerland and surrounding areas. The combination of the extensive categories and profound cultural connotations of intangible cultural heritage crafts with the research and development practices of local Chinese language education in Switzerland is like the shimmering waves of Lake Geneva, conveying the power of beauty and moving people's hearts, and nurturing the spirit of cultural cultivation.

Ms. Songyu Zhu is a collector of Chinese folk art, an artist, and a researcher of traditional culture. She graduated from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, and has been active in the arts and crafts community in Guangzhou and southern China for a long time. She has extensively studied various forms of intangible cultural heritage crafts, such as Guangcai (Guangzhou-style enamelware), Guangxiu (Guangzhou-style embroidery), printmaking, egg carving, paper cutting, and so on. Since 2016, Ms. Zhu has been devoted to simplifying, revitalizing, and integrating traditional Chinese culture and arts and crafts skills into Chinese language teaching and dissemination.

Colorful Content of the activities:

In this lecture, Ms. Zhu combined her teaching and research experience in Switzerland for many years, and through a large number of physical objects and case demonstrations, she achieved the goal of "vividly describing intangible cultural heritage and actively teaching Chinese language". In the "Revitalization of Zodiac Culture and Creation of Theme Courses" section, Ms. Zhu introduced different color classifications and coloring methods in detail, and enriched our Chinese classroom activities through simple and readily available cultural and creative tools on the market. April is the time of Easter in the West and Qingming Festival and the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival in China, where both East and West happen to have the custom of using plants to dye. Although the types of plants are different, they all have the rich colors from nature, and the pure traditional dyeing process that sings praises to the simple beauty of nature.


The blue-and-white porcelain themed course left us a deep impression. The website of "Digital Museum of Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage" has detailed and professional information and excellent video production, which is very suitable as an activity course to introduce cultural connotations. "Blue-and-white porcelain" as the representative of Chinese craftsmanship and aesthetics, is a great idea for teachers to develop innovative courses and expand teaching content. Combining basic art forms such as paper-cutting, painting, rubbings, and dyeing, Ms. Zhu simplified and activated different intangible cultural heritages such as Chinese porcelain, ancient papermaking, seal engraving printmaking, incense art, and Chinese tea art, making them excellent tools for expanding Chinese language education and cultural dissemination.


Finally, everyone had a hands-on experience making leaf vein bookmarks. Chinese teachers with little art skills were inspired by the lecturer. They picked up new media tools, unleashed their passion for art creation and left behind unique leaf vein paintings.


The enriching and innovative lecture and activities made this training course interesting, useful, and meaningful. Special thanks to Director Xie of the Confucius Institute and Ms. Songyu Zhu. We are excited to announce that the next training session will be presented by CIG teacher representatives in mid-May 2023.

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