Chinese Education Conference Meets for First Time in U.S. at Pasadena City College

Published : Sunday, July 14, 2013 | 3:54 PM

Combining two components necessary to the future—the Chinese language and cloud technology, the International Conference on Chinese Internet Education held its first overseas event at Pasadena City College July 11 to 14.

This 8th International Conference on Chinese Internet Education (ICICE) attracted around 350 worldwide participants including Chinese Language Teaching scholars, experts, and teachers, to hear from over 100 presenters from 15 countries including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, France, Switzerland, Germany, Argentina, Jordan, Canada and the United States.

The ICICE8 consolidated the most talented scholars of the Chinese language-teaching field in cloud-technology. The purpose of the Conference is to discuss ways to apply the Cloud technology to the current Chinese language teaching methodology.

Yet the ICICE8 event has an added purpose as it marks the first time biennial conference’s fourteen year history that OCAC collaborated with an overseas higher educational institution, Pasadena City College, to co-host the conference.

“The translation education in Southern California is probably the top in the whole United States. A lot of the learners and teachers of the Chinese language are here,” Professor from National Taiwain Normal University and founder of the conference Shih-Chang Hsin said.

While Los Angeles is quite large, he chose Pasadena for its elegance and beauty that he had observed on prior trips as well as the rich culture and adherence to tradition, matching Taiwan’s own values.

“We use the traditional Chinese character; we preserve most of the traditional Chinese culture in Taiwan. That’s the reason why our government has been making efforts to promote Chinese traditional culture overseas and why I am so happy that this program, this international conference on Internet and Chinese education is being held in Los Angeles with the city of Pasadena,” Deputy Director-General Peter Ching-Lung Chou said.

OCAC Director-General Vicky Chuang said language is the soul of the whole culture. Yet language alone is not enough, so they want to incorporate the customs, culture and traditions into the language e-learning.

“Technology and tradition—that’s what Pasadena is about. We value our historical building that were in today and yet we look toward the future with being in the cloud with our library. It really is a success for us to partner with this group,” Julie Gutierrez said, Assistant City Manager of Pasadena.

Cloud Technology is the hottest topic of educational discussion and may be revolutionizing education, even getting rid of textbooks entirely. Cloud technology is quickly becoming the most effective way for language instruction

“The conference comes at a time when people around the world and especially the U.S. are beginning to recognize the value of learning Chinese. Making Chinese language learning more accessible through the cloud could be the key to gaining more learners,” Congresswoman Judy Chu said.

Congresswoman Judy Chu also has a personal interest in this topic as she has been trying to increase her proficiency in Chinese for decades. She loves that having lessons on the clouds could make it accessible to her anywhere, even in the airport she could turn on her cell phone and take a lesson.

“I am so pleased with the young people all across the United States because I see more and more of them wanting to learn Chinese because they know that this is the language of the future. I believe that it is critical to have people who are proficient in Chinese if we are going to have better communication between the U.S. and the countries in Asia that are so important for our economic future,” Chu said.

Bringing the conference internationally increased the global recognition for both the conference, as well as the city of Pasadena and PCC while building relationships that will be invaluable in the future.

“It is so significant that this conference is in the United States for the first time and that they chose Pasadena to have it. It shows that Pasadena is a part of this multi-cultural society that we live in, and in fact it is on the cutting edge of it,” Chu said.

The conference also brought recognition to Pasadena City College, the co-host.

“It is a turning point for the college in many ways because our motto is Proud Past, Global Future. To have a conference of this stature here announces PCC is on the worldwide map,” Pasadena City College President Mark Rocha said.

Rocha commented that Chinese and English are two of the most important languages in the world so to be able to contribute to that is absolutely part of their mission.

“What each one of you do during this week of learning and talking will have an effect on the betterment of American society, Chinese society, world society, because in order to progress we must learn each others’ languages. Together our future is global and we must learn the Chinese language,” Rocha said.

Assemblymember Chris Holden emphasized the importance of building strong relational ties so they can work together in the future.

“This conference is very important. I’m glad to be here to bring words of greeting and to let you know that were a partner, not just today, but were a partner 365 days of the year and we’ll continue to build on relationships at the state level and here in Pasadena,”

Bringing the conference overseas also excites the conference leaders and sponsors as it means ICICE is expanding and becoming more globally recognized.

“Our hope is that this conference becomes a world famous conference for digital learning about Chinese. Also America is a very important for us because technology here is among the top of the world, so we hope that we can learn something from you and we hope that you may learn some Chinese ways,” Deputy Minister Jen Hong said, sponsor of the conference .

As co-sponsor of the conference, the Pasadena Sister Cities committee hosted a welcome reception to begin the relationship building and introduce the delegates to the diversity, eclectic, and welcoming spirit of the City of Pasadena

“The Pasadena Sister Cities committee is a cultural organization that attempts to bring people of all backgrounds together. We feel this is a very important time in our organization to have this opportunity to welcome people from fifteen different countries and regions around the world,” Pasadena Sister Cities committee President Marcia Montez said.

During the opening ceremony the conference has a special performance by Taiwan native singers who are here to raise funding to build a school in the mountains where they live.

The founder of the conference Shih-Chang Hsin earned his PhD at Indiana University Bloomington in Instruction of Technology, focusing on how to use technology to help with language education

“I have this obligation to promote how to use technology appropriately for translation teaching,” Hsin said.

When the conference first started it was the only one in this field. The World Wide Web had only been around for 2-3 years and floppy disks were still in use. The evolution of technology has seen exponential growth since then, converting to flash drives, and now utilizing the cloud.

“Were looking forward to seeing in the next 10 years how much technology will be changed,” Hsin said.

 

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