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Tech Times reported in February that China has increased its budget for its planned space programs and that the country is already designing an advanced and recoverable spacecraft that will be capable of landing on the moon. Now China has already begun preparations for its planned lunar laboratory in collaboration with the European Space Agency by locking in eight volunteers to live and work in a simulated space environment inside the Lunar Palace 1. Lunar Palace 1 or Yuegong-1 consists of a living area measuring 42 square meters and two greenhouses measuring 50 to 60 square meters. The living area has a common room and washroom, four bed cubicles, a waste treatment room, and animal-raising room. For this experiment, scientists will study how Yuegong-1's Bioregenerative Life Support System (BLSS) — a system made up of plants, animals, and microorganisms that coexist — would work in a mission that mimics the moon's environment. The space simulation will take place in the Yuegong-1 cabin, a space cabin built in Beijing University for Aeronautics and Astronautics (BUAA) specifically for that purpose. Codenamed "Yuegong-365," the experiment involves eight volunteers split into two groups of four people — two males and two females each — who will test the stability of Lunar Palace 1's BLSS. "The BLSS is absolutely crucial to probes to the moon and to Mars. The latest test is vital to the future of China's moon and Mars missions and must be relied upon to guarantee the safety and health of our astronauts," Liu Zhiheng from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said. The simulation is divided into three parts and requires the two groups of volunteers to stay inside Yuegong-1 cabin for a period consisting of 60, 200, and 105 days. According to CAS, the mission's purpose is to study how stable the BLSS would be when astronauts with different metabolic rates are onboard for long-term missions. It will also test how the astronauts would react and face sudden situations while in the cabin. The first group stepped into the Lunar Palace 1 on May 10 and will stay there for 60 days before trading posts with the second group, who will remain in the cabin for 200 days. After which, the first group will once again take over the mission for its remaining days. All the volunteers for Yuegong-365 are civilian postgraduate students from Beihang University. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 11, 2017) - Star Navigation Systems Group Ltd. (CSE:SNA)(CSE:SNA.CN)(CNSX:SNA)(OTCBB:SNAVF) ("Star" or the "Company"), and Tianjin Zhonglian Tiantong Space Technology Co. Ltd. ("ZLT"), are pleased to confirm the execution of a Products Distribution Agreement. Under this agreement, ZLT will have exclusive rights in China to sell the STAR V-trk™ a real-time tracking, status reporting and analysis system which, due to its small form factor, was specifically tailored for helicopters, regional and business aircraft. Star will deliver the first STAR V-trk™ equipment to ZLT at end of summer 2017. ZLT will also distribute and sell STAR M.M.I.™, displays and control panels for aerospace applications. Over the next three years, both companies will jointly work on capturing specifically identified customers and users of the two product lines, which already include local airlines and aircraft retrofit centers. ZLT will utilize the STAR V-trk™ and STAR M.M.I.™ products to complement their current offering of in-house airborne and ruggedized equipment developed around inertial reference and guidance, as well as other communication equipment and services. This agreement completes Star's current marketing plan for the Chinese market, which was initiated with another local partner with the STAR T.T.T.™ tracking and telecommunication system. "We are delighted with this new opportunity to open new markets for two products at Star, the STAR V-trk™ and the STAR M.M.I.™, displays for retrofit and upgrade. ZLT will benefit from their already established relationship with aircraft and helicopter manufacturers, as well as modification centers locally. Having another solid partner for selling and supporting these products in the Chinese market was a major goal in our Asian approach." Star Navigation Systems Group Ltd. owns the exclusive worldwide license to its proprietary, patented In-flight Safety Monitoring System, STAR-ISMS®, the heart of the STAR-A.D.S.® System. Its real-time capability of tracking performance trends and predicting incident-occurrence enhances aviation safety and improves fleet management while reducing costs for the operator. Star's MMI Division designs and manufactures high performance, mission critical, flight deck flat panel displays for defence and commercial aviation industries worldwide. Tianjin Zhonglian Tiantong Space Technology Co. Ltd., founded in China in 2008, is engaged in research, development, production and sales of satellite navigation products, inertial navigation systems, fiber-optic gyroscopes and simulation systems. It offers comprehensive coverage (commercial and military market) of the inertial navigation, satellite navigation, and integrated navigation sectors with R & D and production capacity in its 180,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility. In addition, ZLT works closely with China's biggest aerospace university (BUAA-- Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics) to develop new technology for aircraft navigation and CNS/ATM, etc. Certain statements contained in this News Release constitute forward-looking statements. When used in this document, the words "may", "would", "could", "will" and similar expressions, as they relate to Star or its management are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect Star's current views with respect to future events and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Many factors could cause Star's actual performance or achievements to vary from those described herein. Should one or more of these factors or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Star does not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law. Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Market Regulator (as that term is defined in the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this release.


News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: phys.org

The China Education and Research Network, which operates under the Ministry of Education, said 66 out of 1,600 Chinese universities were affected, mainly due to operating systems not being regularly upgraded rather than any major security shortcomings in university systems. The statement issued late Monday was perhaps the most detailed comment yet on the cyberattacks by Chinese authorities, who have said little about the contagion since it erupted on Friday even as reports emerged of widespread infection in China. Qihoo 360, one of China's leading suppliers of anti-virus software, had said Sunday that at least 29,372 institutions ranging from government offices to ATMs and hospitals had been "infected", singling out universities as particularly hard-hit. But the China Education and Research Network pushed back against such claims. "These inaccurate statements have seriously misled public opinion, caused panic among teachers and students, and affected the normal order of instruction and life," it said, giving no further details. Beijing University and Tsinghua University, two of the country's premier institutions located in the capital, have issued statements saying quick security action prevented "large-scale" infection on their campuses, without giving details. Major universities in Shanghai told AFP on Monday they were not affected. The indiscriminate attack began Friday and struck banks, hospitals and government agencies worldwide, exploiting vulnerabilities in older Microsoft operating systems. But it appeared to have peaked over the weekend. Security researchers on Monday said it bore the technical hallmarks of North Korean hacking, though the evidence remained inconclusive. The muted public response by China could be linked to the sensitive fact that use of pirated computer software is rampant in the country, a sore point with trading partners like the United States who have complained for years of Chinese counterfeiting. Security experts say pirated software is particularly vulnerable to security threats, but so far no evidence has emerged indicating whether that played any role in the virus's spread in China. Chinese state media quoted the official Cyberspace Administration of China as saying the ransomware's spread had slowed significantly in China by Monday. It had urged computer users to install and upgrade security software, but otherwise said little about the cyberattacks. Among major Chinese entities affected, state-owned oil giant PetroChina has said its payment networks at petrol stations across the country were disabled for about 12 hours over the weekend. Explore further: Ransomware hits 'hundreds of thousands' of China PCs: firm


News Article | February 27, 2017
Site: www.PR.com

Jurong East, Singapore, February 27, 2017 --( Currently, there are about 30 Alumni representatives from Harvard University, Beijing University, University of Chicago, Tsinghua University, and National University of Singapore business administration faculty etc have confirmed their participation. And the commitee has also invited 30 entrepreneur representatives from China to join this event. This will definitely enlighten the event. Last year, the representative from Shanghai Maritime University was the champion of the 1st Scholar Cup Golf Challenge that carried out on 19 May 2016. Will your team be the champion of this year? Join them now. Check out the details of this event below:- Date: 11 April 2017 Venue: Orchid Country Club, Singapore Registration Fee: $230 per person (include golfing fee, lunch, dinner, gift, prize) Scoring Rules: 118 holes individual tournament. Team (minimum 4 people, maximum 8 people, join both team and individual tournaments simultaneously) or representative (minimum 4 people, only join individual tournament) can participate. Team tournament will base on team golf scores for first 4 places to decide team ranking for the prize; individual tournament will base on an individual score to decide on the ranking. To register, please contact Dr. Tian Jing, Chief Secretary of Scholar Cup golf Challenge Committee at 0065-9029 5968, or email him at tianjing@pmail.ntu.edu.sg Jurong East, Singapore, February 27, 2017 --( PR.com )-- The 2nd Scholar Cup Golf Challenge will be held on 11 April 2017. The objective of this golf challenge is to create an exchange platform for the alumni of the international tertiary institution to expand their network and to develop their careers and businesses.Currently, there are about 30 Alumni representatives from Harvard University, Beijing University, University of Chicago, Tsinghua University, and National University of Singapore business administration faculty etc have confirmed their participation. And the commitee has also invited 30 entrepreneur representatives from China to join this event. This will definitely enlighten the event.Last year, the representative from Shanghai Maritime University was the champion of the 1st Scholar Cup Golf Challenge that carried out on 19 May 2016. Will your team be the champion of this year? Join them now.Check out the details of this event below:-Date: 11 April 2017Venue: Orchid Country Club, SingaporeRegistration Fee: $230 per person (include golfing fee, lunch, dinner, gift, prize)Scoring Rules: 118 holes individual tournament. Team (minimum 4 people, maximum 8 people, join both team and individual tournaments simultaneously) or representative (minimum 4 people, only join individual tournament) can participate. Team tournament will base on team golf scores for first 4 places to decide team ranking for the prize; individual tournament will base on an individual score to decide on the ranking.To register, please contact Dr. Tian Jing, Chief Secretary of Scholar Cup golf Challenge Committee at 0065-9029 5968, or email him at tianjing@pmail.ntu.edu.sg Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Scholar Cup Golf Challenge Committee


News Article | February 26, 2017
Site: www.prlog.org

30 Alumni representatives from Harvard University, Beijing University, University of Chicago, Tsinghua University, and National University of Singapore business administration faculty etc have confirmed their participation.


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.businesswire.com

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ayla Networks, a global Internet of Things (IoT) platform for manufacturers, has named experienced executives to two newly created positions. Tom Clark is chief financial officer (CFO) and Jessica Zhou is general counsel for the fast-growing IoT industry-leading company. “Adding Tom and Jessica to our executive staff signals another phase of growth for Ayla as a company,” said David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks. “Attracting two such experienced and high-quality individuals to fill the important CFO and General Counsel positions will help further enhance Ayla’s global IoT market leadership.” In more than 20 years as a financial executive, Tom Clark has successfully steered the financial strategies of companies across a variety of industries. Prior to joining Ayla, he was CFO at Openwave Messaging Inc., the market leader in white-label email solutions. Clark orchestrated financial strategies that increased profitability by $30 million in less than 18 months and negotiated the sale of Openwave to Synchronos Technologies. Before Openwave, he was director of finance operations for Marlin Equity Partners, a private equity firm, where he focused on acquiring enterprise software companies and managing a portfolio of Marlin-owned companies. Earlier, he served as CFO and managed the worldwide finance operations of CollabNet, a leading provider of enterprise cloud development and agile application life management (ALM) products and services. Before CollabNet, he worked for seven years at ProBusiness Services, now Automatic Data Processing (NYSE:ADP), where he was instrumental in identifying new market opportunities to accelerate top-line financial growth. Clark began his career with KPMG LLP, a leading U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in California, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration, with an emphasis in accounting, from Saint Mary’s College of California. Jessica Zhou brings to Ayla more than 15 years of experience in legal counsel, compliance and helping fast-growing technology companies scale and expand internationally. Prior to joining Ayla, she was general counsel of Weebly Inc., a global SaaS company and leading platform for website creation and management, e-commerce, integrated marketing and data analytics. While there, she drove the company’s worldwide legal and compliance strategy, grew the intellectual property (IP) portfolio, defined the government and regulatory practice, and helped the company expand into new markets. Before that, Jessica served as general counsel and chief compliance officer for Canadian Solar Inc. (Nasdaq:CSIQ), one of the world’s largest solar companies, and for Ubiquiti Networks Inc. (Nasdaq:UBNT), a leader in wireless networking and telecommunications. At Canadian Solar, she helped the company successfully scale its worldwide operations, establish multiple new international subsidiaries, raise capital in excess of $500 million from public capital markets, and grow the company’s revenue from $600 million to over $2 billion during her tenure. Earlier in her career, Jessica was an attorney at Latham & Watkins LLP, a leading global law firm. She has done a significant number of mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings (IPOs), follow-on offerings and other capital markets transactions, advised public companies in corporate governance and SEC reporting, and represented private companies in venture financings and matters relating to their operations. Jessica received her JD degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and bachelor’s degree from Beijing University. Ayla Networks empowers leading manufacturers by simplifying the inherent complexity of the Internet of Things (IoT), enabling them to turn their products into smart connected systems and transform their businesses to compete in the game-changing world of connectivity. Delivered as a cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS), Ayla’s IoT platform provides the flexibility and modularity to enable rapid changes to practically any type of device, cloud or app environment. Ayla Networks was named a 2015 Cool Vendor in the Internet of Things by Gartner, Inc. Ayla’s investors include Cisco Investments, the International Finance Corporation, Mitsui, SAIF Partners, Crosslink Capital, Voyager Capital, Ants Capital, 3NOD, Linear Venture, SJF Ventures and Acorn Pacific Ventures. For more information, visit www.aylanetworks.com.


News Article | November 16, 2016
Site: en.prnasia.com

SHANGHAI, Nov 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ctrip.com International, Ltd. (Nasdaq: CTRP) ("Ctrip" or the "Company"), a leading travel service provider of hotel accommodations, transportation ticketing, packaged tours and corporate travel management in China, today announced that its board of directors has appointed Ms. Jane Jie Sun as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of the Company, effective immediately. Mr. James Jianzhang Liang, Ctrip's Chairman and former Chief Executive Officer, will serve as Executive Chairman of the board with specific focus on Ctrip's strategies and initiatives relating to innovations, international expansion, information technology, and investments and strategic alliances. Ms. Sun has served at several senior executive positions at Ctrip since 2005. She was Ctrip's Chief Operating Officer since May 2012 and Co-President since March 2015, and Chief Financial Officer from 2005 to 2012. Ms. Sun is well respected for her extensive experiences in operating and managing online travel businesses, mergers and acquisitions, and financial reporting and operations. During her tenure as Ctrip's Chief Financial Officer, she won the Best CFO Award by Institutional Investor and Best CFO Award by CFO World. Prior to joining Ctrip, Ms. Sun worked as the head of the SEC and External Reporting Division of Applied Materials, Inc. since 1997. Prior to that, she worked with KPMG LLP as an audit manager in Silicon Valley, California for five years. She is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and State of California Certified Public Accountant. Ms. Sun received her bachelor's degree from the business school of the University of Florida with high honors. She also attended Beijing University Law School and obtained her LLM degree. Commenting on Ms. Sun's promotion, Mr. Liang said, "Jane and I have been working together for eleven years. She has played a critical role in defining the Company's strategic directions, managing business operations, making strategic investments and acquisitions, creating the current corporate structure, and cultivating new generation of talented business leaders. She also processes a unique leadership style and great personal characteristics. I have complete faith in Jane taking on the CEO role. We will work together, along with the rest of the team, to bring Ctrip to the next level." "I would like to thank the board for the confidence and trust in me," said Ms. Sun, "I would also like to thank James for what he has accomplished: leading Ctrip to overcome various challenges to where we are today and laying the foundation for our future growth. I had the honor to work alongside with James during this period. Going forward, James and I will continue to work together to drive Ctrip to new heights. I am very excited about Ctrip's future and will work hard with the board, management team and rest of the Company to grow it into the most innovative and valuable OTA in the world!" This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are made under the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "will," "expect," "anticipate," "future," "intend," "plan," "believe," "estimate," "is/are likely to," "confident" or other similar statements. Ctrip may also make written or oral forward-looking statements in its periodic reports to the SEC, in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, severe or prolonged downturn in the global or Chinese economy, general declines or disruptions in the travel industry, volatility in the trading price of Ctrip's ADSs, Ctrip's reliance on its relationships and contractual arrangements with travel suppliers and strategic alliances, failure to further increase Ctrip's brand recognition to obtain new business partners and consumers, failure to compete against new and existing competitors, failure to successfully manage current growth and potential future growth, risks associated with any strategic investments or acquisitions, seasonality in the travel industry in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan, failure to successfully develop Ctrip's corporate travel business, damage to or failure of Ctrip's infrastructure and technology, loss of services of Ctrip's key executives, adverse changes in economic and political policies of the PRC government, inflation in China, risks and uncertainties associated with PRC laws and regulations with respect to the ownership structure of Ctrip's affiliated Chinese entities and the contractual arrangements among Ctrip, its affiliated Chinese entities and their shareholders, and other risks outlined in Ctrip's filings with the SEC, including its annual report on Form 20-F and other filings. All information provided in this press release and in the attachments is as of the date of the issuance, and Ctrip does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required under applicable law. Ctrip.com International, Ltd. is a leading travel service provider of accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, packaged tours and corporate travel management in China. It is the largest online consolidator of accommodations and transportation tickets in China in terms of transaction volume. Ctrip enables business and leisure travelers to make informed and cost-effective bookings by aggregating comprehensive travel related information and offering its services through an advanced transaction and service platform consisting of its mobile apps, Internet websites and centralized, toll-free, 24-hour customer service center. Ctrip also helps customers book vacation packages and guided tours. In addition, through its corporate travel management services, Ctrip helps corporate clients effectively manage their travel requirements. Since its inception in 1999, Ctrip has experienced substantial growth and become one of the best-known travel brands in China. For further information, please contact: To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ctrip-announces-ms-jane-jie-sun-as-new-ceo-and-director-300364018.html


The Civitas investor relations team has helped thousands of investors and institutions from more than 30 countries around the world invest capital in the United States DALLAS, TX--(Marketwired - February 14, 2017) - Civitas Capital Group is pleased to announce the promotion and hiring of four key investor relations executives. "We're delighted to recognize and reward Irene and Manuel for their contributions, and are pleased to welcome Olof and Claudia to our company," said Chief Executive Officer Daniel J. Healy. "We have a remarkable investor relations team with diverse cultural experience and thorough knowledge of the investment management industry. I believe we are well-positioned for the future." Irene Shen was promoted to Director, Sales and Investor Relations. In her new role, Ms. Shen is responsible for expanding Civitas' presence in the alternative investment space in Asia, as well as coordinating the development of new products in the region. Ms. Shen has been with Civitas since August 2011. Ms. Shen received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Beijing University of Posts & Telecommunications. In addition, she is an Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS), and holds FINRA series 7, 63 and 65 securities and investment advisory licenses. Manuel Ortiz was promoted to Head of EB-5 Sales and Investor Relations. In his new role, Mr. Ortiz is responsible for developing and managing global investor relations, and overseeing the EB-5 Capital Division investor relations team. Mr. Ortiz has been with Civitas since January 2013. Mr. Ortiz received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, Red McCombs School of Business, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University, Cox School of Business. Olof Akesson joined Civitas as Managing Director, Sales and Investor Relations. His responsibilities include overseeing and developing the Civitas client relations team, including investor communications. Mr. Akesson previously was Chief Operating Officer for Asia Institutional Sales at HSBC, overseeing all global markets products. Mr. Akesson received degrees in Finance and Management from the University of South Carolina, and a Master's in Finance from the Stockholm School of Economics. He also played tennis on the ATP World Tour. Claudia Betancourt joined Civitas as Director, Capital Markets. Her responsibilities include expanding Civitas' presence in the alternative investment products space outside of Asia, as well as coordinating the development of new products for individuals, family offices, and institutions. Previously, Ms. Betancourt was Managing Director at Commerce Street Capital (CSC), an investment banking firm. Ms. Betancourt received a B.S. in Economics from Universidad Catolica Boliviana, a M.B.A. from The University of Oklahoma, and a Masters of Science in Petroleum Economics and Management from the Institute Francaise du Petrole. The Civitas Capital Group family of companies provides compelling EB-5 capital and alternative investment strategies to institutional investors, family offices and qualified individuals. The Civitas Capital Group family of companies provides a range of products and services for institutional investors, family offices and qualified individuals. The firm offers compelling, niche investment strategies in U.S. lodging and real estate markets through its Alternative Investments and EB-5 Capital divisions. For more information about Civitas, please visit www.civitascapital.com or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CivitasCG. This press release does not constitute an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security in any jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is not authorized or to any person to whom it would be unlawful to make such offer or solicitation. Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2017/2/14/11G130279/Images/Iren_Shen-7fcea4e3a651ac0f8971900b7aab9130.jpg Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2017/2/14/11G130279/Images/Manuel_Ortiz-273763df068d87deaf2c4e715a165999.jpg Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2017/2/14/11G130279/Images/Olof_Akesson-6d400dc0ba53bb6c8b3e6122a71b45d2.jpg Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2017/2/14/11G130279/Images/Claudia-20e990c87854bb489b7cc10a4c4a3936.jpg


News Article | May 1, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

Think before you click. Constant retweeting can cause memory loss and learning problems, a new research has shown. While Facebook previously worried about the declining original sharing in its platform, researchers from the Cornell University and Beijing University showed that frequent sharing of information or retweeting causes the brain to undergo cognitive overload that eventually affects memory storage and learning. Professor of Human Development in Cornell University's College of Human Ecology Qi Wang said simply resorting to sharing what was previously posted diminishes an individual capacity to come up with fresh ideas that eventually translates to poor performance in life. Wang and his colleagues conducted an experiment with Chinese college students at Beijing University. Two groups of students were given messages from the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, Weibo. One group was given two options: repost the message or read the next message, while the other group can only go on to read the next message. After the task, the study participants were asked to complete an online test to know whether they can recall the content of the messages they have earlier read and/or shared. Wang said the result showed that the group who were allowed to repost messages were found to have poor content recall and comprehension. The team postulated that the poor performance of those who reposted messages was secondary to cognitive overload. Wang explained that the decision process of having to choose whether to repost or not exhausts cognitive resources. To seal potential loopholes, the researchers did another experiment. After reading several Weibo messages, the participants were again asked to complete a paper test, which is not related to the previously read messages. They were also asked to answer a Workload Profile Index where the students rated the cognitive stresses of the message-viewing task. The result showed that the repost group manifested higher cognitive strain. "The sharing leads to cognitive overload, and that interferes with the subsequent task," said Wang. "In real life when students are surfing online and exchanging information and right after that they go to take a test, they may perform worse." The researchers recommend that web interface should have a design that promotes cognitive processing. The study was published in Computers in Human Behavior on April 28. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | December 19, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

The U.S. Department of Education reported that after Spanish, Mandarin was the most popular dual-language education program implemented by individual states in 2013. In September 2015, the US-China Strong Foundation launched its 1 Million Strong campaign to increase the number of American K-12 Mandarin language learners to one million by 2020: “Announced in 2015 by Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, the goal of 1 Million Strong is to grow the next generation of leaders who have a deeper understanding of China by creating a pipeline of China-savvy employees in a range of critical industries, and ensuring that US students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to gain China-related skills.” According to the Foreign Service Institute, it takes about four times the amount of time to be proficient in Mandarin Chinese as the time needed to be proficient in a romance language more closely to English such as French, Spanish, or Italian. No wonder David Moser from the University of Michigan wrote a famous essay titled, “Why Chinese is so damn hard?” It bears the question: What is the most effective way to learn Chinese? Historically, Chinese language learning was primarily limited to heritage language schools by and for Chinese immigrants either after-school or on weekends. Chinese was learned mostly through textbooks from China or Taiwan with limited content on Chinese history, culture, and geography. Since the 1980’s, there have been Chinese language immersion schools in the U.S, making Chinese language learning a part of the regular school curriculum. However, the approach adopted in most Chinese immersion programs remains textbook based (drilling students through dictation, sentence writing, and so forth). The biggest problem with this approach is that the students learn “textbook Chinese” which is hardly comparable to the language they would be using during daily life and learning. It is unlikely that students taught by this method will be able to fully use the language they learn in real life. In addition, the scope of Chinese learning is narrower in many Mandarin immersion programs with the primary focus being on language learning. The Shu Ren International School is a Mandarin immersion school for students from preschool to grade 8 that is expanding it's offerings and now enrolling PreK-8 students. The school is also an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB)’s Primary Years Program (PYP). The PYP curriculum includes the following components: The written curriculum explains what PYP students will learn, through identifying a framework of what’s worth knowing. A balance is sought between acquiring knowledge and skills, developing conceptual understanding, building a positive attitude, and finally taking responsible action. Knowledge: There are six transdisciplinary themes in the PYP, which are central to the knowledge aspect of the essential element mentioned above. The six transdisciplinary themes are: Who we are, Where we are in place and time, How we express ourselves, How the world works, How we organize ourselves, and Sharing the planet. The PYP is transdisciplinary, meaning that students spend most of their time learning about globally significant themes from a variety of perspectives and disciplines as opposed to having traditionally separate subject courses. The subjects in the PYP include Language, Mathematics, Science, Social studies, Arts, and PSPE (Personal Social Physical Education). Skills: Through planned activities students acquire and apply a set of transdisciplinary skills that will allow them to succeed in a changing world. They are: social skills, communication skills, thinking skills, research skills and self-management skills. These skills are valuable, not only in the units of inquiry, but also for any teaching and learning that goes on within the classroom, and in life outside of school. Concepts: Eight key concepts are identified (Form, Function, Causation, Change, Connection, Perspective, Responsibility, and Reflection). These powerful ideas have relevance within subject areas but also transcend them, and are accompanied by open-ended questions. These questions promote focus, and develop a coherent, in-depth understanding. Attitudes: The PYP Attitudes are a vital focus in the development of positive attitudes towards people, the environment, and learning. They include: appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect, and tolerance. Action: “In the PYP, it is believed that education must extend beyond the intellectual to include not only socially responsible attitudes but also thoughtful and appropriate action. An explicit expectation of the PYP is that successful inquiry will lead to responsible action, initiated by the student as a result of the learning process. This action will extend the student’s learning, or it may have a wider social impact, and will clearly look different within each age range.” (Making the PYP Happen, IB, 2007) The taught curriculum, details how best students learn and good classroom practices in the framework of the PYP. The PYP is committed to structured, purposeful inquiry that actively engages students in their own learning. These inquiries, focus on important issues of the social and natural world, helping students construct meaning from the world around them. Assessment of student work in the PYP is carried out in a variety of ways. Most importantly, your child will be involved in developing the criteria of assessment with the teacher. Supporting them in understanding how he/she will be assessed before any assessment take place. This partnership will engender a much greater understanding of assessment, develop better self-assessment, and raise personal achievement expectations. This is part of the PYP goal to increase students’ awareness of their own learning. At Shu Ren, our PYP curriculum is written, taught and assessed exclusively in Mandarin Chinese at our Pre-primary school (ages 3-5) and in both Mandarin and English from Kindergarten to Grade 5. Chinese language is used not just to learn language, but to be used as a vehicle for inquiry, in the process of obtaining enduring understanding about important and significant aspects of the world, and building their attitudes and characters. This model offers a rich and significant context for Chinese language learning, thus, the language learned can be easily transferred into daily life, stimulate students’ interests in the language and obtain a higher order thinking ability in Chinese. When Chinese is used as the language of learning, it becomes more fun and meaningful to students and thus, learning Chinese is not as hard as it once was! Jie Moore is the current head of school at Shu Ren International School. She received her B.S. in Biology from Beijing University, and Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Washington. After graduate school, Jie worked as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington for six years during which she studied a variety of issues related to academic and social/emotional development among children and adolescents. Through her research, she began to think it might be beneficial to children in the United States if the best educational approaches and cultural perspectives of China and the United States were combined. Guo J., Collins, L.M., Hill, K.G., Hawkins, J.D. (2000) Developmental pathways to alcohol abuse and dependence in young adulthood. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 61(6):799-808. Guo J., Hill, K.G., Hawkins, J.D., Abbott, R.D. (2001) Childhood and adolescent predictors of alcohol abuse and dependence in young adulthood. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 62(6): 754-762. Guo, J., Chung, I.J., Hill, K.G., Hawkins, J.D., Catalano, R.F., and Abbott, R.D. (2002a) Developmental relationships between adolescent substance use and risky sexual behavior in young adulthood. Journal of Adolescent Health, 31(4), 354-362. Guo, J., Hill, K.G., Hawkins, J.D., Catalano, R.F., and Abbott, R.D. (2002b) A developmental analysis of sociodemographic, family, and peer effects on adolescent illicit drug initiation. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41(7), 838-845.

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