Confucius Institute offers classes, welcomes new teachers

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Photo of the 2013-14 Confucius Institute instructors.

The 2013-14 Confucius Institute instructors

KALAMAZOO—The Confucius Institute at WMU is accepting registrations for fall Chinese culture classes that begin the week of Oct. 14.

The low-cost courses are taught by instructors from Beijing Language and Culture University and are open to the public. They are taught in English and offered to adults age 18 or older for personal enrichment, rather than academic credit.

All of the classes are being held from 6 to 8 p.m. in various rooms in Brown Hall on WMU's main campus in Kalamazoo. This fall's offerings are:

  • Basic Chinese Painting;
  • Basic Chinese Language;
  • Basic Tai Chi;
  • Intermediate Chinese Painting;
  • Intermediate Chinese Language;
  • Chinese Calligraphy; and
  • Traditional and Modern Chinese Culture.

Tuition discounts offered

A half-price tuition discount is offered to participants age 55 and older as well as WMU students. WMU employees may enroll in the classes at no cost. Some classes charge all participants a fee for materials, and those with low enrollment may be canceled.

In addition, free Chinese language tutoring will be offered from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, through Friday, Dec. 6, in 2152 Dunbar Hall. WMU Chinese-language students, Confucius Institute language students and people currently studying Chinese language are eligible to receive tutoring.

For more course information or to register, visit, write or call (269) 387-3784.

Institute has broad K-12 reach

In other news, the Confucius Institute recently welcomed a new group of Chinese teachers and volunteers to provide language, history and culture courses in Michigan's Forest Hills and Portage public schools as well as the Kalamazoo Montessori School.

All of the group members come from Beijing Language and Culture University and are formally trained in teaching Chinese as a second language.

They will be in Michigan for periods ranging from one to three years and represent the continuation of WMU's Confucius Institute program, which began in 2009 and today reaches several thousand students across southwest Michigan.