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SFSU launches first western U.S. home for Confucius Institute



Denize Springer
SFSU Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 405-3803
(415) 338-1665

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


Beijing and San Francisco educators formalize commitment to make Chinese language instruction available at all learning levels and train more Chinese instructors

SAN FRANCISCO, February 22, 2006 –- Dignitaries from China, state and city officials, and members of the Chinese American community joined San Francisco State University (SFSU) faculty, students and administrators Feb. 15 to inaugurate the Confucius Institute, a new program devoted to the instruction of Chinese. The Confucius Institute at SFSU is one of several branches around the world with the mission to meet the accelerating demand for instruction of Chinese and Chinese language teacher training. The SFSU branch is the first in the Western United States.

SFSU Confucius Institute Director and Associate Professor in SFSU's College of Education, Christy Lao, welcomed Beijing Normal University president Zhong Binglin, the Chinese Consul General Peng Keyu and representatives of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. A representative from China's National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Second Language presented SFSU with an $88,000 grant toward the institute, which will operate as a nonprofit organization and be supported by grants and private funding.

"We are delighted about this partnership with the recognized leader among China's institutions of higher education," said Robert A. Corrigan, SFSU president. "San Francisco State University's goal to provide international experiences, perspectives and competencies complements the Confucius Institute's mission to meet the surging demand for Chinese language instruction at all education levels."

The establishment of a branch at SFSU positions San Francisco among only four U.S. cities to host the institute. Twenty branches of the institute have been established in such countries as Australia, Sweden, Japan and Great Britain. The other U.S. cities that have branches are New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Three of SFSU's colleges will collaborate on Confucius Institute programs. The College of Education will promote up-to-date training of teachers of Chinese as a second, foreign, or heritage language throughout California and the Western United States in K-12 public and private schools, community-based heritage language schools, and community colleges. It will also encourage the development of a Chinese language teaching curriculum that reflects the latest and best research and theories of language development at all educational levels, kindergarten through university. The College of Humanities will offer non-degree, short-term courses, lectures, seminars, and other learning opportunities in general Chinese and Chinese for special purposes, as well as expand the Chinese language instruction offered through SFSU to matriculated students. The College of Extended Learning will offer courses and other public events with a focus on China and will provide courses on Chinese language and culture to non-diploma students in the university.

For details about the Confucius Institute at SFSU call (415) 338-7631 or e-mail For more on the worldwide Confucius Institute project visit

Founded in 1899, SFSU has faculty from a range of disciplines with detailed knowledge of China, its culture, political beliefs and international relationships.

The Confucius Institute program was developed in Beijing by China's National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. The institute's mission is to promote collegial relationships with other countries and enhance understanding of Chinese language and culture through facilitating instruction. 



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Last modified February 22, 2006, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications