Published December 5, 2013
Lilliam Malavé, a faculty member in the Graduate School of Education, will lead a troupe of UB students and Western New York educators who will learn the Mandarin language and culture while living with families in Beijing this summer, thanks to a Fulbright-Hays award funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
The Fulbright-Hays award will support four Western New York educators in the field of Mandarin as a foreign language and international studies, and five UB undergraduate seniors interested in pursuing a master’s degree in education with certification in Mandarin.
The program also will sponsor Chinese students — currently international students at UB — to work as research assistants on the project while visiting their families in Beijing. These students, currently enrolled in the second language education program at UB, will help measure language gains and knowledge of Chinese culture of the UB students and educators participating in the program. They will also study how best to teach others language and content knowledge.
“I think one of the most exciting features of the project is that the participants will actually be living with Chinese families in Beijing, which is not very common in other study and research projects abroad in China,” says Malavé, associate professor of second language and bilingual education in the Department of Learning and Instruction.
“This will provide an opportunity to really be immersed in the Chinese Mandarin language and culture, and to meet people beyond university students and faculty.”
The Fulbright-Hays-funded project is also important and innovative because it is a collaborative effort among UB units — including the Graduate School of Education, the Department of Learning and Instruction, the UB Confucius Institute, the GSE Center for Comparative and Global Education, the Office of the Vice Provost for International Education — and two Chinese agencies: Capital Normal University and the Office of the Chinese Language Council International (Hanban).
“This project will have UB students and Western New York educators and teachers sharing an abroad experience in Beijing,” says Malavé. “We are really excited about this project and are grateful to have the support of so many people in UB and China.”
The UB students and local educators will take part in Mandarin language and Chinese culture immersion classes, seminars, tutoring, home stays and guided sight visits during their six weeks in Beijing. They also must participate in pre-departure activities during the fall 2013 and spring 2014 semesters, as well as post-travel follow-up at UB during the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters.
The research study being conducted as part of the program will determine the participants’ language gains and increases in pre-and post-knowledge of Chinese culture and their perceptions of it, as well as cognitive changes.
Malavé is the principal investigator. Eric Yang, executive director of the UB Confucius Institute, is the project co-director. Other faculty members collaborating in the project include Stephen Dunnett, vice-provost for international education, and Janina Brutt-Griffler, chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy.
For additional information visit the Fulbright-Hays Mandarin Language and Chinese Culture Immersion Project or contact Malavé at firstname.lastname@example.org.