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University of Iowa News Release


Dec. 15, 2006

Photos: Students from the Confucius Institute calligraphy class and Confucius Institute staff pose with instructor Dr. Ramon Lim, who taught three calligraphy sessions.

Note: High resolution images available by clicking on individual thumbnail photos.

UI Confucius Institute To Offer Beginning Chinese In Iowa City And Davenport

Whether traveling to the 2008 Beijing Olympics or visiting China on business, Iowans ranging from junior high students to senior citizens soon will have the opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese, the language spoken by more people than any other in the world.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Iowa will offer four sections of beginning Mandarin Chinese in each of two sessions this spring. The seven-week, non-credit courses will be held in Iowa City at Phillips Hall on the UI campus and in Davenport at West High School, 3505 W. Locust St.

The Davenport sections will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays, from Jan. 22 to March 7, 2007 and from March 19 to May 2, 2007. The Iowa City sections will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, from Jan. 23 to March 8, 2007 and from March 20 to May 3, 2007. The course fee is $45, plus textbook costs.

The Level One sections, which are on-going, are designed for adults and high school students without previous training in Mandarin Chinese. Junior high students may enroll if they are accompanied by an adult who is also enrolled in the course. Level Two sections are designed for individuals who have successfully completed a Level One class, first offered in fall 2006. Level Two sections will be taught in Iowa City beginning Jan. 23 and in Davenport beginning March 19.

The classes will provide a foundation for the study of modern Chinese by including instruction in comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. Students in the Level One sections will also be introduced to the art of calligraphy through multiple hands-on sessions.

According to Chuanren Ke, director of the UI Confucius Institute and associate professor of Asian languages and literature, the UI's Confucius Institute focuses on Chinese language teacher training, as well as research on learning and teaching Chinese as a foreign language. Ke said that those are two areas for which the UI is internationally recognized due to the university's critical mass of top-notch researchers in the field.

For more information or special accommodations to enroll in any of these courses, contact Rebecca Kessler with the UI Confucius Institute at 319-335-0159 or email

To enroll in any of the Beginning Mandarin Chinese sections, visit to fill out a registration form. Forms can be emailed to or faxed to 319-335-3345. Payment by check, made out to the Confucius Institute, is due on the first day of class.

The Institute also offers Mandarin Chinese instruction for fifth through eight graders through Challenge Saturday classes. Courses are offered through the UI Belin-Blank Center. For more information see

For-credit courses in Mandarin Chinese for UI students are offered through the University of Iowa Department of Asian Languages & Literature.

For more information on The UI Confucius Institute, visit:

The Confucius Institute is part of UI International Programs. International Programs enables University of Iowa students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all University constituents access to vital international knowledge.  For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Rebecca Kessler, 319-335-0159,; Writer: Kelli Andresen