Confucius Institute News and Events

Speech by Liu Guiyun, President of Shijiazhuang Science and Technological Vocational College and Chairman of the Board for the Confucius Institute at NMSU

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Xiamen University Student Performing Arts Troupe performed “A Glimpse of China” at Corbett Center, NMSU on October 1st

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Cathedral High School Students being inducted into their chapter of the National Chinese Honors Society under the guidance of their Mandarin teachers Wang Xuemei and Yuan Siyang

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Cathedral High School Confucius Classroom Rings in the Chinese New Year with a Lion Dance at the University of Texas, El Paso

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Confucius Institute at NMSU Celebrated the Year of the Sheep 2015

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Students at Cottonwood Preparatory Academy, Albuquerque learn Chinese art of Paper cutting

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The Cathedral High School, El Paso

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NMSU Confucius Institute helps college, K-12 students across region study Chinese

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NMSU student displays Kung Fu talent in Shijiazhuang City, China.

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NMSU’s Confucius Institute helps high school student shine in competition –

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At just 15 years of age, Ruben Mena successfully went head-to-head against older high school students in a prestigious Chinese-language competition thanks to his confidence in his abilities and New Mexico State University’s Confucius Institute.

Earlier this month, Ruben placed second in the Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition held at the University of California, Los Angeles. His reward for finishing in the top two of the regional competition at UCLA is an invitation to attend the international tournament in Beijing in October. The Confucius Institute at NMSU will be paying for Ruben’s trip.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled by Ruben’s performance at the UCLA competition,” said Elvira Hammond, co-director of the Confucius Institute at NMSU. “Ruben came to us with a solid foundation in Chinese, but we were able to take him to that next level by preparing him for the Chinese Bridge competition.”

The Confucius Institute was established at NMSU in 2007 as a cooperative agreement between the university and the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. The goal of the institute is to increase awareness and understanding of Chinese language and culture in the community through education, performances, seminars and outreach. In addition, the institute conducts language and culture programs for schools and community groups from Albuquerque to Las Cruces, as well as Vado and El Paso.

Ruben, a ninth-grader at the Arrowhead Park Early College High School, is a recent transplant to Las Cruces. He first began learning Chinese while attending Alicia R. Chacon Middle School in El Paso.

“Pretty much, I got an introduction to Chinese there and I really liked the language,” said Ruben, who was the only student from Las Cruces to take part in the Chinese Bridge competition. “But then my parents decided to move to Las Cruces, so I told them we had to find a Chinese program and we ended up finding the Confucius Institute at NMSU.”

Through the university’s Confucius Institute, Ruben was provided with a private Chinese-language tutor, NMSU visiting scholar Wei Zhang, who continued his lessons and helped him register for the Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition. The institute also paid for Ruben’s trip to Los Angeles.

The Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition is a large international contest sponsored by Hanban, China’s National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language in Beijing. It consists of events for college and high school students from around the world, as well as foreign students in China. The competitions are broadcast on Chinese television.

In just under four years, Ruben has learned to read, write and speak Chinese.

“I told my first teacher that I really liked Chinese, so I would study more than I was supposed to,” he said. “I picked it up really fast. Chinese is really not that hard. It does take a little time to start learning sentences and phrases.”

Facing older students from high schools across the West and Southwest, Ruben admits he was intimidated during the UCLA regional competition — but not much.

“I was a little bit overwhelmed because I was the youngest one there,” he said. “Usually in the high school round there are people who are 18 or 17 years old. The competition was divided into two parts. There was the high school round, which I was in, and there was the college round. The high school round went first. I calmed down because the theater wasn’t that big; it was quite small.”

Ruben was asked two questions regarding Chinese culture and history, which he had to answer in Chinese. After that, he had to present a five-minute monologue on China, again in Chinese. Finally, he had to demonstrate a talent related to Chinese culture.

“Ruben and his Chinese teacher from the Confucius Institute put in many, many hours of preparation for the contest — memorizing texts and monologues, and practicing various skills, including Chinese calligraphy,” Hammond said.

Despite feeling confident in his abilities, Ruben said he still was very surprised to have won second-place — as was his mother.

“I was shocked,” said Isabela Mena, a bilingual education teacher at Tombaugh Elementary School. “I’m very happy because I saw how many hours Ruben spent studying. He studies two to three hours every day. I didn’t want him to be disappointed after all those hours.”

She credits Ruben’s success not only to the teen’s innate talent for languages, but also to the guidance and support he received from the Confucius Institute and the Arrowhead Park Early College High School.

“After we moved here from El Paso, Ruben and I were kind of sad because I thought Ruben’s education was going to be diminished and he wouldn’t have the materials and help he needed,” Mena said. “We were so happy and so impressed with all the help from the Confucius Institute at NMSU and also from the Early College High School, because he is receiving everything he needs. Las Cruces has opened so many doors for him.”

In addition, the Early College High School has provided Ruben with Rosetta Stone software that allows him to study Chinese at home.

With the competition over, Ruben will continue with his private lessons over the summer courtesy of the Confucius Institute. While he will not be competing in Beijing this fall — only the first-place winner takes part in the competition — Ruben will have the chance of a lifetime to see and experience the country he has been learning so much about.

“I really like China a lot, so I plan to use my skills when I go to China this October,” he said. “Later on in the future I plan to be a doctor. But besides studying Western medicine I would like to study traditional Chinese medicine, too.” – See more at:




  • The Confucius Institute at NMSU Attends the South-Western Conference on Language Teaching (SWCOLT)


Prof. Mao Zhuoliang and Steve Vann represented the Confucius Institute at NMSU at this year’s South-Western Conference on Language Teaching (SWCOLT) in Albuquerque, April 8-10, 2010. In addition to educating language teachers about the Confucius Institute’s outreach to public schools in southern New Mexico, we brought approximately 280 books to give away to people interested in China. These books covered such topics as Chinese geography, history, culture, and language. Additionally, we brought posters and sticker-sets to distribute. By mid-day on Saturday, April 10th, we had given away all of these books and materials to interested parties.

-90 books on culture, geography, and history to a randomly selected teacher to use as a classroom set.

-20 posters raffled off to 2 randomly selected teachers

-20 books on Chinese language raffled off to 2 randomly selected teachers

-The remaining books and sticker sets were given directly to interested attendees

Attendees who received material were very grateful. Many inquired about how to start Confucius Institute programs in or near their home cities. The Confucius Institute at NMSU also sponsored an “Exhibits Break,” on Friday.

Conference organizers estimated that attendance for the conference was between 350 and 400 people. The impact made by the Confucius Institute booth on those attendees was significant and wide-spread. No doubt, our efforts to reach out to language teachers, district coordinators, and other interested parties met with complete success.


  • 新墨西哥州立大学孔子学院参加美国西南地区语言教学研讨会及图书展

2010年4月8日至10日美国西南地区语言教学研讨会在新墨西哥州第一大城市Albuquerque隆重举行。除语言教学研讨会外,还有30个单位举办了以教材为主的图书展。这些单位包括多所大学、出版公司及一些语言中心。出席美国西南地区语言教学研讨会(Southwest Conference on Language Teaching, 简称 SWCOLT)的西南地区包括德克萨斯州、俄克拉荷马州、新墨西哥州、卡罗拉多州、亚利桑那州、犹他州、内华达州,等。当然还有来自美国其他地区的代表,甚至还有来自墨西哥的代表,共计350余人。美国西南地区语言教学研讨会每年举行一次,其主要任务是研究外语语言教学、交流外语教学经验,同时评选出该地区最佳外语语言教学者。









  • China’s growing investment, presence in Africa focus of NMSU conference

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China’s recent investment in economic and cultural projects in Africa is raising questions about Beijing’s motives and about the long-term consequences of China’s growing presence in Africa, not just for African countries, but for the United States and other nations as well. A conference at New Mexico State University Friday, April 23, and Saturday, April 24, will explore these issues and their political and economic consequences for the U.S.

“China in Africa: International Perspectives on a Developing Relationship” is hosted by NMSU’s Confucius Institute, International Relations Institute and Black Studies Program. It is free and open to the public.

“The conference’s main theme is the developing relationship between China and Africa,” said Ken Hammond, NMSU professor of East Asian history and director of the Confucius Institute. “China is pouring growing amounts of money into African countries to support economic development and provide health assistance and other services. At the same time, China is also signing agreements with many African countries to acquire energy resources and other commodities on a long-term basis,” Hammond said.

“Some voices have been raised questioning China’s motives and asking how useful these investments really are for the African countries involved and their citizens. This conference brings together experts from academic, business and diplomatic fields, from China, Africa and the U.S. to explore these challenging questions,” he said.

Festus Addo-Yobo, director of NMSU’s Black Programs, considers China’s involvement in Africa a positive development. “China’s socio-economic enterprises in Africa suit Africa well,” Addo-Yobo said. “Trading among nation states will be more easily done, and regionalization of African nation states will become a reality, with less balkanization and less dependency on Western monetary institutions like the IMF and the World Bank, which have vested interests in African economies.”

“For Black Programs, this is an opportunity to showcase academic contributions from African-American students in reference to international politics and the African-American community,” he said.

“This conference is a great opportunity to explore and understand the impact of China’s engagement on the continent of Africa,” said Ambassador Delano Lewis, director of NMSU’s International Relations Institute. “We will hear perspectives from Chinese, African, and American experts on the impact of China’s trade, aide, and investment policies in Africa.”

The conference will open in NMSU’s Corbett Center Auditorium April 23 at 8 a.m., with free registration, coffee and pastries. At 9 a.m., Hammond, Lewis and Addo-Yobo will give welcoming remarks. The first panel session will begin at 9:30 a.m. Presenters include Professor Pan Huaqing, Beijing University, China; Professor Maitseo Bolaane, University of Botswana, Gabarone, Botswana; Professor G. K. Kosimbei, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya; and Professor Jamie Monson, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Lunch will be at 11:30 a.m., with comments given by Consul Yue Liwen of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles.

The Friday afternoon session will begin at 2 p.m. Presenters include Lily Munanka, deputy chief of mission and head of Chancery, Embassy of Tanzania; Louis Mazel, director, Office of African Regional and Security Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Sharon Freeman, president, All American Small Business Exporter’s Association; and Inonge Limbambala, first secretary of the Trade Division, Embassy of Zambia.

A reception will follow at 4 p.m. in Corbett Center’s Colfax Room.

On April 24, the morning session will begin at 9 a.m. with presentations by NMSU students George Opira, Diana Nzau and Michael Adam.

Lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m. Ambassador David H. Shinn, adjunct professor at The Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, will give the luncheon address. Shinn served as U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso and in U.S. embassies in Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritania, Cameroon and Sudan.

During a wrap-up session at 1 p.m., participants will give final comments, and audience members will have an opportunity to ask final questions.

For more information about the conference, contact Elvira Hammond (575) 646-2377, e-mail:; or Roberta Gran (575) 646-7041, – See more at: