Linden Students Welcome Year Of The Dragon

LINDEN — Linden High School celebrated Chinese New Year on Monday, Jan. 23.The event was held in the school auditorium and featured Linden students in a variety of cultural and language performances.

Joining the celebration were 26 visiting Chinese high school students who are on an exchange visit to Linden High School from Jan. 20-29. The students are from the Xiamen Foreign Language School and Fuzhou High School No. 3 of Fujian Province, China.

The morning performance featured Linden High School students in a variety of Chinese events including song, dance and music. Mayor Richard Gerbounka and school board President Susan L. Hudak brought two Chinese lions to life. Linden High School Navy Junior ROTC cadets performed as Chinese dragon teams.

Following the morning ceremony a traveling contingent of Linden High School students, together with the visiting Chinese exchange students, toured district middle schools and elementary schools to spark enthusiasm for the Chinese program. The schools have already been decorated with lanterns and other student-made crafts to celebrate Chinese New Year.

The Linden Public School District is in its fifth year of teaching Chinese, providing instruction at all levels from grades 1 to 12, including the high school International Baccalaureate Program. Twenty-five percent of the students in grades 1 through 12 are studying Chinese, which represents nearly 975 students.

The Chinese students and teachers are living with host families in Linden and had a welcome reception at Linden High School. Linden High School students will be returning the exchange visit to Xiamen and Fuzhou in late March, early April of this year.

The Xiamen Foreign Language School is a partner school with Linden High School. Together, Xiamen and Linden are joint Confucius Classrooms under the leadership of the Confucius Institute at Rutgers University. The Linden Public Schools is also a model district for the use of the Great Wall Chinese Program in the United States.

The Linden Public School district has signed an official agreement with The Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) for Linden to be a model K-12 school district for the new Great Wall Chinese instructional program. Linden is the first model Great Wall Chinese K-12 school district in the United States. Two Great Wall Chinese Center teachers have already visited the district to set up the computer support and student accounts necessary to implement the program.

Great Wall Chinese is a new Chinese teaching and learning system based on cutting edge network and multimedia technology. Great Wall Chinese mixes direct instruction with courseware technology, and uses a new management system for teachers to electronically monitor student progress over the Internet.

As part of the agreement, the Linden Public School district has already conducted its first workshop for Chinese teachers from around the Northeast held on Oct. 22, 2011.

The workshop attracted Chinese teachers from New Jersey, New York and Delaware. Attendees were introduced to the Great Wall Chinese system, and Great Wall Chinese trained teachers then demonstrated the various techniques using Linden students at the high school and middle school level.

The Linden Public School District teaches six world languages including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian and Chinese. At the high school level, students regularly participate in exchange visits to the language country of origin, and host return visits to Linden.

(All photos by Linden Public Schools)

A grand performance by Linden High School NJROTC cadets opened up the Chinese New Year celebration in Linden Public Schools celebration of the Chinese Year of the Dragon. TWO lions awoke from their slumber to welcome in Chinese New Year. With four large traditional drums beating and colorful festive flags flying Linden High School was transformed. The traditional Chinese lion dance is supposed to bring luck and prosperity to the new year.

Linden High School dance students performed the traditional Chinese Fan Dance. The art and tradition of the Chinese fan dance captivated the audience at Linden High School for the Chinese New Year Celebrations.

The Chinese umbrella dances are a part of the Chinese traditional culture. The dance students of Linden High School start with the umbrella opened and held over the head, with the dancer’s hands at chest level. As the dance progresses, the umbrella is gracefully moved about.

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