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Information about Dec08

Published on December 24, 2008

Author: charleslaughlin



2008 Holiday Issue!

清华大学 | Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies ( 清华 IUP 中文中心) Volume 2, Issue 3 IUPeople December 2008 Letter from the Director student speeches, but IUP will be holding a modest winter holiday gift exchange at the Rainbow Bar on Wednesday Dec. 24, and we will take a day off on the 25th and again on New Year's Day 2009. Because we're working in China, our calendar revolves around the local customs, so that the lengthiest holiday observance is for Chinese New Year from Jan. 10 - Feb. 8 (incoming spring students will have orientation from the 5th-8th), so that our teachers can enjoy their one long annual break together with their families. This creates a challenge for our students; it means you have to miss your own families' holiday celebrations, and then you have a long break before you continue classes. As I mentioned at our Thanksgiving activity, it is a good time to travel, and I'm sure a lot of you have spectacular travel plans. If not, Beijing can Charles Laughlin, IUP Director, giving remarks at alumni mixer be a great place to spend Chinese New Year, especially if you can spend it with Chinese friends whose families are in Beijing, but there are also temple fairs 庙会 This has been a busy month at IUP: we throughout the city and the suburbs that are very 热闹 brought November to a close at Element Fresh with and give you a feeling for the traditional holiday. Like probably our best alumni mixer yet; we had two great the roast sweet potatoes you can now find on the streets lecturers, Antonia Finnane talked about the Curious everywhere, these ways of celebrating Chinese New History of Fashion in Communist China and sound Year right here in Beijing are inexpensive, warm, artist Yan Jun told us about how new Chinese music sweet, and give you a feeling of satisfaction inside! often quot;reinventsquot; existing musics; and though working hard on Chinese and struggling with colds and fatigue, this group of students continues to leave its mark on IUP history, organizing their own events including Mark Your Calendars! happy hours, birthday parties and gallery crawls. In addition to these, as you'll see in this issue, our students and teachers are still finding time to share Lecture Series 5: “Reinvent” Sound Artist Yan Jun something about themselves for this newsletter, from will talk about the Chinese music scene on December Hua Kuoman's article to Vivian Li's very timely article 17, 2:20, Wenbei Lou, Rm. 707 on maintaining relationships while in IUP. Just as one student has returned home to bask in the joy of Winter Holiday Party and Gift Exchange: fatherhood, many other students are maintaining long- Celebrate the holidays with IUP on December 24 at distance relationships, while others bring their families the Africa Rainbow Art Bar; festivities start at 2:30 here (not uncommon!). Lecture Series 6: Anthropology Ph.D. student and On this family-and-friends theme, as we enter current IUPer Josh Gordon will share his research on into the height of the Euro-American holiday season, Chinese language and communities in Myanmar on we continue to busy ourselves with exams, classes, and December 30, 2:20, Wenbei Lou, Rm. 707

An IUP Thanksgiving November 27 @ Dufeng Canting on Tsinghua campus Photo: Genevieve Cheng Brian Nichols poses with Li Yun in her fashionable coons cap IUPers enjoy a pre-Thanksgiving feast bowling tournament Joe Narus, Sharon Nakhimovsky, Alan Gaskill, Justin Knapp, and Christian Kaas enjoy a round of beers as they wait for the turkey Ricky Kim, Hua Kuoman, and Jill Schultz 思考 the turkey Hua Laoshi & Ricky finally put Ricky’s premed training to good use After waiting so long, Liu Yuming happily relishes her turkey leg

Afterwards, he will revisit a Buddhist temple in Living with IUP Fujian, the subject of his research, to write his by Vivian Li dissertation and conduct follow-up interviews. His wife and the kids will follow him, but not the grandparents. Yet, Brian does not seem distressed IUP, family, and kids—by their nature each is about this upcoming change. He views his good already “麻烦” described Brian Nichols, a married fortune managing IUP and family as a life lesson rather than mere chance. Ph.D. student with two sons. “So though it’s not ideal “The timing of all of this has worked out to handle them all together, it can be done.” especially well for us since I'm now studying at IUP Faaria Kherani, a college senior who managed and Jamie can spend time with her parents and the IUP and a long-distance relationship, agrees that it can be difficult to maintain relationships outside of kids can get to know their Chinese grandma and grandpa and vice-versa. Having Jamie's parents just IUP. “IUP’s environment is very 浓厚, so your friends outside Beijing has really facilitated our move and the here become your family.” transition to life in China. Everything has come Brian’s situation though was greatly improved by together really well. I actually use Chinese thought in having his wife and kids stay at her parent’s home thinking about how things come together; I think while he lives in the Tsinghua University dorms. about it as following the Dao. You know in Daoist Brian’s in-laws retired two years ago and decided to thought things are not to be forced; success depends move from Fujian to Beijing and bought a house. on working within our means and according to the During the week Brian stays on campus studying at conditions at hand. What's Daoist is how things IUP and then on weekends takes a two-hour commute unfold according to some internal logic and how we to his in-laws’ house in Tongzhou, a suburb east of are all powerless to change that internal logic. We can Beijing, to spend time with the family. Every night he only strive to find our way within the flow of the Dao. keeps in touch with them by phone. Occasionally he still receives calls from his wife, Jamie, about the kids, but says that if it was not for his in-laws pitching in to help take care of them, he would probably be hearing more from her. Faaria took advantage of Skype’s inexpensive international calling options to keep in touch with her significant other. “You can even call them on their cell phone” she said, so the receiver does not have to be in front of their computer. They made a point to set a Photo: Brian Nichols certain time to chat, so they could make sure to catch up regularly despite their busy schedules. She found that the time difference also worked to their advantage. Before classes started it was evening in the U.S. and by the time classes ended it was nighttime there, so both sides were available to talk. She recommends, though, that couples make sure Brian Nichols with sons William (陶陶) and Charles (乐乐) that they are very committed to the relationship before one of them leaves for IUP. “Breaking up on Studying Chinese is like this as well. It is not Skype would be the worst way to do it,” she said. impossible to do what IUP asks of us, but it is only Brian admits that he could not have wished for a feasible if we make a lot of adjustments; making those better solution to balancing life at IUP and family life. kinds of adjustments is what I'm considering a kind of His oldest son, Charles (乐乐), 4.5 years-old, attends following the Dao. For me that has meant separation pre-school and is for the first time taking piano from my kids during the week in order to allow lessons, which was unimaginable in the U.S. since sufficient and uninterrupted time for daily study and piano lessons there are much more expensive, while review. Of course that's only the beginning for his son William (陶陶), 1.5 years-old, stays at home accomplishing what we are asked to do at IUP. I wish being cared for by his mother as well as his I knew the Dao of studying Chinese; if anyone does grandparents. Brian is a Fulbrighter and also received please let us know. Some mantras we hear at IUP like Fulbright’s Critical Language Enhancement Award 努力学习 don't sound very Daoist to me, though (CLEA) to pay for his studies at IUP till January. others like 慢慢来 do .”

上、文字上去深入探究才可以正确把握的。比如, 中国人说年纪大会说“一大把年纪”。为什么要用“把” 这个量词来表示“多”呢?你思考过吗?这是一个初级 水平的汉语学习者能够把握的问题吗?再比如“图”这 个字。学生们都熟悉的是“图画”、“图片”、“图案”、 “图书”的“图”。那到了口语中为什么出现了大量的动 词“图”呢?像“图方便”、“图便宜”、“图省事”、“图放 心”等等。再举两个例子,如“放马后炮”、“事后诸葛 之我见 亮”。如果你不了解中国象棋,如果你不了解中国历 滑阔漫, IUP 老师 史,那你对这两用法的了解也一定是一知半解的。 这样的例子很多,比如“上厕所”为什么叫“解手”, 今天我想谈一下高水平汉语学生的语言学习。 “单身”为什么叫“打光棍儿”,“议论别 人”为什么叫 我在 IUP 供职八年余,其间有一年在 Stanford。接触 “嚼舌头”, 的多为高水平汉语学生。在工作中有一些个人的经 “洋”和“土”为 验总结在这拿来跟大家讨论一下。 什么是相对 有一些朋友认为,口语应该在语言的初学阶段 的。太多的例 教学中作为重点。我个人对此观点不敢苟同。口语 子了!再比如 并不是有些朋友认为的只是生活中的小技巧。更不 中国人常说的 只是点菜、打电话、坐出租这么简单。口语能力的 “落不是”。你 高低可以直接反映一个学生的汉语水平。更能反映 用现在的中文 他对一种文化的理解。因为它直接与文化及语言的 输入法在电脑 历史沿革联系在一起。当一个人在使用口语和人交 上基本上都 可 流时它直接反映的是一个人对一种文化的掌握的程 Photo: Hua Kuoman 以直接打出这 度。 个词,可见这 比如“打水漂”这个说法,意思是花了钱却没有办 个词的使用频 成事情,所作的努力白费了。那为什么这个说法会 率之高。但 有这样的意思呢?这就和中国的钱币历史有关系。 Lila Buckley & Carol Liu admire the 是,你真的了 中国历史上使用时间最长的是金属钱币,金属钱币 Longmen Grottoes at Luoyang 解“不是”是什 掉在地上会发出声音,但是如果你用钱币去打水漂 么意思吗?一个英文母语背景的学生会不会把它理 的话就连声音都听不到了。听到声音这样的最小的 解为“Not”?这个“是”是“是不是”的“是”? 回报你都没有得到,岂不是很亏吗!所以“打水漂”这 得出的结论很简单:语言是生活的一部分。文 个说法可以用来比喻花了钱没有办成事情,甚至连 化内涵在语言上是非常重要的。所以在高水平的汉 一点声音都没有听到。再比如,我们所说的“背黑 语学生的语言教学里面有必要从文化角度、文字角 锅”、“连锅端”。这个锅在中国人的心目中到底是一 度以及语言沿革史的角度进行教学。而口语教学就 个什么概念呢?中国人又是怎么理解“黑锅”的呢?如 是一个很好的切入点。当然也不绝对。解决的办法 果你真的想把这个说法用在最合适的地方,那你必 还有许多,比如结合现代汉语的古文教学;以字本 须得对这个文化义项有一个准确的把握才可以。 位为出发点的现代汉语教学;未经修改的文学影视 由于历史的原因,中文中的很多词汇有着非常深刻 作品为材料的语言教学等等。重点在于教学中师生 的文化内涵。对于一个第二语言的学习者来说,遵 的教学重点和学习重点的侧重。 从第二语言习得的规律,它是非得从文化上、历史 以上意见仅供参考,抛砖引玉欢,迎板儿砖。 The IUPeople Newsletter is published monthly by the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies. Wen Bei Lou, 502, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China 100084. Visit us at Editor-in-chief: Charles Laughlin, Managing Editor: Vivian Li

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