Confucius Institute at Michigan State University: Experience Chinese

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CI-MSU Documentary
Children's Books
Chinese Your Way
Jim Ballard - The Need for CIMSU
Zon - Multiplayer Chinese Language Game
CI-MSU Documentary


Check out the documentary of Confucius Institute at Michigan State University.

Children's Books


Picture books have been recognized as an effective aid for language education because they contain beautiful illustrations, rich language, and authentic culture. Reading the Chinese picture books will immerse children in a Chinese language environment, and also help them understand the Chinese culture. Our children’s books are designed to provide both teachers and parents with authentic Chinese language and culture materials to help children learn the language and culture in a kid-friendly way. There are two categories of our bilingual books: culture books and language books.

For more information click the "Learn More" button.

Chinese Your Way


Chinese Your Way is an interactive eTextBook that provides one semester's worth of Mandarin Chinese language instruction in one self contained package. We offer four levels starting from novice, level 1A, to intermediate, level 2B. Chinese Your Way lets the student take control of their learning process, studying at a pace suitable to their needs and providing a wide range of in-depth topics and activities.

Check out our demo and informational videos about how Chinese Your Way can quickly and effectively have you speaking Mandarin Chinese.  For more information click the "Learn More" button.

Jim Ballard - The Need for CIMSU

Jim Ballard - Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) describes the need for CIMSU.
The mission of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals is to promote excellence in school leadership by serving, supporting and raising recognition of its members, and on their behalf, advocating education system improvements for the benefit of students, teachers, principals and schools throughout Michigan.
Zon - Multiplayer Chinese Language Game

Zon is for Chinese language learners of all ages and all backgrounds. It is a great resource if you are currently studying Chinese in your school, university and for those who are trying to learn just by themselves. Zon is the first massively multiplayer game to promote language learning in a fun, community oriented virtual environment.

Be a part of the Zon community, make friends with others who are trying to learn Chinese and have fun!

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Learn Chinese - Experience China

At the Confucius Institute at Michigan State University (CI-MSU) we believe in delivering high quality Chinese language instruction to K-12 institutions and businesses, tailored to meet the specific demands of learning Chinese as a foreign language in the U.S.

Established in May 2006 MSU Confucius Institute (CI-MSU) is a collaborative effort of Michigan State University, Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), and Open University of China. CI-MSU is the premiere Confucius Institute, offering innovative programs and services to meet the rising demand for high-quality Chinese language and culture education worldwide. It has been selected for three consecutive years as the Confucius Institute of the Year by the Chinese Ministry of Education. Its eTextBook Chinese Your Way and Multiplayer Chinese learning game Zon have won international Chinese language curriculum awards. CI-MSU offers Chinese language and culture instruction to over 30,000 students worldwide.  CI-MSU has fostered partnerships with dozens of schools, districts, intermediate school districts and community colleges in the U.S.  Through these partnerships CI-MSU has helped its partners to receive over $3 million in grant funding to fund their Chinese language programs.

CI-MSU understands the diverse needs of Chinese language learners and the institutions that wish to offer Chinese language programs. To address these needs, we have developed a host of services.  CI-MSU has custom designed products, programs and services for young children, K-12 students and adults. Our mission is to serve the whole community, both individual learners and larger institutions. We offer online distance learning courses to meet the needs of students who do not have traditional access to second language opportunities as well as support face-to-face instructions in schools across the country. We offer culture summer camps for elementary to high school students in both the US and China. We have pioneered the most effective way to place high-quality, trained Chinese language teachers in classrooms quickly while certifying them as Chinese language teachers through MSU's teacher education program. Most importantly we are here to help, responding to schools' unique needs by customizing our programs and services to deliver the best quality Chinese language instruction possible.

This is reflected in our goals to:

  • Meet the ever-increasing demand for Chinese education in the U.S; promote Chinese culture and language worldwide.
  • Provide quality Chinese learning materials and experience to both K-12 students and adults.
  • Develop new teaching resources and for teachers and schools as well as provide consulting to existing teachers and school districts.
  • Recruit and train highly qualified & certified Chinese teachers for K-12 schools.
  • Conduct research on issues specific to teaching Chinese as a foreign language.
  • Reform and create an innovative & effective learning and teaching system for Chinese language and culture.

Revolutionary Ways to Learn Chinese Language and Culture

iStock_000011086411XSmallCI-MSU takes pride in its innovative, yet practical, approach to meet the needs of our learners. It was the first to offer online Mandarin courses for high school students. It was the first to design and offer community college level courses in the virtual environment Second Life. It was also the first to release a Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) for teaching language and culture. Below are a few examples of how you can experience CI-MSU's revolutionary way of teaching Chinese language and culture.

ZON, launched in April, 2008, is a Massively Multi-Player Online Role Playing Game developed for learning Chinese as a Foreign Language. Via ZON, you can visit Chinese cities, participate in traditional Chinese activities, encountering experiences in the Chinese language and culture, normally reserved for the few who can travel to China, and socializing with other Chinese language learners from all over the world. Learning is never boring in ZON! Through engaging games, interactive learning modules and online communication tools like chat, you will find everything you need to learn the Chinese language. With over 18,000 registered ZON players from more than 40 countries, you won't be able to find a better online resource or community for Chinese language learners.

Chinese Your Way is a high quality Chinese culture and language courseware system designed by CI-MSU specifically for English-speaking middle school and high school students.  Chinese Your Way was built using the latest research and best practices in second language instruction, addressing students' learning styles and needs.  Chinese Your Way enables students to learn Chinese at their own pace with thousands of interactive multimedia and video language encounters. With three years of research and development behind Chinese Your Way as a language learning software, it is no surprise that it received the  "Outstanding Teaching Material" award in 2008 by Hanban.

Educational Global Citizenship (EGC) is a culture and language immersion program that can enable students to become bilingual, bi-cultural, and bi-literate while achieving at a high academic level. Starting as a preschools program, EGC is a form of dual language immersion education that was designed by a team of educational experts from the US and China, which provides children with a rich and supportive learning environment by teaching the core academic content in two languages: English and Chinese. Debuting in summer 2005 at the 3E International Kindergarten in Beijing, China,  EGC schools are widely recognized for the outstanding education achievements and excellent service to their communities. Currently there are 5 EGC programs operating in both the U.S. and China including; Lansing MI, Forest Hills MI, Lamphere MI, Utica MI and Beijing China.

Extensive Partnerships and Cooperation across the World

iStock_000003876463XSmallCI-MSU believes in collaboration and partnerships. We have built a strong and extensive network of partners with more than 20 schools and school districts in both U.S. and China. Starting from 2006, CI-MSU developed EGC immersion programs in 4 schools in Michigan: Lansing, Forest Hills, Lamphere and Utica, supported by over $3.5 million federal grants from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Defenses. In China, the first EGC School was launched with the start of the 3E International Kindergarten in Beijing, 2005. Language and culture courses have been developed in a wild range of K-12 schools spread over the midwest, including Warren Woods, Dyersburg, Arlington Heights, Forest Hills, Utica and Clio.

Cooperating with Michigan Virtual High School (MVHS), a not-for-profit online education and training corporation funded by the Michigan Legislature in July 2000, CI-MSU is offering online Chinese courses to high school and middle school students using its interactive teaching methods and well developed e-textbook Chinese Your Way. CI-MSU has been working collaboratively with MSU College of Education and the Beijing Channel Consulting Ltd., to develop a comprehensive Chinese teachers recruiting, training and support program, which is providing highly-qualified Chinese language teachers and educational support to schools nationwide. CI-MSU is also part of the larger Confucius Institute network of over 300 Confucius Institutes in 78 countries worldwide. As more and more schools, institutions and businesses join in cooperation with us, there is a rapid extension of partnership possibilities encompassing the globe.


Elite and Professional Working Teams

Established in the MSU College of Education, rated #1 in Teacher Education by U.S. News & World Report for the last 15 years, CI-MSU is supported by a strong research & development teams led by Dr. Zhao, a University Distinguished Professor. Professional teacher training teams composed of professors from the College of Education provide high quality training programs for the Chinese Teacher certification program. Researchers recruited from top academic institutions develop our educational ideology and best practice educational approaches in Chinese language instruction. The development teams are devoted to designing and launching new programs with superior technical foundations that push individual, group and formal Chinese language instruction in the classroom and online. Groups of experienced teachers provide continuing support and consulting for teachers and schools nationwide. The program's development and execution at CI-MSU rely on the abundant resources, techniques and support from the Open University of China, which is the first in China to develop a modern long distance teaching model using multi-media, radio, TV, audio-visional materials and computer networks.