Confucius Institute

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Dr. Yong Zhao, of Michigan State University, revealed a new online educational tool to a room of Chinese delegates and officials from the Chinese Consul.

"As we know China's become a very powerful economy. And Michigan does a lot of work with China with General Motors and other companies."

The game is the brainchild of M.S.U.'s College of Education. Its plan is to teach students and adults, living in-state, about the Chinese culture and language. And the goal is to make it readily available online through Michigan Virtual High School.

"Our students and future citizens need to understand and interact with the Chinese in order to do business with them."

The concept comes from China's National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language. Currently the department is sponsoring eight other similar programs around the country called Confucius Institutes. But Michigan's will be special.

"Our's is the only one right now to offer Chinese courses online. All others are face to face."

The Chinese government will provide about $250,000 to M.S.U. and M.V.H.S. for the continual development and delivery of the program.
For Madame Xu Lin, of China's NOCFL, it's all very exciting.

"We want to help U.S. people to learn Chinese more interestingly, more quickly. It will be helpful for their career and future. It will be more easy to communicate with foreign friends."

The Confucius Institute is expected to be ready by the fall.