|Dr. Xiaojun Wang|
Dr. Xiaojun Wang
Faculty International Researcher
Being author co-author of more than 20 volumes of frequently used textbooks, worldwide, for Chinese language and culture instruction has keenly positioned Dr. Xiaojun Wang, professor of foreign languages and head of Western Michigan University’s Chinese language program, to serve as director of the University's new Confucius Institute (served September 2009 to June 2011).
Wang joined WMU President John M. Dunn, Dr. Donald G. McCloud, dean of WMU's Haenicke Institute for Global Education, and a small campus delegation traveled to China in early July to finalize a set of agreements that established the WMU Confucius Institute. Click here to read the story . The Confucius Institute at WMU will provide new Chinese language and cultural studies options for WMU students and faculty and dramatically expand international opportunities for area K-12 schools and local businesses.
Wang heads up WMU's China Study Group and is highly regarded across the globe for his research on the application of Chinese linguistics. He has authored more than eight books, co-authored more than 20, including "Integrated Chinese," the world's most frequently used introductory textbook for Chinese language instruction. His book, "A Business Trip to China," is widely used as a textbook in Asia, has been translated in four languages, and won the 2008 Beijing International Book exhibition award.
Wang earned his bachelor's degree and master's degree from Northeast Normal University in China and his second master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Arizona in 1989 and 1995. Prior to coming to WMU in 1997, he taught for seven years at the University of Arizona-Tuscon and served as the coordinator of the university's basic Chinese program. "WMU realized that we needed Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic programs," Wang said. "I came here in 1997 and helped initiate Chinese language and culture studies and develop a minor program. I served as the department chair of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages for four years, until it merged with the Foreign Language Department where we teamed up for the same goals." Additionally, Wang is the faculty director for WMU in Beijing Academic Year Program and WMU's Chinese Language and Culture Tour, which provide a total immersion experience in contemporary China each year that are open to undergraduate and graduate students.
Participants of study tour spend 15 days studying at the prestigious Beijing Language and Culture University, WMU’s partner institute for the Confucius Institute, and visiting Beijing and the surrounding area. Some of the cultural tours include travel to Confucius' hometown, Tai Mountain, Nanjing, Suzhou and Shanghai. The program offers students the unique opportunity to gain insight about Chinese culture and strengthen their language skills.
Click here to view the program profile
Wang also mentors students in WMU's Lee Honors College, who have China-related thesis projects, doctoral candidates from BLCU and teaching assistants who come to the University through the Fulbright Program.
"It was sheer determination and persistence by Dr. Wang, Dr. Roger Tang of the business college, and Dr. Dewei Qi from our engineering college that ultimately brought the Confucius Institute to our campus," said W. Wilson (Bill) Woods, Haenicke Institute associate dean, who served on the committee working to create a Confucius Institute. "After three years of planning and garnering support in Beijing and on our campus, the dream of WMU being home to a Confucius Institute has been realized."Story by Julia Valentine