Recently, 9th Wales Chinese teaching project forum was held in Confucius Institute at UK’s Cardiff University. 32 language teaching heads from Confucius Institutes at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Bangor University and the primary and secondary schools in Wales, were present at the forum.
The forum, taking “Gather strength, Improve together” as topic, aimed to sum up Chinese teaching experience and achievement in the past half a year and to overcome the difficulties encountered in local Chinese teaching, which facilitate the integration of the Chinese language to Welsh language teaching system and determine the future development plan of Chinese teaching projects in the primary and secondary schools of Wales.
The forum opening ceremony was presided by Rachel Williams, primary and secondary teaching project manager of Confucius Institute at Cardiff University, and Chinese dean Yubei Zhou delivered a welcome speech. Rachel made a comprehensive summary of the development of Chinese language teaching in Wales over the past eight years. She emphasized the important support from Chinese national Hanban and Welsh government for Chinese language teaching. She also pointed out that the focus of Chinese teaching in primary and secondary schools in the coming years will be cultivating local Chinese language teachers.
Later on, some Confucius classroom directors discussed one after another about the impact of globalization on school education. They said that language teaching plays a vital role in helping better adapt the local citizen to the new circumstances. The development of Chinese language teaching has set up a communication bridge between Wales and China, which benefits the regional development in the long term.
After one day of a heated discussion, the delegates proposed many methods of localizing Chinese language teaching, for instance, drawing the reasonable teaching outline, providing teachers with a probation period, attracting parents on Chinese teaching and so forth. They also made an agreement on intercollegiate and regional (e.g. with England) exchange and cooperation. The delegates generally believe that improving communication channels and strengthening the publicity can effectively promote Chinese language and culture in Wales.
It is understood that Confucius Institute at Cardiff University places a great importance on Chinese teaching in the local primary and secondary schools since its establishment. So far, more and more schools in Wales have absorbed Chinese teaching into Welsh Baccalaureate. Welsh government has also given a strong support for Chinese teaching.
On July 28, HSK test was held for third time in 2016 in the Chinese language test center of Confucius Institute at Japan’s Kansai Gaidai University.
The test center is located in Study and Research Urban campus of Kansai Gaidai University, with 10 test points and over 30 supervisors. A total of 711 people took part in the examination (738 people registered for the test).
During the examination, Confucius Institute set up a special test room for the physically challenged students.
In recent years, besides English, more and more Japanese companies are considering Chinese language level as an important condition of promotion. The HSK test, as the Chinese language proficiency test recognized by Chinese government, is getting increasing number of examinees year by year.
It is learnt that Japan’s Kansai Gaidai University signed a contract with Chinese Testing International Co., Ltd. (CTI) (Beijing) and has started organizing HSK tests since 2010. This year the Confucius Institute is going to hold HSK tests four times. This time the test is approaching the final exam in the university, so a lot of students took it as an opportunity to check their Chinese learning skill and participated in the exam, the registration number of which created a new record of this year.
On July 16, Chinese Consulate of Calcutta, cooperated with Chinese language school in Calcutta, successfully held Chinese language competition of Sino-Indian Friendship Cup this year. Zhanwu Ma, consul-general of China in Calcutta, Subrata Mukherjee, Indian West Bengal village autonomy and development minister and Madan Saraff, founder and chairman of Chinese language school in Calcutta attended the activity.
Zhanwu Ma, in his speech, appreciated the efforts of Chinese language school of Calcutta for 8 years on the Chinese language education and congratulated its collaboration with Yunnan Normal University on setting up the first Confucius classroom in eastern India. He said, with the rapid development of sino-indian relation and the frequent communication in the fields as culture, economy and trade etc., learning Chinese language has turned to be more and more meaningful, which can not only help understand better China and Chinese culture, but also benefit individual career development in the future. In recent years, Indian friends have the increasing need of learning Chinese language and the craze for Chinese language has swept over the Indian eastern areas. Young students are the future of India as well as the future of sino-indian friendship. Zhanwu Ma hopes that Indian students study hard to speak good Chinese and strive to enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between China and India and to promote the relation between two countries into more in-depth development. He was also invited to practice Tai Chi on the scene.
Minister Mukherjee expressed his appreciation to the head of Chinese language school in Calcutta for his many years of hard work and claimed that Chinese education in this school is the precious resource in West Bengal and had built up the friendship bridge between India and China. The state government will support any suggestions relevant to the development of West Bengal.
Mr. Saraff thanked the Chinese consulate for the long time support and said that Chinese school would take the Confucius classroom as an opportunity to further improve the Chinese language teaching level and place more emphasis on Indo-Chinese communication and friendship between two countries.
The competition was divided into two parts, namely speech and performance. In the speech part, the contestants need to give an impromptu speech according to the topic drawn by lot while in the performance part, the contestants wonderfully presented their Chinese language level and Chinese culture they understand with poetry reading, singing and dancing, painting, short play, drama and other forms.
On July 7th, 1st New Zealand Middle School Chinese Teacher Roundtable Conference was held in University of Victoria in Wellington. The conference was hosted by Confucius Institute in University of Victoria in Wellington and in collaboration with Chinese language teachers association of Wellington branch. About 70 Chinese teachers across the country attended the meeting.
Victor Bao, Senior Chinese teacher and IB examiner in Dulwich College International School of Singapore was invited as keynote speaker. According to his many years teaching experience and research results in Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam, he gave a vivid interpretation on “How to make Chinese class more interesting through games”, “How to use Chinese reading materials such as Chinese short stories to improve the students Chinese language skill” and “Thought on stratified Chinese teaching method” and so on.
In addition, Paul Nation, international well-known lexicologist and applied linguistic professor of University of Victoria, made a speech on “Acquisition and teaching of Second language”. Feng Yu and Aiqun Li from Wellington Boys High School, communicated with attendees on the topics as “How to use web tools to make teaching and learning resources” and “Virtual teachers – How to use Showbie to create the Chinese learning platform”. Jiwei Fu, New Zealand National Chinese consultant, lectured on “Easily confused Chinese words” while Yiyan Wang, Chinese language project professor in University of Victoria and council member of Confucius Institute, introduced the Chinese projects in the university.
At last, teachers also took part in the sharing session presided by Victor Bao and Feng Yu on the latest information and guidelines of IB and NCEA exams.
After the meeting, all teachers told that they had learnt a lot and hoped that such roundtable meetings could be held regularly every year to give strong support to Chinese teachers in New Zealand and to enforce the communication within industry, and more overseas front-line Chinese teachers with rich experience such as Victor Bao could be invited to share the teaching methods.
According to the news released by Chinese Ministry of Culture, the 15th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students was successfully held in Chinese culture center of Mauritius. Mr. Yanqun Song, cultural counsellor of Chinese Embassy and director of Chinese culture center in Mauritius attended the activities and delivered a speech.
Mr. Song said that language is a bridge of communication, learning Chinese will open up a door for the future and help students to realize their dreams. Chinese culture center in Mauritius has been engaged in promoting Chinese teaching and aims to accentuate the cultural exchange and friendship between two countries.
Under the support of Mauritian Ministry of Education, Chinese culture center in Mauritius widely launched the advertising campaign through the mainstream media and Facebook, with 14 competitors signed up, primarily from several local colleges such as University of Mauritius, Institute of Gandhi. Five contestants got shortlisted after the initial selection. The competition took “Dream lights up the future” as theme and was divided into speech, talent show and Chinese culture quiz. The competition jury was comprised of the course experts and Chinese teachers dispatched by National Hanban in China.
After two rounds of fierce competition, David and Mary, respectively from Open University of Mauritius and University of Mauritius, stood out. In their speeches, David hoped to learn well Chinese, understand Chinese culture, make a lot of Chinese friends and even meet the Chinese girl in life when he was young, while Mary said that young people should have dreams and not rely on luck but themselves for a bright future. The excellent speeches and talent shows such calligraphy and paintings had deeply impressed the spectators and the judges.
Each contestant was awarded certificates and prizes by Mr. Song at the end of the competition. A host of young spectators wished to learn Chinese and know more about China and Chinese culture.
On April 13, Chinese Embassy in Belarus organised a special fim reception for the local primary and secondary school students who are learning Chinese. About 80 attendees were invited, including Chinese volunteers from Confucius Institute and the teacher and student representatives from schools running Confucius classrooms and Chinese language courses. They watched together the Chinese movie “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate”.
Mr. Qiming Cui, Chinese Ambassador in Belarus, made a speech at first. He warmly welcomed the guests and said that with the relations between Belarus and China developping rapidly in recent years and the bilateral cooperation continuously deepened in various fields, Byelorussian and Chinese young people’s interest in learning the other country’s language and culture is increasing. More and more primary and secondary school students opt for Chinese courses in Belarus. Relevant activities would be carried out in the Embassy to help them understand better Chinese language and China.
Byelorussian teachers and students watched the Chinese movie with strong interest, afterwards, Mr. Cui, the Ambassador, communicated actively with the students and answered their questions about Chinese history. At the end of the reception, the students showed the great pleasure to have such an opportunity to participate in, saying that the activity had offered them the medium of learning Chinese culture and enhanced their motivation to learn Chinese language and culture.
Confucius Institute in Artois University (Université d’Artois) was founded in France in 2008. The establishment of the organization is to create a cross-cultural communication platform and is open to all sections of society. In February 2015, the 1st session of China Arts Festival (Arts Chine) will soon be open here. Chinese opera, cultural exhibitions, as well as a series of cultural lectures will be displayed to the students with the support of their vice-president Stephen Rowley.
Aims to popularize Chinese culture
Stephen Rowley said, “To teach Chinese language, to organize Chinese language proficiency test and to train the Chinese teachers in France are the main goal of Confucius Institute. We will also hold someseminars, related courses and practice activities. Students can participate in the activities such as
Chinese calligraphy, music, Tai Chi, oriental cooking and Chinese drama. China plays a very important role
in the strategic layout of the university. We offer enlightenment courses of Chinese culture for the extracurricular activities. So far in France, Arras is the only city that Chinese courses are offered from primary schools to doctoral courses.” According to the vice-president of Artois University, more than 200 students there are learning Chinese and many others are already studying in China. Some of them are doing internships in China and some already settled down. In addition, the university plans to organize one summer camp, “We will invite Chinese students to stay for one month in Artois University. They will live together with French students here and get exposed to local French culture.”
Why would French people be interested in Chinese?
English language is still in the dominant position by far, but we have already seen a new force coming from Chinese language, which is the positive impact from the world’s largest economy and at the same time has attracted the attention of many French students. French students like Chinese life, some of them do business and settle down in China. Artois University will introduce a new Master degree of Chinese language (le chinois, langue étrangère) in September 2015.
On November 1st, the 7th Chinese Proficiency Competition for college students in the world – Chinese Bridge – came to a close in Yunnan Normal University. The competition “Chinese Bridge” has been held in Yunnan for three consecutive years.
The competition was hosted by the headquarter of Confucius Institute, National Hanban and Yunnan provincial government; it was organized by Education Department of Yunnan Province, Yunnan Normal University and Yunnan Broadcasting Station; and it was on the theme of “Learn Chinese Double Your World”. A total of 390 teachers and students from 76 countries participated in the competition, with more participating countries and contestants than all the previous competitions. During the 11 days, the contestants took part in the written test of Chinese language and culture, Chinese speaking competition, Chinese talent competition, group intercontinental tournament and group finals. They also joined in Yunnan ethnic cultural activities, Chinese and foreigner students’ get-together, family cultural activities and overseas Chinese language education forum.
The group finals is divided into four aspects: Q&A, Lightning Round, Friendly Match and Keynote Speech on “I want to be the champion”, which test the Chinese proficiency level and the strain capacity. After four fierce competitions with five teams – South Africa team, USA 3 team, Mongolia team, Germany team and Australia 1 team, Germany team finally gained the championship.
On the finals, all the contestants performed together a dance – Dancing Continents, a sitcom – Journey of Tea Leaves and a musical drama – Colorful Yunnan, which won warm applause from the audience.