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B&R construction raises demand for Chinese language education

Author  :  ZHANG YIXIN     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2019-03-26

With the progress of the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative, Chinese language education has become a mutual need for China and countries along its routes. Recently, scholars elaborated on issues such as the meaning, current situation and future development of Chinese language education paired with the B&R initiative.

Zhai Yan, dean of the Preparatory Education College at Beijing Language and Culture University, said that the construction of Confucius Institutes has been a specific measure of the “go global” strategy. As a platform for cultural exchange, Confucius Institutes have promoted people’s understanding of China along its routes and boosted people’s interaction. The Chinese language-speaking population has spurred local residents’ demand to learn Chinese and has created a favorable environment for Chinese language learning. Currently, middle and primary education systems in many countries have covered Chinese language teaching, which has pushed forward the localization of Chinese language learning in terms of policy. 

Addressing the issues facing Chinese language education, Zhai put forward that, currently, the number of Confucius Institutes in B&R partner countries does not match local populations and GDP. Over the past ten years, the emphasis on Chinese language education and Confucius Institutes was mainly directed at developed Western countries, but in the next decade the emphasis should shift to B&R partner countries. It is more important now to accelerate the studies and evaluation of the effects of Confucius Institutes’ operations, with the aim of providing better services and delivering greater benefits to the people in B&R partner countries and ensuring institutes’ operation in a reasonable and legal way. In addition, we should improve the utilization of scholarships and talent cultivation programs to guarantee the supply of eligible people nationwide. Universities and colleges should expand cooperation channels and explore more ways of providing language services to make more contributions to B&R construction.

Guo Xi, director of the Overseas Chinese Language Studies Center at Jinan University, said that we should fully leverage overseas Chinese language training schools to cultivate proficient language users to match the urgent need for B&R construction. Most teachers in overseas Chinese language training schools can speak both Chinese and local languages, which can be used to train Chinese and local employees to help them better adapt to work. To some degree, overseas Chinese language training schools could cooperate with Confucius Institutes to build schools for overseas Chinese to attract more students and improve the status of Chinese language at the same time. The teaching quality on both sides can be improved through communication with overseas Chinese language training schools. In addition, domestic universities and colleges can enhance their influence in overseas areas to attract more children of overseas Chinese to study in China. 

 

 

 

(Edited by Su Xuan)

Editor: Yu Hui

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