The 2017 International Teaching Conference, ‘Internet plus Teaching Chinese as a Second Language’, was held at Leeds University Business School on April 1st and 2nd. The Conference was co-organised by the East Asian Studies Department and the Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds (BCIUL).
Over 60 renowned professors in the field of teaching Chinese as a second language attended the conference, including experts from Beijing Language and Culture University, the University of London and other universities in China, Britain, America and Korea. Discussion included the theory, practice and reflection of internet-based Chinese teaching; the construction and application of new technology and new products in Chinese teaching; and diversified teacher training and evaluation research systems.
The keynote speeches were given by Professor Joël Bellassen from the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations, Professor Li Xiaoqi from Peking University, and Professor Song Jihua from Beijing Normal University. They addressed matters surrounding MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) Chinese class teaching, the use of video in Chinese language teaching, and the Great Wall Chinese online teaching system, respectively.
On the second day of the conference, attendees carried out a discussion session with teachers from BCIUL. Chinese Director Yan Hongwei delivered a brief introduction to the achievements the Institute has made in the past five years in the areas of teaching, Chinese business and cultural activities. These accomplishments were met with respect, and initiated a dialogue on how to continue the progress of academic research and Sino-U.K business cultural communication.
The last session of the conference was the U.K Confucius Institute Director’s Forum. Chinese Directors from The Confucius Institute SOAS at the University of London, The Scottish Confucius Institute for Business and Communication at Heriot-Watt University, and Lancaster University Confucius Institute introduced their organisations and discussed the challenges they have met in recent years, and how they have overcome them. All the directors agreed that the continued reinforcement of cooperation and communications between institutes in the future would be key to growth and success for everyone.
The conference ended with Giles Blackburne, the newly appointed Executive Director of BCIUL, sharing his future strategies on the development of the Confucius Institute here in Leeds.
Attendees were positive about the conference and the hospitality of BCIUL, commenting on the quality of the lectures and celebrating the constructive communication and establishment of relationships between institutes.