On December 10th, the closing ceremony of the International Chinese Language Education Conference was held in Changsha, Hunan Province. The theme of the conference is “Innovation and Development of International Chinese Language Education in the New Era”. Over 1,000 representatives from more than 160 countries had heated discussions on deepening reform of systems, enriching education resources, improving quality of school-running and promoting diversified development.
Tian Xuejun, Vice Minister of Education, attended the closing ceremony and delivered a speech. He pointed out that there is a strong practical demand for international Chinese language education and that all parties need to be gathered for consolidating social and public foundation of Chinese language education. He hoped that relevant parties would make joint efforts to better enhance mutual understanding, communication and cooperation among the peoples of the world through the international Chinese language education. He also hoped that the great minds of the world can be brought together to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and the rest of the world, and to contribute wisdom and strength to building a community with a shared future for mankind and a better future for human society.
At the closing ceremony, Tian Xuejun, Vice Minister of Education, He Baoxiang, Vice-Governor of Hunan Province, Timothy O’Shea, Honorary Council Member of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and former Principal of the University of Edinburgh, Wojciech Nowak, Honorary Council Member of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and President of Jagiellonian University in Poland, and Joël Bellassen, Former Vice President of the International Society for Chinese Language Teaching and Inspector-General of Chinese Language Teaching of the Ministry of Education of France, presented awards including the “Confucius Institute of the Year”, the “Confucius Classroom of the Year”, the “Confucius Institute Individual Performance Excellence “and the “Outstanding Confucius Institute Chinese Partner” to awardees, and granted plates to overseas sites of “Chinese Bridge” clubs, the excellent Chinese proficiency test centers, and member units of the International Society for Chinese Language Teaching.
Representatives from nine forums summarized and exchanged their views on discussions, including Ato Habtewold Hailu, Vice President of Technical, Vocational Education and Training Institute of Ethiopia, Patrick Kee Peng Kong, Vice Chancellor of SEGi University in Malaysia, Ma Huaide, President of China University of Political Science and Law, Zhou Zuoyu, Vice President of Beijing Normal University, A. Zh. Zhussupbekov, Vice President of Eurasian University in Kazakhstan, Isaac Mbeche, Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi and Foreign Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi, Nguyen Phuoc Loc, Council Member of the International Society for Chinese Language Teaching and Deputy Director of the Chinese Department of Ho Chi Minh City University of Education, Vietnam, Timothy O’Shea, Honorary Council Member of the Confucius Institute Headquarters and Former Principal of the University of Edinburgh, and Zhang Hongming, Council Member of the International Society for Chinese Language Teaching and Director of the Chinese Language Department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In the seminar “Chinese + vocational skills” of the conference, Chinese and foreign enterprises were invited to discuss how to connect employment with entrepreneurship, so that Chinese language teaching can better serve the local economic and social development. 32 workshops of the conference covered important topics such as policies, standards, teachers, teaching materials, teaching methods, tests, and construction of brand projects of international Chinese language education, as well as enhancing cooperation between China and other countries. More than 150 representatives have delivered speeches, and more than 900 people have participated in the discussion. Through the conference, Chinese and foreign partners of the Confucius Institute fully exchanged their views.
The International Society for Chinese Language Teaching also held the general election of the council and seminars during the conference.
At present, more than 30,000 primary and secondary schools around the world have set up Chinese language courses; more than 4,000 universities have Chinese language departments or courses, and 45,000 Chinese language schools and training institutions offer Chinese language education, with a total of over 25 million people learning Chinese all over the world. Besides, 550 Confucius Institutes and 1,172 Confucius Classrooms have been set up in 162 countries and regions, which play leading roles in developing international Chinese language education, promoting cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and strengthening people’s understanding of China.