Confucius Institute: Infinite Possibilities - Members of Confucius Institute at Middle East Technical University in Turkey Take Part in Exclusive Interviews with Three Chinese Media Outlets

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Middle East Technical University [Time]    2011-12-27 15:27:31 

Ankara, November 26th, 2011—Press corps of senior reports from major media outlets - Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily and Guangming Daily etc. visited the Confucius Institute at Middle East Technical University in Turkey in the afternoon. The Chinese Teaching Materials Training Session held by the Confucius Institute coincided with their visit. Reporters interviewed representatives from the Confucius Institute present at the session and engaged in in-depth discussions regarding the future development of the Confucius Institute.

Nazlı, Turkish Director of Confucius Institute at METU, founded on November 28th, 2008, noted that the Confucius Institute at METU is the first of its kind in Turkey. It not only offers elective Chinese language courses to students of the Middle East Technical University, but also has Chinese language courses for METU faculty members. These classes take place on weekdays as well as on the weekend. Chinese language courses have reached universities, secondary schools and primary schools, and Chinese language club activities have also been organized by the Institute. In addition to Chinese language courses, Tai Chi classes, martial arts classes, paper-cutting classes and calligraphy classes etc. are also offered. The Confucius Institute has organized more than 20 cultural activities, of which "Chinese New Year reception", "Chinese Bridge Competition", "Huawei Chinese Culture Summer Camp" and "Lecture on TCM Health Care" enjoyed great influence in Turkey.

Nazlı also stated that Middle East Technical University aims to promote "Global Citizenship" and that the presence of Confucius Institute will facilitate the achievement of this goal. Confucius Institute is not only an institute, but also a network. This network covers not only Turkey, Asia or Europe, but spans globally. Confucius Institute is not only a language learning center; it is a platform for cultural exchange. The Confucius Institute is set to increase its facilitation of exchanges between universities, states and countries, with cooperation continuing to grow. The future of the Confucius Institute is, therefore, one of infinite possibilities.

In regards to the relationship between language and culture and the role of Confucius Institute in the cultural exchanges etc., Hüsnü, Director of Faculty of Foreign Languages at METU and Board Member of the Confucius Institute, stated that language and culture are inseparable. Hüsnü also noted that there are many similarities between Turkish culture and Chinese culture. During the past two years, the number of people learning Chinese has increased and a variety of cultural activities have emerged. The Confucius Institute has made a great many Chinese language and cultural teaching resources and services available to the public, promoting cultural diversity and harmony. The Confucius Institute at METU will remain committed to strengthening educational and cultural cooperation between China and Turkey as a result of its academic partnership with Xiamen University. This partnership serves to promote the development of Chinese language teaching in Turkey and improve Turkish people’s understanding of China’s splendid cultural heritage. It will also further enhance cultural cooperation between Turkish and Chinese communities. Since 2008, the Confucius Institute at METU has successfully supported various kinds of activities and programs and it has offered Turkish students many opportunities for engaging in cultural exchanges. The Confucius Institute has both promoted the development of Chinese language teaching in Turkey and improved cultural exchanges and cooperation between China and Turkey.

With respect to the future development of the Confucius Institute, Hüsnü stated that the Institute will organize a wide variety of cultural activities. By participating in these activities, students in Turkey will come to foster an interest in specific professional fields- a starting point from which they may choose for their further study. Such further education is a form of education that carries more significance. In addition, both the Chinese and Turkish people involved are likely to gain increased opportunities for inter-school exchanges with more and more students able to visit China to experience Chinese language and culture first hand.

Wang Shanping, Chinese Director of Confucius Institute at METU also spoke, offering his opinions glowingly. He expressed the view that it is most important for the continued development of Confucius Institute that ideas are exchanged frequently for mutual understanding and for the strengthening of cooperation. The Chinese and international parties involved in the Confucius Institute at METU have established a good basis for cooperation. Wang Shanping noted that achievements have been made over the past year and that they had would not have been possible without the support of the foreign director, board members of the Confucius Institute, and the two presidents of the Chinese and Turkish universities. Wang Shanping also stated, in regards to future plans, that it is better to teach someone how to fish rather than to give him a fish and that the Confucius Institute will continue to operate in accordance to this principle. The Institute will focus on the local teacher training and pay much attention to the role of local teachers, making the Confucius Institute a Turkish training center for Chinese language teachers and a Chinese Teaching Materials Training Center. Moreover, they will continue to cooperate with enterprises and other universities in expanding the influence of Confucius Institute at METU.

Gölge, Associate Dean of Faculty of Education at METU and Board Member of the Confucius Institute, also stated that according to the rules of language education one can learn foreign languages more easily at an early age. For this reason, the Confucius Institute intends to promote Chinese language teaching in secondary and primary schools and even in kindergartens in Turkey. To date, the Confucius Institute has held Chinese language classes and club activities in several secondary schools and primary schools, and the Confucius Classroom at Jale School offers Chinese language classes for students. The youngest of the children studying are five years old and they have achieved initial success in learning Chinese.