Confucius Institute at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany holds 18th Seminar on Chinese Language Teaching in German-speaking countries
From May 8 to 10, 2014, the 18th Seminar on Chinese Language Teaching in German-speaking Countries was held at Goethe University Frankfurt. It was co-organized by the Association for Chinese Language Teaching in German-speaking Countries and the Confucius Institute at Goethe University Frankfurt. The attendees included a total of over 130 elite Chinese language teachers from the Association for Chinese Language Teaching in German-speaking Countries and different states in Germany, as well as many Sinology professors and experts from the US, Austria and China.
A speaker delivering a speech at the seminar
The main subject of this seminar was “Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language: Spoken and Written Chinese”.
In addition, subjects such as “HSK”, “Curriculum Design and Improvement of Sinology Undergraduate Programs” and “Chinese Language Acquisition” were all discussed in-depth.
Zhao Weimin, Consul General of the Education and Culture Department of the Chinese Consulate-General in Frankfurt, Henning Klöter, a professor from the Sinology Department of Göttingen University (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen), Dr. Andreas Guder, chairman of the Association for Chinese Language Teaching in German-speaking Countries, and Professor Dorothea Wippermann, Councilor-General of the Confucius Institute at Goethe University Frankfurt, addressed the opening and extended heartfelt welcome to all the guests. Then, the seminar officially began with UC Berkeley Professor Tao Hongyin’s report on corpus-based Chinese language teaching.
On the basis of the core subject of “Spoken and Written Chinese Language Teaching”, the seminar had many sub-subjects, such as “New Development of Spoken and Written Chinese Language Teaching”, “Acquisition of Chinese Vocabulary”, “Chinese Writing Abilities and Skills”, “Development of Chinese Language Teaching in European Elementary and Secondary Schools”, “Teaching Adults Chinese as a Foreign Language” and “Management of the Curriculum of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language at University”, all of which were discussed in nine different groups. Meanwhile, the seminar arranged five special lectures with topics like “Teaching of Chinese Ba-sentences” and “Chinese-German Conversational Communication”, providing the teachers with plenty of space and time to discuss and exchange ideas.
Guests exchanging ideas with each other
As the Chinese language gains increasing popularity, some German universities have already set up undergraduate majors in Teaching Chinese which was also one of the important subjects that this seminar zeroed in on. The personnel in charge of these emerging undergraduate programs from RUB (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), Göttingen University (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen) and Eberhard Karls Universität in Tübingen gave a detailed report on the programs’ development, explaining not only the curriculum design and teaching arrangement but also the key teaching parts of these courses and the prospect of graduates. The qualification training program for Chinese language teachers, jointly sponsored by the Confucius Institute at Goethe University Frankfurt and Goethe University, is highly praised and popular among Chinese language teachers since it has been the cradle for secondary school Chinese language teachers in German-speaking countries. Thus far, three classes of trainees have finished their training, and this year the program will recruit its fourth class.
During the seminar, Dr. Neder from Ruhr-Universität Bochum and Stefan Happel from Hansenberg International Middle School held discussions on the development of Chinese language teaching in German secondary schools. Dr. Neder introduced the design and management of spoken Chinese tests in German secondary schools and shared with the teachers the ways to train students to speak Chinese and to tap into their potential of speaking. Mr. Happel vividly illustrated how modern digital technology can be properly used to support Chinese language teaching and showed the teachers some Chinese language teaching websites and videos developed by him. He said that the combination of textbooks and animations made the teaching full of joy, hence arousing students’ interest in learning.
Young actors of children’s drama The Chinese Dream
A children’s drama The Chinese Dream, directed by Jiang Yuheng, a teacher from the Confucius Institute at Goethe University Frankfurt, successfully captured everyone’s attention with its vitality and loveliness. Sixteen little German children, all in adorable makeup and costumes, performed the drama on stage. Although the Chinese they spoke was still simple and their acting immature, their passion for Chinese language was genuine -- a simple “Chinese Dream” reflected a deep love for China.
After equal and heated discussions, this year’s seminar on Chinese language teaching successfully concluded amid the commendation from both Chinese and foreign scholars and experts for its high academic level and good organization. The seminar provided Chinese language teachers in German-speaking countries with a resource sharing platform and an opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from each other, where all the attendees shared their teaching experience and solutions to relevant problems.
By Huang Lei