2nd International Academic Symposium on Chinese Studies Successfully Held in Thailand

[Source]    People’s Daily Online [Time]    2019-07-31 11:09:54 

To further broaden the horizon of Chinese studies and enable researchers to develop in the direction of modernization and standardization, the 2nd International Academic Symposium on Chinese Studies was held in Thailand on July 19th. Wang Huichang, Representative of the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) Representative Office in Thailand, Dr. Guilherm Albieri, Vice President of the College of Optometry at the State University of New York (SUNY) and American Director of the Confucius Institute, Dr. Foo Suan Fong, Dean of the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL) at the Nanyang Technology University (NTU)and nearly 50 experts and scholars from countries including China, America, Singapore, Laos and Brazil attended the symposium.

In his opening speech, Wang Huichang said that carrying out Chinese studies among scholars from different disciplines and cultural backgrounds can provide insights into China from multiple perspectives, which will definitely help the world understand and know a real and colorful China that is in development, better eliminate one-side misunderstandings towards China, and deepen China’s understanding of itself. This symposium has provided an important opportunity for us to discuss new perspectives and new theories of China studies.

Gao Gui gave a report on the Humanistic value of language, pointing out that language has not only economic value but also humanistic value and the highest goal of language development should be serving people with language. In recently years, the Confucius Institute at SUNY College of Optometry has opened up Chinese language classes for over four hundred medical students to learn Chinese medical terms. Through the bridge of Chinese language, doctors will be able to understand the ethnic Chinese patients’ situations more accurately and comprehensively so as to provide better medical services.

Fu Chuanfeng gave a report on The second language teaching and cultural inheritance, underlining that Singapore, as a multi-cultural country, should strike a balance between language learning and cultural teaching while learning the second language. Moreover, from the perspective of age-appropriateness, balance and transition, the inheritance of cultural teaching should follow the principle of moving from the simple to the complicated and from the concrete to the abstract.

In the afternoon parallel session, participants conducted in-depth discussions on topics such as “Studies on Chinese language international teaching”, “Chinese literature research”, and “Studies on social, cultural and economic development of Chinese and overseas Chinese”.

Li Jianmin, Director of the International Department at the National University of Laos (NUOL) said that in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative, with more and more Chinese-funded enterprises set up in Laos, there is an urgent demand for Chinese language skills. Therefore, the Confucius Institute at NUOL has introduced the model of “Chinese + Vocational Skills”. In terms of Chinese language teaching, Zheng Haonan, a local Chinese teacher at Rangsit University (RSU) of Thailand who studies the writing of Chinese characters, said that the writing rules of Chinese characters are different from those of Thai language and that Thai students usually lack systemic understanding of Chinese characters. He suggested that teachers should start with strokes and radicals to help students understand Chinese characters as a whole. Yao Yueyan, a teacher at the School of International Chinese Studies of Yunnan Normal University, stated that integrating literature into Chinese language teaching is one of the important teaching methods and represents a new trend, which can make the class more interesting and introduce Chinese culture to students.

Fu Lizhu, Thai Director of the Confucius Institute at Burapha University (BUU) said that as China’s national strength grows, more and more scholars become interested in China studies. In particular, after the implementation of Eastern Economic Corridor strategy in Thailand, Chinese language education has been attached increasing importance. This symposium, on the one hand, provided a good academic exchange platform for research institutions, educational institutions, experts and scholars at home and abroad, and on the other hand, injected high-quality academic achievements into academia and society to promote China studies and Chinese language teaching worldwide and enhance the ability of Chinese language teaching to serve the social development.

This symposium was organized by Confucius Institute at Burapha University, Huachiew Chalermprakiet University, Rangsit University, Ramkhamhaeng University, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou University, the Confucius Institute at National University of Laos and Confucius Institute at SUNY College of Optometry, and was co-organized by Singapore Centre for Chinese Language at Nanyang Technology University and Panyapiwat Institute of Management.

(Story by Sun Guangyong, people.com.cn, Bangkok, July 22nd)

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