Experts foresee China role in English learning

BEIJING, July 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Hundreds of English education experts and scholars from all over the world assembled in Macao on Friday for a three-day event to explore new opportunities for global cooperation in English education brought by China’s development.

The 2023 Global English Education China Assembly, an online-and-offline event that opened at the City University of Macau (CityU), attracted over 1,600 experts, front-line educators and scholars from more than 20 countries and regions. Participants were mainly from China, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Italy, Thailand, Russia, Singapore, Nepal, Mongolia, Indonesia and Pakistan.

They shared their insights to facilitate cross-cultural dialogue and discussed the most recent trends in English language teaching.

The event’s theme is “New opportunities for the world with new advances in China’s development: Opening up new prospects in English education cooperation worldwide”, and features nine keynote speeches and 23 parallel sessions.

This year’s assembly is hosted by China Daily and Shanghai International Studies University, and co-hosted by the Macao SAR Government Education and Youth Development Bureau, and organized by CityU and China Daily’s 21st Century English Education Media.

For the first time, the assembly, which started in 2018, was held in Macao — one of the engine cities of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. This location echoes the Outline Development Plan for the GBA released in 2019, which set out to, among other goals, build the region as a model area for high-quality education and promote opening up education to the world.

At the event’s opening ceremony, Qu Yingpu, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, highlighted that 2023 marks the 10th year since President Xi Jinping put forward both the idea of “building a community with a shared future for mankind” and the Belt and Road Initiative.

It is, therefore, appropriate that for the first time, the conference this year has moved out of the Chinese mainland to Macao where East meets West and multiple cultures blend, Qu said.

He said he believes the event will catalyze many innovative outcomes. Qu further said that English education could be a bridge to promote high-quality development of the BRI and people-to-people cultural exchanges could provide momentum for “building a community with a shared future for mankind”.

He urged the audience to cultivate talent in order to bolster the promotion of the three global initiatives brought forward by Xi — the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative.

Qu also said China attaches great importance to education and cultural exchange. Xi, in his several correspondences with foreign students studying in China, has encouraged the latter to see with their own eyes the development of China and tell the world about what they have seen, to boost people-to-people bonding and friendship between their countries and China.

Zha Mingjian, vice-president of Shanghai International Studies University, said development in recent times has brought many opportunities as well as challenges. In this context, the English education sector in China has the responsibility to serve as a vital bridge for English education globally.

Opening education more extensively to the outside world will significantly strengthen China’s efforts to modernize education in the new era, Zha said.

Svetlana V. Sannikova, coordination council chairperson of the National Association of Teachers of English in Russia, said the Macao event offers a high-end international academic platform where teachers can learn many practical ideas and methods to improve their English teaching skills.

On Friday, the event’s organizer and CityU jointly established the Belt and Road English Education Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Exchange Base, which will use English education as a means to promote cultural exchanges and people-to-people bonding in countries and regions participating in the BRI.

The GBA Exchange Base will also strive to promote high-quality development in the BRI landscape.

Liu Jun, rector of CityU and president of the International Research Foundation for English Language Education, and Zeng Qingkai, editor-in-chief of 21st Century English Education Media, were the signatories of the document for the establishment of the base.

Among the several dignitaries who graced Friday’s opening ceremony were Ao Ieong U, secretary for social affairs and culture of the Macao SAR government, participating in the event on behalf of Macao SAR Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng; Yan Zhichan, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR; Liu Xianfa, commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR; Kong Chimeng, director of the Macao SAR government Education and Youth Development Bureau; and Chan Meng-kam, chairman of the council of CityU.

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SOURCE China Daily

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