Wang Xin, dean of the School of English Studies at Shanghai International Studies University, gives a keynote speech on Friday at an English language teaching conference in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. (Photo/China Daily)
China's English language education system is propelling the development of global foreign language education with enhanced mutual connectivity as the world undergoes dramatic changes, and mutual understanding is therefore highly required and valued, experts and practitioners said on Friday at an international conference.
The 2022 Global English Education China Assembly, a three-day high-level educational event focused on broadening international education cooperation, kicked off on Friday in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
This year's gathering－the fifth annual event－is focused on the theme of "Mutual Connectivity and Win-Win with Co-existence: Promoting and Coordinating Development of Foreign Language Education Worldwide".
It also aims to promote scholarship, professional development and cross-cultural understanding among English language educators in China while enhancing dialogue between China's English teaching professionals and their peers worldwide.
The event is jointly hosted by China Daily and Shanghai International Studies University, and organized by 21st Century English Education Media.
Qu Yingpu, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, shared his views on the nurturing of young people who are capable of shouldering great responsibilities to promote communication and exchanges between China and the rest of the world and the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.
Qu underscored the importance of deeply incorporating language education with political guidance, international communication and mutual learning among different cultures at the event's opening ceremony.
"As a participant in English education and international communication, we need to think deeply about how to adapt to the requirements of the times and respond to the call accordingly. It is important for us to think about how to contribute more to the cultivation of new young talent, in order to promote communication between China and the world, and build a community with a shared future for mankind," Qu said.
"We should integrate language education with cultural exchanges, and contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. The inheritance and development of culture and the exchange and mutual learning of civilizations are inseparable, based on use of language and high-quality language education.
"In international language exchanges, every foreign language teaching practitioner and international communicator are the people who represent their homeland, and are linguistic ambassadors in a sense," he added.
He also said China needs to strengthen language and international communication education.
The assembly offers an opportunity for English education experts and educators from China and abroad to gather and discuss new trends in English education in China and across the world, and promote dialogue and cooperation between the Chinese and international English education communities, said Jiang Feng, Party secretary of Shanghai International Studies University.
He also noted that the English education community in China has explored the concept and model of English education to adapt to the new era, contributing China's model, methods and wisdom to the world.
"China has entered a new era, which raised a higher requirement for the English education sector.
"As the English education community in China is facing a new opportunity, we should seize the important chance with a deeper historical stance and broader international vision," said Luo Xuanmin, president of the China Association for Comparative Studies of English and Chinese.
Joyce Kling, president of the TESOL International Association, shared her views virtually. She told English educators onsite and online that professional development is essential throughout all the stages of their careers.
She also said the assembly promises to enhance English educators' professionalism through interaction with leading experts in the field and opportunities for a great deal of peer-to-peer dialogue.
Peter Kent, president of the International Confederation of Principals, also told participants virtually that at the assembly, they will have the opportunity to interact face-to-face or online with Chinese and international experts.
"I'm sure you will be challenged with new ideas and leave the assembly with practical, research-based ideas and strategies to enhance your professional skills in English language teaching," Kent said.
During the three-day conference, participants can share their thoughts and exchange views via different means, including lectures, seminars, panel discussions and exhibitions.