The inaugural conference of the Southern Alliance for International Chinese Education and the first International Chinese Education Southern Forum, which combined both online and in-person elements, was recently held. During the conference, the first Board of Directors was elected and the University of Macau (UM) was elected as vice-president unit of the alliance. Gong Yang, assistant professor in the Faculty of Education (FED) of UM, was elected as vice president. More than 200 experts and scholars from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao participated in the conference.
At the conference, Wang Yong, director of the Development Planning Department of the Center for Language Education and Cooperation of the Ministry of Education, and Li Jinjun, director of the Exchange and Cooperation Department of the Department of Education of Guangdong Province, each gave a speech. Prof Gong delivered an online keynote speech titled ‘The Sociocultural Turn in Overseas Research on International Chinese Teaching’, which proposes that international Chinese language teaching and research nowadays has in general shown a sociocultural turn, focusing more on the interaction between the subjects of language teaching and learning and the wider sociocultural context, and that researchers need to embrace global issues with international perspectives, Chinese sentiments, and Chinese solutions, in order to enhance the academic capacity of international Chinese language teaching and research.
The Southern Alliance for International Chinese Education was initiated by the School of Chinese Language Teacher Education for Southeast Asia, South China Normal University, in collaboration with the FED of UM; Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Sun Yat-sen University; Department of Chinese Language Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Education University of Hong Kong; College of Chinese Language and Culture, Jinan University; School of Humanities, Shenzhen University; Faculty of Chinese Language and Culture, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies; University International College, Macau University of Science and Technology; School of Humanities, Guangzhou University; and the Guangzhou City Construction College.
The responsibilities and objectives of the alliance include promoting exchanges and collaborations among member institutions in the areas of theory and research in international Chinese education, professional consultation services, teacher training, high-level international Chinese personnel training, international Chinese education resources development, national/regional investigations, as well as initiatives conducive to the development of international Chinese education. The alliance aims to pool the strengths of all member institutions and encourage them to complement each other, to integrate with each other, and to innovate together, in order to jointly serve the new era of international Chinese education. The conference was highly valued by the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education of Guangdong Province. The Global Affairs Office of UM has played an important role in the establishment of the alliance, which will help to promote academic exchanges and collaborations among universities in the Greater Bay Area.
The inaugural conference of the Southern Alliance for International Chinese Education