xi's moments
Home | Education

Future linguists must know their culture

By ZOU SHUO | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-07-29 10:14

Foreign language schools should better equip students to tell China's stories to the world more effectively, according to English language experts at the 2023 Global English Education China Assembly.

Foreign language students first need to know their own country better, and understand the Chinese path, system, culture, history, and values, but they also need a global perspective and should understand the political, economic and security framework elsewhere in the world, they said.

Hosted by China Daily and the Shanghai International Studies University, this year's assembly is being held in Macao from Friday to Sunday.

Chang Junyue, vice-president of the Dalian University of Foreign Languages, suggested including international communication in the teaching syllabus at foreign language schools.

Whether on official or unofficial occasions, foreign language graduates have the responsibility to act as the bridge between China and the rest of the world. They should help Chinese people better understand the world, and foreigners better understand China and develop a positive impression of the country, he said.

To cultivate international communication abilities in students, schools should work hard to improve their language proficiency, and have a deeper understanding of China's history and current development, as well as a basic understanding of other countries, Chang said.

Traditional foreign language education in China focuses more on improving language proficiency, and lacks courses to teach students to understand China and the world, so they are not well equipped to tell the country's stories properly, he said.

Chang suggested increasing courses about Chinese culture and comparisons between Chinese and other cultures. He added that more field trips and interaction with foreigners in a variety of forms will help students improve their international communication abilities through practice.

Sun Jisheng, vice-president of the China Foreign Affairs University, said that foreign language talent in the new era must first know the major policies and direction of the Party and the country.

They must also have basic knowledge of communication and understand what target countries want in order to make communication more effective.

In future, international communication will happen faster and on a wider scale and there will be more forms of communication, with the internet playing a bigger role, so students must adapt to the changes and know how to obtain, verify and disseminate information, she added.

Mu Yang, English professor at the Beijing Language and Culture University, said that there is an urgent need for multidisciplinary talent able to speak for the country on the global stage.

More foreign language talent skilled in Chinese culture and media communication are needed to improve the country's international communications, she said.

Students at different stages of education need to learn about Chinese culture through classroom teaching, activities and events, she added.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349