xi's moments
Home | Education

BRI boon for English language education

By OASIS HU in Macao | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-07-29 10:15

A logo of the Belt and Road is seen in Shanghai. [Photo/VCG]

Leading English language educators from overseas are pinning their hopes on the Belt and Road Initiative, which has not only boosted English education across the region it serves, but is also fostering closer and broader public sphere exchanges to tackle some of the bigger issues facing humanity.

They spoke to China Daily on the sidelines of the 2023 Global English Education China Assembly in Macao held on Friday. The three-day, high-level event has convened some 1,600 experts, educators, and scholars from 20 countries and regions, both offline and online, to weigh in on English language teaching.

This year's conference features a Belt and Road forum, attended by leading specialists and scholars from BRI partner countries such as Italy, Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Nepal.

It has also seen the establishment of the Belt and Road English Education Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Exchange Base, to support the development of the BRI through English learning and teaching.

Svetlana V. Sannikova, coordination council chairperson of Russia's National Association of Teachers of English (NATE), an organization that has united English professionals across Russia for about 30 years, said that the conference is an excellent opportunity to expand her skills and engage with the latest English education practices.

Sannikova said the significance of the BRI extends beyond official cooperation to growing civil society ties.

Apart from personal efforts to promote the BRI, Sannikova vowed that NATE will continue to cooperate with China under the BRI framework in a variety of ways, including by inviting Chinese English-speaking experts to Russia and co-organizing cultural exchanges.

Singhanat Nomnian, the president of Thailand TESOL (2021-23), said that as an emerging power and a rising star in many areas like education, economy and culture, China plays a major role in Asia.

The ambitious initiative, which aims to physically connect countries, can also catalyze development not just in nations along the route, but across Asia as a whole, Nomnian said.

Daniela Cuccurullo, the TESOL Italy president and Letizia Cinganotto, a former senior researcher at INDIRE, a well-established educational research institute in Italy, said that through its participation in the BRI, Italy is embracing linguistic diversity and promoting openness and inclusiveness, while using English as a central means of communication to contribute to the advancement of global English education.

Motikala Subba Dewan, president of the Nepal English Language Teachers' Association (NELTA), Nepal's largest nonprofit organization for English educators and professionals, said that her country still lags behind in digital education and the conference was an opportunity to learn from other countries in this sphere.

She called on China to spearhead the adaptation of English-language education content into Asian contexts, as many of Nepal's English texts and learning materials originate in Western sources, which are not well adapted to Nepalese culture.

Ninj-Erdene Khurel, vice-president of the English Language Teachers' Association of Mongolia, said that with the world now facing challenges, like the recent COVID pandemic, initiatives like the BRI are even more important in helping countries come together to find better solutions to problems, including trade, economy and education.

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