Seeking Change and Progress in Chinese Language Education Abroad During the Pandemic

Date: November 26, 2021

The Confucius Institute in Quebec and the Association of Chinese Language Schools of Quebec jointly held a virtual teaching seminar titled “New Challenges in Chinese Language Teaching During the Pandemic” on November 20, 2021. Two consuls from the Chinese Consulate General in Montreal, Xie Chao and Hu Xiaolin, also attended the meeting. Consul Xie Chao not only brought warm greetings from the Consulate General to Chinese language teachers, but also shared his unforgettable experience of teaching in Malipo, in the Laoshan region of Yunnan Province.

In addition to the teachers from the Confucius Institute in Quebec, there were also more than 60 teachers from eight Chinese schools in Montreal in attendance. Vice President Chen Jiezhong of the Association of Quebec Chinese Schools chaired the meeting.

Mr. Chen Jiezhong, Vice President of the Association of Chinese Schools in Quebec
Consul Xie Chao, Consulate General of China in Montreal

Ms. Du Jia from China Language and Culture University, who is a visiting teacher at the Confucius Institute in Quebec, gave a speech on the “Exploration of Online Chinese Language Teaching Model for Foreigners”. In this seminar, she analyzed Chinese language education under the pandemic with professional insight. Through research, she indicated the main problems faced by online teaching. Ms. Du Jia explored tools for success and looked into the future of online and offline teaching. Her illustrated lecture on how to use multiple platforms, the paradigm shift in teaching, and how to facilitate interaction between teachers and students were greatly beneficial for participants.

Local teachers from different schools also gave excellent presentations at the workshop. With the theme of “New Challenges in Chinese Language Teaching During the Pandemic”, teachers gave presentations covering such topics as: the macro outlook of online teaching to the concrete implementation of online classrooms. They shared their design concepts and practical experiences of online teaching from different perspectives, ranging from the exploration of online teaching techniques in a new reality to classroom management during the pandemic.

Finally, Ms. Meng Rong, President of the Quebec Chinese Association/Director of the Confucius Institute of Quebec, gave a summary and closing speech. Ms. Rong pointed out that this conference was a meeting of old and new friends that touched the hearts of the students. The COVID19 pandemic has changed teaching and learning. At a time when the student population was seriously declining, everyone changed their teaching philosophy, worked together to create miracles, and successfully accepted this serious challenge. At the same time, Ms. Rong called on everyone to realize that post-pandemic challenges will be even tougher. When students return to the classroom to learn Chinese, the primary challenge is to make the classroom livelier in order to facilitate engagement and participation. To achieve this goal, teachers need to move from a “teaching-centered” to a “learning-centered” model, which will be a daunting transition.

The meeting lasted for 3 hours, and teachers participated in the meeting, despite their fatigue, and took photos together. They all summarized their valuable experience in online teaching and benefited greatly from it, and further strengthened their confidence in seeking new, change and progress in the field of Chinese language education.