China-NZ cen­tre to pro­mote re­gion-wide teach­ing of Man­darin

Fiji Sun - - World News -

Welling­ton: A new China-New Zealand joint lin­guis­tics re­search cen­tre is set to boost the teach­ing of Chi­nese lan­guage around the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion, aca­demics said last Wed­nes­day. The Joint Re­search Cen­tre in Ap­plied Lin­guis­tics run by Massey Univer­sity and Bei­jing Lan­guage and Cul­ture Univer­sity, to be based in Auck­land, will connect New Zealand­based lan­guage and lin­guis­tics re­searchers with coun­ter­parts in Bei­jing to ex­change ideas and ex­plore the best ways to teach Man­darin and train teach­ers.

“It will be a plat­form for teacher train­ing and in­no­va­tive on­line learn­ing meth­ods and will pro­vide plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for post-grad and staff ex­changes,” Michael Li, Chi­nese lan­guage lec­turer at Massey, said in a state­ment. The cen­tre’s in­au­gu­ral co-di­rec­tor Cyn­thia White said that with grow­ing trade be­tween China and New Zealand, more and more peo­ple re­alised the im­por­tance of learn­ing Man­darin. “In re­cent years, the num­ber of sec­ondary schools of­fer­ing Chi­nese lan­guage cour­ses has increased sig­nif­i­cantly, so there will be a greater de­mand for Chi­nese lan­guage teacher train­ing in the near fu­ture,” Ms White said in the state­ment. Part of the cen­tre’s work would be to host teach­ing and re­search sem­i­nars for the Chi­nese lan­guage teach­ing com­mu­nity in New Zealand, and to de­velop high-qual­ity dis­tance and on­line cour­ses. The two uni­ver­si­ties will sign an agree­ment next week to open the cen­tre early next year. Schol­ars from the Bei­jing Lan­guage and Cul­ture Univer­sity will be in New Zealand for a two-day con­fer­ence this week on the topic of dis­tance teach­ing, and the spread and glob­al­i­sa­tion of the Chi­nese lan­guage. Xin­hua

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