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在汉语国际教育中传播中国优秀文化:“两学一做”学习体会 On Promotion of Chinese Culture in International Chinese Education: Learning Experience from Party Building Studies “Liang Xue Yi Zuo”

时间:2017-3-29 15:09:31

As a teacher of Chinese and culture to international students and a teacher of English to the future teachers of International Chinese Education, it has been a common practice to use English to introduce and disseminate Chinese Culture, thus I believe it would be accepted if I write out in English my learning experiences of Mr Xi’s relevant speeches and application of my learning in actual teaching.

 

In his speech on February 24, 2014 at the 13th group study session of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee, General Secretary Xi Jinping remarked: “To cultivate and disseminate the core socialist values we must take traditional Chinese culture as the base. All concrete core values are deeply rooted. So, to renounce such values is tantamount to severing our cultural lifeline. The extensive, profound and outstanding traditional Chinese culture is the foundation for us to stand firm upon in the global mingling and clashing of cultures.”

 

What are considered as the core values of traditional Chinese culture? In his most recent speech delivered at the celebration on the 95th anniversary of the founding of CCP, Mr Xi called upon us to build self-confidence in our own culture (文化自信), which is a “more fundamental, more universal and more profound confidence.” Our core values include working for perfection all one’s life(自强不息)be loyal to the nation and people, caring for the nation’s development for every commoner, willing to sacrifice for great causes, promoting innovational ideas and practices, offering aid to the weak and helpless, national benefit above one’s own gains, etc.

 

As for how to promote these core values, Mr Xi said: “Traditional Chinese virtues are the essence of Chinese culture, and embody rich ethical and moral resources. Only by etching these values in our minds can we forge ahead, and only by carrying forward what our ancestors have left us can we learn to be more creative.” Mr Xi further remarked: “With regard to values, perceptions and ethics handed down for generations, we should make the past serve the present, discard the dross and keep the essential, eliminate the false and retain the true, and put forth new ideas. That is to say, we should treat and inherit them with critical approach, and cultivate and educate the people with the Chinese cultural legacy."

 

In his speech on December 30, 2013 at the 12th group study session of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee, General Secretary Xi remarked: “During its 5,000-year history, the Chinese nation has created a brilliant and profound culture. We should disseminate the most fundamental Chinese culture in a popular way to attract more people to participate in it, matching modern culture and society. We should popularize our cultural spirit across countries as well as across time and space, with contemporary values and the eternal charm of Chinese culture. We should tell the rest of the world about the new achievements of modern Chinese culture, which feature both excellent tradition and modern spirit, both national and international.”

 

Mr Xi’s speech reminds me of my past teaching experiences. I feel quite aspired and relieved that some methods I adopted matches Mr Xi’s instructions of promoting Chinese core values internationally. The following is a brief summary of what I did when teaching Chinese in South Africa about ten years ago, and some feedbacks.

 

I have been teaching Chinese language and culture to international students since 2000, during which seven years were spent at Stellenbosch University promoting Chinese. In order to better introduce culture to South African students and readers who had little knowledge of China, I edit-translated the popular Chinese novel Shuotang and assigned it as an extra reading to the students. I asked them to answer two questions to test both how many of the traditional Chinese core values have been kept in my translation and how well the readers understood them. One is their comment on one character they like, and the other is their overall feeling about the book. The outcome is quite a rewarding for me, to quote a few pieces of feedback from the students:

 

“The ones that stand out in this regard include Shubao, whose vigilante defense of the weak and helpless and his resentment of the corrupt officials make him a character of integrity who speaks for those who can not.” by Matthew Dekenah

 

This shows the reader fully understand one of most important values for Chinese is “defense the weak” and justice and responsibility. Corruption, as since the ancient times, has been a much hated conduct. Another quote goes:

 

“Chinese principles such as honour, pride, family, friendship and power are effectively portrayed in this novel and gives us the reader a broader outlook and perspective on Chinese stories and culture. ” by Jano Esterhuizen

 

The list of Chinese principles from this comment on the book reflects that the student’s understanding is almost perfect. It is true that honour, pride, family, friendship and power have been valued by Chinese people.

  

Back in China since 2012, I continued to keep the concept in mind that teaching Chinese core values should be combined with language teaching. A course that I taught last semester is China in English Translations, to the third year students of International Chinese education. The students are expected to master English but I have been thinking the different focuses between our students and the English majors, whose disciplinary goals is supposed to be learn English language and literature and learn about the cultures of the English-speaking countries. The focus of English courses for us should be learning to introduce Chinese culture to international students.

 

Mr Xi further commented in his speech on December 30, 2013 at the 12th group study session of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee, “... efforts should be made to sort out traditional cultural resources and bring back to life relics sleeping in closed palaces, legacies of the vast land of China and records in ancient books. We should convince the people with reason and morality, improve cultural communication with other countries and intensify our system of cultural and educational exchanges, blaze new trails, and use various means, such as mass media, group dissemination and interpersonal communication.”

 

In the first two years of study, our students took Chinese courses on traditional Chinese language, literature and philosophy and should have a better understanding of the core Chinese value. But in order to “improve cultural communication with other countries and intensify our system of cultural and educational exchanges”, they have to use English as the media to promote Chinese core values since the majority of international Chinese learners are still incompetent to understand these values in Chinese. It also need time and efforts to learn how to express some Chinese Culture-specific items in English. We had several teachers-meetings discussing our English courses curriculum and it was agreed that the English knowledge learning and skills training should be enhanced with a focus on English about China.

 

This project will combine the efforts both of teachers of English and teachers of Chinese. All significant terms of Chinese core values are supposed to be presented in both Chinese and English. It is challenging for some of the teachers of Chinese but they are encouraged to do this for the benefit of the students. From the third year on-wards, students are scheduled to learn Chinese philosophy, literature and cultural values in English to equip them with the ability to use English to introduce Chinese elements directly.

(国教院教师   雷)

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