Multilingual education is booming in China, and the sector’s growth prospect for international languages is absolutely stunning. Thanks to Jacqueline Plessis and Wanling Liang, the educational team of the French Embassy in Beijing, I had several interesting exchanges with two Chinese experts on language education whom agreed to be interviewed for my podcast Révolution bilingue: – Mr. Yu Zhonggen, Professor of English at Tsinghua University whose domain of research is English as a second language; – Mrs. Zhu Yanhua, Professor in Human Sciences at Beijing Language and Culture University, whose domain of research is the Sino-Tibetan family, and the situation of cross-border languages, particularly the comparison between Chinese and Tibetan.
As discussed in my book The Bilingual Revolution, a critically important task for parents engaged in their school’s dual-language program is to create a support base in the community, such as influential individuals, business leaders, elected officials, and supportive organizations. These include local and global businesses, embassies and consulates, cultural centers serving a language or a country, foundations with a focus on education or community development, tourism offices, chambers of commerce that serve businesses from two or more countries, and heritage and cultural societies and federations.
Il y a une dizaine d’années, les dirigeants de cet Etat américain ont lancé une politique de développement des programmes bilingues en immersion. A travers l’Utah, 225 écoles enseignent désormais la moitié du temps scolaire dans une langue autre que l’anglais. Espagnol et chinois sont en tête, mais il y a également trente-et-une écoles en français.
As a former school director and education researcher I often think about what we need to teach our children. To me, the 4 C’s that are Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity are essential skills to equip our children with for today’s and even tomorrow’s world too. But we need to go even further than that by teaching our children a fifth C: Compassion.
This point culminated during my recent visit to China to an art education project in a school for migrant workers’ children in one of Beijing’s outer rings, Beijing Shijingshan Cement Factory Elementary School, through a program called “Enlightenment of Love.” The project received support from Sun Future Art Education Foundation which bases itself on the belief that “Art Education Makes Good People,” and aims to help children grow both heart and mind. I was impressed by the teachers’ focus on exploration and innovation through aesthetics and photography, particularly as a way to build identity and encourage love and compassion among their students who predominantly came from disadvantaged families.
Over 1200 people participated in the Multilingual Education Fair of Washington, DC last Saturday at Gallaudet University. The event attracted families, educators, students, employers, job-seekers, and language enthusiasts looking to impact their lives through language and culture. Over 100 exhibitors across 17 languages were present and filled the air with excitement and multilingual buzzing.