The Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban-officially the Office of Chinese Language Council International) established 440 Confucius Institutes and 646 Confucius Classrooms in 120 countries and regions by the end of 2013. 40 Confucius Institutes and 111 Confucius Classrooms opened throughout the entire year. Confucius Institutes (Classrooms) around the world offered approximately 40,000 Chinese language classes and had 850,000 registered students, experiencing an increase of 30% compared to the number of the previous year. 14 Model Confucius Institutes in 12 countries were built up under the support of Confucius Institute Headquarters.
International Chinese language teaching is not the way it used to be 20 years ago when it was just limited to courses of Department of Chinese in a small number of Chinese universities domestically. With the rapid development of institutes of language and culture teaching like Confucius Institute and Confucius Classroom, Chinese language teaching has spread around the whole world. Meanwhile, the roles and responsibilities of Chinese language teachers have changed along with it: they used to teach Chinese language and Chinese culture in few universities in China, but now they may be teachers in various kinds of educational institutes at different levels (primary schools, secondary schools, high schools, universities and adult schools etc.) around the world. In the context of globalization, Chinese language teachers do not teach the Chinese culture in the same cultural context anymore but work as a cultural bridge in diversified cultural contexts.
In the context of globalization age, international Chinese language teaching is expanded beyond teaching Chinese language and Chinese culture. It is more like aiming to help those people who live in diversified cultural contexts to learn using the Chinese language in different sociocultural contexts and get along with Chinese successfully. International Chinese language teachers in the globalization age should not only have necessary language and cultural knowledge but also develop their intercultural competency, in terms of cultural understanding, critical cultural awareness (Holliday, 2011), cultural globalization awareness (Kumaravadivelu, 2008) and efficient intercultural communication ability (Byram, 1989; Byram et al., 1994). The new demand also brings a new challenge, which means that language teachers should play new roles and undertake new responsibilities.
Changes of educational functions in the context of globalization are the challenges for the identity of international Chinese language teachers. How could we help the teachers develop skills and abilities to meet these challenges? We will demonstrate some specific environmental factors that may have an influence on international Chinese language teaching and claim that currently student-centred teaching methodology (e.g. task-based problem-based learning) should be adopted in terms of Chinese language teaching in the intercultural and globalization context. We believe that international Chinese language teaching in the globalization age should not just deliver skills which are needed for learning cultural knowledge. It should be more about a process of fostering critical cultural awareness. During this process, teachers should develop their intercultural competency by continual self-reflection and continuously negotiating with the specific teaching context they are working in. In the latter half part of the article, we also propose the fundamental framework of launching teachers’ development program by applying task-based problem-based learning, which aims to develop the intercultural competency among international Chinese language teachers in the globalization background.
English to Chinese: Forget Fairtrade Only free trade can help poor General field: Other Detailed field: Economics
Source text - English As you glide along the supermarket aisle past the smartly packaged Fairtrade coffee and guiltily slip the cheaper arabica into your trolley instead, you may ask yourself how much good your overpriced purchase of the Fairtrade stuff would have done anyway.
Well, now you know. Today's report from the Adam Smith Institute will probably confirm your suspicion: Fairtrade labelling is largely a marketing ploy, which makes clever use of the almost infinite capacity for guilt harboured by the residents of wealthy countries over the condition of those in poorer ones, even though that condition is, in no rational sense, their fault.
But rational thinking does not come into this: you and your heaped shopping trolley represent wealth and security, which you have a vague but pretty firm notion that the people who harvest the coffee beans do not have. So maybe you are persuaded to make a gesture: a small strike against "exploitation" and global greed and (if you are old enough to remember this epithet) "corporate capitalism". And you feel better about yourself.
It transpires that a very small number of farmers are getting a subsidised fixed price for their produce under Fairtrade franchises and that this is at the expense of most other farmers in their regions, who are actually worse off as a result.
But even more serious, the Fairtrade operation helps to keep poor countries and undeveloped economies exactly that - poor and undeveloped.
By sustaining agricultural activity that would not otherwise be sustainable in the global marketplace, it keeps backward populations from developing other forms of modern economic activity that might help them climb out of their backwardness. In order to permit wealthy people to indulge in a bit of sentimental largesse, it effectively preserves an anachronism that locks some of the poorest people in the world in backwaters of primitive economic existence.
What developing countries need is to develop, not to have their present conditions of life and work preserved like a museum exhibit. And the greatest aid to real development - and the proven route out of mass poverty - is through free trade, not Fairtrade.
All of which should cause us to reflect on the various misuses of the word "fair", and its even more pernicious noun form "fairness", as it is bandied about in political discourse. As received opinion has it, "fair" means "equal" - in the strict literal sense of the word. Distribution of wealth in a society is "fair" if nobody has much more than anybody else - however much harder they may have worked, or however singular and disciplined their talents may be.
The corollary of this is that taxation helps to ensure "fairness" by seeing to it that those who earn more than others have more of their income confiscated. On this formulation, disparities of wealth are inherently wicked. This is a moral philosophy that you may or may not find attractive. But if you do, you will have to accept that it is fundamentally totalitarian. Disparities of wealth are a sign of a dynamic free-market economy in which some sectors are invariably expanding while others contract: at any given moment, some people's lot will be improving ahead of others'.
The more robust and dynamic the economy is, the more dramatic these spurts of certain sections of the economy will be. That is why disparities of wealth became more "unfair" during the Thatcher revolution in the 1980s - because the economy was waking up from its moribund state and leaping about all over the place.
The Left-liberal remedy for these disparities of wealth - enforced "fairness" by redistribution and heavy regulation of the economy - must penalise, or at least discourage, precisely those activities that are the most energetic, innovative and productive of wealth.
But the Fairtrade business should indicate that there is a quite different way of approaching this: instead of artificially subsidising poverty and lack of initiative by redistributing the wealth of the hard-working, a society could define "fairness" as creating more opportunity for self-determination in a vibrant free economy that encourages change, flexibility and personal development.
In other words, it could stop protecting people from any possible risk or consequence of failure and instead allow the economy to create as many new ventures and avenues as the market can bear, with all the myriad openings for idiosyncratic talents and temperaments that would create.
It is ironic that the very same people who are committed to the idea that "fair" must mean "the same" talk endlessly about "opportunity". Nothing is a greater killer of opportunities than uniformity.