COVENTRY, Britain, June 27 (Xinhua) -- As the number of learners of Chinese may continue to rise in the future, there is urgent need to improve the quality of Chinese teaching as a foreign language in the UK higher education sector, participants at an international conference agreed Wednesday.
The 16th International Conference on Teaching and Learning Chinese in Higher Education, organized by the British Chinese Language Teaching Society (BCLTS), has attracted over one hundred Chinese teaching and research professionals from the UK and some other countries such as Japan, U.S., Germany and Malaysia.
The three-day event, co-hosted by the School of Modern Languages, University of Warwick and the Confucius Institute at Coventry University, will discuss a range of topics on the uniqueness and the commonalities of teaching Chinese as a foreign language.
Figures released in the conference showed almost all the UK universities offer Chinese language courses with about 60,000 university students, but how to make Chinese teaching mainstream in higher education system still face big challenges.
Zhang Xinsheng, vice president of European Association of Chinese Teaching, said there are already efforts on improving Chinese teaching quality in the UK and there are challenges in resources and sustainability, teacher supply and training, standards and assessment.
"UK will face even more challenges in its language teaching after the Brexit," he suggested, "I think Chinese teaching professionals in the UK also need to have an umbrella organisation and a single voice to work together with other languages..."
The conference has selected about 100 abstracts from colleagues of different parts of the world and invited their authors to present the studies, sharing ideas and practice.
The BCLTS is an academic organization whose full members and associate members represent teachers of Chinese in higher education institutions and other sectors. Its main objective is to improve the teaching of the Chinese language in Britain by means of exchange ideas, information and materials in Chinese learning, teaching and research.
The BCLTS was founded in 1997 in Oxford. Its members have been playing an increasingly important role in teaching Chinese language in British universities where Chinese is offered as degree and optional courses.