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Chinese Heritage Language Teaching Workshop Held

Attendees share their views, experiences and research on teaching Chinese heritage language learners at Canadian Universities

Together with the University of Calgary, the Chinese Language Teaching and Research Association hosted a workshop titled “Chinese Heritage Language Teaching in Canadian Universities” on November 3, 2018 at the University of Calgary. Participants of the workshop included attendees from 11 Canadian universities and one university from the UK. 
Chinese heritage learners form a large learner group in all Canadian universities. As these learners have various backgrounds in the Chinese language, placing them into proper courses and teaching them using appropriate methodology are the issues educators are facing and investigating. In 2016, the Chinese Language Teaching and Research Association and the University of Calgary hosted a workshop addressing the issues surrounding Chinese language placement in Canadian Universities, and produced a reference document to assist Canadian universities with Chinese language placement.
This year’s workshop focused on Chinese heritage learner education after placement issues have been addressed. Heritage language teaching is an important issue for all languages, however, Chinese heritage learners display much more diversity than learners of certain other languages, making teaching more challenging. This relates to the complexity of the Chinese language and the diverse Chinese language education backgrounds of heritage learners. Through attending this workshop, Chinese teaching and research professionals from Canadian universities were given the opportunity to share their views and experiences on the teaching of Chinese heritage language learners and to disseminate research and foster the development of new research topics on Chinese heritage language education.
Participants of the workshop included individuals from the University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Manitoba, University of Regina, University of Victoria, Concordia University of Edmonton, Kwentlan Polytechnic University, McGill University, Mount Royal University, Simon Fraser University and the University of Warrick (UK), as well as Chinese teachers from the Calgary Board of Education and a private school. Dr. Gavin Cameron (Associate Dean - Internationalization and Global Initiatives), of the Faculty of Arts, and Dr. Mark Conliffe, Director of the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures, also attended the workshop and gave welcoming remarks.
The workshop was sponsored by the Office of the Vice President (Research), the Faculty of Arts and the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Vancouver.