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BFSU holds forum on foreign language textbook research

Updated: July 14, 2022

Supported by the School of English and International Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) and the Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press (FLTRP), the National Research Centre for Foreign Language Teaching Materials at the university hosted the 4th National High-Level Forum on Foreign Language Textbook Research via video link on July 9.

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The 4th National High-Level Forum on Foreign Language Textbook Research is held via video link on July 9. [Photo/bfsu.edu.cn]

Sun Youzhong, member of the standing committee of the CPC BFSU committee, vice-president of the university and director of the research center, presided over the opening ceremony of the virtual forum.

Noting that the forum is most opportune and relevant under current circumstances, Wang Dinghua, Party secretary of the CPC BFSU committee, said textbooks have a fundamental influence on the interests and future of China. A key channel to foster virtue through education, they bear great importance in the country’s educational reform and development.

Wang stressed that promoting textbook building is a key measure to advance the development of world-class universities and academic disciplines, foster modern education and develop higher education to its full potential in the new era. He called on industry insiders to fully understand new situations and tasks, give full play to textbooks’ functions in talents nurturing and cultural exchanges, strengthen coordination and guidance, and compile textbooks with scientific approaches.

BFSU has pioneered the establishment of a textbook department and the National Research Centre for Foreign Language Teaching Materials and made considerable progress in textbook management, research and building, Wang said, adding that he hopes participants will proactively explore realistic issues and development directions in foreign language textbook research and make new achievements in the sector.

Under the theme "Promoting Paradigm Building in Foreign Language Textbook Research", the forum consisted of eight keynote speeches and one roundtable forum.

Speakers in the keynote speech session included Shen Jiliang, deputy director of the Department of National Textbooks at the Ministry of Education; Wen Qiufang, member of the National Textbook Committee and professor from the National Research Centre for Foreign Language Teaching Materials at BFSU; Sun Youzhong; Cheng Xiaotang, a professor from Beijing Normal University; Xu Jinfen, a professor from Huazhong University of Science and Technology; Zhang Hong, a professor from BFSU; and An Guiqing, a professor from East China Normal University.

They addressed the forum in a wide range of topics such as the missions of foreign language textbook building and higher foreign language education, the logic and mechanism of foreign language textbook compilation, practical issues encountered by foreign language textbooks at elementary and secondary stages, and cultural elements presented in foreign language textbooks as well as utilization of teaching materials.

Those in attendance at the roundtable forum included professors from BFSU, Shanghai International Studies University, the University of International Business and Economics, Hunan Normal University and Shandong University.

They held discussions on such topics as textbooks of less-frequently taught languages, translation and interpreting, business English, vocational education and basic education, as well as novel textbook building for foreign language education, and corpus linguistics-based textbook development.

In her speech at the closing ceremony, Chang Xiaoling, deputy editor-in-chief of the FLTRP, concluded that the forum provided inspiration for the planning, compilation, utilization and assessment of textbooks and the development of relevant teachers.

Statistics show that the event was followed by over 11,000 people through Tencent Meeting.