CityU hosts international conference on Chinese culture, identity and language anxiety
Share this article
International and local scholars in the field of cultural and language education have converged at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) this week for a two-day conference on Chinese culture, identity and language anxiety.
The conference, which features scholars from the US, UK, Canada, mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, is jointly organized by CityU’s Chinese Civilisation Centre and the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics. It takes place from 21 June to 22 June.
The main themes are identity and language learning; culture and language/language learning; language learning and affective factors; and Chinese culture learning and Putonghua teaching.
“Students in Hong Kong should go through the hurdle of learning languages, especially English and Putonghua,” said Professor Richard Ho Yan-ki, Acting President of CityU, in his opening remarks. “Otherwise they cannot contribute to the development of mainland China and ride the waves of globalization.”
Director of the Chinese Civilisation Centre, said: “The presentations given by the internationally-renowned scholars will enrich our understanding of these issues and contribute to the design of CityU’s new curriculum for General Education.”
Dr Jonathan Webster, Head of the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, said co-organizing this significant conference underscored the Department’s commitment to helping CityU students to improve their bilingual language ability.
This international conference is a follow-up to a major research project entitled “Cultural Identity and Affective Variables: An Investigation of Putonghua Learners in Hong Kong”. This project focuses on Chinese cultural identity and Putonghua learning anxiety, and is jointly investigated by Professor Cheng and Dr Jackie Yan Xiu, Assistant Professor of the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics.
The research project intends to explore the inter-relationships amongstudents’ sense of self-identity, Chinese culture learning and Putonghua learning anxiety in Hong Kong, and to compare the cultural identity and cultural learning issues between Hong Kong and the mainland. The results show significant correlations among Chinese cultural knowledge, self-sense of Chinese identity, Putonghua learning anxiety and self-perceived Putonghua proficiency.
Scholars from CityU have played an important role at the conference in addressing the scenario of cultural and language education in Hong Kong. Dr Wong Pui-kwong, Associate Professor of the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, talked about the language environment and Chinese culture education in Hong Kong.
Joining them to speak at the conference are scholars from world-renowned universities including the University of Oxford, the University of Texas, Peking University and Fudan University.