The Macao Polytechnic Institute (MPI) has been forging ahead to strengthen academic disciplines, develop teaching materials and facilitate the development of language talents. Edited by Professor Lei Heong Iok, A Course in International Chinese, Elementary Level, Volume 1, has been published by the Beijing Commercial Press. It comprises a Student’s Book, an Exercise Book and a Teacher’s Book. As the first set of teaching materials on International Chinese developed in Macao and the first of its kind to present its content in Chinese, Portuguese and English, the publication of the coursebook plays a positive role in the development of International Chinese Education in Macao and the enhancement of the quality of teaching Chinese to learners from Portuguese-speaking countries.
A Course in International Chinese (Elementary Level) is the first in the series of undergraduate Chinese language textbooks developed by the International Chinese Education Program (for non-native speakers of Chinese), of the School of Languages and Translation at MPI. The coursebook caters to first-year students who are non-native speakers of Chinese, especially those whose first language is Portuguese. The coursebook adopts an integrated approach, incorporating phonetics, vocabulary, grammar, Chinese characters and Chinese culture in building listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The series is suitable for learners learning Chinese in the target language environment, like Macao and other parts of China, as well as the non-target language environment, including but not limited to Portuguese speaking countries and regions, like Portugal, Brazil and Cape Verde.
To ensure the relevance of the teaching materials and to meet the needs of learners whose mother tongue is Portuguese as well as learners speaking other languages, the content is presented in Chinese, Portuguese, and English, which makes it the pioneer among textbooks of this nature published at home and abroad. The editorial team has conducted thorough research in the compilation and the use of teaching materials on International Chinese published in the country and abroad. The team also visited the Office of Chinese Language Council International (now the Center for Language Education and Cooperation, Ministry of Education, China), the research and development hub for teaching materials on International Chinese. The editorial team has also consolidated local and international research in areas such as Chinese language teaching, Chinese language studies, second language acquisition and the latest advances in the development of teaching materials to ensure the materials are relevant, methodical, scientific, and interesting, while keeping its high threshold and forward-thinking outlook. The functional topics are interwoven into the target language environment, the local context of Macao, its city life, culture, and society. For the Chinese to English and Portuguese translations, a learner-oriented approach is adopted. The translation team, taking the language proficiency and the level of acceptance of elementary learners of Chinese into consideration, has rendered the translations in clear and plain language, while keeping the translations accurate, concise, and faithful to the source texts.
With the implementation of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative in recent years and the development of the Lusophone platform, students from Portuguese-speaking countries have become increasingly interested in coming to Macao to learn Chinese. Since the launch of the first and only undergraduate program in International Chinese Education in Macao, the School of Languages and Translation of MPI has deliberated developing a set of teaching materials to suit the needs of these learners, especially those from Lusophone countries. The publication of A Course in International Chinese (Elementary Level, Volume 1) is the first step and yet a great leap towards this grand vision. The rest of the forthcoming series is much anticipated.View gallery