The 6th International Conference on English, Discourse and Intercultural Communication & 23rd International Conference of the International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies (IAICS) takes place at Macao Polytechnic Institute, 6-8 June 2017

The delegation of the Educational Department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region visits the Chief of Office of the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR, Mr. Ip Peng Kin

On 6-8 June 2017, Macao Polytechnic Institute is holding a joint international conference, comprising the first part of the 6thInternational Conference on English, Discourse and Intercultural Communication (EDIC), together with the 23rd International Conference of the International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies (IAICS).

The conference is hosted by Macao Polytechnic Institute (Part I) and co-hosted by Xinjiang Normal University in Urumqi, Xinjiang Normal University (Part II, 9-11 June 2017). It is also co-organised by the International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies, which is headquartered at the University of Rhode Island, USA. The President of IAICS, Professor Guo-ming Chen (University of Rhode Island) and President-Elect, Professor Robert W. Vaagan of Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway, are among the distinguished invited plenary speakers at the conference.

The opening ceremony of the conference, held at 9:30-10:10 am in Lecture Theatre 1 of Macao Polytechnic Institute, was attended by the guests of honour: Dr. Tam Chon Weng, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR; Mr. Pan Yundong, Deputy Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR; Mr. Hong Bo, Director of Department of Culture and Education, representing the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Macao SAR; Ms. Wang Lili, Associate Inspector of the Educational Department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region; Mr. Au Weng Chi, Member of the Board of Directors of Macao Foundation; Mr. Sou Chio Fai, Coordinator of Tertiary Education Services Office; Prof. Lei Heong Iok, President of Macao Polytechnic Institute; Prof. Gulipali Abudula, Vice President of the Xinjiang Normal University; and Prof. Chen Guo-ming, President of International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies.

At the opening ceremony, the participants were welcomed by speeches given by Prof. Lei Heong Iok, President of Macao Polytechnic Institute; Ms. Wang Lili, Associate Inspector of the Educational Department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region; Prof. Gulipali Abudula, Vice President of the Xinjiang Normal University; Prof. Chen Guo-ming, President of the International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies; and Mr Adam Ennis, China Country Manager, Bell Educational Services Ltd. In his speech, Prof. Lei Heong Iok, President of Macao Polytechnic Institute, traced the history of the EDIC conference, and expressed his sincere thanks to the Education Department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region for their leadership and support, and deep appreciation to the Organising Committees of the two co-hosts Macao Polytechnic Institute and Xinjiang Normal University for their commitment, hard work and professionalism. Ms. Wang Lili and Prof. Gulipali Abudula reciprocated with their thanks and greetings on behalf of the Educational Department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Xinjiang Normal University, respectively, and emphasised the deep friendship and academic partnership between Xinjiang Normal University and Macao Polytechnic Institute. Mr. Adam Ennis greeted the conference participants on behalf of the English language teaching organisation Bell Educational Services Ltd., which in 2003 set up the MPI-Bell Centre of English in partnership with Macao Polytechnic Institute, and which co-sponsors the Macao-Xinjiang English Centre at Xinjiang Normal University. Mr. Ennis expressed the need for English language teaching in today's era of globalisation.

After the opening ceremony, the delegation of the Educational Department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Xinjiang Normal University visited the Chief of Office of the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR, Mr. Ip Peng Kin, and both sides decided that they would further strengthen the mutual cooperation in culture and education between Macao and Xinjiang.

The joint conference of the 6thEDIC - 23rd IAICS has gathered many international leading expert scholars as speakers and discussants, specialising in the teaching and research of subjects in the topic areas of English, Discourse and Intercultural Communication. In addition, sixteen experts are invited to participate in the Macao International Roundtable Forum on Language Aptitude, co-sponsored by Macao Polytechnic Institute, the University of Macau, and Shenzhen Polytechnic, which has also been included in the programme of the joint conference.

Ten years ago, the idea of co-organizing an international conference on English, Discourse and Intercultural Communication rose out of the close collaboration between the Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Government of Macao Special Administrative Region and the Education Department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, through the joint efforts of Macao Polytechnic Institute and Xinjiang Normal University, and also out of the common ground of intercultural heritage shared by Macao and Xinjiang. This year witnesses the 6thgreat gathering of scholars, educators and professionals, and also the tenth anniversary of this great endeavor to forge academic links between these two regions of the People's Republic of China, which have been brought so close together as a result of common goals, joint efforts, and forward-looking vision.

Macao is an ideal venue for a conference focusing on intercultural communication. As a former Portuguese colony, Macao has for centuries enjoyed a peaceful intercultural blending of East and West. The historical monuments of old Macao, added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005, include buildings of Chinese, Portuguese, Italian and Moorish architectural styles. The famous Macanese cuisine is a blend of Chinese, Portuguese, Malaysian, African and Indian influences. At the same time, in the years since the 1999 handover, Macao has taken on a face of gleaming new skyscrapers and neon lights, reflecting the rapid globalisation of its economy. All these changes bring challenges to but also create opportunities for intercultural communication and the use of English as an international language in the global context.

With the growing use of English comes the challenge of intercultural discourse – how to communicate and translate cultural values and characteristics to a diverse audience. The challenge of intercultural discourse confronts the communicators – both speakers and writers – with issues of the identity of self and other, and of cultural hybridity and blending of identities in today’s globalised world. These challenges are reflected in the theme of this year's conference: "Languages and Cultures in a Globalising World: Diversity, Interculturality, Hybridity." This year’s conference examines this multifaceted phenomenon from the perspectives of English language teaching, applied linguistics, translation and interpretation studies, intercultural communication studies, media studies and comparative cultural studies.

The conference has drawn more than 180 scholars from all over the world, including from Australia, Austria, Canada, Mainland China, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Iran, Japan, Lesotho, Macao, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, representing 95 different universities and institutions.

The conference is honored by the presence of the high-level delegation from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region: Ms. Wang Lili, Associate Inspector of the Educational Department of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region; Prof. Gulipali Abudula, Vice President of the Xinjiang Normal University; and Professor Cao Xianghong, Dean of the College of Foreign Languages of Xinjiang Normal University. In turn, on 9 June, a delegation from Macao Polytechnic Institute, together with several invited distinguished keynote speakers, will travel to Urumqi for Part II of this significant academic event.

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