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Enough Chinese-language teachers in 3 years: RAC

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Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC) president Sok Touch addresses the forum on ‘Cambodia-China relations and the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the late King Father’, on December 22. SOK TOUCH VIA FB

Enough Chinese-language teachers in 3 years: RAC

Sok Touch, president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), said relationships between the Kingdom and China would soon be elevated to another level through the introduction of qualified Chinese-language teachers.

He said that in the next three years, the Kingdom will have enough competent Cambodian Chinese-language teachers with sufficient pedagogical knowledge to ensure sustainable Chinese-language training.

Touch said this at a scientific forum on “Cambodia-China relations and the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the late King Father”, organised by the Confucius Institute at the RAC, on December 22.

Touch addressed the forum, saying the academy’s Confucius Institute has become a model of global Confucius Institutes. It has trained Chinese language human resources and mainstreamed the understanding of Chinese culture in Cambodia.

“Thanks to the success of its training programmes, the institute has many teachers who will provide clear Chinese language instruction to the students who attend this institute and its branches across the Kingdom,” he said.

“Due to the spread of Covid-19 in China and in Cambodia, the Confucius Institute has faced a shortage of in-person Chinese teachers in the past, with students having to study online, which is not as effective as in-person instruction,” he added.

The institute decided to establish a language department to strengthen Chinese language teaching in Cambodia. As a result of globalisation, Chinese has become an important language in economic relations, trade, diplomacy, tourism and other functions, both in Cambodian society as well as the rest of the world, according to Touch.

“Cambodia and China are iron-clad friends, comprehensive strategic partners and have reached the highest level of relations in history. The study of our languages, culture and history is the best way to expand our cooperation, mutual understanding and connections,” said Touch.

He added that in the thousands of years of relations between the two, there has never been a Chinese language pedagogy course.

“Past experience has shown the need for the continuous training of teachers who will contribute to building a stronger community of common destiny between Cambodia and China,” he continued.

With this vision, the Royal Academy will begin graduating teachers within the next three years.

Yong Kim Eng, director of the People’s Centre for Development and Peace, said that the training of a language teacher need not take three years, and there are many Cambodians teaching Chinese in schools across the Kingdom.

He said training in Chinese language pedagogy is a significant achievement, and would contribute to building Cambodia-China relations. He was also insistent that selecting a course – or language – of study should remain an individual choice.

“Do not force anyone to study any particular language – it is better if they are free to decide for themselves, and then it will not be viewed as coercion,” he added.

“If there is a compulsion to learn one particular language, it means that the education system and resource training are not modern, as the future goals of learners are chosen for them by their schools or institutions. It is important that Khmer people are free to choose whatever job, career, or language they want,” he concluded.


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