The Irish Association of Chinese Teaching (IACT) was launched at UCD on the 27th of February 2016. The objective of the newly established the IACT is to improve Chinese teaching quality in Ireland as well as enhance national and international exchanges in Chinese studies.
H.E. Xu Jianguo, Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, Professor Xinsheng Zhang, Vice President of the European Association of Chinese Teaching and Professor Mark Richardson, UCD Deputy Vice President were among the guests of honour for the ceremony which was chaired by Prof Liming Wang, Director of UCD CII.
Ambassador Xu praised the achievement of Chinese teaching and learning in Ireland; he expressed his gratitude to those who dedicate themselves to Chinese teaching in Ireland. He remarked that the establishment of the IACT was the result of the substantial growth and development of Chinese learning in Ireland. He hopes that the IACT will create a platform for its members to exchange and share resources and experience as well as expand their global perspectives. Professor Richardson highlighted the strength of Chinese teaching in UCD as a globally engaged university. He said that the founding of the Association was a milestone for the sustainable development of Chinese teaching in Ireland.
Professor Zhang read a letter from Professor Joёl Bellassen, Vice President of the International Society for Chinese Language Teaching and President of the European Association of Chinese Teaching. Mr Bellasssen sent his warmest congratulations on the launch of the IACT. He believes that the Irish Association will no doubt inject fresh energy into the European Association. Professor Zhang highly praised UCD CII’s effort on creating the Chinese Teaching Resource Package and the establishment of degree programs with Chinese studies.
As part of the launch ceremony, Professor Lianyi Song from the SOAS, University of London, delivered an eye-opening public lecture. He used the British and American Chinese language teaching mode as a reference to explore Chinese language teaching trend in Ireland. He also brought up the application of dual system (i.e. Chinese characters and pinyin) Chinese teaching and virtual Chinese teaching as well as such pioneering concepts as bilingual pre-school and primary education.
Ms Siobhan Kelly, President of the IACT, introduced the Board members and shared her vision with audience. The event attracted over 100 Chinese and Irish scholars and teachers. More than 50 people joined the newly established Association at the event.