Volunteer Programme For International Chinese Teachers
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Volunteer Program for International Chinese Teachers
China is a diverse country that shares both ancient and modern ways of life. Its 5,000-year history, brilliant civilizations, diversity of ethnic cultures, magnificent mountain and river landscapes are famous throughout the world. At present, China's Open Door Policy and rapidly growing economy have received attention from all over the world. All of these factors have made the world increasingly interested in China and eager to learn more about the country.
Language serves as a bridge of friendship among people from different cultures. Learning Chinese is the best way to gain a deeper understanding of China. International exchanges with China in many areas including economics, trade, science, technology, culture, education, art and tourism are greater than ever before and studying Chinese has become increasingly popular and necessary in today's world. There are now more than 30 million people outside of China studying Chinese, and about 100 countries now offer Chinese language courses of all levels and in all types of educational institutions. The rapid increase in Chinese language instruction and the number of students studying Chinese has produced rising demands for more Chinese language teachers. Many countries would like to have more Chinese teachers to support the local Chinese language education. To address this demand, the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), an organization that promotes the Chinese language instruction throughout the world, has built up the Volunteer Program for International Chinese Teachers as an effective channel for sending Chinese teachers abroad.
Volunteering service has become a part of global civilization. At the Opening Ceremony of the annual conference of the International Year of Volunteers, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, "At the heart of volunteerism are the ideals of service and solidarity and the belief that together we can make the world better. In that sense, we can say that volunteerism is the ultimate expression of what the United Nations is all about."
Based on this consensus, the objectives of the Volunteer Program for International Chinese Teachers are as follows: providing Chinese language instruction for areas demonstrating a need for this service, supporting local Chinese instruction, introducing Chinese culture, increasing the level of understanding between China and other countries, deepening friendships, and promoting exchange between Chinese and other cultures through qualified Chinese teachers with a passion for contributing to this endeavor.
To ensure smooth implementation of this program, Hanban set up the Volunteer Center. The center entrusts the provincial education bureaus in China with responsibility for recruiting, training, placing and managing volunteers on a daily basis.
Volunteers of this program have to meet the following demands: Be physically and mentally healthy; be passionate about teaching Chinese as a foreign language, and have a positive attitude about volunteering. In addition, qualified volunteers must have at least a Bachelor degree in Teaching Chinese as a foreign language, Chinese language, foreign language skills, education, or other related field such as social sciences or humanities; be standard in putonghua pronunciation; have teaching skills and foreign language skills. These volunteers must also be able to handle various levels of Chinese language education and training.
HANBAN began sending volunteer Chinese teachers abroad in 2003 on a trial basis in order to gain experience before broadly implementing the program. In 2004, volunteer teachers have been sent to the four continents of Asia, Europe, America and Africa. Till now, there are over 1,500 volunteer teachers in 24 countries. And 42 countries have requested teachers from Hanban. The outstanding performance of the volunteers has left an excellent impression on the people of the cultures they worked with and many local teachers and students called them "angels from China". The work of the volunteers has greatly promoted local Chinese instruction. The countries that were provided with these volunteers have all given positive feedbacks and requested more teachers.
As the program continues to unfold, Hanban will be sending teachers to more countries with demand for Chinese instruction.
To ensure the success of the program and provide more volunteers to countries in need, HANBAN would like to establish cooperative relationships with government education departments, educational institutions, nongovernmental organizations and Chinese language teachers' associations of countries around the world.
Any incorporated educational institution of any country is welcome to submit the attached form of "Application to Receive Volunteer Chinese Teachers". Please be aware that it will take several months for the Volunteer Center to process the application before the volunteer teachers being sent abroad.