With about 30 million Chinese in Southeast Asia, there is great potential for more children in the region to learn the Chinese language.

This was pointed out by Dr. Chen Shi, KLC International Institute’s (KLCII) Vice Principal, at the recent World Chinese Conference held in Beijing, China, from 7 to 9 December 2023. KLCII is Crestar Education Group’s adult education training arm.

World Chinese Conference in Beijing from December 7th to 9th, 2023

The Conference was organised by the Centre for Chinese Language Education and Cooperation (CLEC) of China’s Ministry of Education, the China International Chinese Education Foundation, and the World Chinese Language Teaching Association. CLEC, formerly known as HanBan, also administers the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) – the world’s most popular assessment of its kind.

Speaking on “The development of international skill standards for preschool Chinese language teachers”, “Dr Chen shared statistics showing that there are some 12 million children in childcare and kindergarten centres in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

KLCII Vice Principal, Chinese Programmes, Dr Chen Shi delivering her presentation on stage

She also pointed out that more than 70 countries have already integrated Chinese language into their national education systems to meet rising demand for Chinese language talents.

However, many countries don’t have a standard Chinese language skills assessment system for preschool teaching, including international schools. Dr Chen also shared that this has prompted the CLEC to develop an International Chinese Preschool Teachers’ Professional Skills Assessment Standard. CLEC is “tasked with providing Chinese language and cultural teaching resources and services worldwide” by China’s MOE.

Such a standard can help contribute to the training and certification of more preschool Chinese language teachers to deliver higher quality standard of teaching in the region.

Dr Chen herself had participated actively in development of the new standard with various teams of professionals involved in international preschool Chinese language education.

She has also attended and spoken at many other conferences and forums on Chinese language teaching to promote higher standards of Chinese language teaching internationally.

The World Chinese Conference was attended by almost 2,000 educational leaders and university students from 189 countries.