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Xinjiang teachers attend Tianjin training course to improve English skills
From:ChinaDaily  |  2021-11-17 16:41

A three-week training course for primary school teachers from Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region wrapped up at Tianjin Foreign Studies University early this month.

The courses, offered by leading professors from the university, received widespread accolades in English education circles, in particular from Xinjiang.

In 2019, the university arranged 180 teachers and students to go to Xinjiang for local English teaching, and the 2020-21 training courses are an upgraded version of the initiative, according to Yin Qi, Party chief of the university.

The first course enrolled 80 trainees, 25 from high schools, 25 from junior high schools and 30 from primary schools. They came to the university last year to study.

The second training course this year enrolled only 14 trainees because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The teachers from Xinjiang showed their appreciation at the closing ceremony: "The strong faculty and diverse, tailor-made modules have significantly expanded our horizons, boosted our proficiency in English teaching and improved our teaching skills, and we express our sincere gratitude."

They presented their weekly study reports showing their improvement in the courses and also performed a Xinjiang folk dance to express their thanks.

The teachers from Hotan prefecture said that primary school students enjoyed the same opportunities to study English.

Xiang Chengdong, dean of the School of English Studies at Tianjin Foreign Studies University, said, "The training content is divided into three sections based on what the students need — theory updates, development of teaching proficiency, language proficiency and self-updating."

The whole training program is organized on different tracks, including seminars, lectures, layered counseling, workshops, exchanges and discussions and classroom observation, Xiang said.

To the delight of the professors who participated, the results of the program and the feedback from the trainees indicated high satisfaction with the training.

"They are very positive about this training program," he said of the feedback he received from the trainees. "They think they have benefited a lot from the training and think that what they have learned is very useful and helpful to their teaching and also helpful in self-development."

In terms of the significance of the training, he said: "Leaders of the local governments who are directly and indirectly in charge of this training program, also think highly of it. … They think the training has contributed, to some degree, to the development of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in education and economics."

The teacher-training program is a manifestation of carrying out the national aid effort for Xinjiang, he added.

"By providing training for English teachers from Xinjiang's Hotan prefecture, we can directly learn what they need and what is the status quo of teaching English in such an area, so as to timely adjust our educational curriculum and do a better job in the training program in the future," he said.

The courses are tailor-made for Xinjiang teachers who are relatively weak in English teaching proficiency, English language proficiency and language education theories.

The university has designed the curriculum in three modules – theory, proficiency and practice.

The theory module contains courses such as teaching theories about language acquisition, teaching principles, classroom organization, class observation learning psychology and teacher development.

The proficiency module is concerned with improving learners' language proficiency, such as reading, writing, speaking and debating.

The practice module uses organized activities, such as instructional design, classroom observation, internships, layered counseling and exchanges and discussions with teachers, particularly in middle schools.

Dou Wentong and Liang Zhi contributed to this story.

Video by Du Shubiao and Liang Zhi.