Seminars promote development of second language teaching
chinadaily.com.cn     Updated: 2019-06-12

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The seminar was held over the weekend at Xi’an Jiaotong University in Xi’an, Shaanxi province in Northwest China.  

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Professor Martha Thurlow gives a lecture at the seminar on her research of second language teaching.

The 1st International Seminar on Effective Learning and Learning Obstacles for Second Language Learners was held from June 7 to 9 at Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU) to exchange research achievements in the field of second language acquisition and promote the further development of second language teaching and research.

The seminar was co-sponsored by the School of Foreign Studies of XJTU and the Chinese American Educational Research and Development Association (CAERDA). More than 70 experts in related research fields from all over the world participated in the seminar and exchanged views with teachers and students from domestic universities.

Chen Xiangjing, dean of the School of Foreign Studies of XJTU, gave an opening speech, saying that the university has a long history and has great effort in the development of second language teaching and research. She expressed the hope that the seminar would deepen exchanges and achievements in the field of second language learning and assist the School of Foreign Studies of XJTU in further developing teaching and research.

Professors and experts from the University of Minnesota, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and Nanjing Normal University gave lectures with special topics based on their research.

Miranda Lin, professor of Illinois State University, was invited to give a speech titled “Teaching English Language Learning: Inspiring from Cooperative Approaches”. She introduced a tripartite collaborative teacher training model that, if adopted, would benefit teachers.

Martha Thurlow, professor of the University of Minnesota, mentioned a set of data from the American College Survey in her lecture. According to the data, forty-three percent of the students involved in the survey had learning disabilities and 12% of the native-born American students had the same issue in English study. She pointed out that cultural backgrounds often influence the public's views on such problems.

She proposes a conventional solution: designing teaching according to students' needs. The purpose of teaching is to benefit students and help them gain knowledge, which should be objective of teaching. Teachers should start with examples, evidence, analysis and statistics, give full play to team effort, and design teaching models that meet students’ needs.

Professor Wang Min, vice-dean of the School of Foreign Studies of XJTU, delivered a speech at the closing ceremony, saying that it was a unique academic exchange seminar that provided significant benefits.

"We will continue to study conscientiously and focus on scientific research for publishing more high-level papers and releasing new research results," Professor Wang Min said.