The Chinese Language Teachers Association was created in Moscow. One of its founders is Aleksandr Storozhuk, Head of the Department of Chinese Philology.
More than a hundred people took part in the opening ceremony that was held in MGIMO University. Among them there were lead sinologists from Moscow, St Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Ulan-Ude, Vladivostok and other cities. Kirill Barsky, Professor at MGIMO University and Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador at Large, and Cao Shihai, Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of China in Russia were honoured guests of the event.
The meeting was opened with welcome remarks by: Artemiy Karapetyants, Professor at Moscow State University; Taras Ivchenko, Associate Professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities; teachers from MGIMO University; and members of the organising committee of the Association Olga Maslovets, Elena Khamaeva and Vladislav Kruglov as well as representatives of international Sinologist organisations.
According to Aleksandr Storozhuk, Professor at St Petersburg University, sinology must be studied comprehensively.
Teaching of the language must not be separated from teaching of Chinese history and culture. We must put in efforts to fight the wave of dilettantism that we are now facing in teaching and in the way China is presented in media.
Aleksandr Storozhuk, Professor at St Petersburg University
Teachers of the University took an active part in the first meeting of the Association. They shared their opinions on the future activity of the organisation and on its objectives.
Elena Kolpachkova, Associate Professor at St Petersburg University, said that the Chinese language has every chance of becoming the second most popular foreign language in Russia after English. ‘As teachers, we get requests for the Chinese language in all spheres on a daily basis,’ Elena Kolpachkova pointed out. ‘Although technically we are teachers of the language, what we teach in fact is culture, literature, history — all aspects of the centuriesold traditions of China. Every teacher of Chinese must be a person of encyclopaedic knowledge, and the Association that unites experts from different fields will definitely help consolidate the knowledge of its members.’
Elena Mitkina, Associate Professor at St Petersburg University, underlined that the organisation has a vast capacity. She emphasised that the Association can support young budding specialists, and that it will also help Russian sinologists build international contacts.
Dmitrii Maiatskii, Associate Professor at St Petersburg University, shared his experience of communicating with Russian educational institutions. Some of them are in dire need of professional educational and methodological support of the programmes of teaching the Chinese language. He thinks that if the Association works out a unified approach to such problems, it will carry out crucial and actual work.
During the first meeting, the elections were held of: the chairman of the Association; members of the executive committee, and scientific and methodological council; and the electoral board.