The European Association of Chinese Teaching (EACT) has as its mission to promote the learning and teaching of Chinese language and culture and its research in Europe, as well as to strengthen international exchanges and cooperation among Chinese language teaching and research professionals in Europe and beyond. Through its efforts of building connection, mutual understanding and cooperation, the EACT hopes to contribute to the development of multilingualism and multiculturism in Europe and around the world.
The EACT was founded in 2015 in France. More than 100 delegates attended the inaugural meeting of the Association, representing Chinese language teaching and research communities from France, Germany, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Hungary and Finland among others. The meeting approved the EACT constitution and subsequently held its first Council meeting. Seven members were elected to form the Executive Committee of the Association.
The Executive Committee discussed and formulated both the short term and medium-long term goals of the Association. The priorities of the short-term goals include: conducting a comprehensive empirical survey of Chinese language learning and teaching in European countries so as to have a full picture of the status quo of Chinese language learning and teaching, including its distribution, in primary, secondary and tertiary sectors, i.e. institutions of higher education in the European countries concerned; and establishing a database of local European specialists in Chinese language learning and teaching who can provide much needed advice and support. The information thus collected will form the ground upon which corresponding development and improvement strategies for the learning and teaching of Chinese in Europe may be conceived and proposed, and a White Paper on Chinese Teaching in Europe will be produced in due course with the aim of offering a scientific basis for the sustainable development of Chinese language teaching for relevant institutions in Europe. In addition, the priorities also include organising dedicated short-term professional development and training programmes for local teachers of Chinese all over Europe.
After continuous efforts, the EACT signed a collaboration agreement in 2017 with the Chinese Language Teachers Association, USA and the Asia-Pacific Consortium of Teaching Chinese as an International Language. The EACT will work closely together with these strategic partners in pushing forward a robust development of Chinese teaching globally, playing an active and important role in the realm of second language learning. EACT also entered an academic collaboration with the International Society for Chinese Language Teaching at the end of 2019 and became an institutional member of the Society’s Executive Council.
With the training and professional development of local teachers of Chinese continuing to be a priority, the medium- and long-term goals of the EACT include facilitating the completion of European Benchmarks for Chinese language, promoting research and exchange in the field of Chinese language learning and teaching in Europe, and eventually developing a European academic journal for Chinese language learning and teaching.
The Executive Committee has been committed to seeking cooperation with other relevant institutions and organisations not only in Europe, but also worldwide, including publishing houses. The primary goals and their fulfilment are crucial for the further development and long-term strategic planning of Chinese language learning and teaching in Europe, including the promotion of exchanges and resource sharing among European colleagues.
Since the inaugural meeting in 2015, the EACT has held three general assembly meetings and two international symposiums, one every two years to coincide with the general assembly meeting, in accordance with the Association’s constitution. Each general assembly meeting elects new council members and appoints a new Executive Committee. The lists of members of the First, Second and Third Executive Committees as well as the members of the Third Council can be found here.
European Association of Chinese Teaching