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对外汉语专业就业暗淡

2014-05-15    来源:英语点津    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Chinese-teaching majors face bleak job prospects

四月底,李果(音)在秘鲁志愿教授汉语一年后回到中国首都。

In late April, Li Guo returned to the Chinese capital after a one-year voluntary stint teaching Chinese in Peru.

The 26-year-old master's student at Beijing Language and Culture University will graduate in July.

But Li, who is in her seventh year majoring in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages, has yet to find a full-time job.

"None of the girls living on the same dorm floor with me, all majoring in TCSOL, has found a teaching job so far," she said.

"Most of them are signing job contracts that are not closely related to the major."

BLCU was among the first four universities approved by the Ministry of Education in 1985 to offer the TCSOL program, formerly known as the Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language program.

There are 342 universities offering it. By the end of 2012, there were 63,933 students studying the major.

Shi Jiawei, former director of the university's TCSOL department and a professor of the major, said that among graduates with a bachelor's degree in TCSOL in the past three years, less than 10 percent of them have clinched jobs closely related to the major. More than 40 percent of them will continue to study for a master's.

"The major has long been popular among liberal arts students and attracts outstanding candidates," she said. "But we do have problems sending students out for the right jobs, especially undergraduates."

Shi gave two reasons TCSOL students have trouble landing a job after graduation.

"First, the major aims at cultivating Chinese teachers for foreign students.
Yet it's extremely difficult to get a teaching position in any university. Most universities now require a doctorate. Second, many students who now aim to work overseas cannot do so due to visa problems and also because they do not have relevant teaching certificates in other countries."

Shi was enrolled in BLCU's TCSOL program in the mid-'90s, and Li was enrolled in the major at Zhengzhou University in Henan province in 2007. They had similar notions of the major when they signed up for it, including the dual emphasis on English and Chinese.

But the situation has changed, Shi said. While English-speaking adults made up most of the foreigners who studied Chinese in the past, more children are doing so now. That means a different set of teaching skills are needed. Foreigners learning Chinese also come from diverse backgrounds, including non-English speaking ones.

At a seminar on improving courses for the TCSOL program in October 2013, Zhou Shangzhi from the School of Education at Shanghai International Studies University said that the courses should focus more on non-English languages and not just offer courses in Chinese and English.

While landing a teaching position in foreign universities is tough, some TCSOL students are still willing to become Chinese teachers in private language schools. Many of them also realize that schools prefer teaching experience to master's degrees.

Ged Scheuber, general manager of Culture Yard, a private language school in Beijing, has been recruiting Chinese teachers for more than a year.

"Almost all the teachers we've recruited so far hold a master's degree in the major," he said. "Yet that does not necessarily mean they are qualified for the job. We emphasize on how well teachers are able to give students the confidence to speak. Teachers with good experience can identify the areas that foreign learners may find confusing."


Also, some foreign students and expats in China still heavily rely on self-study to improve their Chinese.

Magdalena Lowczynska, 31, a Polish student learning Chinese at the School of International Education and Exchange at Shanxi University, said learning a language is more about using it in real life conversations than memorizing vocabulary and grammar.

To help more students in the program get opportunities to work overseas, East China Normal University also started a cooperation program two years ago with universities in the United States, through which Chinese students are able to gain a local teaching certificate. This will enable the students to become Chinese teachers in the US.

Shi Jiawei, the former TCSOL director at BLCU, said the university is also working on similar programs in the US.

相关内容

这位26岁的硕士研究生将于今年7月份毕业于北京语言大学。

但是对于李来说,已经主修对外汉语教学专业七个年头却还没找到一份专职工作。

“和我住在同一宿舍楼层的所有对外汉语教学专业的女孩们到目前为止没有一个人找到一份教学工作。”她说。

“她们中的大多数人都签订了和所学专业没有密切关联的工作。”

北京语言大学是教育部在1985年公认的首次开设对外汉语教学专业的四所大学之一,以前以作为外语项目的汉语教学而闻名。

截至2012年底共有342所大学开设此专业,共有63933名学生学习此专业。
北京语言大学人文学院硕士研究生导师、对外汉语专业教授施家炜说过去三年里对外汉语专业本科学位毕业生中少于10%的学生找到了与专业相关的工作。多于40%的学生将会继续攻读硕士学位。

“这个专业很受文科生的欢迎并且吸引一些优秀的候选人。”她说。“但是我们在分配给这些学生适合的工作这方面有困难,尤其是本科生。”

施对于对外汉语专业学生毕业后找不到工作的问题给出两点原因。

“第一,这个专业的目的在于培养外国学生的中文老师。但是这在任何大学里都很难找到教师的职位。现在大多数大学都需要博士生。第二,现在许多打算去国外工作的学生不能实现这个想法是由于签证问题,也因为他们在其他国家没有相关的教师证书。”
施在90年代中期进入北京语言大学学习对外汉语专业,李在2007年进入河南省郑州大学学习此专业。在入学时她们对这个专业有相同的看法,包括要着重于英语和汉语两方面。
但是形势已变,施说。在过去大多数学习汉语的人都是讲英语的成年人,如今很多外国人从小就开始学汉语了。这就意味着我们需要一套不同的教学技能。学习汉语的外国人来自不同的背景,包括不会说英语的。

在2013年10月份的一次改善对外汉语专业课程的研讨会上,来自上海外国语大学教育学院的周上之说这个专业应该更关注非英语国家语言,不只是开设汉语和英语课程。
然而在外国大学获得教师职位是困难的,一些对外汉语专业学生还是希望成为私立语言学校的中文老师。他们中的许多人也意识到许多学校更喜欢有教学经验的人而不是只有硕士学位的人。

北京天井越洋私人语言学校总经理Ged Scheuber已经招募中文老师超过一年了。

“到目前为止几乎所有我们招募的老师都有对外汉语专业的硕士学位。”他说。“但是这不意味着他们能胜任这个工作。我们着重的是老师能够多好地给学生自信去说中文。有丰富经验的老师可以辨别外国学习者学习时会感到困惑的地方。”

同时,一些在中国的外国学生和外籍人士仍然只能依靠自学来提高他们的汉语水平。
Magdalena Lowczynska,31岁,是在山西大学国际教育交流学院学习中文的一位波兰学生。他说,学习一种语言在于在日常生活的交流中多使用它而不是记词汇和语法。
为了帮助更多这个专业的学生获得在国外工作的机会,华东师范大学在两年前就开始了与美国大学的合作项目,通过这个项目中国学生们能够取得当地的教师证书。这将使学生们能够在美国成为中文老师。

北京语言大学对外汉语专业前领导人施家炜说美国的大学也在做类似的项目。


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