According to HeadHunter recruiting agency, demand in Chinese-speaking professionals increased 4,5 times or by 450%. This statement is proven by huge amount of requests for young Chinese teachers from kindergartens, schools and universities of the Republic of Tatarstan, as well as increased interest of employers in Chinese-speaking professionals. Such professionals are trained in Kazan Innovative University named after V. G. Timiryasov (IEML).
Number of students wishing to study Chinese increased twice as much
One of the reasons of the increased interest to Chinese language among employers is expansion of relations between Russia and the Republic of Tatarstan on the one side and China on the other side in the frameworks of various international projects, such as “Volga-Yangtze”. Touristic and cultural contacts are also developing. The number of investment projects is constantly increasing, they would be impossible without Chinese-speaking professionals.
Regular citizens feel the need of Chinese language as well. That is why more and more high school graduates decide to learn this ancient and mysterious language. In 2015 the number of students studying Chinese in KIU (IEML) has doubled comparing to the previous year. Both prospective students and their parents understand the importance of knowing this language.
In Russia nowadays people learn Chinese not only in higher educational institutions, but also at schools. Four schools of Kazan initiated a pioneering project of learning Chinese. There are even thoughts about making Unified State Exam in this subject.
However, some difficulties in implementation of these ambitious projects appeared both in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan. Firstly, we are short of professors who are capable of teaching Chinese as a foreign language. Secondly, we lack modern Russian speakers-friendly textbooks.
It is to be noted that teaching a foreign language at university and at high school is completely different. While we are short of university teachers, there are almost no high school teachers at all.
KIU (IEML) students – future translators – win scholarships for studying in China
To meet the demand of the society in Chinese-speaking professionals, KIU (IEML) actively works in several directions.
Since 2008 the University has been preparing professional Chinese translators. In this period considerable experience was gained and significant results were achieved. While in studying KIU (IEML), more than a half of future translators win scholarships for mastering their language skills in China. This year 8 students won scholarships of Hunan province. They are going to spend a year in Hunan University of Science and Technology. Two KIU (IEML) graduates won scholarships of PRC Ministry of Education and are going to obtain Master’s degree in Liaoning Shihua University starting next September.
Thanks to the cooperation of KIU (IEML) and employers, students have an opportunity to do internship in companies that work with China. KIU (IEML) graduates are demanded in their specializations.
KIU (IEML) works closely with Confucius Institute that highly appreciates the level of teaching of Chinese in the University. According to Confucius Institute’s decision, a native Chinese speaker will be sent to KIU (IEML) the next academic year.
Since 2015 KIU (IEML) prepares professionals in a specialization “Teaching Chinese as a foreign language”. They will be highly demanded, based upon the burst of applications for Chinese teachers from kindergartens, schools and universities.
In 2016 students applied their skills in the first summer linguistic camp that took place in KIU (IEML). They did not only teach children Chinese, but also practiced in calligraphy, tai chi, conducted master classes in Chinese knotting and played board games. The camp was very successful and will definitely be continued in future.
Chinese language center is created in KIU (IEML)
Modern and demanded Chinese language textbooks are also published in Kazan Innovative University named after V. G. Timiryasov (IEML). Since the majority of Chinese textbooks have been issued in 1950-1990s, now they are far behind the times. KIU (IEML) cooperates with “Chance” international publishing house based in Beijing. In the frameworks of this cooperation series of Chinese textbooks and manuals are prepared for publication, e.g. “Idioms of Chinese language”, “Synonyms of Chinese language”, “Measure words of Chinese language”, “Grammar of Chinese language”. One of the important directions is publication of textbooks for preparation for HSK Chinese Proficiency Test.
On the 6th of July a cooperation agreement was signed by KIU (IEML) and Zhejiang Publishing United Group – one of the leading publishers in China that specializes in preparation of textbooks, especially in Chinese language. The group has a workforce of 8000 people.
In order to implement the abovementioned projects, Chinese language center was created in Kazan Innovative University named after V. G. Timiryasov (IEML). It provides all the conditions for giving classes, conducting master-classes, round tables, etc. The Republic of Tatarstan becomes the leading center of training the Chinese-speaking professionals in Russia.