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Learning for International Language Education

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As early as 2,300 years ago, the Book of Rites, one of the Five Classics of the Confucian canon that significantly influenced Chinese history and culture, pointed out that, “to build a country and govern a people, the most important thing is education.” Since ancient times, education has been placed into a predominant position in most civilizations.

When we reflect on “How to educate? How to provide a fertile ground for education? How to contribute to the world development, peace and harmony? How to specifically teach and learn in international language education?...” There are too many aspects that a responsible educator should be of concern. The term “DEEP” has been prevalent among diversified fields especially in education, which highlights the nature and essence of what a deeper education could and should be.

Project-based learning (PBL) is usually considered as an alternative to paper-based, rote memorization, or the teacher-centric classroom. In the recent years, it has been adopted by a large number of language teachers and learners to work collaboratively and improve their educational accomplishments. I support the idea that PBL is an outstanding path for in-depth language teaching and learning because I have done pilot experiments with the China-Aid project for my translation-learning students. The China-Aid project contributes not only to peaceful relationships among citizens of various countries, but also to peace education for those student volunteers who have participated in the program, which proposes a totally different pedagogy that is helpful to language learners and educators, and is thus conducive to deep education.

To my eyes, teachers are not merely to teach students knowledge like a carpenter would, but to help students knowing themselves deeply and serving for the world. Thus educators are facilitators in the open areas open by self-determined projects. In PBL, students not only learn knowledge but also learn how to solve problems and build up a new cognition on the world and the people. Such a deep approach sheds light on their heart, on their soul, on their spirit deeply. When deep learning is realized, then the ultimate purpose of education is fulfilled. This kind of contribution is tremendous and priceless to the world.

To sum up, connecting deep project-based learning to language teaching and learning may help deepen international education. The Deep Approach highlights a promising future for international language education.

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