The University of Macau (UM) plans to establish a Chinese-Portuguese bilingual teaching and training centre next spring, in order to promote reform of its Portuguese language programmes, and produce more bilingual professionals to support the SAR government’s effort to ‘build a better Macao through talented people’. The centre plans to devise innovative teaching methods based on the characteristics of Macao students and develop pedagogical models and quality evaluation standards tailor-made for native Chinese-speaking learners.
UM’s Department of Portuguese has a culturally diverse faculty team whose members include professors from renowned universities in Portuguese-speaking countries such as Portugal and Brazil, veteran educators fluent in both Chinese and Portuguese, and well-known scholars whose research interests include learning or teaching Portuguese as a second language. With the support of a strong faculty team, the centre will formulate medium- and long-term training plans based on the current situation in Macao. It will improve the university’s Portuguese language curriculum in order to attract more students.
Additionally, the centre will launch training programmes for Portuguese language instructors from primary and secondary schools in Macao, as well as those from universities in mainland China. The centre will also collaborate with the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-Operation between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries (Macao) in offering courses in Chinese language and culture for students from Portuguese-speaking countries, and in providing language support for professional courses taught in Portuguese, such as courses in tourism, business management, and medical sciences.
On the teaching material front, the centre will design innovative audio-visual teaching materials that are more suited to Macao students, to supplement its existing teaching materials. The centre also plans to establish a reward and monitoring mechanism to improve the current programme that allows students to study in Portuguese-speaking countries, so that participants in the programme will achieve more fruitful outcomes. In addition, the centre will establish partnerships with organisations and companies in Macao and overseas where Portuguese is a working language, so as to create more internship opportunities for students to practice their Portuguese language skills.
The Department of Portuguese is the largest Portuguese teaching body in Asia. Since its establishment, the department has produced many language professionals, who now work in the various departments of the Macao SAR government, as well as companies and higher education institutions in Macao and mainland China. Many of them have become a driving force in their industries.
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