UM’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities holds the Macao Humanities Forum

João Costa

The University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Arts and Humanities (FAH) recently held the Macao Humanities Forum. The event featured João Costa, minister of education of Portugal and chair professor of linguistics at NOVA University Lisbon, who delivered a lecture titled ‘Arts and Humanities Education in the 21st Century—The Portugal Experience’. Involving both online and in-person elements, the lecture attracted many faculty members and students.

At the forum, Joaquim Kuong, assistant dean of the FAH, discussed the strong ties and friendship between Macao and Portugal. João Veloso, head of the Department of Portuguese, highlighted Prof Costa’s outstanding contributions to the fields of linguistics and education.

The lecture placed an emphasis on how linguistics can promote arts and humanities education in the 21st century. Prof Costa began by reviewing the new challenges facing the world’s education systems, such as the development of information technology, and giving an overview of current hot topics in education, including climate change. According to him, humanities education must factor in inclusiveness and equity considering the fact that students today come from diverse backgrounds.

From the perspective of the advantage of language awareness in school education, Prof Costa discussed the new insights provided by linguistics to inform decision making in education, and pointed out that linguists play a key role in curriculum design at primary and secondary schools with their strong theoretical foundation. He also talked about how recent approaches to language acquisition can meet the different needs of education systems and explored the future of linguistics studies. After the lecture, faculty members and students, as well as online participants, had an in-depth discussion with the speaker.

The Macao Humanities Forum aims to provide a platform for world-renowned scholars from different humanities fields to share their latest research results with the UM community and local teachers and students. This was the third lecture of the forum in the 2022/2023 academic year.

João Veloso