Research Center for History and Culture, Beijing Normal University (Zhuhai Campus) & UIC
Research Area: Linguistics (both historical linguistics and general linguistics); Indo-European languages (especially Latin, Ancient Greek and Old Indian)
Speech Title:“The use of language variation and stylistic variation in literary texts”
Abstract: This paper discusses the manner how different language varieties may be used in a literary text in order to express different styles or linguistic registers. It is acknowledged that a higher or lower register may be conveyed by diglossia in a speech community, which may use the vernacular language in daily life and the codified language in more official situations. An example of this can be seen in China in the variation between Mandarin Chinese and the local language for more or less formal activities. It has not been adequately investigated, however, how diglossia may be exploited in the very same literary text to portray characters of higher or lower social status as well as more conservative or progressive social and cultural attitudes. Neither has been much examined how, apart from diglossia, these socio-cultural aspects may be expressed in a text by using lexemes having a different source. In the English language, for example, inherited Germanic words compete with French borrowings; the latter usually belong to a higher register. In French, words going back to Vulgar Latin compete with cultivate Latinate terms. Thus, diglossia is just the most evident manifestation of a much broader phenomenon concerning the use of two (or more) language varieties for stylistic purposes. I will illustrate this phenomenon with examples drawn from various ancient and modern languages belonging to different families and to different geographical areas, and I will try to show the formal and functional features of this linguistic competition. Moreover, I will discuss the impacts of such a language variation on the establishment of different literary genres and its challenges for a theory of translation.
School of Urban Culture, South China Normal University
Research Area: journalism, intercultural and interpersonal communication, instructional communication
Speech Title:Internationalization of Higher Education Institutions in Guangzhou-area Universities: China’s Educational Soft Power under the Belt and Road Initiative
Abstract:Higher education is a global soft power that has always been a major tool in the arsenal of the Chinese government (Ren & Montgomery, 2015). China has attracted international students through various scholarship programs across China. Consequently, the number of international students enrolled in Chinese universities has increased significantly. While research has addressed the importance of international students’ acculturation in and adaptation to China to their satisfaction with their educational experience (e.g., Akhtar, Pratt, & Bo, 2015; Sun, Feng, Lin, & Huang, 2009), Instructional Communication (IC)—that is, communication for the purpose of engaging students academically and reducing problematic understanding significantly—is a bane of the educational well-being of international students in China. As Chiang (2009) notes, “Given that intercultural communicators do not possess the same stock [emphases added] of linguistic and cultural knowledge, problematic understanding is bound to occur” (p. 463). It is against that background, then, that this study investigates international students’ perceptions of their classroom communication experience with their Chinese professors, with the aim of enhancing China’s global stature (read: soft power) through education. The rationale for that conclusion is manifold. First, professors’ instructional competence is critical to their students’ comprehension of classroom material. Professors’ inadequate intercultural sensitivity will result in their failure to accomplish their educational goals, in their pent-up frustration with the teacher-student interaction, and in their international students’ failure to report a favorable educational experience. Second, ineffective IC may result in cross-cultural pragmatic failure. Thomas (1983) coined the term “cross-cultural pragmatic failure” to describe exclusively misunderstandings that arise from the hearer’s “inability to understand ‘what is meant by what is said’" (p. 91). And she uses “pragmatic competence” to describe the hearer’s “ability to use language effectively in order to achieve a specific purpose and to understand language in context” (p. 92). Absent competence in IC, misunderstandings tend to occur for a variety of reasons: the inaccurate expressions used by a sojourner in conversations with a native speaker, the mammoth difficulties and conflicts a student has in recognizing words and in ascribing meanings to and in interpreting them in a classroom setting, the pragmatic failure that results from a mismatch or discrepancy between a speaker’s expressions and a hearer’s unintentional misinterpretation, and an undeveloped communicative competence in a language in which nonnative speakers of the language of communication misunderstand a speech act or struggle with expressing themselves (De Jager & Evans, 2013). “Misunderstanding,” writes Weigand (1999), “is a form of understanding which is partially or totally deviant from what the speaker intended to communicate” (p. 769). Such misunderstandings can lead to negative judgments or stereotypes (Roberts, Moss, Wass, Sarangi, & Jones, 2005), particularly on the part of an instructor. Thus, this study investigates “instructional communication research as it informs sound pedagogical practices in conventional classroom contexts” (Sellnow, et al., 2015, p. 427), thereby better understanding student–teacher interactions and relationships in the classroom in Guangzhou-area universities.
A. Prof. Marcus T. Anthony
Beijing Institute of Technology (Zhuhai),China
Research Area: Futures Studies、Education, including transforming the Chinese education system、The development of China and the Greater Bay Area、Human intelligence、Sense making in the digital age
Title：Education, Artificial Intelligence and Embodiment in the Age of Machines
Abstract: Educators and policy makers are often required to quickly assess information on trends which are likely to affect education and learning in the near and medium-term future. This includes being able to predict changes in AI, technology, business and economy. An important aim is to be able to equip students with the skills and aptitudes to thrive in future workplaces and societies where the pace of change is ever-increasing.
Yet accurate prediction of technological innovation, including how to use that technology, is not enough. Nor is a narrow focus on work, business and productivity. We must also think carefully about what kind of society we would prefer to create, and how to bring it about. Education cannot be merely about technical skills. This issue highlights the distinction between education and training. Education should continue to encompass a wide array of areas: including learning how to think and how to learn, personal development (including resilience and adaptability, and mindfulness), critical and creative thinking, ecological awareness and so on. We cannot allow trends to blindly dictate the future.The first part of this talk will identify key trends in education, society and artificial intelligence: probable and possible futures. The second part will suggest what we might like to challenge in regard to those trends: preffered futures. Problems and opportunities within these areas will also be highlighted.
A. Prof. Cunping Yun
Department of Arabic Studies , Northwest Minzu University, China
Title：A brief introduction of the development of Matulidi school’s theological thought in China
Abstract: This introduction explores the development of Matulidi school’s theological thought in China. Maturidi school is one of the two pillars of Sunni sect in Islamic theology, which has far-reaching influence on Muslims in the countries along the Belt and Road. It established a disciplinary system aimed at setting a theological foundation to demonstrate the Islamic teachings and create a harmonious atmosphere in the pluralistic society. The system focused not only on the role of reason but advocated religious tolerance and moderation which constitute Sunni tradition of the doctrine and became an ideological source of the Muslim Moderatism throughout the ages. Chinese Muslim scholars inherited the doctrines of the Maturidi school, ang made innovations and developments on it. they absorbed and referred to the ideological theories of Sufism and the neo-confucianism, on the basis of inheriting the open, rational, moderate and neutral ideological concepts of Maturidi School. Like Maturidi school in other parts of the world, Chinese Maturidi school has its local pecu- liarities. The study of the thoughts of the Maturidi School in China is not only helpful to establish and strengthen partnerships among the countries along the Belt and Road, but also helpful to building a community with a shared future for mankind.