Wu Yinghui, Liang Yu, Guo Jing, Ma Jianan [2]

(Research Institute of International Chinese Language Education/Overseas Chinese Education Research Institute, Beijing Language and Culture University, Beijing 100083)


Teaching resources are an important foundation of international Chinese language education and an important carrier for Chinese and Chinese culture to go global. The quality and quantity of teaching resources not only directly affect the effect of global Chinese language education, but also influence the process of Chinese language and Chinese culture going global to a certain extent. To understand the development trend of international Chinese language education in the new era, the International Chinese Education Development Research Team conducted a year-long investigation and research on Chinese teaching resources in various countries around the world, making full use of the network information crawler technology, collecting, grasping and screening information on Chinese teaching resources at home and abroad, extracting important data, and analyzing relevant teaching resources to form this development report. “Teaching resources” in this report refer to both print teaching resources such as textbooks, teaching AIDS, reading materials, reference books, course syllabuses, and digital teaching resources including digital textbooks, digital courses, teaching websites and application programs.

I. Status of Print Chinese Language Teaching Resources

By the end of 2020, there were totally 19,530 [3] types of paper Chinese textbooks in the world (from 1901 to 2020). The period from 2001 to 2020 is a period of rapid growth, especially during the 10 years from 2011 to 2020, the most types of textbooks were published with 8,039 kinds. The former Hanban (Center for Language Education and Cooperation) attached great importance to the development of Chinese textbooks, and successively supported the publication of 12 series of main textbooks. Their publication has solved the problem of lack of international Chinese teaching resources and played an important role in the launching of international Chinese Language education.

There are 80 annotation languages in these paper Chinese textbooks, among which English is the most frequently used, and 82.42% of Chinese textbooks use English as the annotation language. Other languages are used less frequently, and only 17.58% of Chinese textbooks are annotated in other languages.

II. Status of Digital Chinese Language Teaching Resources

With the rapid development of educational informatization, high and new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing are gradually applied to the international Chinese language education field. Rapid progress has been made in the development of digital Chinese teaching resources such as digital textbooks, online courses (massive open online courses, micro-courses, live classes, recorded classes), PC websites and mobile apps. As of September 10, 2021, in terms of digital teaching resources, there were nearly 3,700 electronic textbooks available at home and abroad, including over 1,700 developed in China, accounting for 47.46%, and more than 1,900 digital textbooks developed overseas, accounting for 52.54%.

There are more than 480 massive open online courses (MOOCs) of Chinese language education, mainly from 11 MOOC platforms at home and abroad. There are 364 domestic MOOC platform courses, accounting for 75.05% of the total. The MOOC platform courses represented by “Chinese Plus” have the largest scale, with about 200 courses up to now, accounting for 44.54% of the total courses. There are altogether 121 foreign MOOCs of Chinese language education, mainly from Coursera and Edx, accounting for 24.95% of the total. Universities at home and abroad are the main bodies of MOOCs development, accounting for 87% of all institutions, and mainland China is the main camp for MOOCs development at present. However, MOOCs in most universities lack variety and are relatively small on scale.

III. Prospects for Development Trend of International Chinese Language Teaching Resources

(I) Standards guide the development of teaching resources.

The release and implementation of Chinese Proficiency Grading Standards for International Chinese Language Education (GF0025-2021) is an important symbol of further improvement of the standard system of the Chinese language and characters, which will provide strong support for international Chinese language education and have an important and far-reaching impact on the research and development of international Chinese language education and teaching resources.

(II) Market mechanism will play an important role.

With the rapid improvement of China’s national strength, the diversified demand for Chinese teaching resources from all over the world will bring challenges to the supply of international Chinese teaching resources. It is urgent to stimulate social forces via the market mechanism and form a multi-subject resource construction mechanism for the development of teaching resources in international Chinese Language education.

(III) Combine with Chinese curriculum in national education system.

The development of Chinese teaching resources in the national education system plays a fundamental and important role in a country’s Chinese language education system, so it is often highly valued by governments of various countries and relevant institutions of international Chinese Language education in China. Hence, the research and development of Chinese teaching resources for teaching institutions in the national education system of a specific country has a good development prospect.

(IV) Their development should be based on the specific needs related to international Chinese language education.

Faced with the diversified Chinese teaching needs of all countries in the world, the research and development of a large number of Chinese teaching resources that accurately connect with specific countries, specific levels and specific learning groups of Chinese language education in all countries can fully reflect the national language and cultural characteristics and the needs of economic and cultural cooperation and exchange between China and foreign countries, and thus improve the pertinence and teaching efficiency of Chinese teaching resources.

(V) Sino-foreign cooperation can improve the localization of Chinese teaching resources.

Sino-foreign cooperative research and development of teaching resources for specific countries can provide chances for the two sides to learn from each other, and enhance the localization of Chinese language and culture. It can not only ensure the standardization of Chinese teaching content, but also strengthen the pertinence for Chinese learners in specific countries. Sino-foreign cooperative research and development of Chinese teaching resources will become the norm.

(VI) Chinese teaching resources for specific purposes have a certain development space.

With the deepening of economic and cultural cooperation and exchanges between China and foreign countries, many Chinese enterprises going global need to recruit a large number of local managers or laborers who know both expertise and the Chinese language, and the qualifications for them are becoming increasingly specific. They need, for example, to master Chinese of high-speed rail, Chinese of information technology, business Chinese, law Chinese or tourism Chinese. This leads to the demand for Chinese teaching resources for special purposes, so there will be a certain development space for their research and development.


[1] Author: Wu Yinghui, professor and dean of Research Institute of International Chinese Language Education, Beijing Language and Culture University

[2] This is a team research report. It adopts data from several research reports on various topics. Many researchers have made great contributions to the research, among them are Zeng Chengang, Gu Ling, Zhou Li, Cui Jiaxing and  Li Jinghuan. Since it is impossible to list all the researchers’ names, we hereby express our heartfelt thanks to all the members who have contributed to this research.

[3] In the “Dynamic Database of International Chinese Teaching Resources”, valid data refer to textbooks with ISBN publication numbers.

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