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Language exchange platform launched
China Daily Global  Date:2023-10-18

Practitioners in the languages and cultures of communities involved in the Belt and Road Initiative have launched a cross-cultural language services platform to promote language education and cultural exchanges within the BRI.

The platform is supported by a website, which will assist in policy alignment among member countries, share industry information and facilitate language teacher training.

They raised the proposal after unanimously agreeing to establish the Belt and Road Languages and Cultures Network in Beijing on Monday.

The BRLCN, a nongovernmental international organization, will strengthen the alignment of language education policies, enhance the quality of language education, facilitate language connectivity, strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and other BRI countries, enhance the influence of the BRI and help implement it.

"We believe that it will be effective for the high-quality development of the BRI by strengthening resource sharing and win-win cooperation among language education and cultural organizations, using language and cultural development to promote connectivity and mutual cultural learning," the consensus said.

The inaugural council of the network was composed of nearly 60 language education and cultural organizations from more than 50 countries, with China Daily serving as its chairman.

The BRLCN will adhere to the principle of mutual respect and equal treatment, commit to building a Belt and Road language and culture community in unity, foster an atmosphere of equality, inclusiveness, mutual benefit and vitality in language and cultural cooperation, the consensus said.

"We support the network in its development and growth through collective wisdom, dialogue and consultation. We advocate for a nonprofit, inclusive approach to expansion, welcoming the nonparticipant of more language education and cultural organization," said the consensus.

To propel resource sharing and mutual understanding, the network promised to organize in-depth research, academic conferences, high-level dialogues, selection activities and publication programs.

The BRLCN already plans to broaden its global membership network with an anticipated more than 100 members by the end of 2024.

The BRLCN will host the Belt and Road Forum for Language and Culture Collaboration annually, and support its members in organizing international academic conferences to improve its international impact.

Concerning teacher training sessions, the BRLCN will hold online public lectures on Belt and Road English-language education later this year, and the first Belt and Road Advanced Seminar for English-Language Teaching in Macao in the first half of 2024.

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