On the influence of professional skills competition in colleges and universities on the practical teaching of international economics and trade


  The National Medium- and Long-term Education Reform and Development Program (2010-2020) proposes that higher education should strengthen practical teaching links, develop practical courses, and enhance the effectiveness of students’ skills practical training, which makes it clear that promoting practical teaching is one of the important means to improve the quality of talent training. Guangxi Foreign Language Institute (hereinafter referred to as the Institute) is a full-time private undergraduate institution, which is committed to cultivating applied, compound, innovative and international high-quality talents, among which the major of International Economy and Trade is mainly to cultivate talents who adapt to international economic integration, requiring students to be familiar with the basic theories and methods of international trade and master the practical business operation skills related to the major. Since the major has a strong practical and operational nature, establishing the concept of practical teaching is a clear requirement for the lecturers. For this reason, in recent years, the curriculum reform of international economic and trade majors in the college has gradually tilted toward practical teaching, and the conditions of practical teaching have been significantly improved. From the perspective of the existing practical teaching platform of international economic and trade majors, mainly through the establishment of laboratories and the purchase of import and export business simulation software, students are initially equipped with professional skills to engage in import and export business after a certain number of hours of simulation operations. However, due to the constraints of the traditional teaching mode, the lack of “double-teacher” teachers and the single teaching method, the practical teaching is basically set up according to the theoretical content, which is relatively programmed and not conducive to stimulating the students’ subjective initiative and innovation consciousness. There is still much room for improvement. How to promote and strengthen the practical teaching on the existing basis, and provide the society with talents with excellent professional quality and meet the requirements of enterprises, is a subject worthy of deep consideration by the educators of international economics and trade.

  Practical experience of international economics and trade majors participating in professional skills competition

  (1) Establishing incentive mechanism and forming a strong competition atmosphere

  The college has always advocated professional skills competitions as an important means to improve students’ practical ability, and has attached importance to and encouraged teachers and students to participate in various competitions, such as POCIB National University Students’ Foreign Trade Competency Competition, OCALE Cross-border E-Commerce Entrepreneurial Innovation Competition, “Great Wisdom Cup” National University Financial Elite Selection Competition and National Business Secretary Competition. Competition, etc. At the same time, a special section is set up in the Interim Regulations on Scientific Research Rewards of Guangxi Foreign Language Institute to give certain cash rewards to teachers who guide students to participate in professional competitions for college students and give them certain priority in merit evaluation, job promotion and title assessment; the institute takes the competition results as one of the important indexes for students’ evaluation and merit assessment, and students who win awards can also be exempted from corresponding courses and get certain credits of innovation and practice. Students who win the competition can also be exempted from the corresponding courses and receive certain credits for innovation and practice. In addition, the college also provides support and assistance in terms of participation fees and venues. As a result, the atmosphere of professional skills competitions is strong among teachers and students.

  (2) Equipped with teaching platform, laying the foundation before the competition

  Each project in the international economics and trade professional skills competition needs to be realized with the help of relevant software. For this reason, the college has invested in the construction of comprehensive international trade laboratory and international business negotiation simulation laboratory, and purchased simulation teaching software related to the competition, such as SimTrade foreign trade practice platform, foreign trade documentary teaching system, cross-border e-commerce teaching system, etc., which provide the basis for intensive training before the competition. These laboratory teaching platforms can be used not only for preparation training, but also for simulation practical training of daily practice courses.

  (III) Focus on the selection and training of students, and do a good job of warm-up training before the competition

  To achieve good competition results, the careful guidance of professional teachers and the hard training of students are indispensable. The college provides each team with one team leader and one instructor, and participates in the pre-competition training sessions arranged by the competition organizing committee to ensure that the competition can be carried out in high quality. On the basis of the students’ self-nomination, the students were interviewed, mainly considering their professional knowledge, English proficiency, teamwork spirit and other comprehensive strengths, so as to select the participants. The students are then trained regularly in the on-campus laboratory with the help of simulation software, and instructors provide online and offline tutoring. The selection and training of students and the warm-up training before the competition are conducive to improving the level of skills competition and cultivating foreign trade business skills.

  The influence of professional skills competition on practical teaching of international economics and trade

  (I) Optimize the curriculum system setting

  In recent years, the college has taken the professional skills competition as an opportunity to guide and promote the teaching reform of international economics and trade, optimize the curriculum system, change the shortage of “theory but not practice” in the past teaching process, and start to pay attention to practical teaching. First of all, the ratio of theoretical and practical courses is adjusted, and the number of hours of practical courses such as international business documents, import and export customs clearance and import and export business are increased reasonably. Secondly, to improve the situation of the laboratory tension and old practical training equipment, the college has increased the funding to purchase the teaching equipment for practical links and equipped with the latest domestic practical teaching software, which provides a good platform for students’ on-campus practice. Thirdly, we actively carry out cooperation between schools and enterprises, introduce real cases of foreign trade enterprises into the classroom as teaching materials, and employ foreign trade practitioners with rich practical experience in enterprises as part-time teachers to improve students’ practical operation ability, so as to achieve the training goal of cultivating highly skilled talents who can meet the requirements of social and economic development.

  (2) Promote the construction of “dual-teacher” teachers

  The professional skills competition is not only a competition of students’ professional skills, but also reflects the effect of instructors’ practical teaching, and tests the school’s practical teaching concept and teachers’ own professional skills level. The prerequisite for teachers to guide students to participate in professional skills competitions is that their own professional practical skills must reach the competition level or enterprise standards, which motivates teachers to consciously update their knowledge and improve their own practical skills and practical teaching ability. Firstly, we encourage professional teachers to actively participate in social practice and go to foreign trade enterprises for attachment to understand the professional skills required by enterprises and improve their own practical teaching ability. Secondly, we support professional teachers to continuously upgrade their education and title levels, obtain relevant vocational qualifications, and strengthen their practical training at the same time. Therefore,?R guide to send coriander to drink? It promotes the construction of “double-teacher” teachers in colleges and universities, and makes colleges and universities optimize the structure of teachers and improve the practical teaching level of teachers.

  (3) Innovative teaching methods and contents

  Teaching innovation is mainly manifested in the innovation of teaching method, teaching content and teaching process. Although the traditional international economics and trade course adopts scenario and case teaching method, this kind of “duck-filling” teaching method cannot make students gain deep understanding and experience. Unlike the traditional teaching method of “talking on paper”, the professional skills competition is a good simulation of the real working environment of foreign trade enterprises, students in the competition as if they were in the real world, real combat, which helps deepen their understanding of international trade jobs, enhance their practical ability and master the work skills. At the same time, in the process of skills competition students become the main body of teaching activities, from “teaching” to “learning” as the center of the transformation, from the teaching mode to the learning mode change. In addition, teachers can collect the foreign trade cases in each aspect of the competition and turn them into resources for future practical teaching, providing vivid materials for students’ skill training and improving the authenticity of practical teaching.

  (4) Stimulating students’ learning interest and improving teaching effect

  The international economics and trade professional skills competition presents the existing international trade theoretical and practical framework, focuses on the combination of theory and physical objects, and quickly adjusts according to the current international trade environment, close to the development reality of economy and trade, helping students broaden their knowledge and improve their practical and operational skills. Due to the establishment of incentive mechanism, professional skills competition is a kind of transfer to day-to-day classroom learning, which can effectively stimulate students’ interest in learning professional practical courses, and is conducive to the transformation of students from passive learning to active learning and the formation of a strong professional centripetal force. At the same time, professional skills competition is also conducive to the formation of a harmonious teacher-student relationship. During the competition, teachers and students will have more opportunities to communicate with each other, which will enhance the friendship between teachers and students. In this way, the cooperation between teachers and students will be smoother and the teaching effect will be improved in the future teaching process.