School of Foreign Languages (SFL): A Profile
The School of Foreign Languages (SFL) originated from the Foreign Languages Department of Guangdong College of Mechanical Engineering, founded in March 1993. In September 1993, it began to enroll two-year junior college English majors; in September 1995, it began to enroll tertiary college English majors and undergraduate college English majors; in September 2001, it stopped enrolling junior college English majors; in September 2002, it began to enroll undergraduate English majors in two tracks: foreign trade and translation; in September 2003, it began to enroll undergraduate college Japanese majors. In November 2003, the SFL was officially established. In September 2012, it began to enroll undergraduate college Business English majors and English majors in science & technology tracks and meanwhile it stopped enrolling English majors in the foreign trade track. Over the last twenty years, the SFL has supplied the society with close to 3000 undergraduates of English and Japanese. Presently, there are 48 undergraduate tutorial classes with over 1600 enrolled students in the SFL.
The SFL comprises five tutorial divisions—English Department, Japanese Department, College English Department 1, College English Department 2 and Graduate English Teaching Department, and one research organization—Foreign Languages & Cultures Research Center. The English Department and the Japanese Department are responsible for teaching undergraduate English and Japanese majors respectively. The two departments aim at fostering hands-on FL talents that are highly proficient in basic FL competence, profound in humanities knowledge and up-to-standard in composite caliber and that can meet the demand for national and regional social and economic development. To this end, they strive to forge the specialty competence and composite caliber of the students through in-class teaching and regular extracurricular specialty-related contests. Due to this, the undergraduate students of the SFL were well received by employers. In recent years, the employment rate of the SFL has always been 100%, ranking the first among all the disciplines of the university. Every year, there are undergraduate students of the SFL recommended for admission to the Graduate Program, enrolled by renowned colleges and universities both at home and abroad and participating in the International Student Exchange Projects in cooperation with universities in the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, etc. The College English Departments are responsible for teaching foundation English courses to 20,000-plus undergraduate students in the university. Guided by the proposition of general education in FL, they carry out effectively online education, designed specifically to develop the skills of students in English application and cross-cultural communication. The Graduate English Teaching Department is responsible for teaching full-time MA students and PhD students of the university, focused specifically on developing the hands-on English competence and global awareness of research-oriented talents. By integrating the academic strength of the SFL, the Foreign Languages & Cultures Research Center conducts the research on foreign languages and cultures and organizes a wide array of academic activities.
The SFL has now a staff of 151, 139 of whom are full-time teachers, 36 of whom are professors and associate professors, 80% of whom are holders of MA degree or above, 19 of whom are PhDs (including current PhD candidates), and 50 of whom are teachers who have received education and training or done research abroad or who have lived abroad. There are 3 guest professors and 11 foreign teachers hired by the SFL. The SFL dedicates much attention to curriculum construction, discipline and specialty construction and pedagogy research. At present it implements the module-based specialty curriculum management system in a bid to build a more elaborate curriculum system and lend momentum to the development of disciplines and specialties. The discipline of English is on the top list agenda in the university’s support drive. “College English” and “English Interpretation”, a featured specialty course, have been selected as choice courses of the university consecutively. The faculty of the SFL has made valuable probes in the reform of college English teaching models and graduate English teaching models and reaped remarkable results. The SFL undertakes vigorously academic activities of different kinds through the Foreign Languages & Cultures Research Center and encourages the faculty to attend academic conferences of nationwide scale or global scale. Over the last few years, the SFL has made satisfying achievements in scientific research and pedagogy research and applied successfully to a host of provincial projects and received provincial education reform achievement awards for the projects. The faculty of the SFL has made commendable achievements in the area of linguistics, literature, translation and pedagogy by publishing plenty of high-quality academic papers, co-compiling state-planned textbooks and editing a dozen textbooks for specialty teaching and college English teaching.
After years of construction and expansion, the SFL has stepped into the tracks of sound development in operation. It is now marching forward in high spirits and morale towards the new construction and development target.
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