Introduction to the Discipline of Foreign Languages and Literature
The first-level discipline of Foreign Languagesand Literature has three Second-level Discipline MA Programs, namely English Language and Literature, Foreign Linguistics & Applied Linguistics and Russian Language and Literature. The faculty includes eleven professors, fifteen associate professors and sixteen lecturers, with Professor WangDan as the discipline leader and associate professor ZhangMingJin as the program leader. Since September, 2011, this discipline has been developed rapidly with expanding research areas, an elevating of the ability of teachers,anda maturation of theknowledge system.
The discipline has a clear picture ofthe educational objectives. Based on the advantage of cross-discipline support, the discipline is committed to serving social, economic, and cultural development as well as international exchange and communication, not only for Heilongjiang Province and the Northeast area, but also for China and even the whole world. The objectives are as follows: to forge anacademic structure oriented by needs and talents training structure positioned towardsbusiness starting or employment; to make better matchmaking between talents training and social development as well as employment; to train composite high-level expertise who will meet the needs of local construction and regional economic and social development. We endeavor to make the discipline moredistinctive and influential in our own fields both at home and abroad.
This discipline has various research fields. It has formed an academic cluster focusing on English and American Literature, Linguistics, and Applied Linguistics, featuring language cognition, language teaching, Chinese American literature, and narratology. Research such as Chinese American Literature, English Teaching Theory, Comparative Study of Chinese and Japanese Verbs, and Russian-Chinese Machine Translation, are playing national leading roles, and these research programs have been financially supported by the National Philosophy and Social Science Foundation and the Humanities and Social Sciences Foundation of the Ministry of Education. By keeping the vision of transferring from mono-type to cross-discipline in mind, this discipline is focusing on the frontier research of Linguistics and establishing ateam to conduct interdisciplinary research between Linguistics and Cognitive Neuroscience. We have cooperated with domestic well-known universities and studied together to accumulate more experience. This discipline has a powerful team of facultyand reasonable structure of professional titles and educational backgrounds. Great importance is attached to the teachers’ development on order to promote the development of disciplines. Over the past several years, a high-quality faculty team with sufficient numbers has been formed through various measures such as careful selection, strict training, academic communication and exchanges, and advanced studies, to fully meet the needs of teaching and academic research.
The key training objective is to train practical talents who will satisfy social needs. With the training of ability and innovation as the core, the discipline aimstoexpand students’ basic knowledge and improve the quality in humanities through the integration and convergence of the course system in different phases. The students are trained to have a solid and correctpolitical direction, rigorous attitude for academic research, noble academic morality and innovativeconsciousness. Students who obtain anMAdegree in the discipline should have the professional knowledge of foreign languages and literature, have a general idea about the characteristic and basic research methods of their own fields and master the theories of foreign languages, literature and relative fields and the direction and latest achievements in these research fields. Our final objective is to make the students become high quality talents with foreign language competence and the ability to do well in practical jobs, scientific research, and international communication.
The program of English Language and Literature includes four main research fields: linguistics, British and American literature, pedagogy and language testing, and second language acquisition. The linguistic field mainly involves the studies in pragmatics, systemic functional grammar, semantics, cognitive Linguistics, and applied linguistics; British and American literature mainly includes feminine literature, Chinese American literature and theories of narrative; in the field of pedagogy and language testing, the validity and feasibility of some teaching and testing methods are studied under the framework of linguistic theory; second language acquisition mainly studies the theories of second language and foreign language acquisition, the relationship between classroom teaching and second language acquisition, and the environment and models of second language acquisition. The program of Foreign Linguistics &Applied linguistics mainly involves the studies of Japanese in cognitive linguistics, cognitive semantics and cognitive grammar. The program of Russian Language and Literature includes four main research fields, namely Russian translation theory and practice, linguistics, Russian literature, and intercultural communication. The study of translation theory and practice aims to help the teaching of translation theories and the cultivation of students’ translation ability; the linguistics field mainly includes general linguistics and psycholinguistics; the field of Russian literature includes the research in famous Russian literary works and theories of literature and art; and in the field of intercultural communication studies, the interaction of language and culture is studied.
With the diversification of the research fields, this discipline is committed to building up research teams and teaching faculty with high quality. In recent years, more than 70 research projects have been conducted and completed including National Philosophy and Social Science Projects, Humanities and Social Sciences Projects supported by the Ministry of Education of China and those supported by the Social Science Foundation of Heilongjiang province etc. More than 200 research articles have been published in the Journal of Neurolinguistics, Foreign Language Research, Foreign Language Education, Foreign Literature Review, Foreign Literature and others. Moreover, academic exchanges have been substantially supported. In recent years, more than 20 foreign experts and scholars from America, Britain, Japan and Russia have been invited to visit our college, give lectures, and collaborate in research projects. We have established cooperation and exchange with the University of Worcester in Britain. Many teachers have been to Britain, America, Australia, Japan and Russia as visiting scholars and they took an active part in international symposiums in various fields, such as the International Pragmatics and Social Cognition Conference held by London University, the Communicative Language Conference by the University of Westminster, the 4th International Media Translation Conference by Imperial College London and the International Pragmatics and Translation Conference by the University of Queensland. The discipline has been promoting broad international cooperation by starting a “3+2” joint MA programs with the University of Western Australia.
Now,the discipline has become an important education base in northeast China for qualified professionals with language competence who, after graduation, work as diplomats, translators or interpreters, teachers, journalists, etc. The progress the discipline made in the past decade has proved its strength and great potential in ranking among the best disciplines in China.