Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 4(3), pp. 213 - 220
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040305
Reprint (PDF) (222Kb)


Disciplinary Crisis and Curriculum Repositioning: A Case Study on the Sustainable Development of English Departments in China


Xiaozhou Zhou *
School of English Studies, Shanghai International Studies University, China

ABSTRACT

The unprecedented expansion of English as a Lingua Franca has largely shaped the state of English language education worldwide, particularly in Asian countries where a number of countries used to be British colonies. With English being spoken as a second or foreign language in almost all Asian countries and required as an essential skill for nearly every profession, English majors, who in the past possessed the competitiveness of being proficient English users, are rapidly losing their advantages. English departments are criticized for developing graduates who can merely use English as a tool but lack critical, independent and innovative thinking skills. This phenomenon, significantly evident in China, is mainly caused by the outdated design of national curriculum for English majors. The present research takes the form of a case study in a Chinese university English department. Classroom observation and in-depth interviews are employed to investigate the problems of and solutions to the current curriculum. Participants believe that excessive language training has led to the weakening of English Language and Literature as an academic discipline and that a return to the humanities-oriented approach for future development of English departments should be adopted. A language plus liberal arts curriculum model is proposed and relevant issues regarding disciplinary construction are discussed. It is hoped that research questions in this study can be further explored with a larger sample elsewhere in China and that the findings could shed some light on the development of English departments in other Asian countries.

KEYWORDS
Curriculum, English Majors, China, Disciplinary Construction

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Xiaozhou Zhou , "Disciplinary Crisis and Curriculum Repositioning: A Case Study on the Sustainable Development of English Departments in China," Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 213 - 220, 2016. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040305.

(b). APA Format:
Xiaozhou Zhou (2016). Disciplinary Crisis and Curriculum Repositioning: A Case Study on the Sustainable Development of English Departments in China. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 4(3), 213 - 220. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2016.040305.