Developed from the former Public Foreign Language Teaching Office established in 1960s, the Department of College English was officially established in 1996. At present, there are 49 teachers in total, including 3 professors, 22 associate professors, 6 with doctoral degree, 6 PhD. candidates, and 4 award-winners such as the "National Model Teacher", the "Famous Teacher of Hubei", the "Model Teacher of Noble Morality of Hubei University" and the "National Outstanding Mentors".
The Department of College English consists of the college English teaching and research team for freshmen, the advanced English teaching and research team for sophomores, and the English teaching and research team for postgraduates. All the teachers are in dual teams to undertake the tasks of College English teaching for over 8, 300 freshmen and sophomores as well as over 1, 600 first-year postgraduates.
Adhering to the “student-centred” philosophy in teaching, we bring the teachers’ facilitation and the students’ subjectivity to full play. Also, to highlight instrumentality and humanity of language, we are committed to developing a system of College English curricular featured by application-oriented and content-based teaching to equip the students’ with competence in intercultural communication, critical thinking, autonomous learning and encyclopaedic knowledge so as to adapt to the needs of social and economic development from Hubei and even the whole nation.
Under the principle of teaching students in accordance with their aptitude and improving the teaching effect, we design personalized teaching plan by dividing students into different groups according to their English proficiency and potential to acquire knowledge, and then set corresponding teaching objectives for them in different periods or at different stages. Accordingly, we formulate corresponding teaching plans, teaching schemes, and administrative policies for students from each group.
Hubei University was listed as one of the first pilot units for College English reform in 2004 and then was rated as the National College English Reform Demonstration Base by the Ministry of Education of P. R. China in 2007. In 2010, we were approved to establish the College English Language Learning Demonstration Centre of Hubei Province. In terms of curriculum design, College English was granted as the Hubei Provincial Excellent Course (in 2008); Introducing Chinese Culture in English was the first of Hubei University listed on the MOOC platform (in 2014) and on Xuetangx platform (in 2016). English Speaking and Debate and Academic English were granted as Excellent Video Courses of Hubei University (in 2012 and 2014). Moreover, our measures and experience of reform in College English teaching have been recognized by the Ministry of Education of P. R. China and our sister universities exemplified by the fact that our teachers have always been invited to share experiences at the National College English Teaching Reform Seminar held by the Ministry of Education of P. R. China. In recent years, we have published more than 150 papers, including over 30 papers published on CSSCI journals; we have also published 7 monographs and translations as well as 15 textbooks. And we have held 2 projects granted by National Social Science Foundation, over 30 provincial and departmental projects of humanities and social science and more than 20 projects granted by enterprises.
With regard to teaching, we selected many teachers to participate in high-level national teaching contest, among whom one teacher won the first prize of Hubei Young Teachers’ Teaching Contest, two teachers won the second prize of National College Foreign Language Teaching Contest (provincial round), two teachers won the second prize of Young Teachers’ Teaching Contest of Hubei University, and three teachers won the Award of Excellent Teaching Quality for Undergraduate of Hubei University.
Another shining point of us is Campus English Radio Station or CEBS. Founded in 1991, CEBS is a platform on which the students edit and broadcast news report (four times a week), and publish newspaper (two issues a semester) all by themselves under the guidance of their teachers. CEBS has also organized campus English contest of pronunciation, dubbing, speaking and drama performance. Furthermore, CEBS has launched its official WeChat account to announce articles on English learning, news anecdotes and contest promotion, which is widely welcome among students.