Requirements(20
  07) College English Curriculum Requirements(20
  07)With a view to keeping up with the new developments of higher education in China, deepening teaching reform, improving teaching quality, and meeting the needs of the country and society for qualified personnel in the new era, College English Curriculum Requirements (Requirements hereafter) has been drawn up to provide colleges and universities with the guidelines for English instruction to non-English major students. Because institutions of higher learning differ from each other in terms of teaching resources, students’ level of English upon entering college, and the social demands they face, colleges and universities should formulate, in accordance with the Requirements and in the light of their specific circumstances, a scientific, systematic and individualized College English syllabus to guide their own College English teaching. I. Character and Objectives of College English College English, an integral part of higher learning, is a required basic course for undergraduate students. Under the guidance of theories of foreign language teaching, College English has as its main components knowledge and practical skills of the English language, learning strategies and intercultural communication. It is a systematic whole, incorporating different teaching models and approaches. The objective of College English is to develop students’ ability to use English in a well-rounded way, especially in listening and speaking, so that in their future studies and careers as well as social interactions they will be able to communicate effectively, and at the same time enhance their ability to study independently and improve their general cultural awareness so as to meet the needs of China’s social development and international exchanges. II. Teaching Requirements As China is a large country with conditions that vary from region to region and from college to college, the teaching of College English should follow the principle of providing different guidance for different groups of students and instructing them in accordance with their aptitude so as to meet the specific needs of individualized teaching. The requirements for undergraduate College English teaching are set at three levels, i.e., basic requirements, intermediate requirements, and higher requirements. Non-English majors are required to attain to one of the three levels of requirements after studying and practicing English at school. The basic requirements are the minimum level that all non-English majors have to reach before graduation. Intermediate and advanced requirements are recommended for those colleges and universities which have more favorable conditions; they should select their levels according to the school’s status, types and education goals. Institutions of higher learning should set their own objectives in the light of their specific circumstances, strive to create favorable conditions, and enable those students who have a relatively higher English proficiency and stronger capacity for learning to meet the intermediate or advanced requirements. The three levels of requirements are set as follows: Basic requirements Listening:
  1. Listening Students should be able to follow classroom instructions, everyday conversations,
and lectures on general topics conducted in English. They should be able to understand English radio and TV programs spoken at a speed of about 130 to 150 words per minute (wpm), grasping the main ideas and key points. They are expected to be able to employ basic listening strategies to facilitate comprehension.
  2. Speaking: Students should be able to communicate in English in the course of learning, to conduct discussions on a given theme, and to talk about everyday topics in English. They should be able to give, after some preparation, short talks on familiar topics with clear articulation and basically correct pronunciation and intonation. They are expected to be able to use basic conversational strategies in dialogue.
  3. Reading: Students should generally be able to read English texts on general topics at a speed of 70 wpm. With longer yet less difficult texts, the reading speed should be 100 wpm. Students should be able to do skimming and scanning. With the help of dictionaries, they should be able to read textbooks in their areas of specialty, and newspaper and magazine articles on familiar topics, grasping the main ideas and understanding major facts and relevant details. They should be able to understand texts of practical styles commonly used in work and daily life. They are expected to be able to employ effective reading strategies while reading.
  4.? Writing: Students should be able to complete writing tasks for general purposes, e.g., describing personal experiences, impressions, feelings, or some events, and to undertake practical writing. They should be able to write within 30 minutes a short composition of no less than 120 words on a general topic, or an outline. The composition should be basically complete in content, clear in main idea, appropriate in diction and coherent in discourse. Students are expected to be able to have a command of basic writing strategies.
  5. Translation: With the help of dictionaries, students should be able to translate essays on familiar topics from English into Chinese and vice versa. The speed of translation from English into Chinese should be about 300 English words per hour whereas the speed of translation from Chinese into English should be around 250 Chinese characters per hour. The translation should be basically accurate, free from serious mistakes in comprehension or expression.
  6. Recommended Vocabulary: Students should acquire a total of 4,795 words and 700 phrases (including those that are covered in high school English courses), among which 2,000 are active words. Students should not only be able to comprehend the active words but be proficient in using them when expressing themselves in speaking or writing. Intermediate requirements:
  1. Listening: Students should generally be able to follow talks and lectures in English, to understand longer English radio and TV programs on familiar topics spoken at a speed of around 150 to 180 wpm, grasping the main ideas, key points and relevant details. They should be able to understand, by and large, courses in their areas of specialty taught in English.
  2. Speaking: Students should be able to hold conversations in fairly fluent English. They
should, by and large, be able to express their personal opinions, feelings and views, to state facts and reasons, and to describe events with clear articulation and basically correct pronunciation and intonation.
  3. Reading: Students should generally be able to read essays on general topics in popular
newspapers and magazines published in English-speaking countries at a speed of 70 to 90 wpm. With longer texts for fast reading, the reading speed should be 120 wpm. Students should be able to skim or scan reading materials. When reading summary literature in their areas of specialty, students should be able to get a correct understanding of the main ideas, major facts and relevant details.
  1. Writing: Students should be able to express, by and large, personal views on general topics, compose English abstracts for theses in their own specialization, and write short English papers on topics in their field. They should be able to describe charts and graphs, and to complete within 30 minutes a short composition of no less than 160 words. The composition should be complete in content, clear in idea, well-organized in presentation and coherent in discourse.
  2. Translation: With the help of dictionaries, students should be able to translate on a selective basis English literature in their field, and to translate texts on familiar topics in popular newspapers and magazines published in English-speaking countries. The speed of translation from English into Chinese should be about 350 English words per hour, whereas the speed of translation from Chinese into English should be around 300 Chinese characters per hour. The translation should read smoothly, convey the original meaning and be, in the main, free from mistakes in understanding or expression. Students are expected to be able to use appropriate translation techniques.
  3. Recommended Vocabulary: Students should acquire a total of 6,395 words and 1,200 phrases (including those that are covered in high school English courses and the Basic Requirements), among which 2,200 are active words (including the active words that have been covered in the Basic Requirements). Advanced Requirements:
  1. Listening: Students should, by and large, be able to understand radio and TV programs produced in English-speaking countries and grasp the gist and key points. They should be able to follow talks by people from English-speaking countries given at normal speed, and to understand courses in their areas of specialty and lectures in English.
  2. Speaking: Students should be able to conduct dialogues or discussions with a certain degree of fluency and accuracy on general or specialized topics, and to make concise summaries of extended texts or speeches in fairly difficult language. They should be able to deliver papers at academic conferences and participate in discussions.
  3. Reading: Students should be able to read rather difficult texts, and understand their main ideas and details. They should be able to read English articles in newspapers and magazines published abroad, and to read English literature related to their areas of specialty without much difficulty.
  4. Writing: Students should be able to write brief reports and papers in their areas of specialty, to express their opinions freely, and to write within 30 minutes expository or argumentative essays of no less than 200 words on a given topic. The text should be characterized by clear expression of ideas, rich content, neat structure, and good logic.
  5. Translation: With the help of dictionaries, students should be able to translate into Translation: Chinese fairly difficult English texts in literature related to their areas of specialty
and in newspapers and magazines published in English-speaking countries; they should also be able to translate Chinese introductory texts on the conditions of China or Chinese culture into English. The speed of translation from English into Chinese should be about 400 English words per hour whereas the speed of translation from Chinese into English should be around 350 Chinese characters per hour. The translation should convey the idea with accuracy and smoothness and be basically free from misinterpretation, omission and mistakes in expression.
  6. Recommended Vocabulary: Students should acquire a total of 7,675 words and 1,870 phrases (including those that are covered in high school English courses, the Basic Requirements and Intermediate Requirements), among which 2,360 are active words (including the active words that have been covered in the Basic Requirements and Intermediate Requirements). ?? The above-mentioned three requirements serve as reference standards for colleges and universities in preparing their own College English teaching documents. They could, in the light of their respective circumstances, make due adjustments to the specific requirements for listening, speaking, reading, writing and translation at the three levels. In doing so they should place more emphasis on the cultivation and training of listening and speaking abilities. ?III. Course Design Taking into account the school’s circumstances, colleges and universities should follow the guidelines of the Requirements and the goals of their College English teaching in designing their College English course systems. A course system, which is a combination of required and elective courses in comprehensive English, language skills, English for practical uses, language and culture, and English of specialty, should ensure that students at different levels receive adequate training and make improvement in their ability to use English. In designing College English courses, requirements for cultivating competence in listening and speaking should be fully considered, and corresponding teaching hours and credits should be adequately allocated. Moreover, the extensive use of advanced information technology should be encouraged, computer- and Web-based courses should be developed, and students should be provided with favorable environment and facilities for language learning. College English is not only a language course that provides basic knowledge about English, but also a capacity enhancement course that helps students to broaden their horizons and learn about different cultures in the world. It not only serves as an instrument, but also has humanistic values. When designing College English courses, therefore, it is necessary to take into full consideration the development of students’ cultural capacity and the teaching of knowledge about different cultures in the world. All the courses, whether computer-based or classroom-based, should be fully individual-oriented, taking into account students with different starting points, so that students who start from lower levels will be well taken care of while students whose English is better will find room for further development. College English course design should help students to have a solid foundation in the English lan
 

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