Among the departments of foreign languages at Soochow University, the Department of English boasts the longest history, the best faculty, and the most fruitful academic achievements. The past 80 years or so has witnessed the presence of its students throughout the country and the world and the wide recognition it has won in Jiangsu province and the rest of the country for cultivating high-quality graduates.
Aiming at cultivating excellent practical professional, researchers and composite experts for the country, the Department strives to cultivate backbones and leaders well versed in English who are imbued with social responsibility, innovative spirit, practical ability and international vision. With a solid foundation in the southern region of Jiangsu, the Department effectively serves local economic development, and meanwhile consistently broadens the students’ international vision, equips the students with proficient language skills and comprehensive capability to make sure that they excel in resilience and competence.
The Department has been strenuously forging ahead, and its platform of discipline construction has been continuously improved. The discipline of English Language and Literature was awarded the right to grant a master’s degree in 1986. During the nineth through thirteenth five-year-plan periods, the discipline of English Language and Literature was unexceptionally rated as a key discipline in Jiangsu Province. In 2002, this discipline was rated as the province’s discipline with characteristics. Later it was awarded the right to grant a doctorate in 2003, and was approved to establish a post-doctoral research base in 2009. In Jiangsu Province, this discipline ranks among the top three. In the third and fourth rounds of the evaluation of discipline implemented by the Ministry of Education in 2012 and 2017 respectively, it ranked the 17th among all Chinese universities that offer the same discipline.
Currently, the Department of English (not including the Department of Translation) has 34 faculty members (25 of them are doctoral degree holders) among whom there are 10 professors and 14 associate professors. Many teachers graduated from renowned universities at home and abroad, such as University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, and Peking University. Besides, most teachers have studied, visited or lectured in America, Britain, Australia, Canada and other countries. Many teachers have served as vice chairpersons, secretary generals, executive council members, and council members in national or provincial academic societies, enjoying high reputation and enormous influence in the academic community in China.
Having made remarkable achievements in many fields, ranging from British literature, American literature and Australian literature to theoretical linguistics, applied linguistics, English pedagogy, translation theories, and intercultural communication, the Department has developed a series of influential research areas focusing on literature studies, postcolonial theory, ecocritici**, feminist literature, cognitive linguistics, English teacher development, and psycholinguistics, to name but a few. From 2009 through 2019, the Department faculty took charge of research projects at various levels, including 14 projects supported by the National Social Science Foundation, 11 projects supported by Social Science Foundation of the Ministry of Education, 8 projects supported by Social Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province and 7 international programs. During this period, the faculty members published over 30 works, including monographs, compilations, translations, textbooks and so on and over 100 papers in core journals on foreign studies. In recent years, a batch of influential academic works authored by the faculty of the Department have been published, including Applied Linguistics: An Advanced Course (2013); An Ecocritical Reading of Classic American Writers (2013); Indirect Anaphora in English and Chinese (2013); Exploring the Context of Teacher Professional Development: A Chinese Perspective (2017). From March 2015 onwards, Language and Semiotic Studies, an international journal in English edited and published by the Department, has been distributed globally.
The Department enrolls approximately 75 undergraduates each year, with 25 majoring in English and 50 in English education. It offers more than 20 compulsory courses and more than 30 optional ones. Over the past few years, students from the Department of English have repeatedly made remarkable achievements in various national tests and contests, with the passing rates of TEM-4 and TEM-8 ranking top among all comprehensive universities in China. The Department selects students for international exchanges each year to strengthen and broaden the links with world-renowned universities in the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and other countries. In recent years, apart from continuing their studies at home and abroad, many English graduates have also played an active role on English teaching positions of primary and secondary schools. Moreover, our graduates are widely recognized with foreign corporations, banks, civil service, language training institutions and other positions.
The Department enrolls postgraduates in English language and literature, foreign linguistics and applied linguistics, and MTI (Master of Translation and Interpreting), with research areas covering English literature, linguistics, British and American culture, English pedagogy, English interpreting, and English translation. Our PhD program in English language and literature is intended for potential doctoral candidates in English literature, theoretical linguistics, applied linguistics, translation theories and so on, We welcome doctoral graduates both at home and abroad for post-doctoral positions.