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Department of Chinese Language Education
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The Chinese language discipline of the Department of Chinese Language Education can be traced back to the “Authorized School Regulations” (Qinding Xuetang Zhangcheng) drafted by the Qing government in 1902. The “Approved School Regulations” (Zouding Xuetang Zhangcheng) officially promulgated in 1904 was the first officially promulgated academic system in modern China. On this basis, the Normal Hall of the Imperial University of Peking established courses for Chinese writing and Chinese literature. These courses became the embryonic form of the Chinese language discipline of Beijing Normal University. Over the past century, scholars such as Li Jinxi, Ye Cangcen, and Zhang Hongling have written an illustrious history for the Chinese language discipline. Today, past traditions of the Chinese language discipline continue to be carried forward, with an emphasis on both theoretical research and practical application, achieving significant results and elevating it onto a new platform.

In the first half of the 20th century, with the reform of the academic system and the promulgation of spoken and written Chinese language course standards, the Chinese language discipline made considerable progress. Renowned scholar Li Jinxi established a modern Chinese grammar teaching system, initiated the Chinese character phonetic symbol system, and promoted the standardization of Chinese language, making remarkable contributions in the development of Chinese language education in China. His publications, including “New Mandarin Chinese Grammar” (Xinzhu Guoyu Wenfa), “New Spoken Mandarin Chinese Teaching Methods” (Xinzhu Guoyu Jiaoxuefa), and “New Written Mandarin Chinese Teaching Methods” (Xin Guowen Jiaoxuefa) have established a precedent for modern Chinese language teaching theory.

In the second half of the 20th century, the Chinese language discipline further developed. In the early 1950s, Ye Cangcen, a graduate who had been engaged in the study of secondary school Chinese language teaching materials and methods, actively explored theories and practices of the Chinese language discipline, and published “Discussing Problems of Reform in Chinese Language Teaching from the ‘Red Scarf’ Way of Teaching”, which made important contributions to the reform of Chinese language teaching in China. He proposed that Chinese language courses should be a comprehensive curriculum, and that Chinese language teaching should form a holistic concept. This view had a major impact on the orientation of the Chinese language teaching curriculum. At the end of the 1970s, Zhang Hongling published “Chinese Language Teaching System Should Be a Scientific System”. She proposed that Chinese language teaching should have the correct objectives, appropriate content, and targeted methodology, with a clear system and defined stages. This view had important implications for the systemization of the Chinese language discipline.

Moving into the 21st century, the teaching research offices for Chinese language teaching materials and methods of secondary schools and universities merged to form the Department of Chinese Language Education, an integrated research framework catered to Chinese language education at tertiary, secondary, and primary levels. It has three levels of teaching at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels, as well as a post-doctoral work transitioning station, training a large number of excellent Chinese language teachers and Chinese language education research talent for China. In 2014, the Chinese language discipline was listed as a key cultivation base for humanities disciplines in BNU. In 2015, the Chinese language education curriculum underwent an overhaul to form a developmental curriculum system that integrates undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programs, and combines both theory and practice.

Currently, normal education majors at the undergraduate level include: Chinese language education, Chinese language education reform frontiers, study of famous texts in Chinese language education, Chinese language teaching materials (special topics), Chinese language teachers (special topics), Chinese language teaching (special topics), Chinese language evaluation (special topics), and educational internships; majors at the master’s level include: history of Chinese language education, psychology of Chinese language education, research in Chinese language teaching materials, research in Chinese language teaching, Chinese language curriculum design and case analysis, research in Chinese language education evaluation, professional development and research in Chinese language teaching, and classical literature studies in Chinese language education; and majors at the doctoral level include: research in Chinese language education frontier issues, and theory and methods of Chinese language education. In addition, courses such as language arts for teachers, college Chinese, and practical writing are offered to the entire university.

Outstanding achievements have been made in the area of scientific research. In recent years, the Department of Chinese Language Education has undertaken a number of projects at the provincial, ministerial, and national levels. Professor Zheng Guomin presided over the key project of the National Social Science Fund of China, “Historical Review and Practical Significance of Literary Education in the 20th Century”, and the Ministry of Education projects, “Research in Regular High School Chinese Language Core Literacy Testing” and “Research in Tracking Investigation of Primary and Secondary School Chinese Language Experimental Textbooks” . Professor Ren Xiang presided over the key project of the National Social Science Fund of China, “Research in Primary and Secondary School Chinese Language Educational Reform” , key project of the Ministry of Education, “Research in Chinese Reading Culture Construction Strategies”, key project of the State Language Commission, “Basic Education-Oriented Research in Reading Behavior”, and priority project of Beijing City, “Research in Methods and Approaches to Promoting Traditional Culture in School Education”. Associate Professor Zhao Ningning presided over the youth project of the National Social Science Fund of China, “Investigation of the Status and Influencing Factors of Academic Standards of Migrant Children in the Stage of Basic Education” and the youth project of the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, “Research in Multi-Level Factors Negatively Influencing Students’ Chinese Language Academic Achievements in Floating Population in the Stage of Compulsory Education of Beijing”. These research projects have produced outcomes with significant social impact.

The Department is situated in a leading position in China with regard to the development of curriculum standards and teaching materials. As the core member of the curriculum standards development team, Professor Zheng Guomin participated in the development of Chinese language curriculum standards in compulsory education and regular high schools, and was the chief editor of the Beijing Normal University version of the primary school experimental textbook “Chinese Language” and the secondary technical and vocational school textbook “Chinese Language”. As the person in charge, Professor Ren Xiang presided over the investigation of the implementation status of Chinese language curriculum standards in regular high schools by the Ministry of Education, and was the chief editor of the new Beijing version of the compulsory education textbook “Chinese Language” and the supplementary materials “Chinese Language Reader” and “Textbook for Teachers”, the national vocational education textbook “College Chinese”, as well as the Chinese language textbook for normal schools of pre-school education “Reading and Writing”. Associate Professors Zhang Yanling and Zhao Ningning participated in the investigation of the implementation status of Chinese language curriculum standards in regular high schools. Associate Professor Zhao Ningning participated for the full duration in the process of drafting the first China Compulsory Education Quality Monitoring Report.

Positive social impact has been achieved in the area of Chinese language teacher training. Professor Zhang Qiuling is in charge of the “Secondary School Chinese Language Literacy Cultivation” project, providing guidance for the training of Chinese language teachers at various levels in various types of schools of multiple provinces and cities in China, raising the teaching ability of Chinese language teachers comprehensively. Associate Professor Zhang Yanling is in charge of training courses for core Chinese language teachers in Xinjiang, promoting the reading of classical texts and generating wide social impact.

 

Everyone is regarded equally at the Department of Chinese Language Education, who will inherit and carry forward the excellent Chinese language education ideology of their predecessors, abide by the rules of Chinese language education and teaching, and explore the theory and practice of Chinese language education in the new era at depth, passing on the flame of the Chinese language discipline at Beijing Normal University for generations to come.



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