Foreign Languages Department


Historical Development

1953. Initially established as the Foreign Languages Teaching and Research Center of the Basic Courses Department in PLA Military Engineering Institute, the predecessor of Foreign Languages Department in Harbin Engineering University;

1978. Firstly enrolling English Teachers for professional training by Basic Courses Department of Harbin Shipbuilding Engineering Institute;

1980. Further developed into two Foreign Languages Teaching and Research Centers from the Basic Courses Department of Harbin Shipbuilding Engineering Institute;

1985. Starting to enroll postgraduates of English majors;

1985. Approved by the original State Education Commission, Foreign Languages Teaching and Research Center (I) was entitled to run the undergraduate program of “English for science and technology (EST)”;

1986. Foreign Languages Teaching and Research Center (I) enrolled the first EST undergraduates;

1987. The Foreign Languages Teaching and Research Centers was shuffled into the Foreign Languages Department;

1994. According to the catalogue of the undergraduate program newly promulgated by the State Education Commission, the program of EST was renamed as “English Program (for Science and Technology)”;

1998. The postgraduate program of “English Language and Literature” was conferred into enrollment;

2006. The postgraduate program of “Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics” was conferred into enrollment;

2010. The postgraduate program of “MTI” was conferred into enrollment;

2011.The English program for undergraduate was listed among the key projects of construction in Heilongjiang province;

2017.“Foreign Language and Literature” for postgraduates was updated among the list of primary discipline.

The introduction to the Department of foreign language

The predecessor of Foreign Languages Department of Harbin Engineering University (HEU) dated back to the Foreign Languages Teaching and Research Center of the Basic Courses Department in PLA Military Engineering Institute, then developed itself into Foreign Languages Teaching and Research Center of the Basic Courses Department of Harbin Shipbuilding Engineering Institute (1970-1986), and renamed as Foreign Languages Department on the basis of the previous two Foreign Languages Teaching and Research Centers.

The enduring history of the foreign language teaching in Foreign Languages Department was traced back to the Russian teaching in the period of the PLA Military Engineering Institute, while the history of the discipline development dated back to the first batch of English teacher-training class in 1987. In 1985, the postgraduates of English program was available for enrollment; in 1986, as a pioneer in English education in the earlier period of Heilongjiang province, the undergraduate EST program was launched into practice; in 1994, the EST program was further updated to be “English Program”. The year of 2011 witnessed the honor of English program listed among the key projects of construction in Heilongjiang province.

With three-decade development, three secondary disciplines of master degree programs are available now in Foreign Languages Department, namely, “English Language and Literature (1998)”, “Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics (2006)” and “MTI (2010)”. So far, Foreign Languages Department consists of four language teaching and research centers: College English Teaching and Research Center (composed of three language teaching teams), Language Teaching and Research Center for English Majors, Postgraduate Language Teaching and Research Center for Non-English Majors, and Languages Teaching and Research Center of Japanese, Russian, German and French. Besides, the administration of Foreign Languages Department is mainly in the forms of offices respectively designated for general affairs or talent cultivation (further branched for teaching affairs or students’ affairs). The academic veins of Foreign Languages Department are manifested in the Committee of Professors and the Committee of Academic Evaluation. Last but not least, multimedia language experiment centers and rooms for reading and references are all available all the time.

At present, Foreign Languages Department has a staff of 125, among whom there are 12 full professors, 41 associate professors, lecturers 56, and 2 teaching assistants, as well as 31 postgraduate supervisors. There are 13 teachers with doctoral degrees and all the teachers under 55 have master’s degree or doctoral degrees. 58.56% of the staff has studied abroad all over the world. Moreover, there are 4 guest professors, 7 part-time professors and about 10 foreign teachers on annual average. Except for the teaching for undergraduate and postgraduate English majors, Foreign Languages Department undertakes the foreign languages teaching for an estimate of over 20, 000 non-English majors of undergraduates, masters and doctors in HEU as well.

Guided by the ambitious aims of talent cultivation in HUE, Foreign Languages Department deepens the reform of education and teaching with constant efforts. Centered on the students’ development in full form, motivated by the principle of “Self-determination, Cooperation and Exploration”, college English teaching has formed unique teaching model, with formative evaluation adequately stressed in HEU ways. The program for English majors takes continuous initiative to stay with the mainstream, but with distinct characteristics, solid foundation and cutting-edge strength, focusing on the cultivation of the high-end English talents with comprehensive humanistic knowledge, excellent English proficiency, and strong professionalism in practice, robust competence of mind and innovation, and wide sphere of vision. The previous three years has witnessed the average passing rates of TEM-4 and TEM-8 of 94% and 76% respectively in Foreign Languages Department, with the average one-time passing rate being nearly 38 and 32.8 points higher than those of national average. Persistent on the principle of innovating the curriculum system, emphasizing the teaching practice and improving the teaching effect, the English teaching for non-English majors has always followed the routine of “Academicalization and Internationalization”, with a full focus on the cultivation of the academic internationalized strength of postgraduates.

As for the professional development of all the staff, Foreign Languages Department encourages top research into academic or teaching issues. During the period of the 12th Five-year Program, a total of 499 papers, including 33 CSSCI papers, 5 monographs and 28 textbooks, was published. Besides, 76 projects have been granted, including 8 Projects of Humanities and Social Science of the Ministry of Education. Moreover, 72 awards have been given to the above academic achievements. While the academic exchange between Foreign Languages Department and scholars across the world has become more frequent, more and more teachers are dedicated to the researches in a rewarding way.

Foreign Languages Department is armed with advanced teaching facilities, including 15 multimedia language laboratories, 7 network multimedia language laboratories, 16 simple multimedia classrooms, 1 computer-aided room for translation practice, 1 network center forclass preparation and 2 foreign language FM radio emission stations, all of which provide the mighty guarantee for foreign languages teaching of the whole university.

As a unit, in 2008 and 2009, Foreign Languages Department was awarded consecutively the honorary title of national "Women Civilized Unit" by the Nationwide Women’s Federation and many other collective honorary titles. Moreover, “College English” is acclaimed as the excellent course in Heilongjiang province. As for the teaching staff, a bunch of honors have been awarded, including “Excellent Teacher” conferred by the State Commission of Science and Technology for National Defense Industry or Heilongjiang province, and etc.

( Major data updated by: September 2017)


Primary Teaching and Research Organizations

Undergraduate Teaching and Research Section for English Majors

Undergraduate Teaching and Research Section for English Majors, one of the four primary-level teaching and research sections of the Foreign Languages Department, now has 16 faculty members, including 2 professors, 6 associate professors, 6 lecturers, and 2 teaching assistants. All faculty members own master or higher degrees, and 4 teachers possess doctoral degrees, one of whom is also a postdoctoral fellow. In the light of the fact that all faculty members graduate from renowned domestic and foreign universities, the structure of academic resources is reasonable. 70.6 per cent of the teachers have engaged in advanced study in domestic and foreign universities or studied abroad. 4 foreign teachers are employed.

The Section takes the task of teaching undergraduates of the English Major. It was once rewarded the title of Excellent Teaching Team. In 2011, the English Major of HEU was listed as the provincial key major of Heilongjiang. The faculty members of the Section have gained provincial awards in recent years which include the Prominent Teachers of Heilongjiang Province and the Advanced Individuals in Establishing Teachers’ Professional Ethnics and Morale of Heilongjiang Province, along with many awards granted by the university, such as the Excellent Lecturers, the Advanced Individuals in Establishing Teachers’ Professional Ethnics and Morale, My Favourite Teachers and so on.

In recent years, Undergraduate Teaching and Research Section for English Majors has undertaken over 20 scientific research programs which contain 11 provincial and national programs. 8 research achievements received provincial rewards. 72 academic papers have been published, about 20 of which were published in the source journals of CSSCI, including Foreign Language World, Foreign Languages in China, Foreign Language Research, Comparative Literature in China, Computer-Assisted Foreign Language Education, etc., and other core journals of foreign languages. Academic publications and translation works totalled 13, among which 3 works won provincial awards. The faculty members of the Section have been actively carrying out varieties of teaching and research activities. They have taken the initiation work of 23 teaching reform programs sponsored by the university. 32 papers in teaching research have been published. The teachers have also participated in editing and writing 16 textbooks, among which there are 3 National Planned Textbooks.

College English Teaching and Research Division

College English Teaching and Research Division is one of the four teaching and research divisions of the Foreign Languages Department. There are 68 teachers in the three teaching teams in the division, including 3 professors, 22 associate professors, and 43 lecturers, and 54% of whom have had visiting, learning and research experiences in domestic or foreign universities. College English Teaching and Research Division was awarded the honor of the "12th Five-Year" Education and Teaching Advanced Collective; the director of the division was awarded the honor of "2013 Year Outstanding Course Leader"; 4 teachers won the honor of "University Top Ten Model Teachers"; the teachers in this division also won altogether 270 times of the honor of "University Excellent Teacher"; 5 of the teachers won the first and second prizes in the " Provincial Teaching Contest”. "College English Course" has also been rated as provincial quality course, university resource sharing quality course and university brand course.

Over the years, teachers in the College English Teaching and Research Division have made remarkable achievements in English education, teaching and research, etc., who are well recognized by students and supervisors. During the "12th Five-Year Plan" period, more than 120 teaching and research projects at the provincial level and above have been completed and more than 20 projects in the area of teaching reform have been completed at the university level. More than 10 textbooks and over 370 papers on education and teaching have been published. More than 20 projects have been awarded prizes for outstanding teaching achievements and other teaching achievements awards at the provincial level.

Under the teaching philosophy of input-based, output-driven, and assessment-based guarantee of learning, teachers in College English Teaching and Research Division have been making every endeavor to reform in college English teaching for better effectiveness. It focuses on student development and on teaching to students the learning methods to develop their ability of "independence, cooperation and inquiry". Adhere to the reform of college English curriculum, we’ve formed a teaching model with the following unique characteristics and formative assessment methods.

First, we are the first in the country to have a continuous three-year college English education, making the continuity of college English learning into reality, allowing more time for efforts to improve students' level of English and ability. Second, required courses (general English) and elective courses (34 English-related courses) are combined to strengthen the students' language skills while developing and improving their cultural and humanistic perspectives. Thirdly, the students are taught according to their levels of English, and the teaching is arranged in modules of basic language skills, language development skills and academic English, in which we not only teach the students according to their aptitudes but also try to meet the individual needs of students. The fourth is to take the project researches as the basis for building the inquiry-based teaching mode of college English. Our teaching has been changed from the teacher-centered to student-centered, focusing on improving students’ spoken English by using topics as clues for varied learning activities with learning materials both from in and out of the textbooks. Fifth, the traditional classroom teaching mode has been combined with the internet multimedia learning environment with vast learning resources, which makes the autonomous, personalized, and interactive teaching and learning possible. Sixth, the new mode of assessment, in which we conduct the formative assessment in the whole process without final test, can help promote students’ learning. And the evaluation methods are varied, including subjective and objective written examination, Q&A, group discussions and debates, presentations, homework, etc., and the students can improve their language output ability through the preparation for the assessment activities. Our teaching mode has been introduced in the national and provincial teaching reform meetings, winning recognition and praise from the peer teachers and taking a leading role in the college English teaching reform area.

The Teaching and Researching section for Non-English Majors Graduates

The Teaching and Researching section for Non-English Majors Graduates is one of the four sections of the Foreign Languages Department. It has a teaching staff of 16 members, includes 4 professors, 7 associate professors, and 5 lecturers. Among the faculty members, 12 has overseas study and research experience. The faculty of the section is undertaking the courses for over 3000 master candidates and doctoral candidates annually, including Comprehensive English(II), Academic English Communication, Scientific Translation and IELTS Training for doctoral candidates and Comprehensive English(I), Academic English Writing, Listening & Speaking, American & British Society and Cultures and IELTS Training for master candidates.

The Teaching and Researching section for Non-English Majors Graduates encourages faculty members to engage in research in pedagogy and curriculum design, as well as in theoretical studies, so as to improve the teaching quality to increase the graduates’ abilities of academic research, international communication and innovation. Within the last five years, the faculty members have published 2 monographs, 5 textbooks and reference books, and many academic journal papers. Besides, 8 Humanities and Social Sciences Projects of the Ministry of Education, 17 provincial research projects and 15 institutional research projects have been successfully completed.

Languages Teaching and Research Center of Japanese, Russian, German and French

As one of the four basic-level teaching and research organizations in the Foreign Languages Department, the center boasts 11 teachers at present, including 4 Japanese teachers, 4 Russian teachers, 2 French teachers and 1 German teacher, among whom there are 3 full professors, 4 associate professors and 4 lecturers, graduating from eminent universities in China. There are 3 teachers with doctoral degrees, 6 with masters and 1 still in doctoral program, with 91 percent of the teachers with top degrees.

The center undertakes the first and second foreign languages teaching with regard to Japanese, Russian, German and French, such as Japanese Culture, Japanese Film Appreciation, Contemporary Russian Society and Culture, Appreciation of Russian Masterpiece, Russian Movie Appreciation and other literal education subjects for the whole body of undergraduates, postgraduates and doctoral students in HEU. In particular, The Second Foreign language (Japanese) and Contemporary Russian Society and Culture are awarded with excellent among the courses for construction in HEU.

Observing the student-oriented principle, all the faculty of the center spare no effort to promise a perfect, scientific and reasonable teaching and continuously improve themselves to guarantee a smooth completion of various teaching tasks. Many faculties have been awarded with different honorary titles as excellent teachers or for their innovative teaching exploration. What is worth mentioning is that the center encourages the everyone to commit themselves to academic research, hosting or attending a dozen of Projects of Humanities and Social Science of the Ministry of Education or at province level. Moreover, a series of monographs or textbooks and translated masterpieces have been written, edited or published by the faculties in the center, with many excellent papers published on top journal in China, like "Russian Literature and Art", "Chinese Social Science Abstract", "Yilin", "the Journal of Foreign languages", "Japanese Learning and Research", "Heilongjiang Social Sciences", "Academic Exchanges", "Research of Heilongjiang Higher Education", "the Research of Foreign Language", "Studies of Contemporary Foreign Language", "Teaching of Russian in China ", "China Science and Technology Term", "Studies of Russia" , etc..