The School of Foreign Language Studies (SFLS), Ningbo Institute of Technology (NIT), Zhejiang University, was founded in April 2004. SFLS offers undergraduate BA programs in English (including a Sino-US program) and Japanese. Each academic year, over 1,000 students are enrolled in our degree programs.
SFLS hosts three facilities which together create a dynamic environment for the school’s teaching and research activities – the Institute of Foreign Language Studies (English and Japanese Majors), the Institute of Applied Linguistics (College English), and the Research Center for Language and Cultural Exchanges.
The School of Foreign Language Studies is committed to academic research through the medium of forums, seminars, and the annual Academic Week, all of which serve to enhance our teachers’ abilities as researchers. At present, we are undertaking a number of provincial and national research projects. In 2007, our research specialization in the field of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics was designated a key discipline by the Ningbo Municipal Government.
The Language Lab Center boasts twelve language labs, one simultaneous interpretation lab, two web-based language labs, an integrated broadcast system with satellite receiver, and a recording studio. The SFLS reference library houses approximately 10,000 academic books, over 3,000 audio-visual files, and over 80 scholarly journals and periodicals, all of which are freely available to students and teachers.
The goal of the SFLS is to foster the development of well-rounded students who will be competent professionals, critical thinkers, and life-long learners, and who will enter the workplace equipped with the practical skills necessary to compete in the increasingly competitive global economy.
BA in English
The BA program in English enables students to acquire proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing, as well as knowledge of linguistics and literature. In their third and fourth years, students can choose to specialize either in international trade or translation. This program places equal emphasis on the acquisition of skills and personal development, and seeks to develop graduates who will contribute to the regional economy and to the country’s overall social development.
Core courses include Comprehensive English, Advanced English, Advanced Audio-visual English, English Grammar, English Writing, Simultaneous Interpretation, Translation Theory and Practice, British & American Literature, Second Foreign Language, International Business, and Cross-Cultural Communications.
The BA program in English cultivates students’ overall qualities and abilities through lectures, contests, and activities such as the Foreign Language Culture & Art Festival, World Literary Master Week, and Summer Social Practice. As a result, the passing rate for our students taking the national Test for English Majors (TEM-4) has ranked the highest among similar institutions for the last seven years.
BA in Japanese
The BA program in Japanese develops students’ competence in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and translation skills, along with knowledge of Japanese society, culture, and politics. Graduates will have acquired knowledge and practical skills in trade, business, management and translation, as well as competence in research. The curriculum is tailored to create future professionals in the fields of foreign affairs, international trade and business, education, cultural exchange, and tourism.
Core courses offered in the program include Comprehensive Japanese, Oral Japanese, Listening Comprehension, Japanese Writing, Japanese Grammar, Advanced Japanese, An Introduction to Japan, Business Writing, Interpretation, Theories and Practice of Translation and General Linguistics.
The BA program provides an excellent learning environment by employing experienced native Japanese professors. First-year students receive systematic training in phonetics and speaking. Extracurricular activities such as drama performances, cultural festivals, and vocabulary contests are held regularly to practice students’ language and social skills. In past years, SFLS students have attained outstanding achievements in local Japanese speech contests. The passing rate for our students taking the national Test for Japanese Majors (Band 4) has ranked the highest among similar institutions in Zhejiang province.
Sino-US BA Program in English
The Sino-US BA Program serves to enhance students' global perspective and cross-cultural understanding. Jointly administered by NIT and the University of Indianapolis (UIndy), USA, the curriculum is comprised of courses from both universities. For the first two years, students concentrate on English studies and other core courses offered at NIT. In their third and four year, qualified candidates have the opportunity to continue their studies in the United States on the campus of the University of Indianapolis. Those who prefer to continue their studies in China will benefit from courses taught by UIndy professors. Students who successfully complete this program will receive BA degrees from both universities.
After receiving an undergraduate BA degree, SFLS students have the option to pursue graduate studies at the University of Indianapolis. To date, 20% of Sino-US graduates have chosen to pursue a higher degree at universities in the U.S., as well as in the U.K. and Australia.
Language Lab Center
The Language Lab Center of the School of Foreign Language Studies is a well-equipped language teaching resource which includes 14 language labs with 816 workstations, one simultaneous interpretation lab, an in-lab broadcast system, a satellite receiver, and a recording studio.
The Center features 10 simulation labs, 2 digital language labs, and 2 web-connected labs. Each lab has multimedia capability for web-based instruction and academic research. These facilities are available to over 1000 English majors and approximately 6000 non-English majors at NIT.
The modern simultaneous interpretation lab not only facilitates teaching and testing, but also supports audio-visual conferencing, an ideal technology tool for students wishing to improve their proficiency at translation.
The integrated broadcast system is equipped to play a variety of foreign language programs. The system’s satellite receiver further enables students to record language programs from foreign sources, and to experience real-world language usage.
Academic Research and Community Involvement
The School of Foreign Language Studies is committed to academic exchanges and research excellence. Regularly scheduled seminars and forums ensure a dynamic research environment. Faculty members are currently undertaking various research projects, and many papers and academic monographs have already been published.
Relying on our understanding of the power of language, our faculty and students take an active role in serving the local community. We encourage teachers to apply for research projects aimed at meeting social needs and achieving academic research goals through cooperation with local industries, businesses, and governmental agencies. For example, SFLS faculty members recently provided translation and interpretation services to the Zhejiang Investment & Trade Symposium, the Ningbo International Fashion Festival, and the APEC SME Service Alliance Forum.
SFLS has academic ties to many prestigious universities both at home and abroad, and we seek to enhance our research and teaching through ongoing collaboration. Universities that we work closely with include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Indianapolis, the Bunrin Institute of Japan, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Peking University, Wuhan University, and the University of Nottingham in Ningbo.
One highlight of international collaboration is our Sino-US exchange program with the University of Indianapolis, USA. In addition, a summer program jointly organized by SFLS and the University of Ottawa, Canada, provides language students with excellent opportunities for international exposure.
We are dedicated to fostering a positive and diverse school culture with a focus on supporting students’ progress in language learning. With guidance from teachers, students organize activities such as drama performances, speaking contests, movie dubbing contests, singing contests, English vocabulary competitions, and newspaper-editing competitions. Among these activities, the Foreign Language Culture and Arts Festival and World Literary Master Week have become annual highlights of the university’s extra-curricular life.
Major-related competitions also help SFLS students acquire new ideas, improve their ability to communicate in English or Japanese, and sharpen their critical thinking skills. Over the years, student participants have won many honors, including first place in the National English Contest for College Students, second place in the English Speaking Contest in Zhejiang Province, and first place in the College Student Debate Contest of Ningbo.