From April 12th to 14th, the “8th National Advanced Forum for College English Deans” co-sponsored by the Foreign Language Teaching Steering Committee under the Ministry of Education, Jiangxi Normal University and Shanghai International Studies University was held in Nanchang, the capital city of Jiangxi province. The theme of the forum is “Integration, Innovation, and Development.” It comprises five parallel sessions, where topics such as mobile applications in general English teaching, new visual and audio listening in new media, the cultivation of cross-cultural communicative competence, and digital platform applications for academic English teaching. Li Chongyue and Wu Peng, respectively deputy director and dean assistant of the School of Foreign Languages, were invited to attend the meeting. Wu Peng made a keynote speech titled “Cultivating the critical discussion ability in academic English teaching in colleges and universities - practice and exploration of Jiangsu University” at the parallel session of “Cultivating comprehensive academic English competence.”
In his speech, Wu Peng first made a detailed interpretation of the major abilities cultivated in the Academic English Program. Through a literature review and some theoretical speculation, he pointed out that the academic English ability mainly lies in students’ ability to carry out critical discussions in English. This ability is actually formed by four sub-items: argumentation identification, argumentation analysis, argumentation evaluation, and argumentation expression. The pragma-dialectics provides a solid theoretical foundation and operating approach for the improvement of students’ critical discussion skills. Then Wu Peng reported on the model of Academic English teaching and research that Jiangsu University has designed and implemented centered on these four basic capabilities in recent years. Wu Peng’s speech was well received by the audience.
During the meeting, Li Chongyue and Wu Peng also propagated to colleagues from other colleges and universities in China the efforts that has been made by Jiangsu University in promoting the internationalization, especially the featured courses and teaching programs offered by the College English faculty of the School of Foreign Languages that have help promoted the internationalization process of the University.
(School of Foreign Languages)