Established in 2004, the Department of English Language and Literature focuses on the development of well-rounded graduates with an understanding of Western literature and culture as well as practical language abilities. At the same time it serves to nurture individuals who can contribute much to the development of Tzu Chi. An emphasis on students' independent skills and study efficiency ensures that, apart from finding work in the field of culture, graduates are also highly capable in fields which require English language knowledge and abilities. Opportunities to take additional specialized credit clusters provide further career possibilities.
Departmental Educational Aims and Core Student Abilities
- Promotion of Tzu Chi’s Humanistic Spirit. Guidance in the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty, and of self-enrichment and care for the world.
- Development of talents for English language-related fields of work.
Core Student Abilities
- Practical engagement with Tzu Chi Humanistic principles and spirit.
- Practical abilities in listening, speaking, reading and writing English, and in translation.
- Basic academic competence for English language and literature.
- Professional skills in language service industries.
II. Special Course Features
The course consists of three components: British and American literature, English language skills, and professional English knowledge and skills. The literature component is based on a solid grounding in the English language, allowing students the potential both to develop and to enjoy many future employment opportunities. With its high-quality team of experienced professors, the department offers varied courses in drama, the novel and poetry, as well as a thorough language development program (listening, speaking, reading, writing). Among the principles guiding this program are world peace, recycling, and conservation of nature; these reflect Tzu Chi's compassionate care for humanity and the global environment. The professional English component includes courses in linguistics, business English, journalistic English, etc. During their time in the department, students may also choose to apply to study for an additional set of credits in either broadcasting, education, Chinese language teaching or digital media in order to extend their professional knowledge and skills.
III. Teaching and Learning Aims
In terms of practical English ability, students reach four targets: competent listening and speaking, advanced reading, fluent writing, and effective translation. Additionally, students are expected to reach a minimum of upper-intermediate level in the General English Proficiency Test (GEPT). Turning to western literature and culture, students gain a systematic overview of English, American and European literature; a secure understanding of and independent insight into the three main genres of poetry, drama and the novel; and a basic knowledge of literary theory and related topics, which may include feminism and the relationship between literature and art.
The department is concerned to produce highly employable graduates. In order to achieve this aim, professional knowledge and language training are equally valued; and the curriculum design also includes vocationally oriented courses.
IV. Future Developments
The department has two important goals. In the short term, the maintainence of a fine teaching and research team, able to develop year-on-year, ensures the maintenance of the highest levels of quality. The longer-term aim is to become one of the foremost departments of English language and literature in the country, continuing to produce cultivated graduates who can contribute to the aims of Tzu Chi.
V. Career Planning
Graduating students are suited to a number of future work opportunities.
1. They may undertake further study in Taiwan or abroad in fields such as translation studies, comparative literature, linguistics, journalism and mass communications.
2. They may become teachers of English.
3. They may work in fields requiring knowledge of or ability in English, such as culture, translation, interpreting, newspaper or magazine editing, and journalism.
4. They may actively pursue graduate-level career opportunities linked to their developing experience and interests; such opportunities commonly demanding ability in English and familiarity with Western culture include tourism, industry, commerce and banking.
VI. Additional Information
The department holds a great many research, cultural and leisure activities. There is an annual academic conference as well as a series of guest lectures. Other activities include graduation drama performances, and an ‘English Week’ which includes contests for short plays and debating. Western festivals such as Christmas are marked with a variety of events. In addition, the department publishes Qpanhan (‘cropland’ in the indigenous Truku language), a journal dedicated to students’ writing in both English and Chinese; this provides a wonderful practical opportunity for student writers and editors.