Training Objectives and Requirements

This programme is designed for adult students who have a basic college diploma in English or equivalent level of proficiency. Upon completing the programme, students reach an undergraduate level of English proficiency and become versatile English professionals qualified for positions in translation, teaching and management.

On graduation, students will have mastered the basic skills of the English language, possess a wide range of knowledge, strong linguistic skills, and comprehensive application capabilities;  command the basic knowledge and skills of a specialized discipline; have the ability to acquire knowledge, use information, think independently and innovate; possess good study habits and self-study skills.

Core Subjects

Education track: English in Daily Life, English at Leisure, English at Work, English in Current Affairs, Advanced English Writing, Intercultural Communication, English in a Changing World, English Through Literature, English Teaching Methodology, etc.

Business track: English in Daily Life, English at Leisure, English at Work, English in Current Affairs, Advanced English Writing, Intercultural Communication, English in a Changing World, English Through Literature, Business English, etc.

Duration of Study and Graduation

The programme uses a credit-based system. All credits got within 8 years after registration are valid.

The Open University of China (OUC) has designed this as a three-year part-time study programme.

The minimum number of credits required for graduation is 71. Graduates obtaining the required number of credits are awarded a nationally recognised bachelor's degree of higher education.

Future Occupation

Translators and interpreters, teachers, foreign trade coordinators, managerial personnel and others

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Teaching Methods and Media

Teaching Organization Form:

All RTVUs involved shall adopt a teaching organization form dominated by individualized learning and supported by classroom study, and encourage the formation of study groups to facilitate communication and exchange among the students. The following principles shall be followed:

Face-to-face Tutorial:

  • Besides explanation and Q&A on key and difficult points, face-to-face tutorial provides opportunities for students to communicate in English.
     
  • The tutorials should be student-oriented and center around student activities. They can take diversified and flexible forms such as Q&A, dialogue, role playing, group discussion, acting, and general discussion. These activities kindle the students' interest in expressing ideas and feelings in English, improve the ability to communicate in English, and make up for the lack of face-to-face communication in the target language in distance education. The tutorials shall not exceed once or twice a week at the most.

Support Services:

  • In open and distance education, comprehensive and efficient support services are needed to ensure teaching quality and provide for adequate interaction and feedback between teacher and learner. In the course of teaching, the RTVUs involved shall offer the students support services such as correspondence, telephone services, fax, voice mail, audio-visual reading room, language lab, multimedia self-access center, English corner, study groups, e-mail and online consulting (Q&A). These activities all seek to provide students with opportunities to communicate, express their opinions or seek guidance and assistance in English, so as to overcome the distance learner's disadvantage of lacking an English language environment. In organizing these activities, care should be taken to answer students' questions promptly and combine classroom teaching with individualized tutoring. Furthermore, students are provided supplemental reading and audio-visual materials to broaden their knowledge, improve their overall quality and cultivate interdisciplinary talent.
     
  • The support services include not only guidance and assistance in study but also psychological and mental support for the students.

Use of Media:

  • Major teaching media for the programme include printed materials, audio cassette/CD and video tapes/VCD. Supplementary media include live TV classrooms, related teaching and tutorial materials, CAI courseware (partial) and online tutoring. Examinations are mainly based on the content of printed materials.
     
  • The printed materials and audio materials are mainly for the students' self-directed learning. Students are also encouraged to watch video materials as their circumstances allow. In face-to-face tutorial classes, students can also be organized to watch video materials as needed, as a component of language skill training.
     
  • In addition to face-to-face tutorial and the support services mentioned above, all of the involving RTVUs shall provide complete media modules for the courses and set up audio-visual reading rooms or multi-media self-access centre to facilitate the students' use of reference at any time.

Curriculum and Teaching Management

  1. The programme includes compulsory subjects, limited optional subjects, optional subjects, and the final practical. The compulsory subjects are standardized by the OUC, and employ uniform syllabi, teaching materials, examinations and standards of grading.
  2. Optional subjects are selected and planned by the local RTVUs. It is up to the local RTVUs to offer independent optional subjects in line with training targets and local needs, and they are in charge of syllabi, teaching materials, management and examinations.
  3. The subjects listed in the teaching plan are divided into two modules: English Language Communication and Professional Orientation. The former includes compulsory subjects for all the English majors, while the latter provides different specialized subjects based on the differing needs of the students. The main goal of the Professional Orientation module is to equip students with the quality, language proficiency and professional knowledge needed for practical work. The subjects in the Professional Orientation module are limited optional subjects, and the following tracks are available.

    Education track: English Teaching Methodology (1) (2)
    Business track: Business English (Part One)

  4. Local RTVUs can choose either of the tracks, and offer the corresponding limited optional subjects. The OUC will provide uniform names and syllabi for the limited optional subjects, recommend teaching materials, and provide teaching services as much as possible.

  5. Regarding the subjects with uniformly offered services, the OUC provides teaching resource support such as syllabi, multimedia teaching materials and examinations. As for subjects offered locally, the provincial RTVUs will be responsible for their syllabi, teaching materials, examinations and teaching management.
  6. Students can choose optional subjects from the list of General Optional Subjects. They may choose cross-discipline subjects, but credits for these must not make up more than 10% of total subject credits.
  7. The student's grade for each subject is a combination of formative assessment and summative assessment. The former accounts for 20% of the total performance, while the latter accounts for 80%. The formative assessment indicates how well the students finish the Formative Assessment and Portfolios and how they participate in other study activities. Teachers should use the formative assessment to guide the students' learning process and provide timely learning support.
  8. The results of the formative assessment shall be put on record, and changes cannot be made arbitrarily after examinations. The students who fail to finish more than 50% of the assignments for the formative assessment cannot take part in the summative assessment, nor can they receive credit for the subject.
  9. Local RTVUs are responsible for implementing the final practical according to the requirements of the standard OUC syllabus. The final practical cannot be omitted.
  10. Self-directed learning is the main method of learning. Face-to-face tutorials are arranged in line with actual needs and circumstances, but a minimum of two tutorials every month must be guaranteed. The tutorial classes focus on listening and speaking, and students are organized to watch videos and TV programmes in order to create a good language environment. Q&A and necessary tutoring are provided as well. In addition, various lectures and activities aimed at raising the students' cultural level should be arranged in accordance with local needs.
  11. The English Language Communication module combines academic study with skill training, featuring diverse task-based activities. The module aims to cultivate the students' listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, broaden their cultural views and improve their English communication abilities.
  12. The order of the subjects is arranged based on a three-year part-time study plan, taking into account prerequisite relationships between specialized subjects. In principle, each compulsory subject should be completed within one term, and only after its completion should the next subject be studied.
  13. Careful attention is paid to the learning process and comprehensive support services are provided. Communication and feedback are facilitated between teachers and students by way of correspondence, telephone, e-mail, audio-visual reading room, multimedia study center, voice mail, Internet, language lab, English corner, and study groups.

Teaching Quality Guarantee

Teacher Resources for the RTVUs:

  • The RTVUs must be equipped with a teaching team qualified for undergraduate teaching. Full-time teachers must have a bachelor's degree or above in English, and have participated in the faculty training organized by the OUC.
  • The RTVUs involved should take advantage of the resources of local conventional universities to establish a relatively stable part-time teaching team. Part-time teachers are trained on the theories of open and distance education and course design concepts through videos produced by the OUC. The RTVUs involved shall enhance communication between full-time and part-time teachers by organizing activities such as collective preparation of instruction and class demonstration.
  • The RTVUs shall set up measures for managing their full-time and part-time teachers, and establish teachers' resource archives.

The Monitoring of the Teaching Process:

  • The OUC and cooperative institutions of higher education shall give the RTVUs involved direct guidance and supervision in the teaching process through various methods such as teaching inspection, and the relevant RTVUs shall cooperate accordingly.
  • The RTVUs involved shall monitor the students' learning process and offer follow-up services so as to understand the students' needs and problems in the course of self-directed learning, to guide and urge them to make proper use of time, and to overcome difficulties caused by conflicts between work and study. Relevant regulations and measures should be formulated according to actual circumstances to enhance the learning process, and these regulations and measures shall be submitted to the OUC for the record.
  • Assignments: To supervise the students' regular daily study, a minimum of four written assignments shall be arranged for each subject, and the assignments must be appraised and checked. This can be done by various means, either by the teachers or by the students themselves. However the final scores shall be given by teachers, along with evaluative comments for the students' future study. The score for each written assignment shall be recorded as the basis for the formative assessment, to ensure its objectivity and reliability. Teachers' appraisals also serve as the basis for the evaluation of their work.
  • Sharing teaching information: Information exchange between teachers, managerial departments and students can be facilitated by correspondence, telephone counseling, fax, voice mail, e-mail, webpage, interview, etc. Full-time teachers must be able to conduct online teaching research and communication with the OUC's Faculty of Foreign Languages.
  • Students' Portfolios: The RTVUs involved must set up a complete portfolio for every student. Besides the personal information of the student, the portfolio shall also include at minimum the study process (such as how many face-to-face tutorials and other collective study activities they had attended, how each study unit was completed and what difficulties they had), and the formative assessment and examination scores for each subject.

Assessment:

  • The assessment is made up of the results of the formative assessment and results of the final exams of the subjects. The formative assessment accounts for 20% of the final score of the students' performance, and include the tutor's evaluation of the student's day-to-day study performance, extracurricular activities, and written assignments. The exam results account for 80% of the final performance. The OUC is responsible for assigning exam material for the subjects, including formulating examination directions, assigning questions, preparing examination papers and formulating grading standards. It is up to the RTVUs involved to conduct examinations and grade the examination papers.
  • The RTVUs shall be strict in examination discipline, uniformly adhere to the scoring standard, and submit the statistical results and analysis reports of the examinations to the OUC as a reference for evaluation and improvement of teaching and testing.

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