On September 12, 2020, The School of Foreign Languages of Shenzhen University successfully held the "Advanced Forum on Frontiers of Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics" in the form of live webcast and off-line seminar. The forum invited 10 leading scholars in the field of foreign linguistics and applied linguistics to make keynote speeches. The live streaming of the conference has been watched by more than 7,000 people.
At 8:30 a.m., the Forum announced its opening simultaneously at SFL conference room, Huiwen Building, Shenzhen University and online. The opening ceremony was presided by Peng Xuanwei, distinguished Professor of School of Foreign Languages, Shenzhen University, and Prof. Zhang Xiaohong, Dean of School of Foreign Languages, gave a welcome speech. Dean Zhang Xiaohong stated that, in the new era, the School of Foreign Languages of Shenzhen University has made remarkable achievements in the process of introducing high-end talents, building faculty, discipline development, specialty construction, deepening reform in Britain and internationalization by relying on cultural guidance, connotation development and innovation drive. She believed that linguistics should serve as the core engine for the innovation-driven and high-quality development of humanities and social sciences, and wished this high-level forum a success. Hosts Professor Liu Yi, Professor Wang Hongyan, Dr. Jin Nana and Dr. Wang Jin from School of Foreign Languages, also attended the meeting.
(Offline participants at SFL Conference Room )
(Snapshot of the guests and hosts at the opening ceremony of the forum)
The Forum Unfolds into Four Themes
Professor Wang Wenbin from Beijing Foreign Studies University, Professor Ning Qi from Peking University, Professor Shu Dingfang from Shanghai International Studies University and Professor He Lianzhen from Zhejiang University have shared their views from different angles on the development of foreign language education and teaching in China.
With vivid examples, Professor Wang Wenbin explained the idea of sinicization of foreign language education in China. He pointed out that foreign language teaching should strengthen the top-level design and general layout, keep in mind the reality of foreign language education in China while drawing lessons from foreign theories, and be ready to innovate, so that we could form a complete system of theories and practice of Chinese foreign language education, which will reflect the idea of “Chinese-style foreign language education” rather than "foreign language education in China”.
Professor Ning Qi expounded the task and definition of foreign language education in the new era and discussed the relationship between persistence and innovation. According to Professor Ning, the traditional foreign language discipline has an internal driving force for urgent change and breakthrough, and the external environment also exerts great pressure on the reform of foreign language education. Foreign language education in the new era should start with the current difficulties and opportunities faced by foreign language education, give full play to the due role of foreign language education, promote the reform and development of foreign language education, in order to better serve the national development strategy, promote cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries, and enhance the soft power of national culture.
Professor Shu Dingfang raised discussions about a series of problems in basic foreign language teaching and foreign language teaching in colleges and universities, and emphasized that the teaching of foreign education in China should study the real problems and build a new ecology. He pointed out that in order to solve the existing problems, on the one hand, we should learn from international theoretical studies and practical experience; on the other hand, we should understand the existing problems in foreign language education in China and the underlying reasons, so as to put forward effective solutions. Therefore, we need to construct a new ecological system of foreign language teaching theory and practice, so that theoretical research can serve practice.
Centering on the principle of "to change" and "not to change" in college foreign language teaching, Professor He Lianzhen has made a comprehensive and in-depth reflection on college foreign language teaching in the new era. Professor he thinks, college English teaching in the new period should be "accurate in knowledge, responsive scientifically, and initiative to changes", to comply with the new requirements for personnel training of new era, to grasp the new technology bring new opportunities and set up in line with the new concept of evaluation of the new era, to correctly handle national strategic demand and students growing demand of “instrumental and humanism, general English and specialized English, the online and offline teaching, the relationship between teaching and test”, in order to create high-quality talents who will serve the national strategy.
Professor Huang Guowen of South China Agricultural University and Professor Cheng Ying of Zhejiang University respectively expressed their views on linguistic theory innovation from the perspective of systemic functional linguistics and generative linguistics.
Professor Huang Guowen thoroughly discussed about the relationship between the construction of language theory and its development. He pointed out that some theoretical frameworks have been concerned, strengthened, developed and perfected for a long time. Some theories have been concerned and developed in a certain period of time, but with the passage of time, gradually marginalized; Other theories appear and disappear within a short time. Taking systemic-functional linguistics as an example, he analyzed the construction of linguistic theories and the normal array and perfecting approaches of theoretical models.
Professor Cheng Gong gave an in-depth reflection on the interdisciplinary study of language. He put forward a high level of interdisciplinary research under several necessary conditions: related discipline must have a common basis in idea, both sides must adapt to the other side of the theoretical framework, there exists an appropriate level of abstraction, the concept can be mutually converted to executable or technical or operational process, be able to have good results, and exchange of platforms.
Professor Hu Kaibao from Shanghai International Studies University and Professor Liang Maocheng from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics put forward a new understanding on linguistics, translation and corpus research in the era of big data.
Professor Hu Kaibao combed and analyzed the topic, path and significance of the research on the conceptual history of modern Chinese translation from the perspective of digital humanities. He proposed and deeply analyzed the important research topics in this field: research on concept translation and its diachronic evolution, research on the transmission and acceptance of concept translated names, research on the genealogy of translation concepts and its comparative study, research on the influence of translation concepts on ideology and discourse system, research on translation concepts and national identity and national image construction.
Professor Liang Maocheng discussed the frontier technology and development trend of corpus linguistics research in the era of big data. Professor Liang listed some challenges faced by corpus linguistics in the era of big data, analyzed the development trend of this discipline, and demonstrated the feasibility of the effective application of machine learning technology in the development of corpus linguistics through the newly developed corpus software.
Professor Feng Zongxin from Tsinghua University and Professor Zhang Hui from Nanjing Normal University shared their research from the perspective of conceptual sorting and solving practical problems respectively, focusing on the theory and application of cognitive linguistics.
Professor Feng Zongxin led an exploration of the cognitive pathway and pragmatic function of Metonymy. Professor Feng pointed out that Metonymy is not only a figure of speech but also a cognitive process, with cognitive paths of transformation, substitution and borrowing as well as pragmatic functions of generation, reference and metaphor. Metonymy can be regarded as a cognitive "shortcut" according to its naturalness, creativity and comprehensibility, but metonymy also has a very obvious function, namely cognitive "detour" processing. From the perspective of sorting out the core concepts of cognitive linguistics, Professor Feng's discussion vividly illustrates the necessary process of linguistic theory research from surface to in-depths.
Professor Zhang Hui proposes a comprehensive research framework of "One Belt And One Road" multilingual discourse system from the perspective of critical cognitive linguistics. He probes into the important issues of the research framework: "One Belt And One Road" comparative study of the culture of the discourse system of countries along the coordinates, the discourse in the process of building space of language to the world, the world to adapt to the direction and attitude research, discourse system in the exploration of the narrative structure and comparison, discourse system and discourse stylistics conceptualization of comparative study, the discourse system of different framework model research, and comparative study of public discourse accept language discourse system model of building research.
(Snapshot of the participants at the closing ceremony)
After the keynote speeches, the closing ceremony was presided over by Professor Zhang Xiaohong, and Professor Peng Xuanwei made a summary speech. Professor Peng outlined the main contents and core topics of the forum and encouraged the participants to make unremitting efforts in the field of foreign linguistics and applied linguistics. President Zhang emphasized the significance of the forum to the development of foreign linguistics and applied Linguistics in Shenzhen University, Shenzhen and the Greater Bay Area, and expressed his heartfelt thanks to the experts and staff for their hard work.
(Closing address by Prof. Zhang Xiaohong, Dean of the School of Foreign Languages (left), and Prof. Peng Xuanwei (right).)
Click the following link to access the replay of this forum's lectures by these experts: https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1ak4y1y7uw/