College of Foreign Languages and Cultures


Established in 1999, the College of Foreign Languages and Cultures (CFLC) at Xiamen University (XMU) has its roots in the University's original Department of Foreign Languages, one of the University's first academic departments. For nearly a century the department has counted among its faculty a host of notable scholars and alumni across a broad spectrum of both academic and professional disciplines:Zhou Bianming (linguist), Lin Yutang (writer and linguist), Hong Chen (linguist), Yu Kwang-Chung (poet and translator), Cai Yueshi (industrialist), H. T. Tang (industrialist), Zhu Dezhen (CEO), and Li Xiaojia (CEO).

At present, the CFLC comprises five departments: English Language and Literature, Foreign Language Education, Japanese Language and Literature, European Languages and Literatures, French Language and Literature. These departments offer six bachelor's degree programs: English, Japanese, French, Russian, German, Spanish. Seven master’s degree programs: English Language and Literature, Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Japanese Language and Literature, French Language and Literature, Russian Language and Literature, Master of Translation and Interpreting (MTI) in English, Master of Translation and Interpreting (MTI) in Japanese. Three PhD programs: English Language and Literature, Japanese Language and Literature, Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. In addition, CFLC hosts a first-level postdoctoral research center for foreign languages and literatures and a number of research institutes in the areas of: Foreign languages and literatures, Japanese language education, Bilingual lexicography, Bilingual linguistic and cultural studies, European studies. 

The college also operates four foreign language testing and training centers. In the most recent academic ranking of Chinese universities compiled in 2012 by China's Ministry of Education, XMU was rated tenth for the strength of its foreign languages and literatures programs, a status shared with Tsinghua University, Beijing Normal University, University of International Business & Economics, Fudan University, and Shanghai Jiaotong University.

As of 2016, CFLC is home to 162 faculty members: 25 professors (nine doctoral supervisors), 46 associate professors, 26 international scholars and lecturers. The faculty boasts two members who have been named on the Ministry of Education's list of "New Century Support Plan for Outstanding Talent"; seven have been have been named on the list of "New Century Support Plans for Outstanding Talent" at the provincial and university level, and one faculty member who has been recognized as a "New Century Talent" at the provincial level. In addition to teaching, many faculty members have distinguished themselves in academic research. Since 2003, they have published 784 papers, 170 monographs, Numerous book translations, Numerous textbooks, and Several dictionaries and glossaries. From 2005 to 2015, the CFLC completed 19 research projects financed by the National Government, 55 research projects funded by ministries and provincial governments, 9 projects funded by the European Union. Currently, the college has an enrollment of 1,189 students, including 48 PhD students, 237 master's degree students, and 904 bachelor’s degree students. Furthermore, the college offers foreign language courses to more than 13,500 students in other colleges and departments at XMU.

The college has long been committed to international academic exchange and cooperation. CFLC has partnered with more than twenty institutions in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Japan, Russia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Exchange programs include a “3+1” bachelor’s degree programs (three years at XMU and one year at a partner institution) and a “2+1” master’s degree programs (two years at XMU and one year at a partner institution).

Over the years, students in the CFLC have performed exceptionally well on all nationwide foreign language proficiency tests, earning scores significantly higher than the average score of both higher-education institutions and comprehensive universities nationwide. In 2014, for example, more than 96% of the 107 second-year students in the English language program successfully completed the Test for English Majors – Level 4 (TEM-4), more than 45 percentage points higher than the national average and more than 30 percentage points higher than the average of comprehensive universities. Graduates from the CFLC have undertaken productive careers in foreign affairs, foreign trade, finance, journalism and education, playing a significant role in cross-culture communications and other related fields with their language skills and cross-cultural experience.


Department of English Language & Literature

Founded in 1923, the Department of English Language and Literature has earned recognition for excellence at both the national and provincial levels. The department boasts one national-level and two provincial-level “premium courses”. In 2008, the teaching staff of the core curriculum courses in the English program were honored as an “Outstanding Teaching Team of Fujian Province”. At present, the department has a full-time faculty of 44: 

  • 14 professors (six doctoral supervisors)

  • 7 associate professors

  • 17 assistant professors

  • 6 foreign teachers

Two of the faculty members are “Distinguished Teachers of Fujian Province”.

The department’s undergraduate curriculum covers:

  • British and American Literature

  • Linguistics

  • Lexicography

  • Translation and Interpreting

The department offers master’s degrees in five areas:

British and American Literature

  • Linguistics

  • Bilingual Lexicography

  • English Language and Culture

  • Chinese Language and Culture

  • Translation and Interpreting

In addition, the department offers doctoral degrees in eight areas:

  • Functional Linguistics and Discourse Analysis

  • Cultural Semantics

  • Bilingual Lexicography and Translational Studies

  • Critical Linguistics

  • Intercultural Communication Studies

  • American Literature and Culture

  • Interpreting Studies

  • American Minority Literature Studies

English Program: The English program at the undergraduate level aims to equip students with a solid language foundation, a wide range of knowledge, an international outlook, and strong adaptability. Students receive rigorous training in listening, speaking, reading, writing, translation and interpreting, as well as in intercultural communications. They also acquire knowledge of the fundamental theories in the English language and literature and become acquainted with the history and culture of English-speaking countries.

The department offers a wide range of undergraduate courses, including

  • Intensive Reading

  • Extensive Reading

  • Spoken English

  • Public Speaking

  • English Debate Class

  • Listening Comprehension

  • Writing

  • Grammar

  • British Literature

  • American Literature

  • Selected Short Stories

  • Selected English Plays

  • Overview of Britain and America

  • Western Cultures

  • English-Chinese Translation

  • Chinese-English Translation

  • Consecutive Interpretation

  • Simultaneous Interpretation

  • Multimedia Discussions

  • English for Journalism

  • Stylistics

  • Linguistics

  • Business English

  • An Introduction to Dictionaries

  • Second Foreign Languages (French, Japanese and German)

Graduates from the department are highly sought-after in the job market, and nearly 100% of graduates find employment within the first year after graduation. Employers include:

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Municipal offices of foreign affairs

  • Publishers

  • Television networks

  • Editorial offices

  • Schools

  • Tourism bureaus

  • Publicity departments

  • Customs offices

  • Border inspection services

  • Legal institutions

  • Translation firms

  • Banks

  • Transnational corporations

Department of Foreign Language Education

The department of Foreign Language Education was founded in July 1985. At present, it has a faculty of 77:

  • 3 professors (two doctoral supervisors)

  • 28 associate professors 

The faculty is comprised of three academic units:

  • The academic division for undergraduates

  • The academic division for graduates

  • The postgraduate and PhD programs of Foreign Language Studies and Applied Linguistics

The department offers a wide range of language courses to more than 10,000 undergraduates and 3,500 master and doctoral candidates at XMU. In addition to English, the department also offers Korean, Malay, Arabic and Italian courses.

The department has made significant strides in the reform of curricula and teaching methodology in line with the “Requirements for the Teaching of English at Higher-education Institutions” issued by China’s Ministry of Education. Since the inauguration of the College English Test (CET) nationwide in 1985, XMU students have consistently outperformed their peers at other nationally-recognized institutions in terms of both overall and sectional scores in the tests.

In 2008, the department was awarded the second prize for teaching excellence by the university in recognition of its successful implementation of aptitude-based English teaching. In 2013, as part of its further reform initiatives, the department introduced the “2+2” curricular model, under which students receive two hours of classroom instructions and two hours of Web-based tutoring per week. Under this particular model, language classes are made accessible outside of the classroom with the help of the Internet, and the interaction between the teacher and students is no longer confined to the classroom.

XMU students regularly compete in a wide range of English contests, consistently earning top prizes at the annual FLTRP Cup English Speech Contests, at both the national and provincial levels.

The department also operates a Foreign Language Test Center, which every year provides services to candidates taking educational and occupational tests in English and other languages, including:



  • GRE

  • GMAT

  • BEC


  • J-Test

  • PETS-5

Please feel free to email the Testing Center at:

Department of Japanese Language & Literature

The Department of Japanese Language and Literature is nationally recognized for its Japanese studies. The department has a full-time faculty of 13:

  • 1 professors (PhD supervisor)

  • 4 associate professors

  • 4 assistant professors

  • 4 instructors from Japan

The department’s undergraduate program prepares students for successful careers in regional development and socio-economic growth. The department offers “3+1” undergraduate education programs in partnership with:

  • Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies

  • Meiji University

  • Great Eastern Cultural University

  • Konan University

  • Tsukuba University

  • Hokkaido University

Under these programs, students study at XMU for three years and at a partner institution for one year. Additionally, in collaboration with Japanese universities, the Department runs an “overseas summer school” program for its third-year students. Graduates from the department have earned wide recognition in the job market for their competence.

Japanese Program: The Japanese program provides students with a solid foundation in the Japanese language by equipping them with strong Japanese listening, speaking, writing, reading and translation skills. Students develop their capabilities by identifying, analyzing and solving practical problems, while providing them with an environment in which to acquire cross-cultural communication skills. The department also requires students to pursue English as a second foreign language. Accordingly, students are required to acquire proficiency in both the Japanese and English languages by obtaining CET-4 or CET-6 certification.

The majority of the graduates from the department work in civil service, international trade and commerce, and interpretation for foreign affairs. Some pursue further studies abroad and some with an outstanding academic record go on to graduate schools at other prestigious institutions across the country with exemptions from entrance examinations upon recommendation by XMU.

Undergraduate courses offered by the Department include:

  • Foundation Japanese

  • Advanced Japanese

  • Extensive Reading

  • Spoken Japanese

  • Japanese Phonetics

  • Japanese Writing for Beginners

  • Japanese-Chinese Interpreting

  • Advanced Reading

  • Listening Comprehension

  • Audiovisual Japanese

  • Japanese Literature

  • Japanese Writing

  • Overview of Japanese Grammar

  • Classical Japanese Grammar

  • Japanese-Chinese Translation Practice and Theory

  • Japanese Lexicology

  • Overview of Japan

  • Japanese for Trade and CommerceJ

  • apanese Kanbun

Department of European Languages & Literatures

The Department of European Languages and Literatures has three specializations: Russian, German and Spanish. During their first and second years, students receive comprehensive training in listening, speaking, reading, writing and translating, while during their third and fourth years, they pursue studies with a focus on a chosen field and develop their overall skills in preparation for their future careers. The department is also committed to the teaching of English as a second foreign language, and students are expected to pass the CET-4 and CET-6. Moreover, the department encourages students to take courses in other disciplines for a second degree or study other supplemental courses to expand their range of knowledge and acquire composite skills. Most graduates from the department work in civil service, foreign affairs, international trade, commerce, and education. Graduating students with an outstanding academic record can go on to the graduate school at XMU or other prestigious institutions without having to take the entrance examinations.

Russian Program: The Russian program began in 1953. The program has a full-time faculty of eleven, including:

  • 3 professors

  • 1 associate professor

  • 4 assistant professors

  • 3 instructors from Russia

The program provides students with proficiency in the Russian language and professional skills for a successful career in the market economy. XMU operates student exchange programs with:

  • People’s Friendship University of Russia

  • Tver State University

  • Transbaikal State University

Under these programs, undergraduate students enrolled in XMU’s Russian program study at XMU for three years and at a partner institution for one year, while graduate students study at XMU for two years and at a partner institution for one year. Students with an outstanding academic record who have won a prize in the annual National Collegiate Russian Contest are sent to Russia for one year of studies under the sponsorship of China’s Ministry of Education.

The main courses in the Russian program include:

Intensive Russian Reading

  • Russian Grammar

  • Spoken Russian

  • Russian Phonetics

  • Advanced Russian

  • Advanced Russian Reading

  • Russian-Chinese Translation Theory and Practice

  • Russian Interpreting

  • Russian Newspapers and Magazines

  • History of Russian Literature

  • Selected Readings in Russian Literature

  • Russian Culture and National Conditions

  • Overview of USSR

  • Contemporary Russian National Situation

  • Russian Culture and Arts

  • Audiovisual Russian

  • Russian Listening and Speaking

  • Listening to Selected Russian News

  • Russian Writing

  • Business Russian

  • Appreciation of Russian Movies and TV

  • Tourism Russian

  • Public Relations Russian

  • Scientific Russian

  • Students must also take English as a second foreign language.

German Program: The German program currently has a faculty of eleven:

  • 2 associate professors

  • 5 assistant professors

  • 1 assistant lecturers

  • 3 instructors from Germany (one of them sponsored by the Bosch Foundation in Germany).

The program provides students with advanced German language skills and a solid knowledge of German culture and society. Under a “3+1” joint education program launched in 2009 as part of the partnership between XMU and Germany’s University of Trier, undergraduate students enrolled in XMU’s German program can study at XMU for three years and at the University of Trier for one year.

The main courses in the German program include:

  • Fundamental German

  • German Grammar

  • Spoken German

  • Advanced German

  • German Reading

  • German-Chinese Translation Theory and Practice

  • German Interpreting

  • History of German Literature

  • Selected Readings in German Literature

  • German Stylistics

  • Overview of Germany

  • German Newspapers and Magazines

  • Audiovisual German

  • German Writing

  • German for Trade and Commerce Introduction to Academic Research Methods

  • Students must also take English as a second foreign language. 

Spanish Program: The Spanish program currently has a faculty of six:

Department of French Language & Literature

The French program at XMU began in 1978. Graduate courses have been offered since 2000. In 2003, a master’s degree program in French Language and Literature was officially established. In 2006, the Department of French Languages and Literature was established. In 2010, the French program at XMU was designated as a specialty program of by Fujian Province. Currently, the Department of French Languages and Literature has a full-time faculty of fifteen:

  • 2 professors

  • 1 associate professor

  • 6 assistant professors

  • 2 assistant lecturers

  • 4 instructors from France

In 2007, Ding Zhiqiang, an associate professor at the department, was presented with the “Knight of the Order of Academic Palms”, an honor bestowed by the French government.

French Program: The French program for undergraduates provides students with a solid linguistic foundation, a wide range of skills, a high level of proficiency, and innovation capabilities. In 2001, the department introduced a “3+1” undergraduate educational program in partnership with:

Through these programs, students study at XMU for three years and at a partner institution for one year. In each of the past three years(2014、2013、2012), 25 to 28 students participated in this particular program.

Graduates from the French program enjoy an employment rate of 100%. Each year, about 30% of the bachelor’s degree graduates go on to graduate schools at prestigious Chinese universities such as:

  • Peking University

  • Tsinghua University

  • Nanjing University

  • Beijing Normal University

  • Renmin University of China

  • Wuhan University

  • Sun Yat-sen University

  • Xiamen University

  • Beijing Foreign Studies University

  • Shanghai International Studies University

  • Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

Graduates also attend programs at renowned institutions in France, the United Kingdom and the United States. Three bachelor’s degree graduates have received scholarships from the China Scholarship Council for combined master’s/PhD programs at a foreign institution. The range of master’s programs studied by bachelor’s degree graduates from the department has significantly expanded. Courses include:

  • Language

  • Literature

  • Business and commerce

  • Management

  • Law

  • Logistics

  • Journalism

  • Mass media

  • Higher education

  • Art history

  • Culture and arts administration

  • French culinary arts

Students from the department have won top honors in various national contests. In 2007, a student from the department received the third prize in the Essilor Cup French Literature Translation. In 2008 and 2012, two students won the third prize in the Casio Cup French Speech Contest. In 2010, a student finished second in the National French Writing Contest. In 2011, a student came in first in the National French Blogging Contest. In 2013, a student finished fourth in the finals of the first CCTV French Contest, and another student finished in the top 30. In 2014, a student won the third prize in the second Trophée des Talents de Chine. And in 2012 and 2014, two students won the third prize at the National Forum for Graduates Students of French.

The main undergraduate courses at the department include:

  • Foundation French

  • Fundamental French GrammarSpoken French

  • Audiovisual French

  • Intermediate French

  • Intermediate French Grammar

  • Advanced French

  • Systemic French Grammar

  • French-to-Chinese Translation

  • Chinese-to-French Translation

  • French Interpreting

  • Overview of French-speaking Countries

  • French History

  • French Writing

  • French Culture

  • French Literature

  • French Reading

  • French Etymology

  • French Newspapers and Magazines

  • French Stylistics

  • Business French

  • Applied French

  • Tourism French


Faculty of the Department of English Language & Literature:

Faculty of the Department of Foreign Language Education:

Faculty of the Department of Japanese Language & Literature:

Faculty of the Department of European Languages & Literatures:

Faculty of the Department of French Language & Literature: