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Kazakh Language and Literature Department

It is the only department of Kazakh language and literature in Chinese universities and colleges, and the birthplace of this specialty in China. In 1953, the first undergraduate program of the Kazakh language was initiated here, which was expanded into a department in 2004. It has been the most authoritative training center for learners of Kazakh language and culture in China, and has the right to grant doctor’s degree in the first-level discipline of Chinese language and literature. It covers academic programs for B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. as well as a post-doctoral program. DKLL is one of the key units of “Project 211” and “Project 985” in the university, and is one of the 51 “National Centers for Talent Training in the Basic Arts Disciplines and Research of Ethnic Language and Literature”. The Kazakh language is also listed as one of the key national disciplines. DKLL mainly admits students from Xinjiang area and aims to produce bilingual specialists who are skilled at Kazakh and Chinese and who are engaged in the teaching, research, editing and translating of Kazakh language and literature.

At present, at the undergraduate level, there are two programs: Kazakh language and literature tradition; and trilingualism of Kazakh, Russian and Chinese. For the M.A. studies in Kazakh Language and Literature, there are four programs: modern Kazakh linguistics, ancient Turki literature, Kazakh literature, and Kazakh folk literature. Ph.D. degrees are awarded in Chinese Ethnic Minority Language and Literature, under which there are three programs: literature of ancient Turki - ancient Turkic - Uighur and West-Central Asia language; language and culture of Central Asian nationalities; and modern Kazakh linguistics.

DKLL is equipped with a high-quality faculty. At present, there are 10 professional teachers, among whom there are 5 professors (including 3 doctoral tutors) and 3 associate professors, who either work in the Kazakh linguistics section or the Kazakh literature section. There are also 2 academicians who received their honor from foreign academies. One is Prof. Geng Shimin, the world’s first class man of letters in the ancient Turki language and also the founder of the research of Kazakh language & literature and ancient Turki literature in China, the only one that has received the World Famous Scholar Award from German Humboldt Foundation and Golden Prize from International Standing Conference of Altai school, and the one who was awarded as “Honorary Academician” by Institution of Language of the Republic of Turky; the other academician is Prof. Hu Zhenhua, an internationally acknowledged scholar in Khalkhas, who was awarded with the Manas Medal by President of the Republic of Kirghizia, and is also an honorary academician of the national academy of science there. Moreover, the best experts in Kazakh linguistics and Kazakh folk literature in China are also among our staff. In recent years, DKLL have made yearly invitation to some well-known experts home and abroad to come for academic exchanges and thus created a lively atmosphere for research. For example, around the year 2006, several famous experts in Kazakh literature history from the National University of Europe and Asia of the Republic of Kazakstan, and several other experts in Kazakh language and literature from Giessen University of German had come to DKLL to give lectures.

Since DKLL’s establishment three years ago, the staff have published 19 academic works, 70 academic papers, and taken part in more than 10 research projects like the National Project for Creating Core Teaching Materials, the “ 985 Project”, “211 Project”, Beijing Project of Model Lessons, and the university’s core research projects, etc. They have also obtained a high-grade prize for research and one for practical teaching. Take the year 2006 for example, altogether 13 works and 30 papers were published by DKLL’s staff.

Today there are 129 undergraduates, 6 M.A. candidates, 9 Ph.D. candidates, and one postdoctoral researcher in DKLL. In the past 54 years, DKLL has educated over 1200 qualified professionals, who are now working in the National Ethnic Affairs Committee or in provincial organs of Xinjiang, and have become the major force in their work of publishing, translation, administration, clerics, teaching and research, literary writing, etc.

With the help of the self-evaluation of undergraduate teaching in 1998, the internal reform in 2004-2005, the revision of post-graduate teaching plan in 2004, the revision of undergraduate teaching plan in 2005, and the evaluation and reform of undergraduate teaching in 2006, the teaching level of DKLL has been further enhanced. Now all the students and the entire staff of DKLL are passionately putting into practice the university’s guideline of “solid development, high quality”, carrying out the pedagogic reform, and constructing a systematic and large-scale framework of education. DKLL is right on the way to the goal of building a world-famous department in Kazakh language.

Department f Kazakh Language and Literature: the Birthplace of Advanced Professionals

Objective of Teaching:

DKLL’s objective is to produce the highest-level professionals in Kazakh language and literature and transmitters of Kazakh culture in China. The academic programs in DKLL are basic, theoretical research on liberal arts, and as the leading programs in this field in China, they are to educate general professionals in the Kazakh language and literature who are equipped with a solid basic skill in this field, namely, bilingual writing skills in both Kazakh and Chinese, fundamental research skills, a basic but broad theoretical knowledge about social sciences and humanity, multi-nationality culture knowledge, a wide horizon, and adaptability to social development. Our mission is to provide talents for high-level Kazakh language work sectors (translation, publishing, broadcasting, government organs, research and teaching) in order to transmit and develop the traditional culture of Kazakh nationality. Our graduates are wholly-developed with a healthy personality, solid mastery of basics, a wide grasp of knowledge, a high ability, creativity and industry, and a sustainable potential.

Organization of Courses:

There are four types of courses: general educational courses, basic disciplinary courses, major disciplinary courses, and optional courses, which respectively help students to have an attainment of science and humanity, to grasp academic basics, to learn systematic knowledge about the special field, and to be informed with the latest development and personally catered knowledge in this field. The disciplinary courses include an introduction to linguistics, an introduction to literature, an introduction to folk literature, modern Chinese, modern Kazakh, language history of Kazakh, an introduction to Turki linguistics, ancient Turki literature, writing of Kazakh, theory and practice of translation, modern literature of Kazakh, research on modern Kazakh, historical comparative linguistics of Turki, literary history of Kazakh, academic writing of Kazakh language and literature, systematic Chinese courses, systematic foreign language courses, systematic computer courses, etc.

Features of Education

DKLL only admits students who have taken the Entrance Examination with the Kazakh language (who are mainly Kazakh students but also include some students of other nationalities). The students admitted can be either arts students or science students. Since 2004, every year DKLL has established a teaching class which would last for five years and be graduated with B.A. The teaching of students covers two fields of language and culture. Not only disciplinary basics and framework of knowledge are required, but also general courses like Chinese, foreign language, computer, and writing are emphasized, both of which are supplemented by the wide choice of the cross-disciplinary optional courses provided by the university. DKLL has its own internship centers in some national and regional sectors of publishing or editing and translation, which could supply the students with the chance to practice their theory and foster their competence in high-level working environment. Students in DKLL enjoy the special policy set by the state, so they are exempted from paying tuition, and meanwhile 80% of them are able to receive a dozen kinds of fellowship and scholarship.

Prospects of Employment and Further Education

DKLL’s graduates have been well known for their solid basic ability, wide span of knowledge, broad perspective, high integrated quality, good adaptability to work, and great potential. They grow mature faster than other domestic graduates in this profession and are therefore praised by personnel at all levels. Their main areas of employment are in the field of press, culture and information, education, research, government departments, public services, etc..With China and Kazakhstan’s bilateral relations growing closer and with the rapid economic development, in recent years a group of students have begun entering some multinational corporations in Beijing. The graduate employment rates in the first two years are both 100%, and the employment rate of 2006’s graduates has reached 70% as early as October that year.

DKLL’s students continue to learn in the field of modern Kazakh linguistics, Turki linguistics, ancient Turkic philology, Kazakh language history, Kazakh literature, Turkish folk literature, ancient Turkic-Uighur and West-Central Asia literature, Central Asian nation language and culture, linguistics and applied linguistics, ethnology, folklore, philology, etc.. As a national education center of liberal arts under the Ministry of Education, we select 5 students out of each class to form the key classes and give them special professional training and the privilege of a “unified bachelor’s and master’s program”.