1. The Introduction
“Great ideological and political education” is an important concept in promoting the reform of quality-oriented education in our country. It requires that ideological and political education should be integrated into daily education and teaching in an all-round way, and the practical effect of ideological and political education should be strengthened by various forms of education in and out of class. As an important general education course in colleges and universities, college English is both instrumental and humanistic, and it faces great challenges in language communication, cultural communication and thinking collision. How to strengthen the relationship between college English curriculum and ideological and political education, so as to achieve the simultaneous improvement of cultural confidence and ideological and political education is the current trend of college English teaching that needs full attention.
2. Practical Significance of Cultivating Cultural Self-Confidence through Curriculum Setting
2.1. Important Ways to Adapt to Curriculum Reform
It is an inevitable choice to deepen educational reform comprehensively to adapt to the changing situation at home and abroad, and curriculum reform is an important link to promote educational reform. The ideological and cultural exchange and integration among countries in the world is a symbol of the progress of human civilization. However, excessively aggressive cultural hegemony and ideological and political penetration are bound to have a severe impact on the domestic culture and mainstream values, so it is necessary to intervene through school education. The purpose of the curriculum reform in colleges and universities is to break the original pattern of rigid, constantly optimize the course content, make the excellent traditional culture in our country, great ideological and political ideas to highlight, while respecting the curriculum based on the attributes of multi-culture, realization to the students’ cultural education, training and the comprehensive ability of guiding, values. Therefore, it is an important way to adapt to the curriculum reform to cultivate students’ cultural confidence and realize ideological and political education.
2.2. Common Requirements for the Development of the Times and Cultural Construction
At present, various undertakings in China have made considerable progress, and the society as a whole has presented a positive situation, but many very obvious problems and drawbacks have also been exposed. With the further development of the market economy, money worship, egoism，the prevalence of hedonism have a very profound negative impact on social development.
The traditional moral concept is gradually weakened, and personal morality, family virtue, professional morality and social morality become the moral education work in urgent need of intervention and construction. In addition, cultural soft power has become an important part of international competition. In the rush to promote modernization, China has neglected the inheritance and development of traditional culture, which makes the time-honored national culture unable to be invigorated by the Times and even fall into an embarrassing situation for others. How to strengthen cultural construction and use cultural advantages to enhance international competitiveness has become an important issue facing China’s education (Zhang, 2017). Therefore, it is an important measure to cultivate students’ national cultural confidence through optimizing the curriculum setting to meet the requirements of the Times and cultural construction.
2.3. The Inevitable Choice to Promote the All-Round Development of College Students
The students in colleges and universities in the material conditions are extremely rich; family and social awareness are extremely high; rarely encountered in the growth of the outside pressure of school and distress, so that their self-expression desire is strong, who has the obvious characteristics, but also lacking of practical ability and bear spirit, which has to do with the current low adaptability of personnel training requirements. So as a matter of fact, it is not conducive to long-term development of the individual. In the new development period, college students should have sufficient self-confidence, which is not only reflected in self-affirmation, but also reflected in high recognition and confidence in national system, political cause and national culture. College students should also have good comprehensive abilities, including the establishment of lifelong learning concept, the ability to innovate and create, and the formation of pioneering spirit (Xu, 2017). According to the practical needs of students, the curriculum can be optimized in content and form for the development of students.
3. Development Status of Ideological and Political Education in China
3.1. The Actual Effect of Insufficient Ideological and Political Education
Ideological and political education plays an important role in promoting the all-round development of students, which is one of the focal points of college education. From the overall situation of higher education in our country, ideological and political education has received enough attention, but the actual effect is very limited. First, students’ political consciousness and political consciousness are not high. After a long time of specialized study, students do not understand the party and the country adhere to the guidelines, lack of a high degree of identification with the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristic, national spirit and patriotic spirit only stay at the superficial level of language expression. Second, students’ enthusiasm for learning is insufficient. The purpose of ideological and political education is to comprehensively improve students’ political literacy and moral quality and lay a solid foundation for students’ long-term development (Chen, 2017).
But in fact, it is difficult for students to realize this point. They still put the study of professional courses in the first place in their ideology and regard ideological and political education as a means to achieve utilitarian ends. Even some students will participate in the party class education; join the person party organization as: it is a powerful tool to evaluate first and participate in the work in the future; it is difficult to have the enthusiasm and motivation to take the initiative to learn.
3.2. Single and Solidified Ideological and Political Education Form
The goals of ideological and political education in different stages and forms are different in China, but on the whole, the forms adopted by ideological and political education are relatively simple and fixed, and the development vitality is obviously insufficient. Influenced by traditional education concept, each stage, various forms of education in colleges and universities in our country are choosing courses in special education to complete the education target. Crucially, the basic education course is given priority to ideological and political theory knowledge, relying on the teacher’s way to speak about knowledge transfer. No matter in content, the form it can further enhance students’ learning enthusiasm, easy to cause the teachers “teaching” while students “don’t want to learn” passive situation. Although the whole education system has paid more and more attention to the ideological and political education of students and tried to improve the educational effect through various means, some special lectures and hot topics of current politics are not deep enough and tend to become mere forms.
3.3. The Low Correlation between Ideological and Political Education and Curriculum Education
Ideological education and curriculum education correlation degree is not enough. There is the phenomenon of “two pieces of skin” in which the main reason is that current situation cannot correctly deal with the relationship between knowledge and value guidance. Professional courses in ideological education of permeability is not enough, which leads to the two into two relatively independent parts difficult to form efficient unity or education of the education system (Su, 2016). College English courses, for example, are still dominated by grades and diplomas in both entrance exams and talent recruitment. Faced with such a situation, colleges and universities have to lay more emphasis on the study of professional skills and knowledge, and neglect ideological and political education. As far as the society is concerned, most people believe that college English education is only for learning English knowledge and obtaining language proficiency certificate, and other non-English related learning content is not important. Such situation about college English teaching is only to improve the students’ ability of language level for the teaching focus, while ignoring the necessity of the ideological and political education in education link. In addition to vocabulary and grammar knowledge, what the students acquire is the introduction of western ideology and culture, rarely involves the Chinese excellent traditional culture, so it is hard to build up students’ natural culture confidence, let alone to carry forward the national spirit, the ideological awareness in English classes.
4. Realization Path of the Relationship between College English Curriculum and Ideological and Political Education from the Perspective of Cultural Confidence
4.1. The Curriculum of College English Should Adhere to the Principle of Scientific System
In current days, non-major English and academic English both calls for more intense, optimize English curriculum, which has become hot issues in the development of English teaching. As for “education” function in college English course, it is to further strengthen our country’s traditional culture in terms of content setting, ideology, social system and so on. In a word, the curriculum setting of superior English should start from all aspects of English teaching and make a good overall plan to improve the permeability of ideological and political education in college English teaching. It seems complicated and difficult, but in fact it is highly operable, which mainly requires teachers to study English. We should pay attention to the analysis of cultural differences, and make use of the course content to carry out ideological and political education, so as to guide and cultivate students. On the one hand, teachers should try their best to stimulate students’ interest in learning, so that students can have good application ability, no matter they regard English teaching as a means of language learning or a way of cultural communication, and English curriculum as the forefront of ideological and political education has the basis and space to play its role. On the other hand, teachers should strengthen ideological and political guidance. The content of English teaching should be based on specific stories, examples and contemporary translations, and tell Chinese stories in English, including certain political, economic and cultural institutional backgrounds. In the process of explaining these contents, teachers should make a comparative analysis of the superiority of China’s social system and the extensive and profound national culture on the basis of respecting the objective facts, so as to improve students’ cultural confidence and reduce students’ resistance to ideological and political education.
4.2. To Cultivate Students’ Cultural Confidence as the Premise
College English is a course designed to promote students’ all-round development. To improve the correlation between college English courses and ideological and political education, it is necessary to cultivate students’ cultural confidence. Cultural cognition is the foundation of cultural confidence. It is necessary to strengthen students’ knowledge and understanding of Chinese culture. It should be noted that the scope of culture is relatively wide, including both traditional national culture and rich modern culture, and modern culture involves China’s social system, political civilization, economic model, various social undertakings and other aspects. College English curriculum should reflect the cultural contents of different periods and levels, so that students can establish a systematic cultural cognition under the English learning environment. On this basis, we should highlight the characteristics and advantages of Chinese culture, strengthen students’ sense of identity to Chinese culture, help students to establish cultural confidence, so as to promote students’ overall and coordinated development.
The importance of cultural confidence and ideological and political education has been widely recognized. It has become an inevitable choice for higher education to realize ideological and political guidance by taking advantage of the educational advantages of various courses (Ji, 2012). Facing the typical problems existing in our current country education and curriculum education idea to promote the reality of the difficulties, we should realize that this is the development of the education reform. Education will bring the periodic pain. We should hold a positive attitude to deal with and solve these problems; we should put the national language, history and culture, revolutionary tradition spirit as the focus, to cultivate the students’ political identification, cultural accomplishment, ideal personality. The ultimate concern as the main target, education should guide students to correctly understand Chinese characteristics and international comparison, comprehensive and objective understanding of contemporary China, look at the outside world, respect people’s value, respect the value of spirit, pay attention to the major problems of human and society, and gradually guide students to become the all-round talents with connotation and pursuit.
The thesis is the post-project result of Baoding Education Science Planning Project—Research on the Realization of Ideological and Political Education in College English under the Perspective of Cultural Confidence; Project number: 201058.