Red culture is Chinese people’s precious cultural heritage forged in revolutionary war era, carrying rich revolutionary spirit and profound cultural connotation. Hebei Province is blessed with rich red culture resources which are worthy of further understanding, inheritance and promotion by contemporary college students. For those English majors in Hebei Province, it’s a great chance to combine Hebei red culture recognition with English study. By taking Hebei red culture as the text and English as the carrier, it is expected to carry out specialized English teaching for English majors and meanwhile to vigorously enhance the publicity of Hebei Red culture.
The purpose of this paper is to identify the status quo in the recognition of Hebei red culture value among English majors and the current involvement of Hebei red culture in English teaching as well as students’ needs. Through investigation and research, some reasonable suggestions are put forward to achieve the following three targets: 1) to deepen the contemporary college students’ recognition of Hebei red culture; 2) to continuously strengthen college students’ Chinese culture-confidence; 3) to provide suggestions to improve students’ pragmatic output ability of Hebei red culture in English.
2. Research Design
The previous study on red culture are mainly about the revitalization and development of red culture by various means, such as developing red tourism resources, producing red culture products (Sun & Wang, 2019). As for the field of education, many scholars have elaborated on how to carry out college students’ moral education (Yang, 2018) (Tao & Lu, 2020). By now the research that combines promoting college students’ recognition of red culture with professional English teaching hasn’t been seen publicly. Therefore this research has its unique value. In order to accurately reflect the status quo of English majors’ recognition and the involvement of Hebei red culture in English teaching as well as students’ needs in this field, the research was completed in five universities. They are located in different urban areas across Hebei Province with different school-running levels, which can objectively and comprehensively reflect the purpose of investigation. In total, 290 English majors are chosen as subjects at random, including 90 freshmen, 100 sophomores, and 100 juniors. The reason why seniors are not invited in the survey is that they are busy with their graduation. The proportion of male respondents and female respondents is one to six.
Questionnaire, as the major research instrument, is divided into two parts. The first part aims at getting comprehensive information of Hebei University Students’ overall awareness of Hebei red culture. Specifically speaking, the questions are from the following several aspects, namely 1) the basic information of college students; 2) the degree of understanding of red culture, 3) the approaches to understanding; 4) to what extent college students identify with the significance of red culture and their actual practice of promoting red culture. The answer to the survey could objectively and comprehensively reflect Hebei English majors’ recognition of Hebei red culture value. In the second part of the questionaire, the purpose is to investigate the actual situation of red culture bilingual teaching and studying as well as students’ needs. The data could provide some guidance for the English teaching and practice of Hebei red culture. What’s more, some reasonable suggestions are put forward to solve the problem based on what have been reflected in the questionnaire. A total of 290 copies of questionnaires were distributed and 285 valid were collected.
3. Data-Collection and Analysis
3.1. Hebei University Students’ Overall Awareness of Hebei Red Culture
It is not a positive result when the data is observed concerning Hebei University Students’ cognition of red culture, as 72.28% of the students chose the item “know a little”, and 24.91% chose “know more”. When it comes to the forms of red cultural connotation, the top three are “the Statues of the Five Heroes of Langya Mountain” (94.39%), the film “Xiao Bing Zhang Ga” (89.12%) and “the Memorial Hall of Li Dazhao’s Former Residence” (81.75%), and the other forms such as novels and documents about Anti-Japanses War are less preferred. But it can be seen from the choice that the access to red culture is diverse and ample. TV series or movies ranked first (94.04%), followed by books and Internet (70.18%, 68.77%). More than half of the students also chose to visit revolutionary sites or memorials (65.96%). The other forms include documentaries (64.91%) and stories told by the seniors (64.56%).
As for Hebei University Students’ recognition of the significance of red culture in modern society, the survey result shows as follows. First of all, all the students think that red culture maintains modern value; most of them (98.6%) can draw strength from red culture, and more than half of the students (62.11%) claim that among their icons there are red characters, such as Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Dong Cunrui, etc.
The following questions are about the implementation of red culture in schools and the practice of students. 40% of the respondents show that there are red culture courses in their schools, and 48.25% of the students think the content is lively and the form is rich and diverse, while 49.12% of the students think the content and form are just so so. Around half of the students (43.86%) think that the frequency of red culture activities in their school is average. 42.81% of the students like to participate in the red culture lectures organized by their university, while 30.88% of students are with less willingness; 48.42% of the students are willing to be red culture publicity volunteers organized by the school. 27.02% of students are passionate to participate.
3.2. Involvement of Hebei Red Culture in English Teaching and Students’ Needs
The last part of the questionnaire is a survey of the current situation of red culture in English teaching and students’ needs in this fileld. The result is shown in the tables.
Table 1 shows that the five universities in which the research was done have already got Hebei red culture involved in English teaching, but the proportion is not very high, which further introduces the necessity of discussing how much Hebei red culture should be involved in English teaching.
From Table 2 it can be seen very clearly that the majority of the subjects agree that it is necessary to add element of Hebei red culture in English teaching and studying. It reflects that students are eager to know more about Hebei red culture in English.
From the figures of Table 3, it can be found that students can actively seek various ways to increase their exposure to the red culture materials in English. The top one is “watching the English subtitles of red culture films and TV works”, as for the reason may be students’ preference of visual and audio presentation. The item “consulting the English literature concerning red culture in the library” won the least vote, which is kind of out of the researchers’ expectation. After all, English literature concerning red culture is a reliable way for students to read and appreciate.
The questionnaire designer examines the needs of the subjects from the four dimensions of listening, speaking, reading and writing. According to the result of Table 4, “reading ability” got the highest vote, which conforms to the basic cognition that input is the foundation of output. Meanwhile, students have urgent needs to improve their listening and speaking ability. As the main form of direct communication, listening and speaking ability training in English concerning Hebei red culture should be given enough attention. At the same time, as another form of output, writing ability should also be paid attention to, so as
Table 1. Hebei red culture involvement in English teaching and studying.
Table 2. Necessity of Hebei red culture in English teaching and studying.
Table 3. The access to English version of Hebei red culture.
Table 4. English abilities students need to improve.
to truly achieve the inheritance and promotion of red culture in Hebei Province through English as a medium.
4. Suggestions and Conclusion
According to the results of the questionnaire, it is evident that Hebei college students have a full affirmation of the value of red culture, but their understanding of the real connotation of red culture is relatively weak. The education of red culture promoted by universities doesn’t fully achieve the purpose of attracting students and spreading red culture. Students are eager to promote Hebei red culture in English while improving the ability of listening speaking and reading are the top three concerns of students. To solve these problems, the following suggestions are put forward with.
4.1. Suggestions of Strengthening the Value Identification of Hebei Red Culture
4.1.1. Suggestions for School
First of all, school should diversify different ways of promoting red culture rather than confine to the traditional class or lecture. It is necessary to combine the red culture with the campus culture of colleges and universities. The school history museum, campus architecture, sculpture and campus road can play the role of carriers to integrate red culture into the campus landscape design, so as to achieve dissemination and development of red culture in an intuitive way.
In addition, internet education has also become an important platform to spread knowledge and ideas in recent one decade. School can set up its own red culture education platform on the campus official website, timely releasing the information and news related to the school red culture in various forms, including the pictures, videos and articles of relevant experts. In this way, students can receive the red culture information on the campus official website in time. Set up a red culture forum, or create a red culture public account, and let students and teachers express their views and feelings on the forum or public account. Mutual exchange will activate red culture from the silence, so that everyone can enjoy the spiritual feast of red culture.
4.1.2. Suggestions for Students
From the perspetive of students, college students’ recognition of Hebei red culture can not only shout slogans, but also use practical actions to spread and develop Hebei red culture. For example, college students can go to school history museum, history museum and other places as volunteers to explain to other students and people who have little knowledge of red culture of Hebei, so as to enhance college students’ recognition of the value of red culture. For those college students who don’t know about red culture, they should visit the red tourist attractions during the holidays. For example, college students in Hebei Province can visit Li Dazhao Memorial Hall, North-China Marty Cemetery, Baoding Ranzhuang Tunnel War Site, etc. Through on-the-spot visit, the abstract red culture can be changed into concrete objects that can be seen; therefore, the value of red culture can be perceived more intuitively.
4.2. Suggestions of Involving Hebei Red Culture in English Teaching and Students’ Needs
The above is the countermeasures to promote the red culture identification of college students as a whole. In order to strengthen English teaching in terms of Hebei red culture, we put forward the following suggestions:
1) Strengthen the proportion of red culture in English teaching. Teachers should carefully select among the rich Hebei red cultural heritage to get materials that are close to life, and make them into slides or micro videos in native English language. Provided with these materials, students can easily imitate and study, screen for well-made red culture documentary, and make full use of its English commentary or subtitles to practice students’ listening and translation skills. In English vocabulary teaching, teacher should highlight the connotation of such word as “red”, telling stuents that red not only has something to do with color, but also carries the meaning related to revolutionary spirit, such as in expssions “red flag” and “red song”.
2) Encourage front-line English teachers with profound professional knowledge and excellent teaching skills to participate in the compilation of red culture teaching materials, wholly respect the characteristics of red culture and red language in Hebei Province, develop school-based teaching materials that are suitable for local English teaching, combine English teaching including vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar etc. with Hebei Red culture, so as to let students learn the basic knowledge of English, and provide students with the access to the reliable and authentic red cultural English reading books.
3) Based on the accumulation of a large number of input English materials, students are encouraged to achieve the output of Hebei red culture in various ways, such as collecting relevant material, making PPT, drama play, tour guide practice, etc. giving full play to students’ subjective initiative, encouraging students to produce relevant contents of Hebei red culture in English by means of engaging students in practical red cultural activities, collecting relevant materials, making relevant courseware, performing sitcoms, simulating tour guides, etc.
College students’ recognition of the value of red culture is an important issue for the inheritance and innovation of red culture. English majors shoulder the important mission of carrying forward the red culture of Hebei Province in English. Only with the joint efforts of schools, teachers and students can Hebei red culture continuously play it role in modern society, bring cultural confidence and spiritual inspiration to the young generation.
This work was supported by Project of Social Science Development in Hebei Province: Research on the Effective Output Strategy of Hebei Red Culture in English Major Teaching (No. Y040120180536),
Baoding Education Science “13th five-year plan” Subject: Research on the Effectiveness of Baoding Red culture Thematic Teaching in College English Classes under POA Theory (No. 181082).