Fight the Epidemic| Colorful Stories about Combating the Virus in English-major Classes


Fight the Epidemic| Colorful Stories about Combating the Virus in English-major Classes

March 7, 2020

The Battle against the Epidemic is in Full Swing—

Inspiring Stories of How to Fight the Virus in English-major Classes are Unfolding.

Languages are significant agents of thoughts and emotions expression.

Against the backdrop of combating COVID-19, encouraging English majors to describe and share their experiences during the outbreak in English is conducive to improving language proficiency, demonstrating humanistic caring and conducting psychological counseling. Since the starting point of offering online courses on February 10, faculty members of the English department have integrated the theme of “Fighting the Epidemic” into multiple specialized courses of each grade, so as to inspire students to face the present with a positive and healthy attitude amid language teaching.

1.   Integrated English 2

Instructor: Li Fei

Upon receiving the notice of offering online courses, I suffered from considerable stress. On one hand, epidemic information from different sources, such as Wechat Moments and Weibo, has been quite disturbing; on the other hand, I was not at home, and thus the lack of textbooks at hand caused some difficulties in preparing lessons.

However, when I realized that students may also under the same great pressure as I did, I tossed and turned, contemplating for quite a while, and the idea that “education aims at enlightening people” lingered on my mind all along. When the online education really kicks off, what we, as teachers, need to do first is to help students build up positive and healthy mentality step by step. In order to achieve this goal, I designed a group activity inviting students to make speeches themed on “Angels and Demons during the Battle against COVID-19”. By doing so, students could be filled with more positive energy, Moreover, the application of language skills and the shaping of critical thinking could be realized through the power of languages.

2. Integrated English 2

Instructor: Jin Hong

This spring semester is a special one. Under the influence of the epidemic, freshmen of the English department began to attend online courses on February 10 as scheduled. The text “We’ve Been Hit!” occurs in the first unit of the textbook, which focuses on is the “September 11th” event, in the United States, 2001. It describes people’s experiences and heroic deeds during that disaster. During my lecture, a comparison between the 9.11 incident and the status quo of this outbreak, assigning a task to students-- writing an essay based on disasters that they have heard of or ever experienced. Additionally, I sent out glossary or useful language expressions and encouraged them to write down their experiences amid the outbreak.

Although students are beset by the pandemic, almost all of them are adjusting the emotions in an active manner. Through reading their writings, I could feel that these youngsters are not only inspired by contributions made by medical professionals, community workers and their relatives; they also grow stronger with determination to combat the virus.

3. English Writing 3

Instructor: Yao Xiajing

As for the English Writing course of this semester, I invited sophomores to write journals, and the theme of the first week’s journal is “how does the epidemic change my life”. Our students have witnessed this influential historical event: some of them returned to their hometowns from Wuhan, and others are Wuhan locals and stayed in the city. Among 82 students, some of their parents are medical workers who have dedicated themselves to the front line battles for over a score of days, leaving them at home confronting the life after lockdown by themselves. Some were quarantined after returning their hometowns. Also some students chose to turn off the phone and immersed themselves in books at their ease, casting off what is going on around them Moreover, some students savored every precious moment with their family. Still others rediscovered the scenery in the remote countryside, reflecting on life and themselves from another perspective with serene state of mind.

Writing is indeed capable of providing comfort and a uplift of our emotions. By sorting our entangled thoughts, confronting how we feel, writing sooths the volatility of emotion, and transform it into rational words and clear ideas.

4Advanced English 2

Instructor: Jiang Min

During the course in Advanced English, based on the current epidemic, I recommend students to read relevant literary classics, so as to ponder over the state of mind and the struggle, and the resilience of mankind faced with disasters.

Albert Camus is a renowned French novelist, essayist and playwright who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957. His work The Plague tells a story happened in Oran, a North African city, where a group of people, represented by the main character Dr. Bernard Rieux, makes all-out efforts following the plague outbreak. It incisively depicts the dauntless spirit of facing up to the dismal life and “pursuing an unattainable goal”, the brave fight amid the “absurd”, and the insistence on truth and justice amid the despair. Therefore, by encouraging students to share their reading experiences, I hope to boost students confidence and courage when confronting the pandemic.

5Intercultural Communication

Instructor: Yang Hongyan

The Intercultural Communication is a specialized optional course for juniors, and the 4th lecture focused on “intercultural adaptation”, which refers to a process of adjusting oneself and gradually adopting a new lifestyle when a communicator encounters the pressure exerted by an unfamiliar cultural environment. Researchers develop curve models to reveal characteristics of the adaptive process.

Since students’ intercultural communication practice is restricted during the outbreak, I decide to combine the model with how students adjust themselves to cope with the epidemic, inspiring them to draw their own adaptation models during the outbreak with pictures and words (English). By doing so, they are able to share the mental development of active adjustment and adaptation through colorful paintings and flowing writing. In addition, by comparing their own model with the intercultural adaption model, students’ understanding of the intercultural adaption theory would be strengthened.


The online teaching of CUGSFL features a joint campaign against the epidemic, a vivid record of united efforts from both teachers and students.

In terms of online courses, teachers swing into action and overcome difficulties. Teachers who are familiar with functions and operation procedures of online teaching platforms, spare no efforts in optimizing the subject, content of process of teaching Some teachers earnestly not only record teaching videos, but also engage themselves in online group discussion and experience sharing and. Some teachers even consult technicians about specific operations issues late at night…They want nothing but to render us best-quality online courses at home, during this outbreak.

In this special context, we, as English majors, should study harder online, prepare well for each themed interaction of “Fight the Epidemic” so that we could make the best of the online courses by telling stories and sharing experiences in English as actively as possible. English-major online courses are true assets, full of humanistic caring and spiritual solace.

The epidemic comes with a vengeance, and the fight against the virus has a long way to go.

However, as long as we unite as one

Our perseverance will eventually surmount all difficulties!

When we embrace the advent of spring,

When we hear the bell ring,

In the classroom,

Hope to meet you who are just as energetic as before.

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