A Case Study of the Ideological and Political Education of College English Translation Course Driven by Words


It takes the new words and phrases from iEnglish (an Integrated Course I) as the basic translation materials, and it takes the articles from “xuexi.cn (学习强国)” platform “China Daily Audio News” column as the elements of ideological and political education. The articles from China Daily Audio News include 10 pieces. The articles’ dates are from November 5, 2020 to December 4, 2020. Through searching and underlining the new words and phrases in the articles, it contains three layers, that is, the translation of short sentences, the translation of long difficult sentences, and the translation of excerpts of passages to carry on the analysis, to study the use of words with ideological and political education. Do put this into use, and thus output in line with the socialist values of talents.

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Su, L. , Xiao, L. and Wang, J. (2021) A Case Study of the Ideological and Political Education of College English Translation Course Driven by Words. Creative Education, 12, 317-328. doi: 10.4236/ce.2021.122022.

1. The Importance of Ideological and Political Education in Today’s Environment

Ideological and political education in curriculum means to join ideological and political elements in the course (Nie, 2020). It is for the sake of the students in the learning process, for them gradually to learn and understand the socialist core values and code of conduct and to internalize the elements in the students’ knowledge system. With the master of a certain of knowledge and skills, the students finish school and become a qualified socialist builder. The ideological and political material of the course should be close to current affairs and to the students. In combination with the characteristics of students’ fast and large amount of information, it can answer students’ exploration and questions about the spiritual world during their growth process, so as to form values conducive to China’s production construction and national stability, and also promote the effective growth of students as individuals.

In April 2020, the Ministry of Education and other eight national departments issued the “Opinions on Accelerating the Construction of the Ideological and Political Work System in Colleges and Universities” (关于加快构建高校思想政治工作体系的意见), which mentioned in the Eighth Point of the Third Part, comprehensively promoting the construction of the ideological and political education in all courses and in all disciplines. It will coordinate the construction of ideological and political education and build a comprehensive curriculum system with rich types, progressive levels and mutual support. It focuses on the construction of a number of public basic courses to improve the ideological and moral cultivation, humanistic quality, scientific spirit and cognitive ability of college students. Therefore, ideological and political education is not just a part of Marxist-Leninist courses, but all courses should be permeated, especially public courses. This kind of permeation should not only do superficial work, nor do with slogans, but put into real practice.

College English, as a public compulsory course in most universities, should also add ideological and political content to the course (Yang, 2020). For college English translation class with ideological factor, it is to input a subtle influence on students’ knowledge with socialistic values, and to drive students actively in the right way to reflect on the world, to learn English in our country’s policy propaganda. Therefore, while playing the role of external affairs, the students can choose the right words, and the correct expression in internal and international events occurs between countries and regions. They can explore a problem from the angle of the governments in our country, and promote national policy decisions,

2. Analysis of the Path of Ideological and Political Education Integrating into College English Translation Course

College English translation course is an important battlefield for ideology and politics education. The bilingual advantage of Chinese elements and Chinese culture is used to spread in the translation skills, and at the same time, the translator’s literacy is shaped and the socialist core values are generated. The majority of teachers have made many efforts in this aspect, and some attempts are quite effective, which is worth learning from.

As Dai Zhengli pointed out in Exploration of Ideological and Political Integration in College English Translation Teaching (大学英语翻译教学中的思政融入探索), there are four strategies for ideological and political education integrating in college translation teaching, among which word and sentence examples are an important means of ideological and political education (Dai, 2020). Vocabulary is the smallest unit of sentences and chapters. Starting with vocabulary, choosing appropriate ideological and political corpus and introducing short sentences, long and difficult sentences, excerpts of passages and other forms for translation practice, students can gradually accept the ideological and political content of the course in the process of continuous upgrading imperceptibly, and it is not abrupt.

Peng Bingxiong in the “Cultural Confidencein College English Translation Teaching Penetration (“文化自信”在大学英语翻译教学中的渗透), illustrated that from December 2013, taking the College English Test Band 4 and Band 6 translation test as a breakthrough point, it established the class of college English translation to enter the Chinese culture, social, economic and other aspects of content, from two aspects of language and culture to establish the students’ cultural confidence, which is one of the course of ideological thinking (Peng & Peng, 2020).

Kong Biao in On the Implementation of College English Teaching Based on the Great Ideological and Political Education” (“大思政”格局下大学英语“课程思政”的落实研究) to carry out the research, put forward the translation, the teacher must consciously put in the golden words of The governance of China by President Xi Jinping, and other materials used in the translation class, thus to improve their translation ability, at the same time, they can learn Chinese culture, cultivate their patriotic spirit (Kong, 2020).

By the above ideological and political education integrating into college English translation practice, this paper chose 10 articles from “xuexi.cn (学习强国)” platform “China Daily Audio News” column as curriculum ideological and politics education translation corpus, with the new words and phrases from iEnglish (An integrated course I)” as the basic translation elements. Through the vocabulary learning and translation, with the three layers from the short sentence translation, long difficult sentences translation, and to excerpts of passage translation, it prompted students to keep pace, from bilingual understanding and practice of translation, to improve their translation skills, at the same time, to cultivate their accomplishment of translation, and to make it conform to the qualified talents for socialist core values.

3. Correspondence between “China Daily Audio News” Column and the New Words and Phrases from iEnglish (An Integrated Course I)

This paper selects 10 articles from “China Daily Audio News” from November 5, 2020 to December 4, 2020, with a total of 7599 words. After combing, at least one word appears in the sentence, and the number of words that can be used as corpus is 6205, accounting for about 81.66%. From a percentage point of view, “China Daily Audio News” has a high degree of correspondence with word exercises, which can be incorporated into college English translation classes as ideological and political content of courses. In addition, the selection of materials this time is a random selection of materials within a month, and there is no other standard.

From Table 1, it can be calculated that the total number of words is 487, the total number of phrases is 125, and the total is 612.

There are 101 words listed in Table 2, accounting for 20.74% of the total number of words and 5 phrases, accounting for 4% of the total number of phrases.

From the word frequency (Table 3), it can be found out that today’s society is more concerned about the words entitled “nation, technology, environment, globalization, poverty, cooperation, promotion, region, transformation, consumption, confrontation, digitalization, security, innovation” and so on. These words will be the main force of the course’s ideological and political education, but there is also no lack of words and sentences translation exercises as the high-frequency vocabulary of CET-4 and CET-6.

Table 1. Combing of words and phrases in iEnglish (An Integrated Course I).

Table 2. The words that appear in “China Daily Audio News”.

Table 3. Frequency of the occurrence of words and phrases.

There are three articles which are connected with the theme of the textbook closely, they are the November 16 “Yangtze regions urged to seek quality growth”, the December 3 “Blue print set tone for green development”, and the November 24 “Xi: create new paradigm for cyber security.” The students may understand more deeply on how the Chinese government and people have taken measures and practical actions to protect the environment and cyber security, and how they strive to create a peaceful world.

4. Methods of Integrating Ideological and Political Education into College English Translation Course

The pace of learning should be changed from easy to difficult, and the same is true of translation practice (Dong, 2020). In the specific implementation of translation practice, on the one hand, the corpus with ideological and political factors should be chosen. And also the principle of gradual and orderly progress should be taken into account, according to the translation practice from short sentences to long difficult sentences and then to excerpts of passages.

Before this translation practice, the corpus of the 10 articles and the background materials are firstly assigned to students. At the same time, students are actively encouraged to have a comprehensive understanding of the key words by reading newspapers, magazines and online resources, so as to facilitate the correct wording and understanding in translation exercises.

4.1. Translation in Short Sentences of Less than Two Words

1) Literal translation

Literal translation is the translation method that students are best at. Although in some translations, students’ translations are different from each other, it can still be regarded as the stepping stone for translation classes.

Driven by words, and integrating the ideological and political content into translation practice, it helps students familiar with the policies and measures to cope with the world changing gradually in the learning process. This is the focus of the curriculum ideological and political education construction. However there is no rush, it can be begun with more familiar materials, and the students can read and translate the sentences smoothly at the beginning, especially through literal translation strategy of sentences. Examples are as follows:

a) The Nation’s imports to top $22 trillion in the next decade are offering huge support for global economic recovery


In this sentence, the background is COVID-19 pandemic swept through the world, and all countries’ economic growth downturn. Some of them fell into depression, while China is the only comprehensive economic unity which kept on rising, putting forward such an order of magnitude of total imports, reflecting the courage to take the responsibility of the world. It fully embodies that China would like to stand ready to work together with other countries, to build the economic community of fate. In the process of translation, the sentence pattern is not the difficulty. Understanding China’s responsibility should be the power behind the translation.

b) Our aim is to turn the China market into a market for the world, a market shared by all, and a market accessible to all.


How to do the parallel structure to make the translation with rhythm and how to reflect the open attitude of our country are the key points the students should pay attention to in the translation, at the same time, this sentence can be used as students’ recitation items, to provide proper material for speech and writing.

2) Sentence conversion

Literal translation is the simple way to find the meaning out in another language, but some sentences may sound uncomfortable if listed straightly out by literal translation simply because of the differences between Chinese and Western expressions. Teaching students to use sentence pattern conversion on the premise of literal translation is also a strategy to learn translation well. Examples are as follows:

1) In September, Xi Jinping Co-hosted a China-German-EU Leaders’ Meeting via Video Link with Merkel and Two EU Leaders.


2) Xi made the remark as he spoke via video link at the opening ceremony of the Third China International Import Expo, held in Shanghai.


3) Making long sentences short

Some sentences look like very long at the first sight, but the core content is not large, as long as students pay attention to current affairs, it is not difficult to translate, so some sentences with a large vocabulary can also be translated as short sentences, to get rid of the mentality of students’ fear when they encounter long sentences. Examples are as follows,

a) In the same year, investment made to 43 percent of China’s GDP, 19 percentage points higher than the global average and 22 percentage points higher than that of developed countries


In this sentence, GDP is familiar to students, and some students even translate it into GDP directly. The last two parts are parallel structure and the sentence structure is the same, so there is little pressure for students to do the translation.

b) Xi, who is also General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in his congratulatory letter on the successful completion of the 10,000-meter sea trials of China’s new trapped submersible Fendouzhe and its return to port in Sanya, Hainan Province.


Among them, the Party and government positions held by President Xi are familiar to students and will not become an obstacle to translation. Sanya Port in Hainan Province is not a difficult point for them either. When these parts are removed, the whole sentence should not be more than 20 words.

In addition, Xi pointed out that since the start of the pandemic, China and Germany have maintained communication and their practical cooperation have continued to advance. The sensible cooperation that China and Germany have maintained since the outbreak of the pandemic will continue. This kind of sentences are not different, therefore, the students can handle it with a little more attention.

At the same time, if there are words in the titles that need to be translated, title translation is also a good choice, which can guide students to know how to succinctly translate. the examples are Yangtze regions urged to seek quality growth (长江地区寻求质量发展), Xi:Create new paradigm for cybersecurity (习近平:创建网络安全新模式), Xi,Merkel talk about vaccine cooperation (习近平,默克尔就疫苗合作进行磋商), Military urged to sharpen its combat ability (军方敦促加强军事对抗能力), Xi: Country meets poverty reduction goal (习近平:国家实现减贫目标), Xi:China aims to be market for world (习近平:中国将成为世界市场), Xi emphasizes crucial role of consumption (习近平强调消费的关键作用).

4.2. Translation in Long Difficult Sentences Containing More than Two Words

After short sentence translation training, the students need to move to long difficult sentence translation training step by step. In order to increase the efficiency of learning new words, generally the difficult long sentences training chooses sentences that contain at least two new words, four or five new words at most. To a one-time translation training with a few new words, the curriculum ideological and political education and new learning content are integrated, to achieve the purpose of learning.

1) Translation in long difficult sentences containing several new words

a) Thanks to government incentives and the resilience of its people, consumption in China has rebounded quickly and strongly. This reaffirms our belief that nothing can stop Chinese people in their pursuit of a better life.


As the global consumer market entered a downturn due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China did not close its door. Instead, it opened to the world on a larger scale and in a wider range, so that the Chinese market could become a global market and play the role of a major country in the uncertain world.

b) They said that after the 2008 global financial crisis, China had already put forward the strategy of domestic market expansion, and the new strategy, emphasizing the domestic market, is a strategic decision to transform challenges and a crisis into opportunities securing high-quality development under new circumstances.


President Xi proposed the strategic pattern of “two cycles” (forming a new development pattern with the domestic cycle as the main body and the domestic and international double cycles mutually promoting), emphasizing the importance of the domestic market under the current situation. It is important for students to have a better understanding of the development trend of the domestic market and even provide some ideas for their further study and employment in the future.

2) Repeating the translation of long difficult sentences with single words

In Table 3 of Part III of this paper, it can be found that some single words appear with a high frequency. This kind of hot words can also be used as translation corpus, allowing students to understand the words and translating sentences from multiple perspectives. Meanwhile, it also permeates the ideological and political thoughts of the course. Examples are as follows:

a) China is ready to work with other countries to seize the historic opportunities presented by the information revolution, foster new growth drivers through innovation, break new ground in digital cooperation, create a new pattern for cybersecurity, build a community with a shared future in cyberspace and join hands to create a brighter future for humanity.


b) “As the world embraces digital transformation, the need for international cooperation has become more urgent than ever. The international community welcomes China’s initiative and engagement in global internet governance,” he said at the forum’s opening ceremony via video.


c) The president also stressed that the overwhelming trend for countries to move toward openness and cooperation remains unchanged, as he called on major economies and developing countries to take joint responsibility to open up and promote world development.


This is evident in the example of the word “cooperation.” Repeated practice of words is to better consolidate knowledge and form muscle memory of words, so that words can be memorized effortlessly and used correctly.

3) Translation of words with the same root

Roots are an effective way to memorize words. By adding different prefixes and suffixes, multiple associated words can appear. At the same time, translating these words is also a good way to practice students’ translation. Examples are as follows:

a) President Xi Jinping has called for expanding domestic consumption so that all links including production, distribution, logistics and consumption can rely more on the domestic market to sustain a positive growth cycle, according to an article published in the latest issue of Qiushi Journal, the flagship magazine of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.


b) While it may be easier for developed regions in eastern China to adjust their industrial structures and phase out small, polluting factories, action plans should be drafted in a more detailed manner for central and western regions based on their development levels to facilitate their sustained and phased transformation efforts.


c) Green development has been an underlying trend since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, and the proposal shows that, with stronger governance capabilities, the central authorities have made sustained efforts to further develop Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization, a concept promoted by Xi that advocates balanced and sustainable development.


Through the conversion of the word “sustain”, the effect of drawing inferences from one example is achieved, the learning efficiency is promoted, and the ideological and political factors are instilled in the classroom.

4.3. Translation Related to the Topics in the Students’ Book

The textbook iEnglish (An Integrated Course I) itself is closely related to the times. Its content is novel, covering hot issues at home and abroad, and it gives a unique interpretation. The content of the “xuexi.cn” platform is updated quickly, and it is closely followed the hot issues at home and abroad. Therefore, it is inevitable that the textbook and the content of the platform are related closely. In this case, the teacher can take the textbook materials as the foundation, the “xuexi.cn” platform content as extension, to join the ideological and political elements into the translation, which with the student practicing translation skills at the same time, let the students not only know about the current hot issues, but dig them deeply, in the form of bilingual presentation.

In Part II of this paper, after sorting out the theme of three articles similar to the textbook, the main paragraphs of which are now to carry out translation exercises, with the translation of ideological and political education. The following example is from “Xi:Create new paradigm for cybersecurity”, November 25, 2020. The issue of cybersecurity is related to Unit 4 “Life at Fingertips” and Unit 7 “Tech: A Bless or a Curse” in iEngish (An Integrated Course I). The following excerpts are translated as examples of chapter translation in order to achieve the role of translation.

“As the world embraces digital transformation, the need for international cooperation has become more urgent than ever. The international community welcomes China’s initiative and engagement in global internet governance,” he said at the forum’s opening ceremony via video.


Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of tech company Lenovo, said he was deeply inspired by Xi’s remarks in the letter, which reaffirmed the critical role of digital technologies and the internet.


“The digital and intelligent transformation that we human beings are experiencing is a huge opportunity for the information technology industry. It should also be guided by technological innovations like 5G,” Yang said on the sidelines of the forum.


“The remarks empowered us to continue to leverage 5G to drive the transformation progress and join hands with upstream and downstream industrial chains to contribute to the development of the digital economy and an intelligent society,” he said.


As COVID-19 continues to spread worldwide, countries across the world should leverage “global cooperation as a strong weapon and informatization as an effective means of fighting against the pandemic”, said Zhuang Rongwen, minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China.


Through the above example practice, it makes the students understand the events at home and abroad in recent period, the Chinese government’s attitude and countermeasures, so as to understand China’s position on the world stage, prompting students in learning words and translation at the same time, understand the national conditions, to understand the international situation, and understanding of the meaning of being a Chinese. This article is just one way of practicing of the college English translation teaching, “xuexi.cn” platform and its column “China Daily Audio News” has been updated, corpus materials the students facing are changing all the time, therefore this article is just a context, following the changing of corpora. Adjusting the translation teaching, the teacher can help students truly grasp the rope of the times, and that is the also the real purpose of integrating ideological and political education into daily English learning.

Research Findings

This paper is the final research result of the 2014 Teaching Reform Project of Baoding University “Research on College English Translation Teaching Strategies under Output-driven Hypothesis (2014010304)”. 本论文为保定学院2014年教改课题“输出驱动假设下的大学英语翻译教学策略研究(2014010304)”最后研究成果。

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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