Introduction & History


Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Taiwan University is a broad and dynamic program offering students expansive choice from first year to postgraduate levels. In languages, apart from reading and writing, great emphasis is also put on oral and aural abilities. In literatures, our students study a broad span of Western literature from the Bible to contemporary novels. Students will gain knowledge of critical approaches to literature and refine skills which are indispensable across the specturm of working life.

The faculty of the Department is composed of 78 experienced full-time teachers and 43 part-time teachers, of which 84 have PhD background and 37 are with MA Degree. All faculty members take a genuine interest in instructing their students and dedicate themselves to individual academic research. The Department has also been working closely with international academic institutions. In the past it has played host to many renowned scholars — Ihab Hassan, David James, Ronald Tavel, Porter Wood, etc., who lectured or researched for various durations. The Department will continue the international academic cooperation and exchange for the purpose of fostering students for advanced study and strengthening the Department’s academic research.


National Taiwan University traces its origin to the Taihoku (Taipei) Imperial University established in 1928 by the Japanese. After Taiwan was restored to the Chinese in 1945, the Division of Arts and Political Science of the University was divided into the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Law. In 1947, the Department of Foreign Literature was inaugurated as one of the departments of the College of Liberal Arts and renamed as the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature in 1955. The Graduate Institute of Foreign Languages and Literatures was established in 1966, and the PhD program was subsequently added to the Graduate Institute in 1970. From 1976, the Language Laboratory of the Department was reorganized as the Audio-visual Center of the College of Liberal Arts to provide audio-visual teaching aids for a variety of courses and subjects. The faculty members of the Department are to take charge of utilizing the Center’s facilities to acquaint students of this University with English oral-aural ability and also with other foreign languages.

The Department offers a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures. In addition to knowledge of specialized courses, namely, the required courses in European, English and American literatures, English as a Foreign Language, Linguistics, and a second foreign language, the students are also encouraged to be acquainted with other related knowledge from courses offered campuswide.

The Department has made considerable achievements in carrying out various kinds of academic activities. In addition to the faculty colloquia held regularly, the Department has hosted several international and national conferences, such as “The Fourth National Conference on English and American Literature,” the first and the second “International Conferences on the Translation of Chinese Literature,” “The Literature/Film Conference,” “The First German Language and Literature Conference,” and “The 21st Comparative Literature Conference.” The Department regularly publishes two scholarly journals: NTU Studies in Language and Literature (in English) and Chung-wai Literary Monthly (in Chinese); both enjoy high prestige domestically and overseas. The Department also had the honor of organizing two Nobel Laureates, Derek Walcott and Wole Soyinka, to speak in our University in year 2002.

For the past forty years, the Department has been proud to contribute to Taiwan’s education and culture by graduating many distinguished scholars, writers, and cultural workers. The Department not only plays a significant role in introducing Western literature, philosophy and thought into Taiwan’s society but is renowned for offering students solid foreign language programs. 

Educational Objectives

Undergraduate Program

  • Offer a comprehensive program in English and American literature and culture
  • Emphasize human values and sharpen cultural awareness and mental dexterity
  • Train talents in the use of foreign languages

MA Program

  • Groom research talents in English and American literature and culture
  • Prepare a solid theoretical basis for literary and cultural interpretation to expedite in-depth research and analysis
  • Offer advanced courses in research methodology and writing

PhD Program

  • Train specialists in English and American literature and comparative literature subjects for teaching and research purpose
  • Construct a panoramic vision of literary humanities on a solid cultural and theoretic basis to strengthen research and other intellectual inquiry
  • Promote cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary research based on literary specialties to highlight locally situated scholarship and research

DFLL Internationalized

The Department currently employs over 30 international scholars and specialists to teach up to 13 Western and Central European languages in addition to English. Our undergraduate and two graduate programs each host a small number of international students. We have received an increasing number of inquiries from prospectus students and job applicants overseas, and we expect the number of international students to rise slowly in the next several years, although the total quota is subject to MOE rules.
The Department has signed exchange agreements with three universities. They are the City University of Hong Kong, Ewha Woman’s University of Korea, and People’s Friendship University of Russia. We expect such partnership to grow in the near future as we are expanding our connections in Europe. We have launched an International Shakespeare Association in Taiwan following a series of impressive Asian Shakespeare Conferences in recent years. We initiated and co-hosted three international English conferences with universities in Japan and Korea, and have hosted the International European Languages Teaching Symposium three years in a row. Our students regularly take advantage of the hundreds of the NTU exchange programs each year. Both our undergraduates and graduates can apply for travel funds to present their research at international conferences. Our faculty has a very strong international publication record, and we ranked 37th on the QS World University Ranking in 2011.