CEC 2014 Speaker Bios and School Descriptions

Jianhua Bai
Professor of Chinese
Kenyon College, OH

Jianhua Bai is a professor of Chinese at Kenyon College and Director of the Chinese School of Middlebury College. He teaches Chinese language and courses in linguistics and Chinese language pedagogy. His research interests include foreign language education and assessment, integration of technology into the CFL curriculum and action research. He has extensive experience in teacher training and supervision for various world languages. He served on the executive board for 2 terms and as President of the Chinese Language Teachers Association in 2004. He is also actively engaged in other professional activities such as organizing international conferences, evaluating journal articles of his field, evaluating university programs and faculty of other institutions for their promotional reviews, serving as Senior Advisor (flagship curriculum) for American Council of International Education, chairing (2004-2010) the AP Chinese Language and Culture Exam Development Committee and currently serving as College Board Advisor for the AP Chinese development.

Kevin Chang
Director of Chinese Program
Chinese American International School, CA

With over twelve years of service as a Chinese immersion teacher and Lower School Director, Kevin Chang now heads the Chinese faculty as Chinese Program Director at Chinese American International School (CAIS) in San Francisco. Mr. Chang graduated from Hualien Teacher's College in Taiwan and taught at Fu-shing Elementary School in Taipei for five years. He continued his education at the University of Oregon where he earned a Masters of Music degree (M.M.) and pursued doctoral studies in Music History.

Mr. Chang’s work in Chinese as a foreign language education has included leading the Hanban-NAIS Acculturation Training for visiting teachers in 2007 and 2008 and mentoring a variety of Chinese language teachers between 2006 and 2012. His presentations on Chinese curricular and instructional strategies at different events hosted by NAIS, NCLC, and the Chinese Education Conference have helped spur the growth of Chinese education around the country. Today, Kevin Chang oversees a long-term Chinese immersion curriculum development project, leads a Chinese faculty of over 30 teachers, and plays an integral role of providing quality Chinese education at Chinese American International School.

Sara Chao
Chinese Language Teacher
New Trier Township High School, IL

Sara Che-Hsuen Chao teaches Chinese language at New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, IL. Prior to teaching exclusively Chinese, she taught Spanish and World Cultures both at the middle school and high school environments as well as created and established these new curricula in the schools. Ms. Chao has been actively involved in STARTALK programs in Illinois and Massachusetts where she has successfully managed Startalk teacher and student programs in Chinese since 2010. She is currently serving on the Board for Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools and has served as Past President of Chinese teacher organizations in Illinois. She has also worked with The College Board as an AP Chinese Language and Culture Test Reader. Ms. Chao received a M.A. in Literacy Education as well as a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from Northern Illinois University.

Jeremy Chan
Hanban Guest Teacher
Horseshoe Trails Elementary School, AZ

Jeremy Chen is a visiting guest teacher from Chengdu Jiaxiang Foreign Languages School, Sichuan Province, China. He is currently teaching Chinese language and culture to students in grades 3-6 at Horseshoe Trails Elementary School in Cave Creek, AZ. Jeremy has degrees in English Education from Sichuan Education College and Chengdu College of Education. He holds several awards including a first place prize for the National Teaching Skill Competition (China, 2006) and first place prize for the National Award English Speech Competition (China, 2005). His passions include his family, his students and using technology to help him stay 100% in the target language while teaching!

Eric Chipman
Chinese Language Teacher
K-12 and Community Outreach Coordinator
University of Utah Confucius Institute

Eric Chipman, MA, World Language Teaching , has been inextricably involved with all things China, and Chinese Language Education in Utah since 2008, following residency in Taiwan for several years in the mid-2000s. After teaching Chinese in a variety of contexts he found himself at the Utah State Office of Education aiding in the efforts of the then newly formed Utah Chinese Dual-Immersion Program. From there he moved to the University of Utah Confucius Institute as the K-12 and Community Outreach Coordinator, as well as Office Manager. He takes interest in most all aspects relevant to Chinese language pedagogy, but has found a niche in technology and engagement strategies. Coordinating several Chinese Pedagogy trainings for Utah teachers every year has offered him many an occasion to run workshops on technology and its role in the Chinese language classroom.

Michael Everson
Emeritus Associate Professor, University of Iowa
Managing Editor ACTFL

Michael E. Everson is Emeritus Associate Professor of Foreign Language Education at the University of Iowa where he coordinated one of the few K-12 Chinese language teacher certification programs in the United States. Amassing 10 years of experience teaching Chinese at the U.S. Air Force Academy, his research interests include how American students learn to read in Chinese, as well as issues surrounding Chinese language learning in the United States. His scholarship has appeared in a variety of journals and book collections, with his most recently co-edited publications being Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language: Theories and Applications (with Xiao Yun) and Research among Learners of Chinese as a Foreign Language (with Helen Shen). He was also one of the lead designers of Read Chinese! an online reading project designed for high school learners of Chinese through the National Foreign Language Center in College Park, MD. He served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, was on the executive board of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages where he served as its president, and has served on the advisory board for STARTALK since its inception. For four years, he was one of the lead instructors for the summer Chinese Pedagogy Institute at Indiana University, and has served as outside evaluator for the Associated Colleges in China (ACC) Chinese language program. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of Foreign Language Annals, the journal of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

Robin Harvey
Master Teacher of Foreign Language/TESOL Education
New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development

Robin Harvey is Master Teacher of Foreign Language/TESOL Education in the Multilingual/Multicultural Studies Program of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

She is also director of NYU's Project for Developing Chinese Language Teachers (DCLT), which holds a monthly “Friday Night Forum” professional development event for Chinese teachers; attendance at each event averages 60 teachers. Project DCLT’s website offers many resources for Chinese teaching (http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/teachlearn/dclt). For the past two years, Harvey has been program director of NYU’s Startalk Immersion Training Program for Teachers of Chinese (1-6).

Harvey is the founder and head teacher of Greenwich Village Chinese School, which provides Mandarin afterschool and summer programs for children from infancy through 8th grade. In that capacity she has provided Chinese program curriculum development and teacher training and support. She originated and taught the middle school Chinese program at Village Community School, a K-8 school in New York City.

Robin Harvey is co-author (with Pauline Huang) of Rhythms and Tones: Inventive Songs & Chants for Learning Chinese (Chinasprout, 2010). Rhythms and Tones 2 will be released by Chinasprout in spring 2012. Harvey holds an M.A. in Teaching Foreign Language (Chinese) from New York University, and a B.S. in Languages (Chinese) from Georgetown University.

Hong Gang Jin
Professor of Chinese
Executive Director of Associated Colleges in China Hamilton College, NY

Jin came to Hamilton in 1989 after receiving a master's and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She started the Chinese Program at Hamilton in 1989, and in 1996 helped establish the Associated Colleges in China program, a rigorous study abroad consortium in Beijing. Jin was named the 1998 CASE National Outstanding Baccalaureate College Professor of the Year and in 1996 received Hamilton’s 1963 Award of Teaching Excellence. Jin’s primary interest is language processing and language acquisition. In addition to her books on psychology of language development and studies of language acquisition, she has published numerous articles in professional journals. Her recent research focus has been on classroom process and its effect on language acquisition, resulting in six articles published in 2004-2007 in Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association and other books. Jin is also interested in language pedagogy and is the lead author of three sets of textbooks. A two-volume series, Crossing Paths: Living and Learning in China and Shifting Tides: Culture in Contemporary China (both with DeBao Xu), was published in 2003. She was on the board of the Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA) and was president in 2004-2005. In 2006 she was elected vice president of National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) and she will assume presidency of NCOLCTL during 2008-2010.

Ellen Knell
BYU Chinese Flagship K-12 Director
Brigham Young University, UT

Dr. Ellen Knell has been curious about English/Chinese bi-literacy development ever since she began learning Mandarin more than 30 years ago. Ellen has been a teacher and teacher trainer in schools in the US, Hong Kong, and China. She has done extensive research on immersion and bi-literacy acquisition in Xi'an, China and has published in journals such as the Modern Language Journal and The International Journal of Education. Upon her return from China, Ellen served as the Chinese immersion coordinator for the state of Utah. Currently she directs the F-CAP grant for BYU and supervises secondary Chinese programs.

Lucy Lee
Chinese Language Teacher
Livingston High School, NJ
Teacher Educator
Rutgers University & William Paterson University, NJ
CLASS Membership Committee Chair
Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools

Lucy Chu Lee 竹露茜, 2012 NECTFL Teacher of the Year and 2013-14 NJ County Teacher of the Year, is a veteran Chinese language teacher at Livingston High School and a teacher educator at Rutgers University and William Paterson University in New Jersey. She taught at Seton Hall University and Drew University for many years. Ms. Lee co-authored the CLASS Professional Standards for K-12 Chinese Language Teachers, served as the co-chair for the national project on the standards for K-12 Chinese learners, and participated in the NEH/Ohio State NFLRC-funded Guide for Basic Chinese Language Programs. Ms. Lee served two terms as president of the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools (CLASS) and served on the Board of Directors for the Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA). She also served two years on the National Commission for the AP World Languages Course and Exam Review Project. She was appointed to serve on the New Jersey International Education Taskforce and served three years on the National Chinese Language Commission for a Luce Foundation Project on the Chinese Language Field Initiative. Ms. Lee has served on a variety of professional committees including the National Standards for Foreign Language Collaborative Project, AAPPL Leadership Team and Advisory Committee, ACTFL Assessment Grant Advisory Committee, SOPA Online Training Panel committee, and the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) WOPA-C Course Project. She is currently serving on the board for the Foreign Language Educators in New Jersey (FLENJ).

Luyi Lien
Academic Director
Yinghua Academy, MN

Dr. Luyi Lien has been the Academic Director of Yinghua Academy since 2006. Dr. Lien received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Minnesota. She has degrees in Bachelor of Arts (Chinese Literature), Bachelor of Science (Applied Psychology), and Master of Science (Applied Psychology) from Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taiwan. Dr. Lien has taught and developed curricula at Yinghua Academy since the school was chartered in 2006. Her duties include overall design and alignment of Chinese curriculum with national and State of Minnesota academic standards; collection and evaluation of all Chinese materials; planning and conducting all-school, total-subject assessments; and developing and creating materials for Mandarin Literacy Assessment Tools. She provides Chinese planning support and resources for Yinghua Academy teachers and families, and evaluates and suggests areas for individual and group staff professional development.

Claudia Ross
Professor of Chinese
College of the Holy Cross, MA

Dr. Claudia Ross is Professor of Chinese at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and has taught Chinese language, linguistics, and culture for over 30 years. She received her Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Michigan, specializing in Chinese and Japanese, and has lived in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan. She was the director of StartTalk programs focusing on Chinese literacy development in 2012 and 2012, and has twice served as President of the Chinese Language Teachers Association. She has authored and co- co-authored many scholarly articles in linguistics, as well as reference grammars and textbooks in the field of Chinese as a foreign language, including the Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar co-authored with Jing-heng Ma, and the two-year Chinese textbook series, the Routledge Course in Modern Mandarin co-authored with Baozhang He, Pei-Chia Chen, and Meng Yeh.

Helen H. Shen
Professor of the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures
University of Iowa

Dr. Shen's research specialization is Chinese as a second language reading. She has published extensively in the research on Chinese L2 literacy development. She is the lead author of the book “Teaching Chinese as a second Language: vocabulary acquisition and instruction” and three textbooks for Chinese learners. She also is the co-editor of the book “Research among learners of Chinese as a Foreign Language.” With support from a US department of Education International Study grant, in 2005-08, Shen served as director and principal investigator in the construction of a web-based, comprehensive Chinese reading program (http://collections.uiowa.edu/chinese/) -- a program that now has nearly 10,000 readers worldwide.

Yin Shen
Kindergarten Immersion Teacher and Curriculum Specialist
Portland Public Schools, OR

Shen Yin has been working with Mandarin immersion teaching in the U.S. since 1996. In 1998 she started Woodstock Elementary School's Chinese immersion program in Portland Public Schools and has been working there ever since.

Currently she is a kindergarten teacher half of the day and a curriculum specialist the second half of the day. As a curriculum specialist, she helps to develop and create curriculum materials; facilitate PD workshops; and provides demo lessons for K-5th grade Chinese immersion teachers.

Madeline K. Spring
Professor of Chinese
Arizona State University

Madeline K. Spring is a professor of Chinese at Arizona State University, where she serves as director of the ASU Chinese Language Flagship, director of Chinese Flagship/ROTC Pilot Program, director of the ASU Confucius Institute, and director of the Chinese Language Program in the School of International Letters and Cultures. From January 2006 to August 2007 she was academic director of the Chinese K–16 Language Flagship at the University of Oregon. Her recent pedagogical research focuses on curricular design and implementation, content-based instruction, teacher training, and assessment.

Lixing Frank Tang
Professor of Foreign Language Education
NYU Steinhardt

Dr. Frank Lixing Tang is Professor of Foreign Language Education at New York University and has served as the director of TESOL/Foreign Language Education/Bilingual Education programs for the past 15 years. Dr. Tang created the BA/MA in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language Education as early as 1999, the first of its kind in the East Coast of the US. Over 70 students have completed NYU’s MA in Chinese language education program, got certified, and are now teaching in American schools from K-16. Dr. Tang also serves as the director of NYU’s Center of Developing Chinese Language Teachers, which provides professional development forums and workshops to both pre- and in-service teachers.

Dr. Tang’s research interest includes foreign language teaching methodology, and brain-compatible teaching, and humanistic approach to teaching foreign languages. He has published many articles, and given lectures and workshops on effective language teaching and brain-based instruction. His teacher workshops are known to integrate theory and practice, and to engage participants in the learning process. Dr. Tang has been a plenary speaker at the National Chinese Language Teachers Conference and many international Chinese language teaching and research symposiums and conferences. He was honored by the Greater New York Association of Chinese Language Teachers its Tenth-year Anniversary Special Award for Contribution to the Teaching of Chinese in 2012.

Wenjing Grace Xie
Curriculum Specialist
Arizona State University Confucius Institute

Dr. Wenjing (Grace ) Xie, Curriculum Specialist at Arizona state University Confucius Institute received her master degree of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)from the University of Sydney, Australia. She started her teaching career at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics in 2005. In 2008, in cooperation with International College of South China Normal University, Xie initiated TCSOL (Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other languages) program in Guangzhou. Since then, Xie has been working closely with teachers of Chinese, conducting workshops, providing consultation etc. Since Xie joined ASU CI in 2010, she has served as curriculum specialist for ASU CI K-12 Confucius Classroom Chinese programs, providing workshops for teachers of Chinese and constructing resource network for teachers of Chinese in the Confucius Classrooms. She also taught intermediate level of Chinese at ASU STARTALK summer camp.

Jingsheng Yang
Mandarin Teacher
Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies, AZ

Jingsheng Yang, Secondary School Chinese teacher at Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies in Arizona has been certified as a Chinese teacher in Secondary Education since 2008. She has about 20 years of teaching experience and 5 years of full-time IB program Mandarin teacher experience. She joined Mesa Academy of Advanced Studies in 2008 and has been in charge of the IB Mandarin program in the school. Through her program, 49% of the students reached intermediate level (based on the data from AVANT test) after 2 years of Mandarin learning and earn 2 points of high school credits. She also teaches AP Chinese at Hope Chinese School during the weekends.

School Programs

Chinese American International School,CA
CAIS is an independent, not-for-profit school founded in 1981 as the first school in the U.S. dedicated to Chinese-English dual language immersion with a deep understanding of Chinese culture. CAIS now enrolls 500 students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade and spans across two campuses in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley.

From Pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade, CAIS students spend half a day in an immersion setting with a native Chinese-speaking teacher and teaching associate and the other half of the day with an English-speaking teacher and teaching associate.

In middle school, grades six, seven and eight, Chinese is taught in two full class periods each day as an integrated language arts and social studies humanities course. Additionally, in middle school, arts program classes are offered in both Chinese and English and consist of brush painting, Chinese dance, visual art, hip hop dance, Chinese music and world music.

Livingston Public School Chinese Programs, NJ
Livingston High School is a comprehensive, public high school, which provides programs to meet the diverse needs of over 1,800 students enrolled in grades 9-12. The school calendar incorporates four marking periods and the school runs on a Rotating Drop Schedule which creates more time for staff to collaborate and develop instructional goals on intra/inter departmental levels. There are 56-minute class periods on a rotation and 81-minute lab periods, which meet once every four days. All students pursue an appropriate academic program encouraging active involvement in learning. The academic program is augmented by a wide range of elective courses and an alternative high school program to help guarantee the success of all students.

The Chinese World Language program at Livingston High School focuses on the acquisition of communication skills and cultural knowledge. Courses encompass the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, which address the need to prepare students for an interdependent global environment. Our programs address standard number seven (7). Students are taught and assessed in the three modes of communication: the interpretive, interpersonal and presentational modes. These indicate progress in a student’s ability to understand, interact and produce the target language. Livingston High school offers Chinese 1, 2, 3 Honors, 4 Honors and Chinese AP.

Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies, AZ
The Academy opened in August 2007 to serve students in grades four through eight, with a capacity of approximately 450 students. A ninth grade class was added from 2008 - 2010. The Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies prepares students for advanced college-level courses in high school, such as the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and Advanced placement. The Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies, part of the Mesa Public Schools system, has received official authorization to offer the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) to support our motto, "Rigor and Challenge in the Classroom."
Mesa Academy offers Chinese intro Grade 4, Chinese Intro Grade 5, Chinese II, and Chinese Level A and Chinese Level B for secondary school level.

New Trier High School, IL
New Trier Township High School is a public four-year high school serving 3147 students, with its main campus located in Winnetka, Illinois, USA, and a second campus in Northfield, Illinois, with freshman classes and district administration. Founded in 1901, the school is known for its large spending per student, academic excellence, and its athletic, drama, visual arts, and music programs.

New Trier was the first high school in Illinois to offer Chinese and has been offering Chinese instruction for over 14 years. New Trier has three full time teachers teaching 14 classes ranging from Chinese 1-AP as well as extracurricular clubs and study abroad

Portland Public Schools Chinese Flagship Program, OR
The Portland Public Schools (PPS) Chinese Flagship Program is committed to creating a sustainable, agile, and replicable model for K-12 Mandarin Chinese education in the United States, where we strive for all students to achieve high academic performance and advanced proficiency as bilingual, bi-literate citizens with deep cultural awareness.

Students in middle school continue their Mandarin language and cultural skill development during daily content-based, theme-based Social Studies classes and Mandarin Language Arts classes. In continuing to move students toward a high level of functional proficiency (Intermediate Mid by the end of 8th grade), the three-year middle school experience culminates with an opportunity to participate in a two-week research residency in Suzhou, China. Students participating in the China Research Residency utilize their language and cultural skills to navigate day-to-day aspects of living and to conduct research based on student-centered inquiry projects.

In High School, PPS offers rigorous core academic courses in Mandarin along with advanced-level face-to-face and hybrid online Mandarin language courses. Both heritage and immersion students enroll in these courses with the targeted outcome of Advanced Low to Advanced Mid based on ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines in speaking and writing by the end of high school. Students applying to become university-level Flagship Scholars are strongly encouraged to participate in special preparation courses both locally and abroad along with community-based language learning experiences.

PPS Chinese Flagship is part of the Oregon K-16 Chinese Flagship Program.

Sonoran Trails Middle School,AZ
The world is shrinking, and in order to give our students a competitive edge in high school, university and ultimately in the global work force in which they will compete, STMS is the only public Middle School in Arizona that offers all students World Languages as a Core class. Students Learn Chinese, French or Spanish. The World Language program is integral in promoting students’ global awareness and skill. Sonoran Trails has established “sister school” relationships with schools in China and France. We are currently working with the City of Phoenix to establish a working relationship with a school in Mexico. Sonoran Trails offers 7th and 8th grade Chinese.

Utah Chinese Dual Immersion, UT
From kindergarten to the sixth grade, fifty percent of a student’s day is spent in Chinese instruction with their Chinese-speaking teacher and the other fifty percent is spent with their English-speaking teacher. In grades K- 3 most of the core content learning is delivered by the Chinese teacher while the English teacher concentrates on developing the building blocks for strong English language skills and literacy. Although the amount of time spent in each classroom doesn’t change, the curriculum model shifts when students enter grades four through six as a greater sharing of content area responsibility is developed between the two teachers. For example, some areas of math, social studies, and science will shift to the English half-day with an increased concentration on Chinese literacy during the Chinese half-day to help improve the students’ proficiency.

Students entering immersion programs in kindergarten or the first grade will become part of an immersion strand of study that culminates in Advanced Placement Chinese by the 9th grade (and the AP Chinese test), and college-level coursework from grades ten to twelve as they work to achieve advanced level proficiency on graduation from high school.

Yinghua Academy, MN
Founded in 2006, Yinghua Academy is the first Chinese immersion charter public school in the United States and the first Chinese immersion school in the Midwest. Yinghua is a bilingual, tuition-free, public charter school with an international perspective. In the fall of 2006, 79 students walked through the doors of Yinghua Academy. Today, about 380 students are enrolled, and the school has grown from a K – 5 elementary to a K – 8 elementary and middle school program.

The curriculum covers all Minnesota State Standards and the Core Knowledge Sequence, building both subject area knowledge and Mandarin fluency from year to year.

  • Kindergarten and 1st grade – Full immersion in Mandarin Chinese
  • 2nd and 3rd grade – Full immersion in Mandarin Chinese + 60 minutes of English Language Arts every day
  • 4th and 5th grade – Full immersion in Mandarin Chinese + 90 minutes of English Language Arts embedded with Social Studies & Science content, consistent with the new Common Core State standards
  • 6th and 7th grade – Academic content taught primarily in English + 60 minutes every day of instruction in the Mandarin Chinese language*

*Note: At the middle school level, elementary immersion students will be able to continue content-based Chinese instruction in a 50% Chinese, 50% English immersion environment. Current (and new) middle school students receive instruction primarily in English, with at least 60 minutes of Chinese as a foreign language daily, as stated above