plenary speakers

Perry Link

Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies at Princeton University

Chancellorial Chair for Teaching Across Disciplines at the University of California, Riverside
Perry Link began his study of Chinese at Harvard University in 1963 with Rulan Pian, daughter of Yuen Ren Chao.  He is now Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies at Princeton University and Chancellorial Chair for Teaching Across Disciplines at the University of California, Riverside.  He is co-founder with C.P. Chou of the Princeton-in-Beijing summer program and has taught beginning or second-year Chinese more than 30 times, primarily at Princeton but also at Harvard, Middlebury College, UCLA, Princeton-in-Beijing, and UC Riverside.  He is co-author of Chinese Primer, a textbook for absolute beginners, and Oh, China!, a beginning-level textbook for heritage learners.

A Century of Change in the Teaching of Chinese in the West

Over the last hundred years, the teaching of Chinese as a second language in the West,has undergone tremendous change. An important reason for this has been a major shift in the goal of learning Chinese. For centuries in Europe, the Chinese language was a kind of curio, held at a distance as one might regard a lovely piece of cloisonné. Sinologists examined samples, translated them into European languages and then published related research. The Chinese language was an object to be deciphered, not a tool for thought. Today, the goal of Chinese teaching is to induce students to embrace the language, tointernalize it, live it and breathe it. Far from merely translating, students can now say and think things in Chinese that they might not be able to put into English. This is a tremendous advancement which came about in part because of some very large events in the world. World War II convinced the U.S. government that spoken language was vital for communication with allies, such as the Chinese soldiers. In the 1980s a new wave of immigration from mainland China brought a vast new supply of talent to the field, and the technological revolution affected everything. This lecture will touch on how these large events re-shaped Chinese language teaching.

Joël Bellassen

General Inspector of Chinese Language in the French Ministry of Education
Joël Bellassen is the first General Inspector of Chinese Language in the French Ministry of Education, the PhD supervisor at the Institut de langues et culture orientales in Paris, the vice president of the World Society for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, the president of the European Association for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, and a famous sinologist in France. He was responsible for the development and revision of the national Chinese language syllabus and examination syllabus in France, and the assessment and employment of Chinese language teachers. He is the first doctoral supervisor for Chinese pedagogy in Europe, and the founder and honorary president of the French Chinese Teachers Association. He is a part-time researcher at the Institute of Chinese Language and Culture Education at Beijing Language and Culture University, and a visiting professor of the School of Chinese Culture and International Communication at Beihang University and Chongqing Jiaotong University.

He has edited more than 40 books and teaching materials, such as "A key to Chinese Speech and writing", “Research on Chinese Language Education in France”, "Explanation of the Use of Chinese Grammar", "The Ideographic Kingdom of Chinese Characters", "China recycled" and “Intercultural Chinese Pedagogy”. In addition, he has published more than 140 academic articles.

Returning to the Problem of the Schism in Chinese Second Language Education: John Defrancis (1911-2009), the "Missing Link" in the History of International Chinese Language Education

Since the establishment of Chinese as a second language as a discipline in the 1980s, it has been in a state of schism due to radical divergence on a fundamental issue, namely the basic unit of analysis for the Chinese language from a didactic point of view. Two diametrically opposed paths have emerged: One is the monistic path, which recognizes only one minimal didactic unit in Chinese, the word, as in other languages. The other is the dualistic path, posing  the idea that the didactic nature of Chinese is dual, with the character governing written language while the word governs spoken language. It turns out that a major figure of the international discipline of Chinese as a second language, John DeFrancis, was in fact obscured and has become a real “missing link" in the history of international Chinese language education. DeFrancis was a pioneer of the dualist path, known in Chinese as Zibenwei. This paper discusses and analyzes the principles and pedagogical paths of the DeFrancis textbook series in order to restore DeFrancis to his rightful place in the history of international Chinese textbooks.

Neil Kubler

Stanfield Professor of Asian Studies at Williams College
Cornelius C. (Neil) Kubler is Stanfield Professor of Asian Studies at Williams College, where he founded and for many years chaired the Department of Asian Studies. He is concurrently adjunct University Chair Professor in the Graduate Program in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language at National Chengchi University in Taipei and has served as Visiting Professor at National Taiwan Normal University, National Tsing Hua University, and Chinese University of Hong Kong. He served from 2014 to 2016 as American Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing and has directed intensive Chinese language training programs in the U.S., China, and Taiwan. Previously he was Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese Language Training Supervisor and Chair of the Department of Asian & African Languages at the Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State, and served for 6 years as Principal of the AIT Chinese Language & Area Studies School in Taipei. He is principal author of the new Basic Mandarin Chinese series and has published over 60 articles and 33 books on Chinese language pedagogy and linguistics.

Chinese for Diplomats: History of Chinese Language Training in the U.S. State Department

U.S. State Department Chinese language training began in Beijing during the late Qing Dynasty and continues to take place today in Washington, Taipei, Beijing and elsewhere on a scale unmatched by any other country. This presentation will discuss the history and practice of State Department Chinese language training including: language skills needed by diplomats; when, where, and how training in this variety of Chinese for Specific Purposes is undertaken; training the trainers; curriculum; materials development; and the special requirements of high-level training in diplomatic Chinese. The State Department’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI) has been very influential in language training within the U.S. government and American academia, having had a strong influence on the development of oral proficiency interviews, the ILR and ACTFL proficiency rating and testing systems, and the current emphases on proficiency and communicative ability. Accordingly, the presentation will conclude with a discussion of similarities and differences between government and academic Chinese language training as well as lessons that those of us in academia can draw from government language training experience.

Joo-eock Maeng

Professor Emeritus at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
Joo-eock Maeng is currently Professor Emeritus at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Korea, Professor Emeritus at Minzu University of China and Vising Professor at Taiwan Normal University. He is President of the Committee of 100 for Global Chinese Teaching & Research and Managing Director of the International Society for Chinese Language Teaching. He has previously served as Visiting Professor at Beijing Language and Culture University, National Tsinghua University, Hong Kong University of Education and Yanbian University. He has also served as President of the Asia-Pacific International Chinese Teaching Association and Vice President of the World Chinese Teaching Association. His research areas include Chinese language acquisition, phonetics, translation and intercultural communication.

Compilation Principles of Chinese Language Textbooks in Ancient Korea

Nogeoldae (老乞大) and Baktongsa (朴通事), the traditional Chinese language textbooks in ancient Korea, estimated to have been written at the end of the Yuan Dynasty, showed real-life conversations and cross-cultural exchanges between China and Korea. These textbooks are considered very important to the Chinese language teachings in ancient Korea due to the lack of written documentation of the Chinese language at the time. Through examining the texts in the textbooks, this presentation will reveal that the traditional Chinese language textbooks in ancient Korea had consistent thought process guidelines in their textbook writing and were well implemented in practice, making them of high reference value for future Chinese language teaching. In addition, the intercultural communication abilities' emphasis aligns with the current trend in teaching foreign languages, which is already a reflective thought process for Chinese language textbook compilation from hundreds of years ago in ancient Korea.