Video: Chinese Professor on Applying Pedagogical Theories to Language Instruction

Author: Todd Boruff

“If you teach a student to learn to swim, you must put the student in the water. The same philosophy we can apply to the classroom teaching,” said Yongping Zhu, associate professor and chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

Zhu specializes in historical Chinese syntax and Chinese pedagogy. In this video, Zhu discusses the unique challenges of teaching Chinese as a second language and his research into the application of pedagogical theories to improve instruction.

Zhu noted that, according to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, students require 1,300 instructional hours to reach fluency in Chinese. Students studying a Romance language, by comparison, only require 480 hours. “How do we fill the gap?” asked Zhu. “We have to use efficient teaching methods.”

You can also watch this video on YouTube.

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Originally published by Todd Boruff at on January 12, 2015.