Course Detail M.A. 2022


Middlebury College Course Catalog

The Chinese School is planning to be on the campus of Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, with our usual schedule and in-person, residential format. Prior to arrival on campus, all students, faculty, staff must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
Please monitor the Middlebury College website for travel and health requirements, and ongoing updates:

Graduate Program

M.A. degree students must enroll in the required full course load of three courses.

— Credit: 1 unit per course
— Class dates: July 6 -August 19 (6 weeks)

Simplified / Traditional
All instruction and class materials, as well as School newsletters, emails, announcements, posters, etc., will be presented primarily in simplified Chinese characters. Material for some courses may also be in traditional Chinese characters. Reading material for some courses may be in English. Students have the option to use either traditional or simplified characters for their work products for MA courses.

Online Course Content: Canvas
Each course may provide course materials, schedules, and assignments through the Canvas learning management system. Please learn about Canvas, and complete the Canvas Orientation at Tech Resources for Students.

Course Textbooks

Textbook requirements for each course level are listed below.

Do not order books until your course registration is confirmed.
ONLY order books for classes you are taking. There is a limited inventory of books reserved for those taking each class.

You may order your books from any source.

When you order from the Middlebury online bookstore, you can have your books shipped to the campus bookstore for pick up on the first Monday of the session.
Bookstore hours: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm Mon-Fri.
Shipments sent by UPS Ground will take about 4 days. Please order your books with enough time to allow for shipping!

Orders from any other source must be delivered to your home, or to the campus mail room. See Campus Planning/Mail for more detail.

Middlebury Online Bookstore:
Middlebury Bookstore Ordering Instructions

Returns and exchanges can be handled at the campus bookstore.

2022 Course Descriptions 

CHNS 6501: Principles and Practices of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

This is an introductory course for those who desire to be professional teachers of Chinese as a foreign language (TCFL). The goals of the course are to help students gain important knowledge on theories of second language learning and teaching and acquire fundamental teaching skills in TCFL, including curricular design, instructional strategies and implementation, and language assessments. While students progressively form their own educational philosophies and teaching style, they will also develop the ability to engage in teaching-related action research.

This course consists of four major thematic units, which serve as four sets of expected learning outcomes of the course:
1) know fundamental issues of learning and teaching a second language (language education, language acquisition, cultural communication);
2) understand principles of teaching Chinese as a foreign language (CFL related acquisition paths, developmental patterns, linguistic and learner factors, input, interaction, and output); 3) gain skills in TCFL curricular design, instructional implementation, material development, and performance assessments;
4) plan for professional career and development in TCFL. The course will adopt a variety of teaching formats, including assigned readings, lectures, group discussions and presentations (oral and written), teaching observation, hands-on teaching process analysis, and individual/group projects.



Meets M.A. Requirement: 1 unit Pedagogy.
Available for students in: G1 ONLY (required)

Brown, H. D. Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy (4th edition, 2015). White Plains, NY: Pearson.

Selected readings from different SLA and CFL related journals.

Hong Gang Jin, William R. Kenan Professor of Chinese Emeritus at Hamilton College.

Prior to her return to the United States, Prof. Jin was the Chair Professor of Applied Linguistics and the former Dean of Faculty of Arts and Humanities at University of Macau for 5 years. Before joining the University of Macau in 2014, Hong Gang Jin served at Hamilton College for 25 years and was the founder of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, its Chinese major, and its nation-wide study abroad consortium in China.

Jin received her master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her primary research interests include cognition and language development, first and second language acquisition, learning theories, foreign language education, and teacher development.

In her over 30 years of career, she has published 7 books and textbooks on second language acquisition and teaching Chinese as a second language. She is also the author or the first author of more than 60 research articles in referred & indexed international journals on SLA and CFL. Jin has also been invited to keynote speeches and conducted numerous nation-wide workshops on CFL learning & teaching strategies and teacher development in the US, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Mainland China.

Jin has been actively involved in U.S. national professional organizations and committees. She was on the board of directors of Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA) during 2002-2006 and was the president of CLTA during 2004-2005. In 2006, Jin was elected as President of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL). During 2008-2014, Jin was also appointed as chair of the AP Chinese development Committee by College Board in the US during 2008-2014. Between 2007 to 2019, Jin received 6 major federal and private grants and 5 multi-year research grants, including the Henry Luce Foundation international studies grant, the Fulbright-Hays GPA funds in the US Department of Education for 2008-2011; 2012-2016, and 5 years of STARTALK grants from the US State Department to develop innovative programs in China and in the US. Her multi-year research grants at UM were awarded for her to engage in 3 major neuro-cognitive projects with collaborators from 4 different international institutions to investigate neuro-cognitive processing.

Jin was named the 1998 CASE National Outstanding Baccalaureate College Professor of the Year. She also received Hamilton’s 1963 Award of Teaching Excellence in 1996. In 2013 she was the recipient of NCOLCTL Walton Lifetime Achievement Award, and was selected as the recipient of CLTA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.


CHNS 6509: Language Testing & Assessment

This course relates language testing practice to current views on communicative language teaching and assessment. It builds on language testing theories and ACTFL standards for foreign language learning, examining the design, planning, and organization of tests while emphasizing the close tie between teaching and assessment. Topics discussed include the classification of assessment techniques (formative and summative), systematic treatment of assessing all four language skills and three modes of communication through integrated performance assessment (IPA), popular standardized tests in the CFL field (OPI, AP, etc.), Chinese program roadmap set up, and alternative ways of assessment (e.g., portfolio, interviews, etc.). Students are expected to utilize language testing theories and standards to design their own assessment tools to guide their current and future teaching practices.
Meets M.A. Requirement: 1 unit Pedagogy
Available for students in: G2, G3, G4

Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, February 1, 2020
ISBN 978-7521314830

Yu Wu, Assistant Professor of Chinese, Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, University of Rhode Island

CHNS 6609: Writing Chinese and Chinese Character Pedagogy

This is a core course for teaching Chinese as a foreign language. This graduate course focuses on cultivating the practical skills necessary to teach Chinese characters. The course objectives are as follows:

  1. Students will gain a systematic and comprehensive understanding of the nature and characteristics of Chinese characters, the formation and development of Chinese characters, the structure of Chinese characters, the evolution of Chinese characters, the theory of Chinese character structure, the simplification and arrangement of current Chinese characters, and the characters’ relationship with the Chinese language. Students will master the basic theoretical knowledge of Chinese characters so as to improve the ability to understand, analyze and use Chinese characters.
  2. Students will understand the factors affecting Chinese character teaching, mastering the basic theory of Chinese character teaching, and cultivate the ability to combine Chinese character construction theory and Chinese character teaching theory to analyze problems in Chinese character teaching.
  3. Students will understand the principles, methods, key points and difficulties of Chinese character teaching, especially in regard to cultivating graduate students’ practical ability to teach Chinese characters to language learners.



Provided by instructor.

Levente Li, Ph.D., Founder of Chinese Culture and Philology Research Institute. Li received his Ph.D. in the study of Chinese Philology and Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language from Beijing Normal University. For over 10 years, he has taught at Tufts University, Middlebury College, Tsinghua University (Beijing) in both Chinese language and linguistic related courses.


CHNS 6628: Where is Culture?: Intercultural Communication and Teaching Chinese as a Second Language

This course examines various discourses about culture in the research literature of Second Language Acquisition and investigates pedagogical approaches to culture instruction in the field of foreign language education. The course seeks answers to the following questions: What is culture in the context of language education? What are different discourses of culture in the field of foreign language education? How is culture understood by language educators? How can culture instruction be integrated with language instruction? How can teachers help language learners develop intercultural communicative competence? What factors cause cultural misunderstanding? What is the Third Space in foreign language pedagogy?

Through assigned readings, lectures, discussions, and student-led presentations, students will gain a better understanding of the evolution of intercultural communicative competence (ICC) as a theoretical construct and pedagogical practice in the field. After taking this course, students will be able to 1) critically analyze the presentation of culture in a few leading textbook series in the field of Teaching Chinese as a Second Language; 2) design curricula and classroom activities from the beginning to the advanced level that will help language learners develop intercultural communicative competence. Requirements include active class participation, presentations, and a final project. All class readings are in either Chinese or English.



Meets M.A. Requirement: 1 unit Pedagogy
Available for Students in: G2, G3, G4


1)) [Required] Galal Walker, ed., ‘The Pedagogy of Performing Another Culture’, (bilingual edition) National East Asian Languages Resource Center at the Ohio State University Pathways to Advanced Skills, Vol. XII, Hubei Education Press, 2010.
This book may also be found here:

2)) [Required] Michael Byram, Teaching and Assessing Intercultural Communicative Competence, revisited, 2nd edition, Multilingual Matters, 2020.

3)) [Optional and recommended] 迈克尔拜拉姆《跨文化交际与国际汉语教学》外语教学与研究出版社, 2017 (This is a Chinese version of Michael Byram’s talks, available on Amazon: 978-7513591553)

4)) [Optional and recommended] 秦希贞《中美跨文化交际误解分析与体演文化教学法》,外语教学与研究出版社, 2017. Available through Amazon or on Kindle)

5)) [Optional and recommended] Xin Zhang, Xiaobin Jian, eds., The Third Space and Chinese Language Pedagogy. Routledge, 2020.

Li Yu (虞莉), Professor of Chinese and inaugural chair of the Department of Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Williams College, specializes in Chinese language pedagogy and cultural history. She is committed to helping learners achieve proficiency in Chinese and function successfully in Chinese culture. Beyond the Chinese language classroom, she is an experienced teacher trainer and conducts research on the history of reading and reading pedagogy in late imperial China. She served as Director of Chinese at the ALLEX Summer
Teacher Training Institute at Washington University in St. Louis, and visiting faculty and teacher trainer at the Training Program for Teachers of Chinese at the Ohio State University SPEAC program. She has been published in more than a dozen book chapters and peer-reviewed journals. Her most recent publication is an edited volume titled New Trends in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, Volume IV of the Palgrave Handbook of Chinese Language Studies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). She manages a resource website for the Performed Culture Approach, an innovative teaching framework developed in the field of East Asian language pedagogy. She holds a B.A. in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language from East China Normal University (Shanghai, China), an M.A. in Chinese language pedagogy and a Ph.D. in Chinese language pedagogy and cultural history from the Ohio State University.


CHNS 6633: Dream as a Literary Mode

Through a survey of “dream” stories in various genres, this course examines how a recurrent literary theme evolves into a powerful mode of expression and narration, a convenient and effective tool for authors from different ages to represent the ethos of their times. This “case study” of a literary mode provides a vivid example of how a literary tradition reinvents and revitalizes itself though its development. Students can also expect to become more sensitive to the distinctive features as well as the conventions of the major genres in Chinese literature.


Meets M.A. Requirement: 1 unit Culture
Available for Students in: G1, G2, G3, G4

Provided by instructor.

Xinda Lian is professor of Chinese language and Literature at Denison University. He received his MA and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. His research interests include Song dynasty poetry, Song dynasty literati culture, and the stylistic analysis of the Zhuangzi text. He is the author of The Wild and Arrogant: Expression of Self in Xin Qiji’s Song Lyrics as well as a variety of articles and book chapters on Song dynasty literature and the study of the Zhuangzi.

CHNS 6661: The Quest for Spontaneity in Ancient Chinese Thought

This course examines a fascinating issue that attracted the attention of all the major Chinese thinkers in ancient times, that is, the freedom of acting without calculation or conscious effort—a state of being that can be best summarized as ziran 自然 (self-so) in Chinese, or “spontaneity” in English. Through close readings of selected passages from the original texts by such big names as Confucius, Mencius, Mozi, Xunzi, Liezi, and especially Laozi and Zhuangzi, students will learn to detect and analyze the differences—and similarities, if any—between the varied understandings and interpretations of this “spontaneity” from the perspectives of different schools of thought.


Meets M.A. Requirement: 1 unit Culture
Available for Students in: G1, G2, G3, G4

Zhuangzi: Basic Writings, Columbia University, 2003.

Xinda Lian is professor of Chinese language and Literature at Denison University. Bio, see above.


CHNS 6637: Guided Reading of Classical Chinese: Grammar and Context

Like English and Latin, modern Chinese and classical Chinese (文言文) are closely related. Modern Chinese still retains a large number of classical Chinese elements such as grammar, vocabulary, etc., as well as a large number of idiomatic allusions. To master and teach modern Chinese well, one has to understand the grammar, vocabulary and idiomatic allusions of classical Chinese, and one has to learn related ancient Chinese culture.

This advanced course is designed for students who are willing to master and teach modern Chinese well with the concepts and related knowledge from classical Chinese. The purpose of the course is to enable students (1) to master the concepts and related knowledge of classical Chinese (text, phonology, vocabulary, grammar),  (2) to master ancient cultural concepts and common sense related to classical Chinese, (3) to obtain basic reading ability in selected classical Chinese (with the help of dictionaries), (4) to grasp the differences and commonalities between classical Chinese and modern Chinese in terms of characters, phonology, vocabulary, and grammar, and (5) to improve students’ modern Chinese proficiency by achieving the above teaching objectives, especially modern Chinese reading and writing skills.

The contents of the course include three aspects:

(1) Function words, content words, and grammatical analysis of classical Chinese
(2) Introduction to related ancient Chinese culture
(3) Guided reading of Pre-Qin model prose

课程介绍  文言文与古代文化


本课程是为有志成为专业汉语为二语教师的学生开设的文言文与古代文化课程。目的是使学生能(一)初步掌握文言文的概念及有关知识, (二)初步掌握与文言文有关的古文化概念及常识, (三)初步获得文言文选阅读能力(借助字典、词典), (四)初步掌握文言文与现代汉语在文字、音韵、词汇、语法等方面的区别、共同之处以及它们的发展关系, (五)通过达到以上教学目的来提高学生的现代汉语水平,尤其是现代汉语阅读与写作水平。



Meets M.A. Requirement: 1 unit Culture or 1 unit Linguistics
Available for Students in: G2, G3, G4


文言基础读本 Classical Chinese-A Basic Reader, Princeton University Press

新华字典、高级中英双解词典 Xinhua Dictionary, Advanced Learner’s English-Chinese Dictionary

Amazon links:

Dictionary Chinese version

Dictionary bilingual version

De Bao Xu

De Bao Xu is Leonard C. Ferguson Professor Emeritus in East Asian Languages and Literatures at Hamilton College, University Distinguished Professor of Chinese (2015-2019), and Master of Residential College Ma Man Kei Lo Pak Sam (2015-2019) at University of Macau.

Published substantially in Linguistics and Teaching Chinese as a Second Language, he was editor-in-chief with James Huang of Contemporary Linguistic Theory Series, China Social Sciences Press, 1st edition, 1997-2000; 2nd edition, 2004-2014; and 3rd edition, 2015-2016; guest-editor of Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association, special issue Technology-based Chinese language teaching and CALL study, Vol. 44:1; editor of Chinese Phonology in Generative Grammar, Academic Press, New York 2001; and editor and co-editor of multiple TCLT Conference Proceedings.

De Bao Xu received B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature at Taiyuan Teacher’s College (1982), M.A. in Classical Chinese at Beijing Normal University (1985), and M.A. and Ph.D. in Theoretical Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (1988 and 1991). He then joined Hamilton College, where he was Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Full Professor, Leonard C. Ferguson Professor, and Chair of East Asian Languages and Literatures Dept. from 1991 to 2014.

Xu initiated TCLT in 2000, he was the Chair of the Standing Committee of TCLT (2000-2020), editor-in-chief of Journal of Technology and Chinese Language Teaching (2010-2020), and editor-in-chief of Series of U.S. Technology and Chinese Language Teaching (China Social Sciences Press, 2012-2016). In recognition of his contribution to technology-based Chinese teaching and learning, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of TCLT in 2018.

CHNS 6690: Language Teaching Practicum

This course is designed for students in their last summer session of the Master’s program. In this course, students will have the opportunity to reflect upon the theories of Chinese teaching that they have already learned, improving their ability to skillfully design standards-based lessons and effectively implement classroom teaching practices. Students’ assignments will include: readings on TCFL, reflections on the questions and problems brought up in readings, classroom observation, directed course design, class preparation, micro-teaching activities, and others.

Meets M.A. Requirement: 1 unit Experiential Learning/Teaching Practicum

Available for students in: G4

Enacting the Work of Language Instruction, High-Leverage Teaching Practices

NFLC Guide for Basic Chinese Language Programs

Teaching Chinese as a Second Language

Cecilia Chang, Ed.D. Frederick Latimer Wells Professor of Chinese, Department of Asian Studies, Williams College. Director, Middlebury Chinese School, Middlebury College.

Dr. Cecilia Chang​ specializes in Chinese pedagogy and researches on ​the ​acquisition of Chinese as a foreign language, focusing on the area of reading in a second language. She holds a B.A. in Chinese Literature from Fu-Jen University in Taipei, Taiwan, an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from UCLA, and an Ed.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. At Williams, Chang teaches all levels of Mandarin courses and, when staffing allows, courses on applied linguistics. Beyond Williams, she is active in the Chinese teaching field, having served on the board of directors of both regional and national Chinese teachers associations. From 2011 to 2017, she served different roles on College Board’s AP Chinese Language and Culture Development Committee – member, the college co-chair, and the Chief Reader. She has been a returning faculty member of the Middlebury Chinese MA Program since 2008 and is now the Director of the Chinese School at Middlebury College Language Schools.

Mairead Harris, M.Ed., Lecturer, Greenberg-Starr Department of Chinese Language and Literature (starting Fall 2022). Middlebury College. Associate Director, Middlebury Chinese School, Middlebury College.

Ms. Harris is a certified K-12 public school teacher, licensed in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese for grades Pre-K through 12. She  built a Chinese language program at Stowe Middle & High School that still serves over 70 students in grades 7-12, offering international travel experiences, a long-term student exchange program, and a variety of local cultural opportunities through partnerships with the University of Vermont, the Vermont Chinese School, and other institutions; in addition, she initiated an on-site teaching internship program in the fall of 2019. Mairead has served on the Board of Directors of the Chinese Language Teachers Association and of the New England Chinese Language Teachers Association. Mairead was a faculty member at the Middlebury Chinese School for several years before moving into an administrative role. Most recently, Mairead has been working as a language and education consultant, providing curriculum design, teacher training, and translation & interpretation services to a variety of clients in the K-12 education sphere.