Students working together

Startalk Staff

Dr. Yongfang Zhang, Principal Investigator and Program Director

Dr. Yongfang Zhang is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Chinese Program at Wofford College. She has served as the Program Director in our 2013-2016 programs, and as a Lead Instructor in our 2013-2015 programs. She has been teaching Chinese language and culture courses to Chinese learners first in Beijing and then in the U.S. since 1995. Since 2006, she has actively participated as a trainer in several teacher training programs at both K-12 and college levels in the U.S. and China. She has given keynote speeches at the regional Chinese Language Teachers Conference and offered more than ten professional development workshops for K-12 Chinese teachers. Her lectures focus on performance-based instruction, authentic materials use, ACTFL standards, and language testing. She has presented and published her research about these topics and teacher training at ACTFL/CLTA conventions, The National Chinese Language Conferences, Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association, and Journal of International Chinese Teaching. She is a certified ACTFL Mandarin OPI tester, and certified ACTFL Mandarin OPI tester trainer.

Contact information:
Phone: 864-597-4902
Olin Building 112B
429 North Church Street
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Dr. Jing Yan, Lead Instructor for Beginner Level

Dr. Yan has worked as a Lead Instructor in our 2014 - 2017 programs. Dr. Jing Yan received her education in both China and the United States. She was awarded her B.A. degree in Chinese at Peking University in 1997 and M.A. degree in Chinese at Zhongshan University in 2000. She then went to the U.S. and received her Ph.D. in Chinese linguistics from The Ohio State University in 2008. Before joining the Columbus Academy as a Chinese teacher, Dr. Yan taught in many institutions including The Ohio State University and Capital University. Dr. Yan has published a number of articles and delivered conference presentations in the field of Chinese linguistics and teaching Chinese as second language. In addition to teaching Chinese courses in the Columbus Academy, Dr. Yan organized several educational trips to China with her students. Her students have won outstanding prizes and awards in the CLASS National Essay Contests and Chinese Bridge Speech Contest in the past several years. Dr. Yan gained the Ohio Chinese Teaching Professional Service Award in 2013 and the Milt Taylor Grant to Reward & Promote Excellence in Teaching for 2014-2015 school year at Columbus Academy.

Ms. Na Li, Lead Instructor for Second Level

Ms. Li worked as an Instructor in our program in 2013, 2015, and 2016. She also worked at the STARTALK Chinese teacher program in the combination program at University of Virginia in 2016. Ms. Li received her MA in Foreign and Second Language Education from The Ohio State University. Before coming to the U.S., Ms. Li had language teaching experience in China and Japan. After graduating from OSU, Ms. Li worked on projects for K-5 Chinese curriculum design in the OSU Chinese Flagship Program. In 2010, she joined Columbus Academy and started teaching in middle and high school levels. Besides teaching, Ms. Li also served as the 2012-2013 and current President of Ohio Association of Teachers of Chinese. She initiated and coordinated the first Ohio K-12 Chinese Speech Contest, Composition Contest, and Ohio Chinese Language Teaching Award to outstanding teachers. All of these events received recognition from the Ohio Governor in 2013. In addition, she fundraised and coordinated Ohio Chinese teaching workshops with sponsorship from local universities. Most importantly, Ms. Li is an educator who is devoted to helping her students reach their full potential. She often attends professional workshops to absorb new knowledge that she can integrate and apply in her teaching. With her competence in teaching and leadership, she is a frequent speaker at Chinese language workshops in Ohio and national conferences. Her recent presentations include "Developing Student Proficiency through Differentiated Instruction" at the 2012 ACTFL convention and "E-portfolios in Chinese class" at the 2012 national conference of the Chinese School Association in the United States.

Dr. Patrick McAloon, Lead Instructor for Third Level

Dr. McAloon was our co-director and instructor at Novice Mid/High level class in 2015 and a Lead Instructor at Novice Mid/High level class in 2016. In our program survey, many campers strongly recommended to bring him back in future programs. Dr. McAloon holds a BA in East Asian Studies from the College of William and Mary and a PhD and MA in Chinese language pedagogy from The Ohio State University focusing on the development and assessment of professionally-useful levels of foreign language ability. Having worked in and with China since 1997, he currently provides educational experiences in the U.S. to Chinese organizations as well as cultural training for expatriate executives. He is a partner in the consulting firm SinoConnect, a founding member of the Greater Columbus Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and a former Mandarin Instructor at The Ohio State University. He is the author of the guidebook, "Studying in China," and was awarded First Place in the 2004 world finals of the Chinese Bridge Competition for non-native speakers of Mandarin. He has superior level proficiency in Chinese.

Instructor: TBA
Teaching Assistants: TBA
Technology Assistant: TBA
Material Developer: TBA
Peer Mentors: TBA