Startalk Staff

Dr. Yongfang Zhang, Principal Investigator and Program Director

Dr. Yongfang Zhang is an Assistant Professor and the Coordinator of Chinese Program Wofford College. 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 offered 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 an ACTFL/Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation reviewer, certified ACTFL Mandarin OPI tester, and is working on her OPI tester trainer certificate.

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. 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 USA and received her Ph.D. in Chinese linguistics from the Ohio State University in 2008. Before joining the Columbus Academy as Chinese teacher, Dr. Yan taught in many institutions including the Ohio State University and the 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. During the spring break of 2016, Dr. Yan led a group of high school students who visited Taiwan and Japan. Her students 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 in Columbus Academy. From September 2015 to February 2016, Dr. Yan offered online beginning Chinese course to help some previous StarTalk Campers to continue learning Chinese.

Ms. Na Li, Lead Instructor for Higher Level

Na Li received her Master degree in Foreign and Second Language Education from Ohio State University (OSU). Before coming to USA, she had language teaching experience in China and Japan. After graduating from OSU, she worked on projects for K-5 Chinese curriculum design in the OSU Chinese Flagship Program. She currently teaches Chinese in Columbus Academy. In 2013 and 2015, she also worked at the STARTALK program at Wofford College. Besides teaching, she also served as the 2012-2013 President of Ohio Association of Teachers of Chinese. She initiated and coordinated the 1st Ohio K-12 Chinese Speech Contest, Composition Contest, and Ohio Chinese Language Teaching Award to outstanding teachers. All 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. But most importantly, she is an educator 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. In 2016, she will work both Startalk Programs at Wofford College and University of Virginia.   

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