Home > STARTALK @ Wofford

Startalk Staff

Dr. Yongfang Zhang, Program Director and the Lead Instructor

Dr. Zhang currently works as an assistant professor of Chinese Studies at Wofford College. She is a native of China, and earned her B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature and her first M.A. in Modern Chinese while still in China. After moving to the United States, she earned her second M.A. and her Ph.D. in Chinese Pedagogy from Ohio State University (OSU). 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 participated as a trainer in many teacher training programs at both K-12 level and college level in the U.S.A. and China, including OSU’s Alternative Licensure Program for Chinese K-12 teachers, OSU Summer Programs East Asian Concentration (SPEAC) for college level Chinese teachers, and Alliance for Language Learning and Education Exchange (ALLEX) Chinese and Japanese Teacher Training Institute. She has also offered more than ten professional development workshops for K-12 Chinese teachers sponsored by OSU’s K-12 Chinese Flagship Program, The Confucius Institute (CI) at University of Minnesota, CI at University of Akron, and CI at Presbyterian College. Her lectures focus on performance-based instruction, authentic materials use, ACTFL standards, and language testing. She has presented and published her research about performance-based instruction and authentic material use in Chinese language instruction at ACTFL/CLTA conventions, The National Chinese Language Conferences, and Journal of Chinese Language Teachers Association. She is a certified ACTFL OPI tester.

Contact information:
Email: zhangy@wofford.edu
Phone: 864-597-4902
Olin Building 112B
429 North Church Street
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Dr. Jing Yan, Instructor  

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. 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.

Ms. Yu-Chun Lin, Volunteer Instructor

Ms. Lin earned a B.A. degree from National Chung Hsing University from Taiwan. She earned an M.B.A. degree from Georgia Wesleyan College. Now she works full time as Upper Business Assistant and Chinese Teacher at Seven Hills School in Cincinnati, OH. She joined ALLEX (Alliance for Language Learning and Education Exchange) Chinese and Japanese Teacher Training Institute in the summer of 2010, and completed seven-week Summer Programs East Asian Concentration program at Ohio State University which emphasizes performance-based instruction and covers the full-scope of training in being a professional teacher at the college and K-12 levels. She taught in our 2013 STARTALK summer program and is excited to return for a second year.

Language tutors  

The program will hire eight language tutors to assist students’ application of classroom lessons in conversations at the Chinese Table during the lunch time, and during the one-hour tutorial hour each day (the ratio of language tutor and participants is 1:5). Their other tasks include assisting participants’ learning and participation in the cultural activities and assisting participants’ preparation for Friday Showtime. The tutors need to be fluent in Chinese (a minimum proficiency level at Intermediate Mid in ACTFL OPI testing) and to be knowledgeable about Chinese culture (having prior skills in some cultural activities). They will be recruited from the undergraduate students from China at Wofford College, Chinese major students at Wofford who have completed at least two-years of Chinese learning and received Intermediate Mid or higher level in ACTFL OPI testing (Wofford students normally received Intermediate High/Advanced Low in ACTFL OPI testing), and heritage speakers from local community.

Ms. Kealey O'Conner, Pre-Program Administrative Assistant

Ms. Kealey O’Conner is a sophomore Accounting major who attends Wofford College. She has taken three semesters of Chinese language and culture classes. Additionally, she has worked as a tutor and an Administrative Assistant for the 2013 STARTALK Chinese program at Wofford. As a tutor, she designed classroom activities to extend the learning beyond the classroom. As an administrative assistant, she organized the post-program reunion workshops and attended STARTALK fall conference to assist with Wofford’s exhibition to share our program with other STARTALK program directors and instructors, which was warmly received.