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Expert to speak about how Americans learn to read Chinese

May 07, 2010

As more Americans learn Chinese, researching how they read the language has become more important than ever.

Michael E. Everson, an associate professor of foreign language education at the University of Iowa, will discuss how foreigners learn how to read Chinese at his lecture “Reading in Chinese as a Foreign Language:  Past Research and Future Directions” from  10 a.m. to noon at the University Club on Saturday.

The event is free and open to the public.

“I will discuss the areas of inquiry in CFL (Chinese as a Foreign Language) reading that have captured the imagination of CFL researchers,” Everson said. “I will also discuss some of the pedagogical implications of this research, and highlight areas of CFL reading research that still need investigation.  I’ll conclude with a mini-lesson on how to integrate a Classical Chinese lesson into the reading curriculum using up-to-date theories of reading and lesson design.”

He coordinates one of the few K-12 Chinese language teacher certification programs in the country.   

Everson’s research interests include how American students learn to read in Chinese as well as issues surrounding Chinese language learning and teaching in the United States.

His scholarship has appeared in a  variety of journals and book collections, with his most recently co-edited publications being “Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language: Theories and Applications” published by Cheng & Tsui, and "Research among Learners of Chinese as a Foreign Language” published by the National Foreign Language Research Center at The University of Hawaii.  He is also one of the lead designers of “Read Chinese!” an online reading project designed for high school learners of Chinese.

Everson has served on a number of boards having to do with strategic planning initiatives for Chinese language education, such as the STARTALK program for Chinese language teacher development.  He is also active with a number of organizations such as the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), Asia Society, Chinese Language Teachers Association, and the National Foreign Language Center to further Chinese language education in the United States.

Irene Hsiao,
ASU Chinese Language Flagship Program