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Zhang, Jie & Zhao, Qin PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE LEARNING AND TEACHING IN CHINA
Budget Narrative
Travel
Transportation ($1,800)
A round-trip air ticket from Beijing to Nashville costs about $1600. Additional $200 is requested to
cover the car rentals and gas fees to pick up and drop off the guest speaker in Nashville airport, and
daily transportation in Bowling Green, KY.
Lodging ($400)
The guest speaker will arrive in Bowling Green, KY on April 22, Monday and leave on April 25,
Thursday. Three-night hotel rooms will cost about $400, $133 per night in Courtyard Marriot Bowling
Green.
Food ($200)
A total of $200 is calculated based on the Per Diem rate of $50 per day for the guest speaker’s four
day trip to Bowling Green, KY.
Honoraria/Entertainment fees ($500)
A total of $200 will be used to purchase Chinese learning books, games and souvenirs from China.
These gifts will be provided to the audiences without any cost.
Additional $300 will be used to provide food and drinks to the two events.
Miscellaneous ($100)
Printing and copying workshop handouts, activities sheets, and advertisement flyers will cost about
$100.
Total Budget: $3,000
Cost Share from EDD and CEBS: $1,500
Dr. Tony Norman, the director of Educational Leadership Doctoral program, will provide $750 match
fund from the EDD program. Dr. Sam Evans, the dean of College of Education and Behavioral Sciences,
will put $750 to support the project.
Amount Requested: $ 1,500
Zhang, Jie & Zhao, Qin PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE LEARNING AND TEACHING IN CHINA
Project Title: Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching in China
Principal Investigators: Jie Zhang & Qin Zhao
Objectives and Background
This proposed project aims to bring global scholarship and new perspectives of psychology of
Chinese language learning and teaching to the WKU community, and boost a mutual understanding of
the fields of education and psychology between China and USA. Dr. Jie Zhang, Assistant Professor of
Educational Research, and Dr. Qin Zhao, Assistant professor of Psychology, in the College of Education
and Behavioral Sciences at WKU will invite a guest speaker, Dr. Hong Li, an Associate Professor of
Educational Psychology from Beijing Normal University, to visit WKU in April 2013. Two events will be
held in the week of April 22 1) to expose the WKU community to cutting edge research on Chinese
language learning and instruction and evidence-based practices of teaching Chinese to native and
nonnative speakers of Chinese, and 2) to present Dr. Li’s research on language and literacy development
and bring in cross-cultural perspectives of psychology and education in China and USA. The first event is
practitioner-oriented, and the second is more scholar-oriented.
Chinese, used by the largest population in the world, is considered the hardest language to
learn. Is this a true statement? Lacking an understanding of the Chinese writing system very often leads
to this belief. Psycholinguistic research on learning to read Chinese over the past decade shows that like
other alphabetic languages, Chinese has its unique orthography-phonology-semantic correspondence
rule which can be implicitly or explicitly taught to improve language learning. Dr. Li’s research on
language and reading development in typical and dyslexia children features the leading efforts to bring
psycholinguistic insights into learning Chinese to international readership. Her research has appeared in
numerous top-tier research journals and gained international recognitions. Seeking to understand the
universal and specific aspects of typical and dyslexic development in learning to read Chinese, and
improve Chinese language teaching and learning, she has established wide international collaborations
with scholars in the US and Finland. Recently, she has collaborated with Dr. Zhang at WKU on two
projects on word learning of native and nonnative speakers of Chinese. The two events described below
reflect some fruitful results of this international collaboration.
Project Description
Event One: Learning Chinese: Psycholinguistics Insights and Effective Classroom Practices
The first event is an interactive workshop featuring brief introduction of Chinese writing system
and research on learning to read Chinese, demonstration of video clips of effective classroom practices
for teaching and learning Chinese in classrooms in China, fun and engaging interactive activities and
games of learning Chinese. The tentative title is Learning Chinese: Psycholinguistics Insights and
Effective Classroom Practices. Dr. Li will be the presenter and Dr. Zhang will facilitate the event. The
target audiences for this event are Chinese language learners and instructors in the Chinese Flagship
Program and Confucius Institute, faculty and students in the Department of Modern Language at WKU,
and anyone who is interested in learning Chinese language and culture in the WKU community.
Throughout the 90 minute interactive workshop, the audiences will gain a deeper understanding
of important features of Chinese language, and how these features can be used to improve teaching and
learning Chinese. The audiences will also get a fresh look at the typical language arts lessons in
elementary classrooms in China, and effective classroom intervention from Dr. Li’s project. More
importantly, the audience will experience some new tools and strategies (e.g., morphology instruction
of Chinese characters, computer-assisted Pinyin learning game, and shared book reading) for teaching
and learning Chinese.
The event is open and free to the WKU community. The tentative time is 5:30- 7pm on April 23,
Tuesday. A classroom in Gary Ransdell Hall will be reserved. Light refreshments will be provided.
Zhang, Jie & Zhao, Qin PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE LEARNING AND TEACHING IN CHINA
Chinese learning books and small souvenirs from China will be provided to the audiences without any
cost. It is estimated that about 50 people will attend. The event will be co-sponsored by the Confucius
Institute (a $250 CI scholarship awarded to Dr. Zhang). WKU Confucius Institute has agreed to invite
Hanban teachers and local school teachers and students to join in the event. Drs. Zhang and Zhao will
contact program coordinators and Chinese instructors in the Chinese Flagship Program and the Modern
Language Department to encourage their faculty and students attend the event. Finally, a flyer will be
sent to the all WKU faculty and staff via listserv to swipe the event to the WKU community.
Event Two: Psychology in China: An Educational Psychologist’s Perspective
This 90-minute event will be divided into two parts: a research talk by Dr. Li (50 minutes) and an
informal discussion (40 minutes) about the fields of psychology and education in China. Dr. Li will first
introduce her research about the typical and dyslexic development in learning to read Chinese, in
contrast to the broad context of reading development in alphabetic languages. Several cross-sectional
and longitudinal studies involving basic research techniques (e.g., eye-tracking and genetics) will be
summarized to highlight the determinant factors of Chinese children’s language development and delay.
Finally, effective diagnostic and intervention strategies (e.g., morphology instruction, shared book
reading, Pinyin game) for dyslexia children will be introduced. The tentative title for this talk is
Understanding Reading Disability in Chinese: From Basic Research to Identification and Intervention.
The target audiences are faculty and graduate students in the Department of Psychology, literacy and
special education divisions in the School of Teacher Education, and faculty, staff, and students who work
with language disability children in the Department of Communication Disorders.
The second part of the event will feature an informal discussion about the fields of psychology in
China. The target audiences are faculty and graduate students in the Department of Psychology. Dr. Li
will briefly introduce the overall structure and branches of psychology at the major research I university
like Beijing Normal University (BNU). It should be noted that School of Psychology at BNU has the
longest and most glorious history and is a leading psychology institute in China. Dr. Li will also introduce
the brief history, current trends and issues of psychology in China. Dr. Zhao will facilitate the discussion
and share her observations and reflections of her recent visit to psychology classrooms at major
universities in China. Finally, an open discussion will be held to exchange ideas about possible
networking opportunities and research collaborations between psychology researchers at WKU and
BNU. Dr. Zhao will facilitate the discussion. The target participants for this informal discussion are
psychology faculty and graduate students.
The audiences for this event will gain new knowledge and perspectives about basic
psychological research in reading and dyslexia, and effective screening and intervention tools for
language disability children, and cross-cultural views of psychology in China and the US. The event is
open and free to the WKU community. The tentative time is 12:00- 1:30 pm on April 24, Wednesday. A
classroom in Gary Ransdell Hall will be reserved. Lunch will be provided. Dr. Zhao will coordinate the
event among psychology faculty and graduate students. Dr. Zhang will contact program coordinators
and colleagues in the literacy and speciation education divisions of School of Teacher Education and in
the Department of Communication Disorders to invite faculty, staff, and students to participate in the
event. Electronic flyers will be sent to the target audiences by listserv emails and the print flyers will be
posted in Gary Ransdell Hall and Tate Page Hall one or two weeks before the event.
Drs. Zhang and Zhao, both with Ph.D. degrees in Educational Psychology, have excellent
networks with psychology and education faculty in China and have organized similar events as proposed.
For example, a Boyd-Lubker Visiting Scholar, Dr. Richard C. Anderson, nominated by Dr. Zhang, will be
visiting WKU in March 2013. Drs. Zhang and Zhao share strong commitment of time and efforts to make
this project successful and beneficial to the WKU community. If the project is funded and positive
responses are received, they hope to bring in more guest speakers from different fields of psychology
and education in China in the near future.
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