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Departmental Welcome

Many faculty members of EALL gathered on September 12, 2014, at the University Club to celebrate the new academic year: Kailin Yuan, Qiong Wu, Liling Huang, Wan-Ching Hsieh (top), Kun Qian (bottom), Yuyun Lei, Kailu Guan (top), Yi Xu (bottom), Stephen Luft, Junzo Oshimo, David Mills, Brenda Jordan, Hiroshi Nara, Cecile Sun, Juchun Wei, Mi-Hyun Kim, Sachiko Takabatake Howard, Kyungok Joo, Noriko K. Kowalchuck.

Positions Available

 

PTI positions in Korean Language

EALL anticipates openings for part-time instructors in the Korean language program beginning in the fall of 2015. Candidates must have native language proficiency, hold at least a college degree, and be authorized to work for the University. Prior experience in teaching foreign languages and familiarity with language pedagogy or linguistics is highly preferred. If interested, please contact Mi-Hyun Kim at kimmh@pitt.edu. A resume or CV is required for initial screening and candidates with desirable qualifications will be contacted for interviews in March/April 2015.

PTI positions in Japanese Language

EALL ancticpates openings for part-time instructors (PTIs) in the Japanese language program beginning in the summer 2013 or in the fall of 2013. Ideal candidates would have near-native or native skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening Japanese, have good cultural knowledge of the country, and hold at least a college degree. Prior teaching experience and a familiarity with the textbook we use (JSL) are preferred but not necessary as training will be provided (probably in May and again in August).

If interested contact David Mills (412.624.0559).

PTI positions in Chinese Language

EALL anticipates openings for part-time instructors in the Chinese language program beginning in the summer 2015 or in the fall of 2015. Candidates must have native language proficiency, hold at least a college degree, and be authorized to work for the University. Prior experience in teaching foreign languages and familiarity with language pedagogy or linguistics is highly preferred. If interested, please contact Juchun Wei at juchun@pitt.edu. A resume or CV is required for initial screening and candidates with desirable qualifications will be contacted for interviews in March/April 2015.

 

Five Students Graduate with BAs in December


Five students received their bachelor’s degrees this past December 2014. Two Chinese Majors were Joshua Hanson and Kolby Howell. Seniors graduating with a BA in Japanese included Kaci Lewis, Andrew Sandor, and Stefan Sidelnick.

We are very proud of these students. We would like to congratulate them for a difficult job well done and wish them good luck in all adventures they will take on.

 

EALL Student Honored with 2013 Iris Marion Young Award

Four winners of the 2013 Iris Marion Young Award for Political Engagement have been named. Among them is Chinese major Audrey-Marie H. Winn, who won the Undergraduate Student Award. Winn is a junior majoring in Philosophy, Chinese, and Nonfiction English Writing. According to the citation, she is being honored for activism and service conducted in the Pittsburgh area and China. Her work for social justice included compiling statements from migrant workers while living and studying in Chengdu, China. She presented her research in Mandarin Chinese to students and administrators at Sichuan University, one of the largest employers of migrant workers in central China.

The award recognizes members of the Pitt community whose actions have had political impact to university or beyond. It is co-sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program and the Graduate School for Public and International Policy.

Winn also received a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State last year. EALL is proud of being one of her home departments. Congratulations to Winn for this well deserved award.

Workshop Focuses on the Use of Technology for Language Teaching

A pedagogy workshop was held on East Asian language pedagogy on Monday October 14. The Asian Studies Center and EALL invited Patricia Wetzel (Professor of Japanese and Director of the Institute for Asian Studies, Portland State University), who lead a discussion about the use of techonology in language teaching, followed by a Q&A session. In the afternoon session, Wetzel presented the outline of a new textbook project she is heading up. EALL's full-time teachers of all three language components (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) as well as instructors from Carnegie Mellon University and the Slippery Rock University attended this very useful occasion to exchange ideas. The workshop was sponsored the Asian Studies Center.

Two New Faculty added to EALL

Mi-Hyun Kim (PhD, Hawaii, 2011) will continue to teach Korean language and linguistics courses and serve as the program coordinator. Last year she was Visiting Lecturer. We are extremely hapy to have her back now as a regular faculty member with the new title of Lecturer. Her experience in teaching at Hawaii and Harvard before coming to Pitt has already proven to be extremely beneficial to our students.

Stephen Luft (PhD, 2013 Ohio State University expected) joined the Department this fall as Lecturer, a newly created position whose duties include both teaching Japanese language courses and advising Department majors. In a separate development, the Association of Asian Studies just announced that Luft was awarded this year's Chaplin Memorial Award for Excellence in Japanese Language Teaching. Congratulations to Stephen on this award. Welcome to both of you to EALL.

 

Research Note: Xu reports on effective Chinese character learning

In a recent publication, coauthored with two other Pitt researchers, Yi Xu reported the result of an investigation of comparative effectiveness of reading, animation, and writing in developing students’ orthographic knowledge of Chinese. The research found that for students who have previously studied the Chinese orthography the three learning conditions helped them in different ways: Writing and animation both led to better form recognition, while reading produced superior meaning and sound recalls. In addition, the effect of animation in remembering meaning was also better than writing. In developing the skill of reproducing characters from memory, writing was superior. These results inform Chinese pedagogy for teaching reading. For a YouTube presentation of the results, click here. The article, entitled "Reading, writing, and animation in character learning in Chinese as a foreign language," appeared in the September 2013 issue of Foreign Language Annals. In a recent publication, coauthored with two other Pitt researchers, Yi Xu reported the result of an investigation of comparative effectiveness of reading, animation, and writing in developing students’ orthographic knowledge of Chinese. The research found that for students who have previously studied the Chinese orthography the three learning conditions helped them in different ways: Writing and animation both led to better form recognition, while reading produced superior meaning and sound recalls. In addition, the effect of animation in remembering meaning was also better than writing. In developing the skill of reproducing characters from memory, writing was superior. These results inform Chinese pedagogy for teaching reading. For a YouTube presentation of the results, click here. The article, entitled "Reading, writing, and animation in character learning in Chinese as a foreign language," appeared in the September 2013 issue of Foreign Language Annals.

 

Research notes: Luft looks into meaning-focus and form focus in Japanese language learning

Among students who study under the Performed Culture Approach (PCA), the amount of time spent studying outside of class is negatively correlated with in-class performance. In recent research, Stephen Luft (Lecturer and academic advisor to Chinese and Japanese majors) investigated if lower performing students spend more time studying because they overemphasize form and neglect focusing on meaning during their out-of-class study. He collected data from twenty first-year Japanese language students by stimulated recall. These data were then analyzed to identify instances of form-focus and meaning-focus. The results showed that although lower performing students do not focus on meaning less than higher performing students, form-focus and meaning-focus were very strongly correlated. This suggested that not only lower performing students but also PCA students in general were not neglecting meaning-focus in favor of form-focus in their out-of-class study. For future research, he suggests looking into the extent to which prior language study, language aptitude, and language strategy use and see if these factors can explain why lower performing students spend more time studying outside of class than higher performing students in PCA.

The study was the core of his dissertation he just defended at the Ohio State University. Luft is giving a talk about this research at December 13 EALL Colloquium (see below).

Research notes features EALL faculty member's recent research findings.

 

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