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University of Pittsburgh

Faculty

Yi Xu

Assistant Professor, Chinese Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition

Office Location

113C Old Engineering Hall

Phone: 412-624-4923

E-mail: xuyi@pitt.edu

Office Hours

Fall 2014: By appointment

Education

Ph.D., Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (Major area: L2 linguistic analysis; Minor area: Pedagogy; English/East Asian Studies), University of Arizona.

M. A. English Language/Linguistics, University of Arizona.

B. A. English for International Legal Studies, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.

Courses

First year Chinese (CHIN 0001 and CHIN 0002)

Second year Chinese (CHIN 0003)

Third year Chinese (CHIN 1020)

Aspects of the Chinese Language (CHIN/LING 1025/2025) (Spring 2014)

Senior Project/Capstone (Spring 2014)

Research Interests

I am interested in second language acquisition of Chinese, a field which aims to provide a description and explanation of how and why foreign language learners acquire Chinese in the ways that they do. In my research I connect linguistic inquiries with empirical studies in second language acquisition (SLA). Based on observations of the Chinese language itself, such as word order, structural properties, functions and features of grammatical constructions, orthography, etc., I explore how these linguistic factors account for difficulties or patterns in Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) learning.  In seeking explanations for observed patterns, I also consider psycholinguistic factors and cognitive mechanisms. A central issue that I consider in my research concerns what constitutes universal constraints in SLA and what is unique in CFL learners’ interlanguage development.

Other related areas that I have worked on include character learning in CFL contexts, technology integration in foreign language learning, and corpus analysis of Chinese structures.

Selected Publications

L2 acquisition of Chinese relative clauses

Xu, Y. (forthcoming in 2014). Processing Difficulties of Relative Clauses in Chinese as a Second Language. Second Language Research. DOI:  10.1177/0267658313511485

Xu, Y. (Forthcoming in 2014). Relativization Strategies in Chinese as a Foreign Language Learners’ Interlanguage. In Huang, C.-T., and Liu, F.-H. (Eds.), Peaches and Plums. Taipei: Academia Sinica. 

Xu, Y. (2014). Evidence of the Accessibility Hierarchy in Relative Clauses in Chinese as a Second Language. Language and Linguistics 15(3), 435–464.  

Xu, Y. (2013). CFL Learner's Production of Relative Clauses with Demonstratives—From Theory to Empirical Research.Chinese as a Second Language Research 2(2), 169–192.

Xu, Y. (2013). Acquisition of Chinese Relative Clauses at the Initial Stage. In I. (Ed.), Research in Chinese as a Second Language. Trends in Applied Linguistics Series, pp. 216–236. Boston/Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Xu, Y. (2012). On Pyscholinguistic and Acquisition Studies of Relative Clauses—An Interdisciplinary and Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Contemporary Foreign Language Studies (SLA issue) [当代外语研究] 384(12): 65–89.

Character learning in CFL context

Xu, Y., Chang, L.-Y., & Perfetti, C. A. (forthcoming in 2014). The Effect of Radical-Based Grouping in Character Learning in Chinese as a Foreign Language. The Modern Language Journal 98(3).  

Chang, L. Y., Xu, Y., Perfetti, C. A., Zhang, J., & Chen, H.-C. (Forthcoming in 2014). Supporting Orthographic Learning at the Beginning Stage of Learning to Read Chinese as a Second Language. International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education.  

Xu, Y., Chang, L.-Y., Zhang, J., & Perfetti, C. A. (2013). The Comparative Effectiveness of Reading, Writing, and Animationin Chinese as a Foreign Language Character Learning. Foreign Language Annals 46(3), 423–444.  

Accompanied by a Youtube video, “Reading, writing, and animation in character learning” (by Xu, Y. & Chang, Li-Yun), as part of Foreign Language Annals’ s video initiative for selected articles. Available here

Corpus approaches

Xu, Y. (forthcoming in 2014). A Corpus-Based Functional Study of shi…de Constructions. Chinese Language and Discourse 5(2).

Xu, Y. (2007). Teaching Materials and Authentic Language: A Case Study of shi…de Sentences from Corpora. In Cheng, A., He, W., and Mu, L. (Eds.), Essays on Teaching Chinese to American Students, pp. 239-244. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.

Technology integration in foreign language learning

Head, A., Xu, Y., & Wang, J. (Forthcoming in 2014). ToneWars: Connecting Language Learners and Native Speakers through Collaborative Mobile Games, The 12th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS)

Xu, Y., & Chang, L.-Y. (Forthcoming in 2014). Computer-Assisted Character Learning Using Animation and Visual Chunking. In Li, S. and Swanson, P. (Eds.), Engaging Language Learning through Technology Integration: Theory, Applications, and Outcomes. Hershey, Penn.: IGI Global. 

Xu, Y. (2007). Re-examining the Effects and Affects of Electronic Peer Reviews in a Freshmen Composition Class. The Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal 7(2): 1–21. Available here.