The Field of Chinese Language Education in the U.S. : A Retrospective of the 20th Century book cover
1st Edition

The Field of Chinese Language Education in the U.S.
A Retrospective of the 20th Century

Edited By

Vivian Ling

ISBN 9781138502024
Published February 23, 2018 by Routledge
478 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book will be the first account of the development of Chinese as a foreign language in the U.S., as it interacts with the relevant entities in China and beyond. There are virtually no systematic retrospective reflections on the field outside of the greater China region; and yet over the past decades the field has grown by leaps and bounds, and it is critical now that we pause to reflect on what has happened and what we can learn from the past. The contributors are among some of the most influential pioneers in the field whose entire academic lives have been dedicated to its development.

The Field of Chinese Language Education in the U.S.: A Retrospective of the 20th Century is aimed at those who are currently engaged in Chinese language education, as teachers or as students.

Table of Contents

List of contributors. Prologue 1. Pioneering Chinese Studies in the era before Chinese language curriculum existed in American academia 2. A new calling for former missionaries in the secular world 3. Key roles played by elite Chinese émigrés 4. Institute of Far Eastern Languages at Yale University 5. Interface between U.S. government initiatives and academia 6. Immersion Chinese language programs, key to language proficiency and cultural literacy 7. Organizing and professionalizing the field: CLTA and its flagship journal 8. From rapprochement to engagement with mainland China 9. Memories of cultivating the field 10. Have Chinese, will travel! 11. Influential figures and unsung heroes in our time Epilogue. Index.

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Vivian Ling was born in wartime China and educated in the U.S. She taught for 24 years at Oberlin College before moving overseas to direct study-abroad Chinese language programs, most notably the IUP in Taipei and Beijing. Her last position was Director of the Chinese Flagship program at Indiana University.


The Field of Chinese Language Education in the U.S. (hereafter FCLE) is an ambitious, multifaceted volume that will be welcome in the field of Teaching Chinese as a Second/Other Language. Part history, part personal reflection, part anecdotal commentary, FCLE is especially appealing both to the current teachers and students who benefit indirectly from the work accomplished by these pioneers in our field and to those who are intrigued by Chinese and China for other reasons.

Madeline K. Spring, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, John Benjamins Publishing Compnay