Cengage Learning Award for Innovative Excellence in the Teaching of Chinese as a Foreign Language

For competition in 2020, this award was changed to CLTA Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching of Chinese as a Foreign Language. This award was temporarily suspended in 2021.

Call for Submissions
(Deadline: October 31st)

CLTA is pleased to announce the opening of the competition for the Cengage Learning Award for Innovative Excellence in the Teaching of Chinese as a Foreign Language.  Established with the generous support of Cengage Learning, a multinational leading provider of educational solutions, this award is designed to encourage CLTA members to contribute to the improvement of Chinese Foreign Language (CFL) education in the United States through the design, development, and application of new pedagogy, innovative classroom practices, and teaching tools (e.g. multi-media).

Award and Eligibility

Depending on the competition each year, the award money may be divided into two First Prizes ($1000 each) or one First Prize ($800) and one to two Second Prizes ($600 each). With the exception of the current members of the CLTA Awards Committee, all K-16 teaching professionals with active CLTA member status are eligible to apply.


Any unpublished innovative projects with the goal of improving CFL education are welcome for submission.  While commercial products and most materials already accepted for publication are excluded from competition, a recently published article (within twelve months of submission deadline) on innovative pedagogy would be eligible for consideration. To qualify for the competition, a project should have been completed upon submission and be relatively comprehensive in scope.  Projects covering an entire course or course unit will be considered, whereas projects covering only one class period (unless one class period constitutes a unit) will not.

Selection Criteria

Criteria for award selection primarily consist of the following:

  1. Rationale of Project.  What is the need for the project and in what way would the current project make teaching more effective?
  2. Innovation of design. How does the project differ from current practices in the field?
  3. Outcome of Project.  What is the evidence as to the effectiveness of the project (for example, expert endorsement, positive student reactions, or pre-and post-test performance gain)?


The application deadline for the Cengage Learning Award each year is October 31st.  To apply, please prepare and submit the following information:

  1. A narrative description of the project, double-spaced and no more than five pages, including its rationale, design, outcome, and future development, if any.
  2. Relevant supporting documents, such as handouts, DVDs, or texts. (Supporting documents will not be returned to the applicants after the competition, unless a self-addressed and pre-stamped envelope has been provided.)
  3. Award Application Form

Electronic applications only to CLTA Award Committee at cltaaward@gmail.com, and indicate on the subject line that it is for “APPLICATION TO Cengage Learning Award.”

Winners will be notified by email before Feburary 15 of the following year and will receive the Awards at the CLTA Annual Conference. The winning projects will also be announced in the CLTA Newsletter, as well as featured on both the websites of CLTA and Cengage Learning, http://www.cengageasia.com.


Award Recipients
2013 Binnan Gao, Harvard University, First Prize. Project: “Speed Reading Materials Developed for Advanced Learners”
Jianfei Chen, Princeton University, Second Prize. Project: “An Experiment on Theatre-based & Performance-oriented Chinese Language Teaching”
Yongfang Zhang, Wofford College, Second Prize. Project: “Integrating Meaningful Tasks into Beginner-Level Reading and Writing Instruction”
2014 First Prize –Crista Cornelius, Donglin Chai, Bing Mu, Ohio State University. Project title: “Tiyan rizhi: Maximizing Community-based Learning in Chinese Study Abroad Contexts”
Second Prize – Shijuan Liu, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Project title: “Content Based Instruction With Emerging Technology for A Mixed Level Postsecondary Chinese Language Class”
Second Prize – Su-mei Wu, Carnegie Mellon University. Project title: “The Chinese Folk Performance Curriculum: Leveraging Technology,
Balancing Learners’ Content Knowledge and Language Proficiency”
2015 Yan Chen, Northern Illinois University; Juliet (Hong) Niu, DeKalb Chinese School; Pi-Sui Hsu, Northern Illinois University.
Project Title: A Mobile-Assisted Chinese Language Instructional Design for Young Chinese Heritage Learners: My New Science Discovery
2017 First Prize – Liling Huang (黄丽玲), Boston University. Project title: Self-paced Online Course of Chinese Pragmatics–an Innovative Design
Second Prize (1) –  Ying Feng (冯莹), Pennsylvania State University. Project title:  Multicultural literacy development through Classical Literature:
Classical Literature Reading Materials Development for Intermediate-level CFL Learner
Second Prize (2) – Lin Jia, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Project title: Strategies-based Reading Instruction: CFL Learners’ Reading Comprehension and Strategy Use
2018 First Prize – Xin Zhang (Oberlin College); Cong Li (Kenyon College), Cross-campus Collaboration on Shared Advanced Chinese Curriculum: Using VoiceThread in Hybrid Chinese Classrooms
Second Prize (1) –  Xue Ma, Georgetown University: Implementing a Holistic Task-Based Language Teaching Curriculum: The First Case Study from Needs Analysis to Program Evaluation
Second Prize (2) – Kaishan Kong, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Interactive corrective feedback & language gains between peers in Chinese speaking class.
2019-2020 First Prize – University of Rhode Island Chinese Flagship Program罗德岛大学中文领航项目:融科技于教学 (Wayne He 何文潮, Qingyu Yang杨青钰, Jiangping Cai蔡江坪, Yu Wu吴瑜, Xiaoyan Hu 胡小艳, Danwei Li 李丹薇, Yiping Zhang 张一平)
Second Prize (1) – Gao, Ying  at the University of Virginia, 将AR(Augmented Reality)应用于初级华裔班中文课堂的教学实践