Tao-chung Ted Yao Memorial Award

Dr. Tao-chung Ted Yao 姚道中 (1946 – 2015) was an internationally renowned expert in Chinese language pedagogy. In his life-long dedication to Chinese language teaching, Dr. Yao tirelessly contributed to material development, teacher training, and student mentorship. For scholars and teachers in the field, Dr. Yao was a constant source of encouragement and inspiration. In 2010, the Chinese Language Teachers Association honored Dr. Yao with Ronald A. Walton Lifetime Achievement Award, its highest recognition.

The Tao-chung Ted Yao Memorial Award (hereafter “Yao Award”) is sponsored by the Tao-chung Ted Yao Memorial Fund (hereafter “Yao Fund”). The fund was established by the Chinese Language Teachers Association, USA in 2015, with support from Professor Yao’s wife, Mrs. Kuang-tien Chang Yao, and assistance from Professor Yao’s friends and students. Following Professor Tao-chung Ted Yao’s wish, the Yao Award supports graduate students in the U.S. to present papers independently at national or international conferences sponsored or organized by the CLTA. For each year during the Yao Fund period, two to three recipients of Yao Award will be selected.  Each recipient receives a certificate and an award up to $850 to defray conference expenses.

Please note the following criteria of eligibility for Yao Award:

(a) The applicant must be a graduate student (either a doctoral or a master’s student) in the U.S;

(b) The paper must be single-authored, and be individually presented by the applicant;

(c) The proposal must have been accepted for presentation at the conference;

(d) Only students who have not previously received the Yao Award can apply. Also, as a general principle for CLTA awards, an applicant should only apply to one award each year, and a project that has been previously awarded/funded by the CLTA for any other award categories would not be considered for Yao Award again.

Announcement of this award and deadlines aligns with each year’s CLTA annual meeting call for proposals. When applying, applicants should send the following to the CLTA Award Committee at cltaaward@gmail.com, with the subject line as “APPLICATION TO YAO AWARD.”

  1. A copy of the regular conference proposal abstract, and a more detailed written proposal (about 400 words), with no identifying information;
  2. A brief CV (two pages maximum)
  3. The completed award application form.

Only proposals that are accepted for presentation will be considered for award. Identifying information will be removed prior to anonymous review. A shortlist of finalists will be contacted by the CLTA Award Committee and asked to submit additional materials. Recipients will be grouped into a special panel session to make presentations during the CLTA Annual Conference.

Recipients will be notified before the CLTA Annual Meeting and announced at the CLTA General Membership Meeting. The name(s) of awardee(s) will also be reported in the CLTA Newsletter and on this web page.

Award Recipients


Eric PelzlUniversity of Maryland, College Park: What Makes Hearing Mandarin Tones Difficult for Second Language Learners? Evidence from Psycholinguistic Research


Li Xiang. Portland State University: Survive or thrive: A mixed method study of visiting Chinese language teachers’ identity formation in the U.S. classrooms

Yi Wang. University of Arizona:  Navigating the path: Language ideologies among long-term study abroad students in China


He, Xuehong, Michigan State University:  An Eye-tracking Study on Learning L2 Chinese Vocabulary: Exploring Presentation Formats and Learner Attention

Zhai, Mengying, from University of Hawaii: Patterns of Peer Interaction in Chinese as a Foreign Language (CFL) Settings


Tzu-I Chiang, Indiana University Bloomington: The effect of instructional sequence on the acquisition of Mandarin verbal complements

Liying Feng, Florida State University: Motivation for learning Chinese as a foreign language: a revised model of future self-guides

Yali Feng, Georgia State University: Chinese language teacher ‘ perceptions of the professional training program: Exploring the effectiveness of the core practices of the STARTALK program on their future teaching

Yawei Li, The Ohio State University: From memorizing a story to creating a story: Exploration on video incorporation in movie narration class

Huan Liu, Washington University in St. Louis: Assessing College-Level L2 Chinese Reading Comprehension of Informational Texts: The Effect of Comprehension Tasks and Heritage Status

Runqing Qi, The University of Iowa: An instructional model for using authentic texts in Chinese L2 reading classrooms

Jun Wang, University of Wisconsin-Madison: L1 Transfer at the Lexicon-Syntax Interface: L1 English L2 Chinese Learners’ Acquisition of Chinese Locational PPs


Nini li (University of Hawaii at Mānoa)
“The Construction of Chinese Pedagogical Grammar System”

Wen Guo (University at Buffalo)
“Transformative Learning Experiences in a Study Abroad Mandarin Program”

Xinye Zhang (University of California, Davis)
“Language variation in teacher speech in a dual immersion preschool”


Yingyu Chen (University of Hawaii at Mānoa)
“Processibility Theory Hierarchy Applied to Mandarin”

Bo Liu (University of Oklahoma)
“What Sustains Chinese Learning Motivation: A Case Study of Midwestern American High School Students”

Jiaxin Tian (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa)
“Xiexie ‘Thanks’ and Its Responders in Mandarin Chinese”


Yilei Li, University of Arizona

Qingyu Yang, University of Rhode Island

Jia Liu, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa