Wenhao Diao is an Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies and an affiliated faculty member in the interdisciplinary graduate program of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching at the University of Arizona. She also founded and co-directs the Center for East Asian Studies , a Title VI National Resource Center supported by the US Department of Education, at the University of Arizona. She received her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University and her B.A. and M.A. from East China Normal University. As an applied linguist, she is interested in the identities, ideologies, and (in)equities that Chinese language learning and teaching (re)produce and (re)distribute. Her research has primarily focused on the phenomenon of study abroad -- particularly going to and from China More recently she has examined Chinese learning during the secondary to postsecondary transition. Her work has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the Chinese Language Teachers Association (USA). She was awarded a Fulbright-Hays grant in 2017 for her prosposed project that connects educators in the U.S. with their peers in China. Her articles have appeared on journals such as Applied Linguistics, Modern Language Journal, System, and so on. With her colleagues in the field, she has published an edited book entitled Language Learning in Study Abroad: The Multilingual Turn (Multilingual Matters, 2021) and a guest edited special issue themed Study Abroad in the 21st Century for the L2 Journal in 2016. Prior to joining the University of Arizona, she taught at Middlebury College, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Virginia, and East China Normal University.
The three major East Asian languages, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, are becoming increasingly popular in American K-16 schools. EAS 480/580 is for advanced undergraduate students and graduate students who wish to become language educators and/or specialists in one of these languages. The first half of the semester focuses on linguistic issues and pedagogical challenges specific to teaching the three East Asian languages (e.g., tones and syllabic features, writing systems,), and we then continue with sociocultural and sociopolitical dimensions of East Asian language teaching.
This course begins with an overview of foreign language teaching methodologies and then centers around issues in the teaching of Chinese, Japanese and Korean. The focus of the first half of the semester is how to create communicative language classrooms and incorporate emerging technologies in language teaching. During the second half, we delve into discussions about issues and challenges specific to teaching the three East Asian languages (e.g., writing systems, teaching culture, heritage speakers). We conclude by returning to the discussion of the overall picture of foreign language education in North America. Each student also engages in learning about opportunities for professional development throughout the semester and submits a teaching portfolio as the final assignment for this course.