Events | TCSOL Certificate The Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages

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Upcoming Event: Professional Development Workshop (April 2019)

CIFLTE periodically offers workshops on research methodology and/or best instructional practices.  

 >>Mobile Language Learning and Teaching: Know-How for A Smart Classroom<<

Presenter: Dr. Sonia Rocca

Date: April 13th, 2019

Location: In-person Attendance at Teachers CollegeOnline Attendance via Zoom (register to get meeting ID)

To register:

This workshop is intended for language teachers who are intrigued by the potential of new technologies but are hesitant to fully embrace such potential for various reasons.

The morning session will start with participants sharing their successes and failures with technology in the classroom. We’ll role-play scenarios and brainstorm solutions in line with a ‘mindfulness’ approach that will help relieve technology-induced anxieties. This will lead to a discussion about the pro and cons of a digital ‘smart’ classroom, how the pros outweigh the cons but also how the cons cannot be ignored. The morning session will end by reviewing examples of ‘smart’ language classrooms.

The afternoon session will build upon the morning session and focus on how to set up a digital language classroom. The session will open with a quick overview of the impact that technology has always had on language learning and teaching, but most importantly how current technological advancements have affected the way languages are learnt and taught.

  • We’ll look at research showing how technology can be used to motivate students to speak and interact in the target language, but also to acquire more metalinguistic awareness and cultural sensitivity.
  • We’ll also look at ACTFL/CEFR standards to see where technology fits with their implementation.
  • Finally, a variety of resources will be proposed and participants will be asked to work in twos or three to create a task that can be completed with or without making use of technology - the way ‘with’ will be compared to the way ‘without’ in terms impact on learning outcomes.

The workshop will end with a recap of the main points of the day as well as indications and recommendations for a ‘smart’ language classroom. Participants are required to bring their own device (tablet/laptop/smartphone) together with their willingness to be actively engaged.


Dr. Sonia Rocca has been a foreign language educator for over a quarter of a century in three different countries. In her native country, Italy, she taught French and English; in Britain, she taught French and Italian and currently she is teaching Italian at the Lycée Français de New York. She obtained a PhD in Applied Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh, specializing in the acquisition of a second language during childhood. Her research has expanded into Mobile Language Learning. Recently, she co-edited the special issue MOBILizing Language Learning in the 21st Century and she also chaired the international conference MOBILLE.


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Past Event: Public Talks by Prof. Weiguo Zhang - October 5th, 2018

The CIFLTE sponsored two public talks given by Prof. Weiguo Zhang on the Trade Effect of English as a Lingua Franca and linguistic distance, language learners’ mother tongue, and Chinese acquisition.

Talk 1: The Trade Effect of English as a Lingua Franca

This talk highlights the importance of language in international trade and the associated outcomes. To be specific, I will discuss recent literature on economic effects of language (focusing on language and trade studies), followed by suggestions of future research directions. Finally, I will illustrate the importance of language with my work on the trade effect of English as a lingua franca.

Talk 2: Linguistic Distance, Language Learners’ Mother Tongue, and Chinese Acquisition 

The mother tongue of language learners plays an important role in second language acquisition. From the perspective of language economics and by introducing the notion of linguistic distance, we estimate the impact of language learners’ mother tongue on Chinese acquisition as second language. We find that there is a negative correlation between linguistic distance and Chinese acquisition. Other things being equal, the closer linguistic distance between Chinese and learners’ mother tongue is the higher Chinese proficiency the learner acquires and vice versa. This effect also applies to listening, reading, and writing. Based on the results, the policy implication of linguistic distance study on Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (TCSOL) as well as the dissemination of Chinese in the world is discussed.

Weiguo Zhang is a Professor of Economics in the Center for Economic Research at Shandong University, China and Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa (2010-2011) as well as the University of Texas at San Antonio (2017-2018). He is also the director of the Center for Language and Economic Research at Shandong University. His research interests include economic approaches to language, labor economics, economics of education, international trade, and development economics, with a special interest in issues that involves language variable.   


Past Event: CIFLTE Alumni Symposium on Chinese Language Teaching (March 2018)

The Center for International Foreign Language Teacher Education (CIFLTE) was pleased to hold its first Alumni Symposium at Teachers College, Columbia University in March 2018. The Symposium created a platform for the CIFLTE alumni to showcase their instructional innovations and expand their professional network, hence contributing to their professional growth and the development of TCSOL as a field.

Over 100 attendees included CIFLTE alumni, educators, and publishers from inside and outside the CIFLTE community. 

Click here to read the event report.

If you have any questions, please email or call 212-678-8378.