Chinese Teaching Associate Reflects – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Chinese Teaching Associate Reflects

Throughout the academic year, the Asian Studies Department has welcomed Yao Li as a Chinese Teaching Associate at the Colleges for 2015. Li arrives at HWS on behalf of the ALLEX Foundation, or the Alliance for Language Learning and Educational Exchange. The Foundation operates with the purpose of facilitating excellence within the study of East Asian language and culture in colleges and universities across North America.

“In addition to bringing native-language fluency in Chinese and solid training in language teaching methods, ALLEX Teaching Associates enrich the HWS community with their diversity of life experiences and perspectives, allowing our students one more avenue to understanding what it means to truly be global citizens,” says Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Darrin Magee, chair of the Asian Studies Department.

Li received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and her Master of Arts in linguistics, translation, and interpretation at Beijing Language & Culture University. Li  has assisted Professors Chi-Chiang Huang and Associate Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures Jinghao Zhou in their instruction of Chinese throughout the academic year.

“I am fascinated by the beautiful surroundings, as well as the feeling of being in an integrated community in HWS,” says Li.

Li regularly shares stories of her life in China, a unique characteristic of her courses.

“Her teachings are more fixated towards getting us to know the culture, not just the Chinese language,” says Fu-Wah Choi ’15. “Rather than just speaking with correct grammar, she pushes us to speak and sound more colloquially.”

Li’s instruction is highly individualized, with most of her sessions only including two students each.

“Yao’s teaching style is unique in the sense that although she is following the textbook material, she thoroughly digests the material herself then makes personalized adjustments to it so that it is easier for us to understand,” says Katelyn Berry ’15. “These adjustments have allowed for me to better understand the Chinese language and culture.”