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Public Talk: Trends in Second and Foreign Language Teaching

Columbia Global Centers | East Asia

Thursday, July 17, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM (CST)

Public Talk: Trends in Second and Foreign Language...

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Trends in Second and Foreign Language Teaching


Speaker: Professor Zhaohong Han, Teachers College, Columbia University

Date /Time: July 17, 2014 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM



As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the teaching and learning of a second or foreign language takes on unprecedented importance. Since almost every aspect of the human society depends on communication, and in this day and age, on cross-cultural communication, bilinguals or multilinguals are clearly the winners. However, from research as well as from experience, we know for a fact that learning an additional language beyond one’s first language is an extremely arduous process, often ending up short of success. Second or foreign language teaching, if done properly, may facilitate the process and improve the outcome, or otherwise, hinder it.

Second and foreign language teaching have, over the past fifteen years, witnessed several emerging shifts in conception and practice, consistent with an evolving understanding from relevant research of how learners - adult learners, in particular - learn a second or foreign language. Some of the major changes include (1) viewing teaching as a science and hence evidence-based rather than intuition- or experience-based; (2) adopting an analytic approach rather than a synthetic approach in planning and organizing teaching; (3) implementing a focus on form rather than a focus on forms in classroom interaction; (4) comprehensively fostering complexity, accuracy, fluency, and communicative adequacy of learner language rather than formal accuracy alone; (5) contextualizing rather than decontextualizing teaching; (6) using authentic input rather than modified input; (7) engaging learners in real world tasks rather than artificial metalinguistic exercises; (8) respecting students’ processing needs rather than imposing teaching on learning; (9) teachers primarily leading from behind rather than leading in the front; and (10) teachers assuming multiple, dynamic roles rather than a singular role in the classroom.

In this presentation, following a quick historical snapshot, the speaker will expound on the major changes. the speaker will also discuss challenges facing teachers who are accustomed to traditional ways of teaching that feature teacher-centeredness, grammar-centeredness, and textbook-centeredness.



Dr. ZhaoHong Han is Professor of Language and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she conducts research, teaches graduate courses, and directs the Applied Linguistics and TESOL Program. Her research interests are broadly in second language learnability, second language teachability, and their interface.   Her work on fossilization, corrective feedback, second language thinking for speaking, second language reading and vocabulary development, second language reading instruction, and second language ab initio input processing has appeared in a variety of journals and books. Dr. Han is the recipient of the 2003 International TESOL Heinle and Heinle Distinguished Research Award, and a repeated recipient of the Teachers College, Columbia University Outstanding Teacher Award.






地点:哥伦比亚大学全球中心 | 东亚







韩照红博士是哥伦比亚大学教师学院的语言与教育学教授。她在哥伦比亚大学开展研究、教授研究生课程,并指导应用语言学和TESOL(对外英语教学)项目。她广泛的研究兴趣包括第二语言可学习性、可教性和它们之间的相关性。她的研究领域涉及语言石化现象、纠正性反馈、口语的第二语言思维、第二语言阅读能力和词汇的发展、第二语言阅读能力指导,以及第二语言初始输入过程等,出版过诸多杂志和书籍。韩博士是2003年国际对外英语教学海因勒与海因勒杰出研究成果奖(International TESOL Heinle and Heinle Distinguished Research Award)的获得者,并多次获得哥伦比亚大学教师学院杰出教师奖。


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Have questions about Public Talk: Trends in Second and Foreign Language Teaching? Contact Columbia Global Centers | East Asia

When & Where

Columbia Global Centers | East Asia, No. 26, 1 F, Core Plaza, No.1 Shanyuan Street, Zhongguancun, Haidian, Beijing, China 100080
1号 Shanyuan St
Beijing, Beijing 100871

Thursday, July 17, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM (CST)

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Phone: +86 10.8248.3997, Email:


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