Introducing Dali Tan (Episode 72)

Episode 72 - It's About Language Podcast with Norah L Jones

“I really feel that why I’m doing what I’m doing is because of the 85 years of friendship between my family and two Americans.”

Dali Tan’s Bio

Dr. Dali Tan (PhD in comparative literature in 1997) is Professor of Chinese and World Languages Discipline Group Chair at the Northern Virginia Community College and has been a Chinese teacher in the United States for almost twenty-nine years.  She has extensive experience teaching Chinese to students from 5th grade to college seniors as well as adult learners and heritage Chinese school students. She served on the three-member Editorial Board of STARTALK. She served as a board member of NECTFL (Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) and President of CLASS (Chinese Language Association of Secondary-elementary Schools).

Dr. Tan was the Director for NOVA STARTALK eTower Infrastructure Grant Project which has produced several Open Educational Resource (OER) modules based on a famous Chinese painting called “Along the River during the Qingming Festival” —   She was the co-project director for a five-year research project entitled “Language Socialization in Chinese Study Abroad Homestay” which is a 2010-2014 research project of CALPER (Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research at Pennsylvania State University) funded by Title VI Grant from the Department of Education.  Dr. Tan also served on the College Board SAT II Chinese Committee for five years and the AP Chinese Development Committees for two years.  She has conducted many AP Chinese workshops and AP Summer Institute both face to face and virtually in the United States and internationally in China and Thailand since 2006.  She is a frequent presenter at international, national, regional, and state conferences.  She was the 2003 recipient of the Teacher Recognition Award issued by U.S. Department of Education.  She received the 2022 Virginia World Language Teacher of the Year Award from SCOLT (Southern Conference on Language Teaching). Dr. Tan’s research and pedagogical articles have been published in China, Canada, the Great Britain, and the United States. 

Dr. Dali Tan’s Blog:


Referenced During the Podcast:

Ginsburgh, Mélitz, J., & Toubal, F. (2017). Foreign language learning and trade. Review of International Economics25(2), 320–361.

Stepanek, J. E. (1992). A Town Called Shaoyang: Introducing Industry appropriate to China. Gold Hill Publication, Boulder, Colorado.

Stepanek, A. F. (1992). A Town Called Shaoyang: Witnessing Dynastic Changes in China. Gold Hill Publication, Boulder, Colorado.

Tan, D. (2003)  “Friendship in Fenghuang, West Hunan, China” in The Passionist Heritage Newsletter (Volume10 Issue 4)

Utah’s International Trade and Global Connections

Dr. Dali Tan’s Selected Publications in English 

“STARTALK eTower: Increasing Chinese Language and Cultural Proficiency Through Open Access Online Technology” by Dali Tan, Angela Gunder, Shaoyu Chi, and Susan Picard in Teaching and Learning Chinese as a Second or Foreign Language: Emerging Trends, Lexington Books: Lanham.Boulder.New York.London  (2020): 1-16.  

“Pearls of Ancient Chinese Wisdom for Twenty-First-Century CFL Classrooms.” Explorations in

Teaching Chinese as as Second Language. Cheng & Tsui. Boston (2019):197-211.

Building Global Communities: Working Together toward Intercultural Competence” by Dali Tan and Elizabeth Barbour. NECTFL Review 79. (2017), 197-212.   

The Power of Pattern Stories for Chinese Literacy” by Helena Curtain and Dali Tan. International Chinese Language Education. Foreign Language Research and Teaching Press, Beijing. 1: 1, (2016), 87-102.   

“The Short-Term Homestay as a Context for Language Learning: Three Case Studies of High School Students and Host Families” by Celeste Kinginger, Qian Wu, Sheng-Hsun Lee and Dali Tan. Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education. John Benjamins Publishing Company:  Amsterdam/Philadelphia 1:1 (2016), 34-60.   

              Discussing Emily Dickinson in Chinese: Lessons from the Cooperative Translation Project.” Laura Lauth with Dali Tan. Comparative Literature & World Literature. Peking University Press (December 2015): 184-198. 

“Contextualized Language Practices as Sites for Learning: Mealtime Talk in Short-Term Chinese Homestays.” Celeste Kinginger, Sheng-Hsun Lee, Qian Wu and Dali Tan. Applied Linguistics. Oxford University Press (2014): 1-26. 

“Exploring the potential of high school homestays as a context for local engagement and negotiation of difference–Americans in China.” Dali Tan & Celeste Kinginger. InSocial and Cultural Aspects of Language Learning in Study Abroadby Kinginger, Celeste (ed.).  John Benjamins Publishing Company:  Amsterdam/Philadelphia. (August 2013): 155-177. 

Criteria to Guide Textbook Decisions: Reflections from a Classroom Teacher and Teacher Trainer.” Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.  Nanjing:  Nanjing University Press ( April 2011):54-69. 

“Study Abroad in China: Transformation of Students’ Perspectives on the World and Themselves.” Study Abroad in the Chinese Context, Beijing:  Peking University Press. (January 2008): 267-281. 

“Roundtable on the Fourth World Conference on Women and the NGO Forum, 1995.” Co-authored with Sharon K. Hom, Ma Yuanxi, Wang Zheng and Zhong Xueping. Chinese Women Traversing Diaspora: Memoirs, Essays, and Poetry. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. (1999): 211-241.  

“Negotiating Cultural and Linguistic Differences in Translation through Transformation.” and “A Few Words on Translating Emily Dickinson into Chinese.” The Emily Dickinson Journal. (1997): 30-35 and  114-118. 

“Keeping Chinese Girls in School: Effective Strategies from Hubei Province” by Dali Tan and Dawei Tan. The American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, Washington, DC, 1995. 

“Reception Studies and the Politics of Canon Formation: Bing Xin and Tagore: Guo Moruo and Whitman.” American Comparative Literature Association Bulletin 24.2 (Spring/Summer, 1993): 104-121. 

“Power Relations in Influence and Reception Studies: Bing Xin and Mirror-lyric Poetry.” Michigan Feminist Studies (Spring 1993): 35-51. 

“Post-Colonial Discourse and the Handmaid’s Tale.” Semiotics 1991: Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society of America. J. Deely and T. Prewitt Eds. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America (1993): 169-175. 

“Chinese Women Writers and Western Lyric-love Poetry.” Comparative Literature in Canada23.2 (Fall 1992): 73-75. 

  “Sexism in the Chinese Language.” National Women’s Studies Association Journal 2.4 (autumn, 1990): 635-639. 

   “The Warped Characters and the Abnormal Rebellions–A comparison between Lu Xun’s Ah Q and Dostoyevsky’s Underground Man.” Border crossing–Comparative Literary Studies from China and Other Parts of the World.  Shenyang: Leaning University Press (1987): 102-116. 

Publication: OER (Open Educational Resources) Website and Instructional Materials 


Co-author Insights: Chinese Language, Culture, and Society, Cengage Learning Asia, (Singapore: 2021). 

Co-author Step Up to AP: Chinese Language, Culture, and Society, Cengage Learning (Singapore: 2019). 

Co-author of Step Up with Chinese, Vol. 3, Cengage Learning (Singapore: 2015).  A Chinese textbook for middle school and high school students. 

Co-author of Step Up with Chinese, Vol. 2, Cengage Learning (Singapore: 2013).  A Chinese textbook for middle school and high school students. 

Co-author of Step Up with Chinese, Vol. 1, Cengage Learning (Singapore: 2011).  A Chinese textbook for middle school and high school students. 

Publications in Chinese

Selected Publications in Chinese

STARTALK eTower: 一个有效提高学习者能力以及学习自主性的开放式教育资源

(STARTALK eTower: An Effective OER to Promote Chinese Language Proficiency and Learner Autonomy) Dali Tan, Lei Wu, Rui Huang and Zhen Wang in Journal of Technology and Chinese Language Teaching, Volume 13 Number 1, (June 2022): 74-100.

通过批判性话语分析提高中文教材的文化多样性和包容性—采用《中文听说读写》教学的经验总结、反思及展望 (Improving the Representation of Cultural Diversity and Inclusiveness in Chinese Textbooks through Critical Discourse Analysis—Experience, Reflection and Prospect in Teaching with Integrated Chinese)Dali Tan, Lei Wu, and Rui Huang in International Journal of Chinese Language Teaching. 3:2 (2022):  54-64.

STARTALK eTower: 一个提高中文能力和培养学习自主性的共享网络资源平台.( STARTALK eTower: An OER Website that Promotes Chinese Language Proficiency and Learner Autonomy). 109-122 Dali Tan, Lei Wu, Zhen Wang, and Rui Huang, Jiang, S., Liang, N., Da, J., & Liu, S. (Eds.). (2021). Proceedings of the 11th international conference and workshops on technology and Chinese language teaching.

 “A Look at the Native Language Education, “Studies in Native Language Education Textbooks, edited by Hong Zongli, Liu Shizhen and Ni Wenjin, Volume 8,  Jiangsu Education Press, (2008): 30-71.

“Popular Novels: A Reflector of the Psychology and Wish of the American Readers.” Journal of Nanjing University, 2 (1987): 116-122.

“Feminist Criticism: An Introduction.” Arts Studies 2 (1987): 43-45.

“Two Different Styles Portraying the Same Mental Agony: the Different Techniques of Expression Employed in Li Qingzhao’s Ci and Emily Dickinson’s Poems.” Social Sciences 7 (1986): 48-50.

“A Brief Analysis of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22,” Journal of Nanjing University, Graduate Students’ Special Issue. (1986):  57-60.

“The Poet Ernest Hemingway.” Journal of Liaoning University 5 (1986): 25-26.

“An Empirical Orphan in the Theoretical Storm: The Coming into Being and Development of Feminist Criticism.” Journal of Nanjing University (1986 Supplement): 67-72.

To learn more about previous guests on It’s About Language or access other episodes of the podcast, visit It’s About Language or click on the Podcast tab above.


Episode 72 – Let Everyone Come In

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