Project-Based Language Learning for the Chinese Classroom

Workshop Description

The Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context (ILETC) invites CUNY full- and part-time Chinese language instructors to participate in a year-long workshop aimed at acquiring the tools to design project-based language learning (PBLL) curricula. PBLL is a student-centered pedagogy that focuses on meaning making in the target language. PBLL courses are organized around a complex question or problem. Learners develop linguistic and cultural competence by working toward addressing the question or problem. For sample PBLL projects, visit

We at ILETC consider collaboration to be a key aspect of improving language education. The workshop sessions offer organized spaces for participants to work with and learn from each other. There will be group meetings to discuss progress with colleagues, reading groups and lectures from experts to keep ourselves up-to-date on the changing dynamics of language education, and structured activities to facilitate curriculum development. This professional development activity will be led by Dr. Megan M. Ferry, Professor of Chinese and Asian Studies at Union College in Schenectady, NY, and assisted by a graduate student.

The workshop entails six 2-hour long sessions, which will take place over the course of the 2018-2019 academic year. Most of the meetings will be virtual, although two of them will take place in person at the Graduate Center. The first meeting will be in person, tentatively scheduled for Friday, September 21, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., and the last in May 2019. In addition, we will invite ACTFL to offer a day-long workshop to participants in early November. The complete schedule for this workshop will be available in early September.

There are a limited number of spots available. To apply, please fill out the application form (found hereno later than August 30, 2018. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to

Workshop Facilitator

Megan M. Ferry is Professor of Chinese and Asian Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Union College (Schenectady, NY). She received her B.A. in Asian Studies and German from Mt. Holyoke College, M.A. and Ph.D. degree in Comparative Literature (Chinese and German, with an emphasis on modern Chinese literature and culture) from Washington University in St. Louis. The results of her studies have yielded a diverse body of research and courses. In addition to Chinese language at all levels, she teaches Chinese and Asian American film, Gender and Sexuality on Modern China, East Asian literature and culture, Media China, as well as co-teaches an interdisciplinary course with a civil engineer on China’s Three Gorges Dam and development. She has written on Chinese women writers and the literary field in 1920s and 1930s China, advertising, consumerism, and sexuality in contemporary China, and China-Latin America and China-African relations. In addition to these publications, she has written the Chinese curriculum for the Schenectady Public Schools District and served as evaluator for several K-16 Chinese language programs.