Tao-chung Ted Yao Memorial Award

Dr. Tao-chung Ted Yao 姚道中 (1946 – 2015) was an internationally renowned expert in Chinese language pedagogy. In his life-long dedication to Chinese language teaching, Dr. Yao tirelessly contributed to material development, teacher training, and student mentorship. For scholars and teachers in the field, Dr. Yao was a constant source of encouragement and inspiration. In 2010, the Chinese Language Teachers Association honored Dr. Yao with Ronald A. Walton Lifetime Achievement Award, its highest recognition.

The Tao-chung Ted Yao Memorial Award (hereafter “Yao Award”) is sponsored by the Tao-chung Ted Yao Memorial Fund (hereafter “Yao Fund”). The fund was established by the Chinese Language Teachers Association, USA in 2015, with support from Professor Yao’s wife, Mrs. Kuang-tien Chang Yao, and assistance from Professor Yao’s friends and students. Following Professor Tao-chung Ted Yao’s wish, the Yao Award supports graduate students in the U.S. to present papers independently at national or international conferences sponsored or organized by the CLTA. For each year during the Yao Fund period, two to three recipients of Yao Award will be selected. For the year of 2016, each recipient receives a certificate and an award of $750. One recipient will be selected from graduate student presentations at the 2nd CLTA International Symposium on Chinese Language Teaching and Learning (CLTA-S2), and one to two recipients will be selected from graduate student presentations at the CLTA Annual Meeting in conjunction with ACTFL Convention 2016*.

To qualify for the Yao Award competition, the applicant must be a graduate student (either a doctoral or a master’s student) in the U.S., and the paper must be single-authored, and must have been accepted for presentation at the conference. Preference will be given to students who have not previously received the Yao Award. Upon review of the applicants’ proposals which have been accepted for presentation, a shortlist of finalists will be grouped into a special panel session during the CLTA-S2 or CLTA Annual Meeting and compete for the Award.

Those who wish to be considered for the Yao Award at the CLTA-S2 should send an email with the subject line specified as “APPLICATION TO YAO AWARD AT CLTA-S2” to CLTA.AWARD.2016@gmail.com by January 31st, 2016. Please attach the following documents: (1) Your proposal to CLTA-S2 without identifying information; (2) the acceptance letter of your proposal; (3) a letter from your institution verifying your graduate student status; (4) a separate document containing your contact information, including your name, email, and affiliation. Only applications that adhere to these specifications will be considered.

Those who wish to be considered for the Yao Award at the CLTA Annual Meeting should follow instructions of ACTFL’s “Call for Papers” announcement. To be considered, a CLTA member should submit his/her conference proposal as an individual paper (not a session, roundtable, or poster) for the category of “Higher Education” when submitting to ACTFL’s website by the January deadline. In addition, applicants must send a more detailed proposal (about 400 words) plus the author information to the CLTA Award Committee (CLTA.AWARD.2016@gmail.com) with the subject line as “APPLICATION TO YAO AWARD ACTFL” by January 31. Only proposals that are accepted for presentation at the CLTA Annual Meeting will be considered for award competition. Finalists to compete the award will be contacted by the CLTA Award Committee in July 2016 and be asked to submit a three-page single-spaced outline of their papers.

The names of the Award winners will be announced at the CLTA-S2 and the CLTA General Membership Meeting, and they will also be reported in the CLTA Newsletter and at the CLTA’s website.

Award Recipients


Eric PelzlUniversity of Maryland, College Park: What Makes Hearing Mandarin Tones Difficult for Second Language Learners? Evidence from Psycholinguistic Research


*CLTA Annual Meeting comprises sessions organized by the CLTA during the ACTFL Annual Convention.