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.  Each recipient receives a certificate and an award of $750 to defray conference expenses.

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 Annual Conference or the ACTFL Annual Convention and compete for the Award.

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.” Only proposals that are accepted for presentation will be considered for award competition. Finalists to compete the award will be contacted by the CLTA Award Committee and be asked to submit a three-page single-spaced outline of their papers.

The names of the Award winners are announced at the CLTA General Membership Meeting and also 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