Yi Xu

  • Associate Professor of Chinese as a Second Language & Language Acquisition
  • Academic Coordinator of Chinese Language Program
  • Immediate Past President, Chinese Language Teachers Association, U.S. (2021–2022)
  • Estuary: Language

Office Hours

Spring 2022: By appointment

Courses Taught

  • First year Chinese
  • Second year Chinese
  • Third year Chinese
  • Fourth year Chinese
  • Aspects of the Chinese Language (CHIN/LING 1025/2025)  
  • Chinese as a Second Language & Bilingualism (CHIN 1027/2027)
  • Intercultural Communication between Chinese and Other Cultures (CHIN0083)
  • Chinese Senior Project (CHIN 1999)


Education & Training

  • Certified ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Oral Proficiency Interview rater
  • Ph.D., Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, University of Arizona
  • M.A., English Language/Linguistics, University of Arizona
  • B.A. with High Distinction, English, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

Representative Publications

Representative Publications

Technology-facilitated language instruction & emergency remote teaching:

Xu, Y., Jin, L. Deifell, E., & Angus, K. (2021) “Facilitating technology-based character learning in emergency remote teaching." Foreign Language Annals. DOI: 10.1111/flan.12541 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/flan.12541

Xu, Y., Jin, L., Deifell, E., & Angus, K. (2021) Chinese character instruction online: A technology acceptance perspective in emergency remote teaching. System. 100, 102542. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0346251X21000968

Jin, L., Xu, Y., Deifell, E., & Angus, K. (2021). Emergency remote language teaching and U.S.-based college-level world language educators’ intention to adopt online teaching in postpandemic times. The Modern Language Journal, 105(2). DOI: 10.1111/modl.12712 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/modl.12712

Xu, Y. & Zhu, L. (2019). Online peer feedback in second language Chinese writing: From feedback, uptake, to perception. Chinese as a Second Language, 54(3), 257-287. https://benjamins.com/catalog/csl.19012.zhu

Xu, Y. (2007). Re-examining the effects and affects of electronic peer reviews in a freshmen composition class. The Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal, 7(2): 1-21. http://www.readingmatrix.com/articles/xu/article.pdf

Orthographic and character learning in Chinese SLA:

Xu, Y., Chang, L.-Y., & Perfetti, C. A. (2016). The distribution and grouping effect in character learning: Using data-driven E-learning materials in language teaching. In Hsin, S.-C., Chen, J.-G., & Hsieh, C.-L. (Eds.), Chinese Language Teaching and Computer Usages, pp. 97-115. Taipei: Wunan Press.

Xu, Y., Chang, L.-Y., & Perfetti, C. A. (2014). The effect of radical-based grouping in character learning in Chinese as a foreign language. The Modern Language Journal, 98(3), 773-793. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/modl.12122

Xu, Y., & Chang, L.-Y. (2014). Computer-assisted character learning using animation and visual chunking. In Li, S. and Swanson, P. (Eds.) Engaging language learning through technology integration: Theory, applications, and outcomes, pp. 1-22. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Chang, L. Y., Xu, Y., Perfetti, C. A., Zhang, J., & Chen, H.-C. (2014). Supporting orthographic learning at the beginning stage of learning to read Chinese as a second language. International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education, 61(3), 288-305. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1034912X.2014.934016

Xu, Y., Chang, L.-Y., Zhang, J., & Perfetti, C. A. (2013). Reading, writing, and animation in Chinese as a foreign language character learning. Foreign Language Annals, 46(3), 423-444. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/flan.12040

Vocabulary learning and lexical inference in Chinese SLA:

Xu, Y. & Chen, L. (Forthcoming). “Wordhood and polysemy of characters in naming tasks for skilled Chinese as a foreign language learners.” In Yuan, F., B. He., & W. Hu (Eds.), Pedagogical Grammar and Grammar Pedagogy in L2 Chinese. Chinese Language Teachers Association Monograph VI. Routledge.

Xu, Y. & Zhang, J. (2020). 语境支持下的词义猜测及动补式的认知与习得 [Context-based lexical inferencing and the learning of resultative verb compounds]. 《世界汉语教学》[Chinese Language Teaching in the World], 4, 546-560.

Xu, Y. & Zhang, J. (2020). Chinese compound word inference through context and word-internal cues. Language Teaching Research. Online First. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1362168820905811

Grammar and grammatical development in L2 Chinese:

Xu, Y. (2020). Perfective -le use and consciousness-raising among beginner-level Chinese learners. Languages, 5(2), 16. Special issue: The acquisition of Chinese as a First and Second Languagehttps://doi.org/10.3390/languages5020016

Xu, Y. (2014). Processing relative clauses in Chinese as a second language. Second Language Research, 30(4), 439-461. https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658313511485

Xu, Y. (2014). Evidence of the Accessibility Hierarchy in relative clauses in Chinese as a second language. Language and Linguistics, 15(3), 435-464. https://doi.org/10.1177/1606822X14520666

Xu, Y. (2014). Relativization strategies in Chinese as a foreign language learners’ interlanguage. In Huang, C.-T., and Liu, F.-H. (Eds.), Peaches and Plums, pp. 379-400. Taipei: Academia Sinica.

Xu, Y. (2013). CFL learners’ production of relative clauses with demonstratives – From theory to empirical research. Chinese as a Second Language Research, 2(2), 169-192.


Xu, Y. (2014). A corpus-based functional study of shi…de constructions. Chinese Language and Discourse, 5(2), 146-184. https://doi.org/10.1075/cld.5.2.02xu

Xu, Y. (2007). Teaching materials and authentic language: A case study of shi…de sentences from corpora. In Cheng, A., He, W., and Mu, L. (Eds.) Essays on Teaching Chinese to American Students, pp. 239-244. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. 2007.

Invited Talks (Selective)

November 21, 2021. End-of-program Roundtable. The 12th International Conference of Asia-Pacific Consortium of Teaching Chinese as an International Language. Hosted by Shanghai International Studies University, School of Chinese Studies & Exchange.

October 1, 2021. “Technology-enhanced character instruction in emergency remote teaching in the U.S.: A mixed method study.” Hosted by Chinese Language Teachers Association – Chinese as a Second Language Research SIG.

May 22, 2021. “Focus-on-form in Communicative Activities in Language Classrooms.” Chinese Language Teaching in the U.S. Online Seminar Series. Beijing Language & Culture University Press.

April 24, 2021. “Learning perfective aspect through attention to form in role-play.” 2021 International Roundtable on Chinese Applied Linguistics. University of Iowa.

June 24, 2020. “Innovation during a Time of Change: Teaching Strategies and Instruction.” Opening plenary in Virtual National Chinese Language Conference. Asia Society and the College Board. (4,100 attendees)

Research Interests

My research focuses on the linguistic perspectives of Chinese as a second language. It is a field that aims to provide a description and explanation of how and why we learn foreign languages in the ways that we do and how we can improve teaching effectiveness. In investigating learners’ development in reading, writing, vocabulary learning, and grammatical development, I use a variety of techniques including psycholinguistic methodologies, corpus approaches, functional grammar analysis, and pedagogical task interventions. Recently, I have researched teacher perceptions in emergency remote language teaching. In addition, I am actively engaged in investigating professional challenges and interculturality in Chinese language teaching in K-12 contexts in the United States.

Yi Xu's Google Scholar Profile