Headshot of Han Luo, associate professor of Chinese at Lafayette CollegeResearch area: As I have earned two Ph.D. degrees (one in linguistics and applied linguistics, the other in foreign language education with a specialization in teaching Chinese), my research covers a wide range of areas in linguistics, second language acquisition, intercultural learning, and language pedagogy, highlighting the intersections between language, thinking, culture, and learning. Because of the training I received through two Ph.D. programs and my teaching experience, I have developed three major lines of research interests: cognitive linguistics/Chinese linguistics, foreign language anxiety, and foreign language pedagogy. 

Cognitive linguistics is a relatively new approach to the study of language that emerged in the 1970s as a reaction against the dominant generative grammar and truth-conditional semantics. In my monograph titled Particle Verbs in English: A Cognitive Linguistic Perspective (Springer 2019), I applied the cognitive linguistic framework to semantic and syntactic analysis of English phrasal verbs, which produced very interesting results and provided valuable implications for language teaching. 

As an important subfield of second language acquisition, foreign language anxiety is another area that keenly interests me simply because it is a very common emotional reaction that interferes with the process of second language acquisition. It is safe to say that almost every foreign language learner has experienced the feeling of anxiety, more or less, in the course of language learning irrespective of the target language, proficiency level, student background, and language learning context. Anxiety is such a commonly shared experience among students that any responsible language teacher should not ignore its existence in all types of language instruction. Although consistent and energetic research on foreign language anxiety has produced important advances in our understanding of this concept in the past decades, very limited research has focused on Chinese language learners’ anxiety experiences. To fill the research gap and more importantly to help my students, I have conducted a series of studies on this topic. I also signed a contract for a book titled Foreign Language Anxiety: Theory, Methodology, and Practice with Springer. In this book, I will give a comprehensive yet in-depth analysis of important sub-topics of foreign language anxiety, such as sources, effects, and measures of anxiety, as well as the best research methods to approach these topics through empirical studies.

My research on foreign language pedagogy has emerged out of my teaching, curriculum development, program building, and teacher training experiences, which form a wide range of subfields including heritage language education, curriculum design, telecollaboration, intercultural learning, teaching with technology, and second language teacher education. 

My Lafayette journey: Before coming to Lafayette, I worked as a lecturer of linguistics and English at the Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing for six years and then as a lecturer of Chinese at Northwestern University in Chicago for three years. Lafayette is a special place where I’ve met many wonderful colleagues and students. This is my 10th year at Lafayette. In the past nine years, I have enjoyed every minute of teaching my students and working with my wonderful colleagues. The most fulfilling part of my career at Lafayette is the opportunity to build the Chinese language program with an excellent team of Chinese language faculty. With the help of our Chinese Fulbright teaching assistants, other Chinese faculty members, and student organizations, the Chinese language program holds a series of Chinese cultural events on campus every year. Therefore, students enjoy a close and supportive Chinese language and culture learning community at Lafayette. Please watch this video to see why students are so passionate about learning Chinese at Lafayette!

What I will be teaching in the fall: FYS 196 Exploring Chinese Culture, CHN 211 Advanced Chinese I, and CHN 411 Chinese Culture and Society I.

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