Yalin Chen grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. She earned a bachelor of arts in Chinese literature from National Taiwan University, and a master of arts in teaching Chinese as a second or foreign language from Kaohsiung Normal University in Taiwan. Her teaching style is learner-centered pedagogy. She is interested in technology used in language teaching and learning. In 2014, Chen and Sujane Wu were awarded a grant for Chinese character literacy by the Online Learning Task Force at Smith College. In 2015, the project was extended through the Five College Blended Learning Initiative grant supported by the Five College deans and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Chen teaches Chinese language courses at various levels while continuously developing class projects. Students who take CHI 110 and CHI 111 produce short videos to introduce Chinese characters throughout the year through the Chinese Character Literacy project, and they complete the first year with a digital storytelling project narrating simple stories. The digital storytelling project is extended in CHI 221 when students integrate their life experiences into evolving and reflective stories. In the third year, students create Chinese magazines with topics of their own choosing that cover social, political, environmental and cross-cultural issues.
Examples of the class projects include:
- CHI110 student-produced Chinese Character Video
“祝” by Liza Maharjan '17
- CHI221 Digital Storytelling Project
“To My Unforgettable Friend” by Yuri Kang '16
- CHI301 Chinese Magazine Project
“Food Culture in Taiwan” by Nina Xue '18 and Jessica Nguyen '16