2012 Program Instructors & Administrators

The instructors and admin dedicated months to the planning and executing of the Virginia STARTALK program here at UVA this year.


Director and Key Trainer

Dr. Miao-fen Tseng (曾妙芬)

Dr. Tseng is an expert in second language acquisition and teacher education for teaching Chinese as a foreign language. She has served as the director and key trainer of the STARTALK Teacher Program at the University of Virginia since 2008. She is a member of the AP Higher Education Advisory Committee formed by College Board, a College Board consultant in AP Chinese, an OPI certified tester in Mandarin Chinese, and a K-12 Chinese language program evaluator and foreign language program reviewer for ACTFL/NCATE. She has played multiple roles in the national development of AP Chinese since 2004. Her most recent involvement in the development of AP Chinese includes serving as a curriculum advisor for the Course Audit. She has frequently given talks and taught in many workshops, seminars, and summer institutes in AP Chinese and Chinese language pedagogy in the US, China, and Taiwan. Numerous K-16 teachers, heritage school teachers, and Guest Teachers from China have benefited from her professional experience and obtained TCFL certificates or graduate-level credits granted by different universities in the US and abroad. She has proactively promoted Chinese language and culture, nationally and internationally, and is the founder and president of the Chinese Language Teachers Association of Virginia. Since 2011, she has served on the CLTA Board of Directors and chaired two committees: the Regional Associations Committee and Professional Development Committee. Her Intermediate Chinese course was recognized as one of the top ten undergraduate Chinese language courses in a nationwide study of Chinese courses completed by the Educational Policy Improvement Center in Oregon in 2007. She also received the Ron Walton Presentation Prize in 1998, and the Jiede Empirical Research grant in 2005 awarded by the Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA). She has served as the reviewer of Foreign Language Annals published by ACTFL and has published numerous refereed articles in journals on Chinese language teaching and learning and is the author of two books: AP Chinese Language and Culture Teacher's Guide, and Promoting Professionalism in Teaching AP Chinese (推動專業化的AP 中文教學).


Guest Teacher Trainer

Dr. Ruth Ferree

After working 22 years as a French teacher in public high schools, Dr. Ruth Ferree returned to graduate school to study brain processes involved in language.She is on the faculty of the Teacher Education Program of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, teaching courses in second language acquisition, language teaching methods, and language assessment. She is part of a team developing a reliable and valid teacher assessment and development tool using video of real instruction.


K-12 Master Teacher and Co-Trainer

Yaching Hsu Kelkis (徐雅菁)

A returning teacher of the 2011 program, Ya-Ching Hsu-Kelkis supported Dr. Tseng in providing training for teacher participants, in addition to facilitating practicum. She holds an M.A. degree in teaching Chinese as a foreign language granted by Middlebury College and is currently teaching Chinese at Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School. She has taught Chinese as a foreign language and ESL for approximately 10 years in the US and abroad and specializes in creating an enriched Chinese immersion environment for students to learn with a fun and meaningful focus on higher order thinking skills. She has participated in many professional development programs focused on Chinese language proficiency, assessment and curriculum design. In addition, she has also frequently presented papers on exemplary thematic units at ACTFL. Her devotion to teaching and incomparable talents in creating a communicative and interactive immersion class has inspired numerous learners to love learning Chinese language and culture and become life-long learners.


Practicum Facilitator

Alice Lin (钟良音)

Alice Lin participated in the the 2011 VSCTA program and was invited back for the 2012 VSCTA program to serve as the practicum facilitator. She established the Chinese Language and Culture Program at both Valencia High School and Yorba Linda High School in Los Angeles in 2008-2009. She currently teaches at Valencia High School and also serves as a master teacher. She received her teaching credential in Chinese from the Credential Teaching Program at California State University at Fullerton. She participated in several STARTALK programs and other professional development workshops and taught in the Southern California STARTALK summer Chinese immersion program from 2007-2009.


Technology Specialist

Leonard Zeng (曾雁羽)

Leonard Zeng participated in the VSCTA program in 2008 and 2010 and was invited to return in both 2011 and 2012 to serve as a presenter and the technology coordinator. He received his Master's degree in Asian Studies and Computer Information Systems from Seton Hall University. He has nine years of full-time teaching experience in Mandarin Chinese, Math, and Technology in the New Jersey Public Schools and he has New Jersey State standard certificates in teaching Math, Computer Science and Mandarin Chinese. He is currently a Chinese language teacher in the Sparta School District. He was the technology section editor of “The Essential Chinese Language Teaching Sourcebook” and the Journal of Chinese Teaching and Research in the U.S. 2010 and 2012. He has conducted various technology workshops in teaching languages, including the 2011 Sparta School District one-day workshop for the World Language Teachers, the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 CLTA-GNY conference workshop, and the Beijing Language and Culture University 2011 Summer Chinese Language Teacher workshop.


Invited Guest Speaker

Hong Zhang

Hong Zhang holds a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from Binghamton University, SUNY, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the founder and director of Song of Silk, a performance group that aims to bridge East and West. Zhang has been an active soloist in many concerts and groups, including the Shanghai Philharmonic Society, the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Eastern Silk. In addition, Zhang gives lectures and recitals on Chinese vocal music and culture and workshops on Teaching Chinese through Song nationwide. Currently a Senior Instructor of Chinese at Binghamton University, Zhang’s curriculum includes the ground-breaking course, Singing Chinese. She has also co-authored Chinese through Song and Cultural Chinese: Readings in Art, literature, and history.