Kaidi Chen

UConn Graduate Assistant

Kaidi Chen is currently a PhD student in Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies in the Department of Literatures, Cultures and Languages at the University of Connecticut. He is also doing a Graduate Certificate in Cognitive Science. He received his B.A. degree (with honors) in Chinese Language and Literature and M.A. degree in Chinese linguistics (with a concentration on sociolinguistics). As an applied linguist, his primary research interest is on phonetics, adult second language acquisition and language pedagogy. The big questions he wants to address are: Why is it so difficult to perceive and produce non-native speech? How can we apply our experimental findings to develop real-world pedagogical innovations? He is currently completing his first project entitled the Effect of Fundamental Frequency on Mandarin Intelligibility by L2 Learners in Quiet and Noise Environments: A Pilot Study. With a keen interest in pedagogy, he has also started his second project to test the effect of task-based form-focused teaching on second language learners’ perception and production of Mandarin speech.

In terms of teaching, he is passionate about all levels of Chinese language/culture instruction, and Chinese sociolinguistics. He is one of the contributors to the book Teaching Beginning Chinese Grammar: Communicative Strategies and Activities, which is forthcoming by Boston Cheng&Tsui Publisher. He has also contributed to an online project (to be published): the companion powerpoints and online games created for textbook Basic Mandarin Chinese (Listening& Speaking and Reading& Writing). He applies a communicative approach, uses tasks as an organizational principle, and always seeks a balance between “forms” (structure) and “form” (context). With the understanding of the difference between “declarative knowledge” (FACT) and “procedural knowledge” (ACT), he makes students spend more time “doing” Chinese in Chinese, rather than “knowing” Chinese in English. He believes that students are the center of the class, and rich, elaborated and comprehensible input is a must, via various modalities and scaffoldings. Students in his class are usually encouraged to learn by chunks in order to map form, meaning and function, and in the meantime are compelled to increase pushed output with sociolinguistically appropriateness.

Prior to joining UConn, he taught at Trinity College, Allegheny College and the University of Macau, where he taught various levels of Chinese language/culture and Chinese sociolinguistics. He also teaches for Middlebury Summer Language School from 2018. In his spare time, he enjoys playing tennis and doing dictions (and singing in different languages, pretending able to speak the language).


Contact Information
Office LocationOak Hall 264
Office HoursFall 2019, Wed 2:30-4:30
Linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZnaHwcNEFg (Kaidi CHEN's Chinese Teaching Demo)