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The 2022 Carolina Asia Center STARTALK Chinese Teacher Program aims to train secondary school Chinese language teachers (or those with equivalent teaching experience) to integrate community resources in curriculum design and pedagogical practice to support the development of students’ intercultural communicative competence. Sixteen Chinese language teachers with at least one year of teaching experience at the secondary level in the U.S. will be selected to join the program.

The 2023 summer camp will use a hybrid design consisting of two modules, including two-week online theoretical and technical training followed by two-week on-site teaching planning and practicum with peer teaching and micro-teaching. Using the backward design approach, the participants will learn to design and implement a variety of student-centered tasks, which aim at facilitating students to produce language in the interpersonal and presentational modes in a culturally immersed environment. In addition to the summer camp, the participants can also benefit from pre-camp and post-camp outreach activities by gaining new knowledge and skills and transferring them to regular classroom practice. Throughout the program, the instructional team will provide continued guidance and feedback to the participants and encourage reflective practice and community building.

Program Timeline

  • Pre-camp Outreach Activities: 25 instructional hours between Fall 2022 – Spring 2023
  • Summer Camp: 100 instructional hours during Summer 2023
    • Online module (June 26 — July 7, 2023)
    • Onsite module (July 10 — July 21, 2023)
  • Post-camp Outreach Activities: 40 instructional hours between Fall 2023 – Spring 2024

See the program website in full by clicking this link.

For questions, please contact Dr. Lini Ge Polin at



Program Director

The program director, Dr. Lini Ge Polin, is a Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Polin received her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the School of Education at UNC-Chapel Hill, and M.A. in Journalism and M.A. in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language from the University of Iowa. She has extensive experience in teaching Chinese as a second language in the U.S. and is a recipient of the Student Undergraduate Teaching Award at UNC Chapel Hill. Polin is a certified ACTFL OPI tester in Chinese. Her teaching strengths include technology-enhanced curriculum design, task-based instruction, and performance-based assessment using ACTFL proficiency standards. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the ACTFL Research Special Interest Group and the Treasurer of the Chinese Language Teachers Association of North Carolina (CLTA-NC). Polin has rich experience in organizing and facilitating professional development events for fellow language teachers. In the summer of 2021, she served as a mentor teacher in the UNC-Greensboro STARTALK Chinese Teacher Program, and also taught in the Winston-Salem State University STARTALK Student Program.


Lead Instructor

The lead instructor, Luoyi Cai, is a Teaching Assistant Professor in Chinese in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill and the vice president of CLTA-NC. Cai is a certified ACTFL OPI tester in Chinese. Cai taught Chinese at the University of Virginia as a visiting lecturer in 2013 and the Chinese Summer School of Middlebury College in 2014. Before joining UNC-Chapel Hill in August 2015, Cai had extensive experience in teaching Chinese at all levels in a variety of prominent study-abroad programs such as the CET-in-Shanghai Program, the UVa-in-Shanghai Summer Intensive Language Program, and the Critical Language Scholarship Program. Cai has devoted herself to teacher training since the summer of 2018. She served as the practicum facilitator of UVa STARTALK in the summer of 2018 and 2019 and the instructional lead of UVa STARTALK in the summer of 2021.


K-12 Pedagogical Expert

The K-12 pedagogical expert, Qiang (John) Chen, is a National Board-Certified language teacher with over 30 years of teaching experience. He is one of the piloting instructors of online Chinese instruction in North Carolina. Currently, Chen is a Chinese instructor at Enloe Magnet High School, Raleigh, North Carolina. He designed the Chinese curriculum from level 1 to level 6 including AP and IB programs for the local school system and has been teaching these courses ever since. Chen has received many teaching awards, including the Yale University Outstanding Educator Award in 2019, and the Chicago University Excellent Educator Award in 2020, among others. Chen has extensive experience working with the STARTALK programs. He has been working as a site visitor and a proposal reader for STARTALK Central since 2010 and as the Lead Instructor for STARTALK Chinese Summer Institute at several universities. In addition, he is an AP Chinese reader and a reader for Chinese teachers’ license exams for the College Board. He has worked as a mentor for teachers and conducted teacher training sessions at many institutes.


Mentor Teachers

Yi-Wen Liu will serve as a mentor teacher. She holds a master’s degree from National Taiwan Normal University in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language. Currently serving as the president of CLTA-NC and the second vice president of the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC), she dedicates tremendous efforts in making professional development opportunities more accessible to local teachers. Under her leadership, CLTA-NC hosted annual conferences and workshops virtually to create a platform for Chinese language educators to be connected and informed of recent language teaching trends. Her teaching experience includes both higher education and secondary levels, including Middlebury College summer Chinese school, Wake Forest University, Philo Academy, Middlebury Interactive Summer Academy, and Salem Academy. In 2016, she established the Chinese program at Salem Academy. Liu is currently teaching Upper School Mandarin at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she also serves as the 11th grade advisor and Chinese Club advisor. She is also a certified ACTFL OPI tester in Chinese. Liu participated in the 2015 CHS STARTALK program, and later organized conferences highlighting different STARTALK programs in the Southern region.

Bonnie Chunmeng Wang will also serve as a mentor teacher. Wang teaches Upper School Chinese and serves as the DEE (Diversity, Equity and Engagement) Curriculum Consultant at Durham Academy in Durham, North Carolina. Wang currently serves as the K-12 representative on the board of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, U.S.A., and a board member of FLANC. She was awarded 2019 Teacher of the Year by FLANC and served as the President of CLTA-NC during 2019-2021. Wang holds an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has taught in the UVA STARTALK student program in 2019 and WSSU STARTALK student program in 2021 and served as a mentor teacher for the UNCG STARTALK teacher program in 2021. Wang is a certified ACTFL OPI tester in Chinese and has presented at teacher training workshops in various topics at multiple conferences including FLANC and ACTFL. Recently, she was the featured presenter at the 2021 ACTFL Spring Learning Series and Summer Learning Series focusing on incorporating social justice in world languages curriculum.


Technology Specialist

Bonnie Chunmeng Wang will serve as the technology specialist. Wang has rich experience integrating technology into the curriculum and promoting its effectiveness. In the summers of 2018 and 2019, Wang ​​facilitated the Technology Lab at the University of Pennsylvania STARTALK teacher training program. She was also invited as the guest speaker for technology workshops at Chicago Public Schools in 2020 and UNCG STARTALK teacher program in 2021.


Program Assistant

Raymond Dokupil received his B.A. in English Literature and TEFL training and certification in Beijing. Before coming to UNC to pursue his M.A. in Asian Studies, Raymond previously worked as EFL teacher in Suzhou, and later as a high school English Language Arts teacher in Tacoma. He greatly enjoys teaching, cross-cultural dialogues, and the adventure of learning new languages.