• Home

Chinese professor researches ESL teacher education while visiting UHV

Posted: Updated:

When Youna Chen came to the University of Houston-Victoria in May, it was her first time in a foreign exchange program.

Chen is a faculty member at Zhejiang Ocean University in China and wanted to research English as a Second Language and teacher education programs. She has spent the past few months at UHV Katy, 2002 W. Grand Parkway N., Building 2.

“We have different teaching methods in China, and it’s been interesting to see how American educators encourage students to learn,” Chen said. “My American colleagues have welcomed me with open arms and allowed me to participate in their courses, research and community service projects. This experience will have a profound impact when I return to China.”

Chen decided to visit UHV when she met Liping Wei, a UHV assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, through a friend and explained her desire to spend a year doing research in the U.S. Wei helped Chen get approval from the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development and is serving as her host advisor.

Although she has only been at UHV Katy a few months, Chen’s involvement has produced some exciting learning experiences, Wei said.

“Dr. Chen has brought a fresh, unique perspective to UHV,” said Fred Litton, dean of the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development. “We appreciate all the time she has spent sharing ideas with and learning from our faculty, and we hope she will be able to take home some outstanding learning tools and techniques.”

Since arriving at UHV Katy, Chen has participated in research studies about ESL teachers’ professional development, attended a teacher education session at a professional conference, submitted a proposal to a regional Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages conference, and read extensively in the field. She also sat in on summer courses, and participated in the grant projects and various activities led by UHV faculty members, Wei said.

“Youna’s days at UHV have been very enriching and productive,” Wei said. “All these experiences have helped her better understand American classrooms, education and culture; learn new research methodologies and ideas; and find many new research areas she is interested in and wants to explore in the future.”

One of the projects that impressed Chen was the bookmobile program led by Amy Barnhill, a UHV associate professor of literacy education, and Janelle Bouknight, a UHV assistant professor of literacy education. The program, funded by a $4,000 grant from The Dollar General Literacy Foundation, brings books to children in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The program is intended to encourage children to enjoy reading and learning.

“It was interesting to see how such a simple project could have so much meaning to these children and help them become interested in learning,” Chen said. “In China, we have a lot of libraries. But a program like this that brings the learning materials to kids who need them is rare.”

Another thing that caught Chen’s attention was how U.S. teachers are encouraged to pursue their own interests and, in turn, help students do the same.

“I realized that learning about yourself can be an integral part of promoting learning and teaching,” she said. “I appreciate all the help and encouragement I have received from my UHV colleagues. Their support and experience has shown me how different approaches to learning can boost students’ interest.”

Wei hopes that through Chen, UHV will become known by more people in China.

“I am very glad to see how much Chen has grown in many aspects over this short period,” Wei said. “I am grateful to the school administration and my colleagues for providing her with so many rewarding experiences. I’ve already seen how much information Chen will bring back to China to benefit her research and teaching. After such an amazing experience at UHV, this is going to be life-changing for her.”

    • 90% of travelers will be driving this Thanksgiving

      This Thanksgiving higher gas prices probably won't keep Americans from hitting the road. An estimated 50.9 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more to get to their holiday destinations over the four-day weekend - the most since 2005. A vast majority of those traveling for Thanksgiving will be driving - about 45.5 million, up more than three percent from last year.
    • Texas News Minute

      The latest Texas news from The Associated Press
    • Wells Fargo opens temporary mobile unit in Edna

      Statement from Wells Fargo Southwest Region: We appreciate the understanding and patience of our customers as we work to recover from the damage of Hurricane Harvey.  We are pleased to state that a temporary Edna branch has been set-up onsite and it opened Tuesday, November 14.  The temporary branch will be open Monday – Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (the same business hours as the Edna branch had been open). All banking services...
    • Goliad Deputies Seize More Than 50 Pounds of Marijuana

      Goliad County Deputies seized more than 50 pounds of bundled marijuana hidden behind the back seat of a car that crashed in Berclair. Deputies Michael Perez and Vernon Busby responded to US Highway 59 in Berclair after a driver lost control of a 2016 Ford Fusion and struck a utility pole. As he investigated the crash, Deputy Perez observed that the rear car seat did not appear to be in its proper position. Upon further investigation, Perez located four bundles of marijuana hidden ...
    • UHV SBDC promotes federal survey for entrepreneurs

      Area entrepreneurs are invited to anonymously share their financial positions and needs as part of a federal survey designed to help lenders understand current business conditions. The University of Houston-Victoria encourages area business owners to take part in the Federal Reserve Bank business survey. The survey is a go-to source for information about small business conditions and financing experiences. Policymakers, service providers and lenders use the information to shape progr...

    • UHV International Night to raise funds for student programs

      University of Houston-Victoria students and community members have a chance Saturday to get a taste of international culture as part of a fundraising event. The UHV Office of International Programs and the International Students Organization are hosting International Night, a fundraising event that will benefit the student organization and its goal to do more community outreach. Loveth Ohenhen “As international students, we are very passionate about having an impact on o...
    • Texas’ Unemployment Rate Falls to Record Low 3.9 percent

      AUSTIN ? The Texas economy added 71,500 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs in October. Annual employment growth for Texas was 2.6 percent in October, marking 90 consecutive months of annual growth. Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, setting a record for the lowest unemployment rate recorded in four decades. “By adding an impressive 71,500 jobs over the past month and 316,100 jobs over the year, Texas employers have once again demonstrated thei...
    • Bumped airline passenger numbers lower

      Airlines are bumping fewer passengers from oversold flights following public outrage after a man was violently dragged from his seat earlier this year.

    • Trey's Forecast Discussion For 11 - 17

      The Weekend Is Here! How's The Weather? Trey Meynig Has Your Forecast....Including A Look At Thanksgiving! 

    • Friday's Question of the Day

      Good morning Crossroads! Here's today's Question of the Day: How long was the first Thanksgiving? Happy Guessing!
Current Conditions