Dr. Litong Chen

Teaching Area(s): Chinese

Teaching Chinese
I love languages, so I studied linguistics in college and graduate school, where I also taught Chinese for six years in total. My current teaching position at Mount Union opened up just two months prior to my graduation from the Ohio State University. How could I miss this opportunity? I would say, teaching my native language and promoting my native culture in a foreign country, per se, are my proudest professional accomplishments.

Teaching Style
I am committed to the communicative approach in all language courses I teach, which emphasizes the target language as the tool of communication instead of a set of linguistic forms organized without context. My primary teaching objective, accordingly, is not only to teach students the Chinese language through its grammar and vocabulary, but also to train students to use it in a variety of real-life situations, that is, in context. In this sense, the end goal of my teaching is to prepare students for successful, cross-cultural communication using the target language; linguistic knowledge is but a necessary means in achieving this goal. 

Research Interests
I am interested in Chinese dialectology, contact linguistics, language documentation, Chinese language pedagogy, among many others.

Best Part of Teaching
I enjoy teaching at Mount Union because of the close interaction between faculty and students. I also like the professional and friendly relationship among faculty members. Mount Union is a unique place where faculty enjoy much freedom in designing and teaching courses and are fully motivated to invest in students.

Favorite Place on Campus
The Peterson Field House is where I like to spend my time outside of the classroom. That is the place where I often play indoor soccer with our Purple Raider students!

Why I Encourage Students to Study Chinese
Let me simply quote what Jack Markell (Governor of Delaware) and Gary R. Herbert (Governor of Utah) said in 2016: "Tomorrow's leaders must be able to compete, work and thrive in a globalized world with diverse, multilingual consumers and economies in which China and the U.S. will continue to be major players…… Chinese proficiency will provide American students with more opportunities as they work to enhance our relationship with a powerful economy, which is also the destination for more than $110 billion in U.S. exports…… not just for trade and economic development, but for security, education and more."

B.A., Renmin University of China
M.A., The Ohio State University
Ph.D., The Ohio State University

Litong Chen

The Peterson Field House is where I like to spend my time outside of the classroom. That is the place where I often play indoor soccer with our Purple Raider students!

Fun Facts

What is your favorite quote or motto?
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1, NIV)
If you weren’t a professor, what job would you have?
Maybe a K-12 teacher. (I just love teaching young people!)
What is one thing you want to do or a place you’d like to visit?
Greece. I can’t wait to see those white houses with blue roofs.
What is your favorite movie or TV show?
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. (“There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.” – Sam)
What are your hobbies and interests?
I enjoyed traveling alone when I was single. After I got married, traveling with my wife became the most exciting thing for me. I also like playing and watching soccer.
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