Dr. Li Yang

Associate Professor and Chinese Language Program Coordinator

Research Interests

Second language (L2) pragmatics acquisition and computer-assisted pragmatics instruction, learners’ pragmatic and intercultural competence in study abroad settings, Chinese L2 learners’ development of writing skills.


  • Book chapter: “Pragmatics learning and teaching in L2 Chinese.” In C. Ke (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Second Language Acquisition, 2018.

  • “The effects of L2 proficiency on pragmatics instruction: A web-based approach to teaching Chinese expressions of gratitude.” L2 Journal, 9:1. 2017, 62–83.

  • “The development of pragmatic competence of American Learners of Chinese at different linguistic levels in a target language environment.” 不同水平的美国汉语学习者在目的语环境中语用能力的发展. Language Teaching and Linguistic Studies 语言教学与研究, 182:6. 2016, 37–47.

  • Yang, L., & Zhu, J. “The effects of pragmatic consciousness-raising activities on the learning of speech acts in the Beginning CFL classroom.” Applied Language Learning, 26:2. 2016, 53–68.

  • “Learning to express gratitude in Mandarin Chinese through web-based instruction.” Language Learning & Technology, 20:1. 2016, 191–208.

  • “Acquisition of expressions of gratitude by American learners of Chinese in the target language environment.” 目的语环境中美国留学生汉语感谢言语行为的习得. Chinese Teaching in the World世界汉语教学, 29:4. 2015, 562–575.

  • A draft version of an online textbook on Chinese pragmatics has gone live, which will be available to anyone who might be interested in learning about Chinese pragmatics in the university community after it is finalized. Grounded in the cognitive approaches to SLA and prior empirical research, the online textbook provides students with explicit instruction on appropriate communication in Chinese, various awareness-raising exercises/activities, and rich multimedia resources (e.g., videos, images, etc.). 2015

  • “The effects of pragmatics instruction on L2 learners’ acquisition of Chinese expressions of gratitude: A pilot study.” Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, 49:1. 2014, 95–115.

Grants, Awards, and other Contributions

  • Laura Valentín-Rivera and Li Yang were awarded a USRG grant of $7,824.99 in the Spring for their research on Writing Processes across Two Languages and Working Modes: Understanding Individual and Collaborative Writing Strategies in Spanish and Chinese FL contexts. (2016)
  • Li Yang was awarded the Faculty Enhancement Program funding ($10,000) and the Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative ($2,250) for the design and development of an instructional website that teaches students how to appropriately communicate in Chinese, which is available to anyone who is interested in learning about Chinese in the form of an online textbook. (2014)
  • Li Yang (in collaboration with Janice McGregor) co-taught an intensive seminar on Intercultural Communication for English Language Program instructors in May, 2014.
  • Li Yang participated in the ACTFL Chinese language Oral Proficiency Interview Tester Workshop June 17-20, 2014, in Provo, Utah.