Phyllis Ni Zhang

Phyllis Zhang headshot

Phyllis Ni Zhang

Professor of Chinese and International Affairs

Core Faculty


Office Phone: (202) 994-5051

Professor Phyllis Zhang holds a Doctorate of Education in Applied Linguistics from Columbia University and has been teaching at GW since 2004. She has served as the director of the GW Chinese language program (2004-2014) and the founding director of the MA in Chinese Language and Culture Program (since 2014). She has taught Chinese from beginning to advanced levels, including writing in discipline (WID) courses, and Business Chinese. Professor Zhang has authored several textbooks, including David & Helen in China (Yale University Press, 1999, 2003), and her Developing Chinese Fluency series (Cengage Learning) with Biaoda (2010), Ni Wo Ta (2015), and Transitions (2018). She has published a number of articles on Chinese language teaching and learning as well as the learner's proficiency development. Prof. Zhang has been a certified Chinese proficiency (OPI) tester by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL, since 2006). She was the recipient of a GW 2006 Bender Teaching Award. She has also served on the board of the Chinese Language Teachers Association- U.S. (CLTA-US), the board of the Journal of Technology and Chinese Language Teaching (JTCLT, since 2010).

Chinese linguistics (syntax and pedagogical grammar), technology-enhanced foreign language pedagogy; Chinese proficiency development and assessment

CHIN 1001 Beginning Chinese I
CHIN 1002 Beginning Chinese II
CHIN 3105 Advanced Chinese I
CHIN 3106 Advanced Chinese II
CHIN 4121W Advanced Chinese Conversation and Composition I
CHIN 4122W Advanced Chinese Conversation and Composition II
CHIN 4119W Business Chinese
CHIN 4186W Directed Reading

CHIN 6201 Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (Graduate level)



Transitions --An Intermediate Chinese Course (Cengage Learning, 2017/18)

Ni Wo Ta --An Introductory Course (Cengage Learning, 2013/2014)
(Two volumes, Textbook and Literacy Workbook, with a fully functional and interactive e-Book and full-range of online activities)

Developing Chinese Fluency: Biaoda (Intermediate to Advanced)  (Cengage Learning, 2009/2010)
(Textbook and Workbook, a companion website with tech-enhanced activities) 

David and Helen in China: An Intermediate Course in Modern Chinese (Yale University Press 1999, 2003)
(Two volumes, audio CDs and author-produced supplementary online exercises)


(2014 - present) See Phyllis Zhang's home page

(2013) Using video to promote the acquisition of advanced proficiency. Journal of Technology and Chinese Language Teaching (JTCLT) 4 (2),  Dec 2013, pp. 69-85

(2012) Syncing with the digital age: Using web tools to develop Chinese writing proficiency.  In D. Xu  (Ed.) Technology and Chinese Language Teaching in the U.S. 2012, pp. 162-183.  Beijing: China Social Sciences Press. 

(2012) Using VoiceThread to boost proficiency development: Performance-based activity design. In D. Xu (Ed.) Technology and Chinese Language Teaching in the U.S.  2012, 309-326. Beijing: China Social Sciences Press.

(2011) Effectiveness of computer-assisted language learning:  Can the computer substitute for the  traditional drillmaster? In Wu Y. H. (Ed.) Chinese Language Globalization Studies, Vol. 1, 254-263. Beijing: Commercial Press. 

(2009) Video podcasting: Perspectives and prospects for Chinese mobile learning. Journal of the  Chinese Language Teachers Association (JCLTA)  Feb. 2009, Vol. 44:1, 51-67.  

Doctor of Education, Columbia University