Prof. Yuehua Liu was a pioneer of Chinese language instruction at MIT

Tribute to Prof. Yuehua Liu

October 11, 2019

Prof. Yuehua Liu, a pioneering linguist and renowned name in the field of Teaching Chinese as a Second Language, died on October 4, 2019. She was 82.

Born in 1937 in China's Heilongjiang Province, Liu attended the prestigious Peking University, where she obtained both her undergraduate (1961) and graduate degrees (1965), with a specialization in Linguistics. Following a teaching career at the Beijing Language Institute (now Beijing Language and Culture University), she emigrated to the United States in 1989 and taught Chinese at Wellesley College, MIT, and Harvard University. Liu was one of the early pioneers of Chinese language instruction at MIT in the 1990s and established a strong foundation for future growth.

Dr. Haohsiang Liao, Senior Lecturer of Chinese in MIT Global Languages notes that: "Professor Yuehua Liu was a distinguished scholar in Chinese linguistics and language pedagogy. She is the author of numerous articles and books, and is one of the prime movers in producing the successful Integrated Chinese series.” Among her long list of publications in both English and Chinese, Liu left a strong imprint on the field of Chinese language pedagogy with the famous Integrated Chinese textbook series she co-authored with Ted Yao, Nyan-Ping Bi, Liangyan Ge, and Yaohua Shi. First published in 1997,  and now in its 4th Edition, it has become the most widely adopted Chinese language textbook series in North America.

Liu was a recipient in 2003 of the Walton Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chinese Language Teachers’ Association (CLTA). This important award was founded in 1998 in memory of Ronald Walton’s (1943-1996) lifetime dedication to Chinese language education and cross-cultural understanding, and funded in 2005 by a perpetual endowment from the Cheng & Tsui Company, a leading publisher in the Chinese textbook field. This award is given for overall contributions to the field of Chinese language pedagogy.

For her groundbreaking work in establishing a strong foundation for Chinese language studies at the Institute, MIT Global Languages pays tribute to Prof. Yuehua Liu.

Memorial Service Information:

Place: El Camino Memorial-Sorrento Valley, 5600 Carroll Canyon Rd., San Diego, CA 92121

Time: 10/12/2019, 2:30pm-6pm

Family contact information: farewellprofessorliu@gmail.com