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Language Acquisition and Chinese Language Programs: An Interview with Boping Yuan

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Peng Zhang
Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

This is an interview with Dr. Boping Yuan, Reader in Chinese Language and Linguistics at Cambridge University, UK and professor of linguistics and applied linguistics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. In this interview, Dr. Boping Yuan looks back on his 30 or so years of experience directing the modern Chinese language program at Cambridge University and working in the field of second language acquisition. He describes the changes and the future of Chinese language programs in teaching and researching Chinese as a foreign language (CFL) contexts and his viewpoints on CFL teacher development. He also gives a detailed explanation on the issue of interface and feature configuration in second language acquisition, and discusses the transfer effect in third language acquisition. Furthermore, Dr. Boping Yuan offers an outlook on the future of language acquisition research which will become more interdisciplinary and will be combined with modern technologies to advance human well-being. In the end, he provides valuable advice for young researchers on their path to pursing second language acquisition as a profession.

Teaching and researching Chinese as a foreign language, Chinese language program, second language acquisition, third language acquisition, language teaching