July 21, 2008
�Like a child, we grow year by year,� said Tu, who has chaired the and its predecessors for the past 28 years.
month, he will accept on behalf of Rutgers an international award for the
computerized teaching system he conceived more than 20 years ago that now
enables not only
MERLOT is a worldwide online community for educators and students to share learning materials and teaching strategies. It emphasizes the development and use of technology-based instructional materials and collaborative initiatives in the development of shareable resources.
Tu spearheaded the development of the
The system enables students to practice reading, speaking and listening with comprehensive drills in grammar and vocabulary. User-friendly lessons present traditional and simplified Chinese characters and include English translations. Lessons also include vocabulary, grammar notes, sentence patterns and exercises, as well as audio of the entire text.
In 1997 with the support of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the system went online at http://chinese.rutgers.edu/index_e.htm, enabling anyone to learn and practice Chinese. It also made it possible for other institutions to integrate it into their own instructional programs. Tu and his colleagues frequently receive e-mail from grateful Internet users around the globe. He believes all the positive chatter brought the system to the attention of MERLOT. Peer reviewers gave it high marks for its content quality, effectiveness as a teaching tool and ease of use. See .
award is the latest in a series of accomplishments by the Department of Asian
Languages and Culture. Last year, a
Distance-learning technology now makes the department�s elementary Chinese, Japanese and Korean language courses available to students on the Newark Campus � the only language courses at Rutgers that are taught this way.
In addition, the department is helping to meet the state�s growing need for advanced K-12 teacher training in Chinese through its program, offered through the Graduate School-New Brunswick.
Tu sees no slowing of demand for Chinese
language and culture programs. �In the foreseeable future, Chinese could become
the second most taught language in higher education in the
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