Yun Zhou

School of Culture, History and Language

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific


I am a PhD candidate in the School of Culture, History and Language at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. I started tutoring Chinese language in 2018 and this year I also start assisting teachers and tutors in the Japanese language department with examinations, including marking and providing detailed feedback to students. The teaching approach I adopt in my Chinese language tutorials is to generate a learning environment where students can enjoy the process and feel constantly supported. I design each tutorial to cater to the course content with original ideas and rich materials that cover the textbook and beyond. Students engage in various class activities that stimulate collaboration, curiosity and creative thinking. For instance, in the activity on directional expression, students were asked to form pairs. One of them described the location of several sites based on the handout and the other created a drawing based on the description. In the second round they swap their role. As there was no starting point, the ‘instructor’ student needed to come up with a most efficient way so that the other student could accurately grasp the image in their mind. In this process, both students learned how to negotiate, re-adjust, confirm and practice the directional phrases and expressions of locality in an innovative way. The learning result was instant and students could see their achievements through their teammate’s illustration and simultaneously identify places for further improvement in a comfortable situation.

I pay attention to students with diverse backgrounds and endeavour to provide a supportive and comfortable learning environment to each of them. I deal with students’ performance and progress in a sensitive manner that addresses students’ varying needs. Comments from the Student Evaluation are strong evidence that my students feel comfortable asking for help and feel respected in my class. My passion for teaching and my use of innovative teaching practices led to the nomination for the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific Award for Excellence in Tutoring in 2019.

The illustration above is a self-designed picture for students to practice the grammar point ‘Complex Directional Complement’. Each illustration is composed of two practices, one for conversation between A and B and the other for description by C and D. The change of location and situation helps students to form a comprehensive understanding of the grammar points in a realistic way.


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