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Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Head of Chinese/Senior Lecturer (Chinese)
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • School of Languages and Applied Linguistics
  • Languages
  • qian.kan

Professional biography

I am Senior Lecturer in Chinese and Head of Chinese in the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics at The Open University. I am Senior Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (UK).

Before joining OU, I was Senior Language Teaching officer in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge. Prior to that, I lectured in Chinese Studies at Lancaster University. Between 1992 and 1993, I worked for the BBC World Service as translator and presenter.

I am also Director of Studies in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Christ's College, University of Cambridge. Since 2011, I have been a Visiting Professor of Language Studies of Xi'an University of Posts and Communications, Xi'an, China.

My Wordpress page is: https://kanqian.wordpress.com/

 

Research interests

My main research interest is technology-enhanced language learning at a distance, mainly the use of online forums in assisting the learning of Chinese language, the use of reflective forums for intercultural learning, tandem learning, mobile language learning and building online communities by peer mentoring.

Teaching interests

My main research interest is technology-enhanced language learning at a distance, mainly the use of education technology in assisting the learning of Chinese language, the use of reflective forums for intercultural learning, etandem learning, peer mentoring and mobile language learning.

I have published numerous learning materials including: Developing Writing Skills in Chinese (Routledge 2014, co-author with Boping Yuan). Teach Yourself Phone Mandarin (Hodder & Stoughton, 2008), Colloquial Chinese (2nd edition 2009), Colloquial Chinese 2 (Routledge 2007), Mandarin Chinese Phrase Book (BBC Active, 2007), Colloquial Chinese CD-Rom (Routledge 1998), Interactive Guide to Chinese Characters CD-Rom (China Chain, 2001).

 

Impact and engagement

Developed OU's 'Chinese Characters First Steps' App (iOS and Android versions). The iOS version has had over 30,000 downloads since its release in July 2011

External collaborations

MOVE-ME: MOOCs for University Students on the Move in Europe

This is an EU Funded 2-year Erasmus+ Project (total grant: €296,831) with six partner institutions. Università per Stranieri di Siena (Italy) leads the project. The other 5 partners are: The Open Unviersity (UK), Federazione Nazionale Insegnanti Centro di iniziativa per l’Europa (Italy); National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland), Computer Technology Institute & Press Diophantus (Greece) and Nstitutul De S tiinte Ale Educatiei (Romamia).

The main objective of the project is to facilitate the integration of students in academic mobility enhancing their ability to function in academic and specialized contexts and developing their ability of learning to learn. The MOVE-ME project will create a learning path specifically designed for students in mobility programmes, supporting learners in the acquisition of the competences and skills necessary for understanding academic texts, written and oral, relating to specific disciplines, developing the ability to understand and produce academic writing of various genres.

The learning path will be in the form of two MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in English and Italian, implemented on the IVERSITY platform. Each MOOC consists of 6 modules, focused on communication and academic skills as well as language structures. Learners will engage with interactive, collaborative and peer teaching activities via forum and other communication tools.

In particular the project aims to:

  • Increase students’ awareness of the language learning process and knowing how to use effective learning strategies;
  • Increase students’ understanding of written and oral expository texts relating to academic disciplines;
  • Improve the quality of oral and written expository texts produced by students and relating to academic disciplines;
  • Improve students’ performance at oral and written exams in L2;
  • Support students in learning to learn;
  • Provide guidelines and a syllabus for the creation of MOOCs for languages for academic purposes;
  • Provide specific guidelines for the evaluation of language MOOCs;
  • Create OERs which support autonomous and independent learning; and
  • Develop a website hosting all OERs created during the project.

 

Investigating into strategies used when learning Chinese characters with mobile apps

Previous research has established some common strategies used when learning characters with pen-and-paper. The current study is to investigate if different/new strategies are used when learning characters with mobile apps.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
CREET: Language and Literacies Research ClusterClusterFaculty of Education and Language Studies

Publications

Why and how do distance learners use mobile devices for language learning? (2016-03)
Demouy, Valérie; Jones, Ann; Kan, Qian; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes and Eardley, Annie
The EuroCALL Review, 24, Article 5663(1) (pp. 10-24)
Design and user evaluation of a mobile app to teach Chinese characters (2015-04)
Rosell-Aguilar, Fernando and Kan, Qian
JALT CALL Journal, 11, Article 2(1) (pp. 19-40)
Building course cohesion: the use of online forums in distance Chinese language learning (2014)
Kan, Qian and McCormick, Robert
Computer Assisted Language Learning, 27(1) (pp. 44-69)
The use of ICT in supporting distance Chinese language learning - review of The Open University’s beginners’ Chinese course (2013-06)
Kan, Qian
Technology and Chinese Language Teaching, 4(1) (pp. 1-13)
Chinese-English eTandem Learning: the role of pre-project preparation and collaboration (2013)
Kan, Qian; Stickler, Ursula and Xu, Cheng
Chinese Language Globalisation Studies 汉语国际传播研究, 2(5)
From ‘Chinese in Steps’ to ‘First Steps’ – A case study on converting classroom-based teaching materials to suit distance Chinese language teaching (2012)
Kan, Qian
Chinese Language in the World (2) (pp. 46-54)
Developing Writing Skills in Chinese (2nd Edition) (2013)
Kan, Qian and Yuan, Boping
ISBN : 978-0-415-67888-9 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abington
Colloquial Chinese 2 (2007)
Kan, Qian
ISBN : 978-0-415-32818-0 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London, UK
Introduction to Beyond the language classroom: researching MOOCs and other innovations (2017-06-28)
Kan, Qian and Bax, Stephen
In: Kan, Qian and Bax, Stephen eds. Beyond the language classroom: researching MOOCs and other innovations (pp. 1-4)
ISBN : 978-1-908416-52-0 | Publisher : Research-publishing.net
Design and user evaluation of a mobile app to teach Chinese characters. (2016)
Rosell-Aguilar, Fernando and Kan, Qian
In: Palalas, Agnieszka and Ally, Mohamed eds. The International Handbook of Mobile-Assisted Language Learning. (pp. 399-434)
ISBN : 978-7-304--07464-7 | Publisher : China Central Radio & TV University Press | Published : Beijing
Supporting intercultural learning For beginners’ Chinese language learners at the Open University, UK (2012-12)
Álvarez, Inma and Kan, Qian
In: Jin, Lixian and Cortazzi, Martin eds. Researching Intercultural Learning: Investigations in Language and Education (pp. 209-234)
ISBN : 9780230321335 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan
Beyond the language classroom: researching MOOCs and other innovations (2017-06-28)
Kan, Qian and Bax, Stephen eds.
ISBN : 978-1-908416-52-0 | Publisher : Research-publishing.net
Exploring trends, motivations and behaviours in the use of mobile devices for language learning in a higher education distance learning setting (2015-08-26)
Demouy, Valérie; Kan, Qian; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes and Eardley, Annie
In : Eurocall 2015 (26-29 August 2015, Padua, Italy)
Using mobile devices for language learning in a higher education distance learning context: motivations and behaviours (2013-09)
Demouy, Valérie; Kan, Qian; Eardley, Annie and Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes
In : EUROCALL 2013 (11-14 September 2013, Évora, Portugal)