Dr. Yu-lan Lin Receives NECLTA’s Lifetime Achievement Award

By Shumin Li, New English Chinese Language Teachers’ Association (NECLTA)

Rode Island, October 9, 2013, — At the second annual meeting of NECLTA on Oct. 5 at URI Confucius Institute, Dr. Yu-lan Lin received the NECLTA’s Lifetime Achievement Award from president Wenchao He. Dr. Lin has retired from Boston Public Schools this year. Many teachers at the annual meeting took the opportunity to express their sincere appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Lin for her tireless dedication to the field. Dr. Lin is a founding board member of NECLTA.
Dr. Yu-lan Lin (left) is congratulated by NECLTA’s president Wenchao He (photo provided by NECLTA).

Dr. Lin began her 33-year teaching career as a Cantonese-English kindergarten bilingual teacher in 1979. Four years later, she founded the very first and longest-running Chinese program offered by a public school in Massachusetts. In 1997, Dr. Lin assumed responsibility as the World Languages Program Director of Boston Public Schools and had been wearing that hat until this year. Dr. Lin is widely regarded as one of the most prominent figures in the field of Chinese language teaching. She has made perhaps equally significant contribution to the education of other foreign languages as well. Being elected into the board of directors of ACTFL is testament to her commitment to all foreign language education.

In addition to serving on the board of directors at ACTFL, Dr. Lin held many other important positions in professional organizations at the national level. Among these positions, we feel particularly fortunate that she was the president and executive director of CLASS (Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools). In that role, Dr. Lin nurtured an environment where language professionals from elementary and secondary schools and those from higher education began to reach out to each other.

All that said, I am sure many of you would agree with me that when we think of Dr. Lin, we don’t immediately think of words such as ‘leadership’, or ‘talented’, although these words can be aptly applied to her. When I think of Dr. Lin, I think of the time when she rolled up her sleeves and volunteered to help at the registration desk for hours during the first NECLTA conference. When I think of Dr. Lin, I think of all the workshops she hosted to share what she knew with her junior colleagues.

Perhaps everyone has a different set of images popping into their mind when they think of Dr. Lin, but we probably all agree that she is an exemplary educator that we are all indebted to, for her achievement has brought Chinese language teaching to new heights. Dr. Lin’s commitment and dedication to teaching Chinese has set a great example for all of us to follow.