Yanfeng Qu

BA (Shandong), MA (BFSU), PhD (UBC)
Phone: 604.599.2544
Voicemail: 8345
Richmond Office: 2445

Chair, Language & Cultures Department


A recipient of the first annual Dean of Arts Teaching Award, Dr. Yanfeng Qu has been teaching and coordinating Kwantlen's Mandarin Chinese Program since 1996. He earned his M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Beijing Foreign Studies University and his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of British Columbia, with his acclaimed doctoral dissertation on Chinese syntax and research presentations at major national and international conferences. His strong academic credentials, combined with his background as a native speaker of Mandarin and his close to 30 years of teaching experience, all contribute to making his Mandarin courses academically focused and effective as well as pedagogically efficient and student-friendly. Under his tutelage, learning Mandarin is by no means drudgery; on the contrary, it is an intellectually inspiring, culturally enriching and socially engaging experience. He often says that nothing makes his career more rewarding and fulfilling than seeing his students fall in love with this challenging but charming language, receive government or private scholarships as well as win prizes and bursaries in the annual BC 'Chinese Bridge' Mandarin Speech and Singing Contests since 2001. Some of his former students are either working with government agencies and private sectors using Mandarin on a daily basis or moving on to further their studies in Chinese in North America, China or Taiwan. As his colleagues in the Chinese teaching community say, he must have done something right for such an exceptional track record of student learning success!

When he is not teaching, you will find Dr. Qu hiking in the mountains, playing volleyball or Taichi or (if it rains) sipping a cup of green tea over a good language textbook on French, Finnish or any other language which is spoken at his next travel destination.


(Direct quotes from anonymous KPU Student Evaluations for Dr. Yanfeng Qu)

"Mr. Qu is an excellent teacher. He makes the class fun and enjoyable yet very productive. I cannot remember the last time I had a fun learning experience and retained the knowledge taught. I strongly recommend Mr. Qu as an instructor and hope that more instructors of his standards are brought to the school."

"Enthusiastic about teaching Mandarin. He's so enthusiastic that it lightens the atmosphere of the class and makes students want to try harder to impress him. He answers questions very well by providing enough explanation that it is understood by the student asking the question as well as the rest of the students in the class. He has a great week-by-week structure for teaching the class. It includes a perfect number of pop quizzes, tests, and assignments to really ensure that students learn the language."

"He has a great sense of humor. Makes class very fun and interesting. It was a class I looked forward to."

"Thus far, it's the best classes I've had since coming to Kwantlen, definitely worth the 2 and a half hour bus ride from Langley to Richmond."

"Qu Laoshi is always on time, if need be he will get the class to go faster if we are behind, or slow the class down so that we can understand the concepts if we do not. In other words, he is very adaptable to the feel of the class. He is very ordered, and for me that means a lot because I'm so busy outside of school its nice to have a professor who is always reliable and have everything structured. I also really appreciate that he loves to answer questions, and he actually asks us if we have questions before we go on to the next concept."

"He replied to emails right away, even on weekends, and was always very friendly. He included everyone in the class, and was very nice. Great teacher 10 out of 10!"

"The learning environment is really fun. The class all gets along really well and Qu Laoshi makes it so that the class can get along, in other words, he really helped in getting the class to not just be classmates but also friends. I really loved this learning environment, especially with a language when you need to talk with others to learn that language."

"He teaches the lesson well, understands the students' level of knowledge and adapts the lesson to the pace without compromising the difficulty."

"Explains grammar very well. His study guide is excellent. It should be published and available to Chinese students everywhere."

"He is probably one of the best teachers I have ever had, I never have to worry about asking a question, the class is fun and I learn so much from Mandarin, not only the language but the Chinese culture. I know that if I need anything Mr. Qu will do anything to answer the question and I know that he is in his office hours, even if I don't go a lot, just the thought that he is there is good. Thank you Qu Laoshi."

"Teacher Qu is a very caring and dedicated teacher. He loves what he is doing - teaching. And I can see how much he enjoys watching when the students are progressing during the course. I totally recommend Teacher Qu to any students who would like to learn a new language. As for me, I will definitely take more courses with Teacher Qu in the future. I really enjoy learning a new language from him and I would like to thank him for his patience and guidance for me during my first few days getting to know the course and the new language."

"Dr. Qu's advanced knowledge of education and work ethic would serve the school even better should he have the ability to improve the school from an administrative role."

"Why would anyone not want to learn the language that so many people on this earth speak, especially here in Vancouver, right on the Pacific Rim? I know that it can open doors for today's young people. The class's linguistic aspect confirms my view that languages and people who on first sight seem very different, do have very much in common. Learning all aspects of a language is to me like opening a window through which I can see and learn to understand the culture behind it."


Courses designed

Areas of Interest

  • Chinese language pedagogy in general, with a special focus on comparative syntax, error analysis and cultural connotations in Chinese characters and vocabulary
  • Technology assisted language teaching and learning, especially in the domain of teaching tones and characters
  • Second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, cross-cultural communication

Scholarly Work

  • ‘TO THINK WITH ONE’S HEART —On Teaching the Etymology and Wellness Connotations of Basic Chinese Characters and Expressions’ in Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Chinese Language Pedagogy: International Chinese Language Teaching and Chinese Culture (ed. Erhenbayaer): 83-91, published by Inner Mongolia University Press, Hohhot, China (2015).
  • “False Equivalents, Writing Errors and Their Implications for Textbook Design in Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Chinese Language Pedagogy: the Challenges and Opportunities for Teachers of Chinese as a Foreign Language (CFL) (ed. Wayne Wenchao He): 522-529, published by Heilongjiang People’s Publishing House, Harbin, China (2014).
  • ’Linguistic Features of Chinese and their Implications for Enhanced Pedagogy and Teacher Training Programs’ in Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Chinese Language Pedagogy (ed. Shunqing Cao and John Yu): 788-795, published by Sichuan Publishing Group, Chengdu, China (2013).
  • ‘Pedagogy of the Particle 了Revisited and its Implications for Textbook Design’ in Pedagogical Theories and Practices in Chinese Textbook Design: Conference Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Chinese Language Pedagogy (ed. Weimin Xu and Wayne W. He): 115-120, published by Zhejiang University Press, Hangzhou, China (2012).
  • Language Learning and its Facilitating Role in Understanding Culture’ in The Asian Conference on Language Learning 2012: Conference Proceedings: 46-55, ISSN:2186-4691, Osaka, Japan (Retrieved from http://iafor.org/acll_proceedings.html) (2012).
  • ‘Nominal Definiteness in Chinese and its Pedagogical Implications’ in Chinese as a Foreign Language Teaching Practice and Reflections (ed. Yan Yuan, John Jing-hua Yin): 199-203 Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, Beijing (2010).
  • ‘Test Design for Multi-background University Mandarin Classes’ in TCSL: New Vision and Horizon (ed. Robert S. Chen): 100-107, published by Canadian TCSL Association, Richmond, BC (2010).
  • ‘Strategies for Writing Chinese Textbooks for Canadian Students’ in Pedagogical Research on TCSL from Multi-perspectives: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Chinese Pedagogy (ed. Chang-zhuo Cai): 554-558, published by Guangxi Normal University Press, Guilin, China (2009).
  • ‘Towards Pedagogical Fun: Language Games for Contemporary Chinese’ in Chinese Language Teaching and Learning: Theories and Practice - Applied Chinese Language Studies II (ed. G. X. Zhang): 87-94. Cypress Books Co. Ltd. London, UK (2009).
  • A Curriculum and Lesson Planning Guide for the Teaching of Chinese at the Second-year University College Level. BC Ministry of Education, Skills and Training (1996).
  • "Adjective Reduplications in Fuzhou: a Morpho-phonological Analysis", Journal of East Asian Linguistics 4(1): 1-27 (1995).
  • "A-type Topicalization in Mandarin Chinese", Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics, University of Toronto (1995).
  • "The Status of Null Objects in Mandarin Chinese", in Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics, Vol. 19, No.1: 149-164, ed. Linda Roby, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA (1994).
  • "VP-internal Fronting of the Object NP", Proceedings of the Tenth Northwest Linguistics Conference, Simon Fraser University (1994).
  • "Locative Inversion in Mandarin Chinese", Canadian Journal of Linguistics 38(3):305-330 (1993).
  • "Locational Verbs and Locative Inversion in Mandarin Chinese", in Toronto Working Papers in Linguistics pp. 525-540, ed. Carrie Dyck, University of Toronto (1993).