Ms. Yi Lee, innovating Chinese instruction

Ms. Yi Lee – courtesy of Ms. Yi Lee

This year, Chinese classes will look a little bit different: Ms. Yi Lee, or 李老师, as she will be known in the classroom, will join us all the way from Hawaii, where she was chair of the World Languages Department at Henry J. Kaiser High School in Honolulu, an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. Ms. Lee will continue to instruct Chinese levels I through IV. She also received her degree in Secondary Education in Hawaii from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

“I was a very grade-conscious student back in the day, so I can relate.”

Ms. Yi Lee

     Coming from an IB school, Ms. Lee says she has high expectations for her students. But Chinese students should not worry if they put in the hours. “When it comes to ‘grades’—it’s more about one’s effort since I offer extra credits and opportunities to correct one’s work,” Ms. Lee said. “I was a very grade-conscious student back in the day, so I can relate.”

     As far as teaching style, Ms. Lee says she has always taught with an alternative use of Powerpoint: “I always teach with PPT, but definitely not in the traditional way,” Ms. Lee said. “It’s very interactive and fun.”

     Ms. Lee has had other teaching experiences at the University of Colorado’s STARTALK program, where she taught “Chinese Language Instruction in the Digital Age.” 

     In addition to her teaching career, Ms. Lee is also an entrepreneur.

     “I started a Facebook Page called ‘Yi Lee’s Mandarin Teaching Center’ back in 2012,” said Ms. Lee. “I used that platform to share my teaching strategies and my PPT curriculum. I have over two thousand teacher followers, and hundreds of teachers all around the globe are using the materials I created to teach Chinese.”

     Outside of the classroom, Ms. Lee loves watching movies, playing video games on both PS4 and Nintendo Switch, and reading manga every day. Ms. Lee hopes to take these hobbies to one of Haverford’s video games clubs.

     Additionally, Ms. Lee enjoys singing and may look to help out with vocal programs. Either way, Ms. Lee is ready to get started at Haverford.