Ling Cai

Associate Teaching Professor of Chinese


Dept:World Languages And Cultures
Office:2120 Pearson
505 Morrill Rd.
Ames IA

Area of expertise: Chinese folk culture and folklore, cognitive processing of Chinese characters, Etymological knowledge development, Psychology and methodology of foreign language learning

Topics of interest: Elementary Chinese


Ling Cai is an Associate Teaching Professor of Chinese. She received her BA at Beijing Normal University, China, and studied at both La Trobe University in Australia and Iowa State University for her Master’s degree in second language acquisition. Before becoming a faculty member at Iowa State University in 2005, she has taught Chinese as a second language in New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Her research interests are the psychology and methodology of foreign language learning, Etymological knowledge development, cognitive processing of Chinese characters, and Chinese folk culture and folklore. Outside of teaching, she enjoys badminton, yoga and traveling.

Grants and Awards

  • LAS Excellence in Undergraduate Introductory Teaching Award 2017.

  • Received small grant from the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost for professional development, 2015.

  • Instructor Recognition from Alpha Lambda Delta & Phi Eta Sigma Honor Societies in 2013.

Recent / Major Publications

  • 请叫我蔡老师 --- 我在美国教汉语 China Business Administration Press, Beijing , 2019.

  • “Bridging language and Culture: A Thematic Unit Based on a Chinese Traditional Folktale The Mouse Marriage.” National Network for Early Language Learning 15-2 (2010), 36-38.