Dr Susan Y. H. Sun

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Senior Lecturer

Email: susan.sun@aut.ac.nz

ORCID: ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6818-442X


  • Doctor of Philosophy (Education), University of Sydney
  • Master of Arts (Hons) in Language Learning and Teaching, University of Auckland
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Studies, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language and Literature, Guangzhou University


I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese language and literature from China and have spent most of my working life teaching Chinese Mandarin both in China and New Zealand. My Master’s degree (Auckland University, New Zealand, 1999) is in language learning and teaching. My PhD is on designing for computer assisted language learning (CALL).

My research in recent years have focussed mainly on online language learning and teaching and design. I have examined various aspects of online learning, e.g., the difficulties and challenges confronting online language teachers, the difficulties confronting online learners and the ways they adapted to online learning, teacher’s ongoing design, learner configuration, place-making, and social co-configuration. I have also conducted studies on the methodological aspects of CALL task design. I am currently working on the project exploring the possible adaptation of design pattern languages for CALL design.

I collaborate with colleagues in New Zealand and overseas, as well as the wider Chinese language learning and teaching community in New Zealand. I am currently working on two collaborative research projects, one with Dr Carvalho and Dr Qi from Massey University (working title: designing for diversity in the Chinese classroom) and another with Associate Professor Strauss at AUT which focusses on promoting the contemporary educational design concept of “teachers-as-designers” and examines the ways in which language teachers (trainees in our Master programmes) design for socially situated and technology-enhanced language learning.

Research interests:

Computer-assisted language learning (CALL)
Technology-enhanced language learning (TELL)
Design for CALL/TELL
Student configuration
Student place-making
Socially situated language learning
Design patterns and pattern language
CALL/TELL and language teachers education

Teaching summary:

Bachelor of Arts (Chinese), language and cultural papers at all levels
Language Teaching and Learning (minor) – in the area of CALL)/TELL
Master of Arts in Applied Language Studies – in the area of CALL/TELL
Master of Professional Language Studies in Language Teaching – in the area of CALL/TELL

Fields of research:

  • Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
  • Language Studies
  • Chinese Languages
  • Other Language, Communication and Culture

Professional activities:

    Contribution to academic environment

    • Conference Program Committee Member, 2020/2021 The 3rd Pan-Pacific Technology Enhanced Language Learning (TELL) International Conference (2019 - ongoing)

Research outputs:

Journal articles

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2020). Using patterns-based learning design for CALL tasks. Computer Assisted Language Learning. doi:10.1080/09588221.2019.1657902

  • Sun, S. Y. H., & Goodyear, P. (2020). Social co-configuration in online language learning. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 36(2), 13-26. doi:10.14742/ajet.5102

  • Sun, S. (2018). Student configuration and place-making in fully online language learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 31(8), 932-959. doi:10.1080/09588221.2018.1466808

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2017). Design for CALL - possible synergies between CALL and design for learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 30(6). doi:10.1080/09588221.2017.1329216

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2016). Learntime and learning place-focused forward-oriented design for learning in technology enhanced classrooms. Distance Education, 37(3). doi:10.1080/01587919.2016.1233051

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2014). Learner perspectives on fully online language learning. Distance Education.

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2011). Online Language Teaching: the Pedagogical Challenges. Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International JOurnal (KM&EL), 3(3). Retrieved from http://www.kmel-journal.org/ojs/index.php/online-publication

  • Sun Susan. (1999). The New Zealand-Born Chinese Community of Auckland: Aspects of Language Maintenance and Shift. Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4(2).

Conference contributions

  • Sun, S., Qi, G. Y., & Carvalho, L. (2019). Designing for diversity in the Chinese classroom. In Chinese Language Teaching Professional Development workshop: Responding to Diversity in Chinese Language Education, 2019 Chinese Language Week. Auckland.

  • Sun, S. (2019). Framing a pattern language for CALL design. In GloCALL2019 Conference: Globalization and Localization in Computer-Assisted Language Learning. Da Nang. Retrieved from https://glocall.org/course/view.php?id=31

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2017). Design for CALL: Possible synergies between CALL and design-for-learning. In CALL in Context: Conference Proceedings 2017 (pp. 688-697). Berkeley, California: Universiteit Antwerpen. Retrieved from http://call2017.language.berkeley.edu/?page_id=582

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2014). Design for fully online language learning – in search of the nexus of learning theory, disciplinary characteristics, and classroom realities. In ALANZ Symposium 2014. Auckland.

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2014). Design for online language learning: Connecting learning theory to classroom
    realities. In Annual Conference on Education Innovation (ACEI). Taipei.

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2012). The development of students’ oral skills in fully-online language courses. In CreateWorld 2012. Brisbane. Retrieved from https://auc.edu.au/createworld/sessions-2012/

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2012). Online language learning: A learner perspective. In The Asian Conference on Education 2012 Official Conference Proceedings (pp. 890-904). Osaka. Retrieved from http://ace.iafor.org/Program.html

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2012). Chinese teaching and learning: blended and/or fully on-line. In Auckland Confucius Institute's 2nd Symposium on Chinese Teaching. Auckland. Retrieved from http://ci.ac.nz/news/teachers-of-chinese-exchange-ideas

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2010). Online Language Teaching – the Pedagogical Challenges. In Asia-Pacific Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning 2010. Osaka.

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2009). Chinese taught completely online: Striving after fashion or tomorrow's fait accompli?. In Chinese Studies Association of Australia 2009 Conference: Jiu. Australia.

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2006). Teaching Chinese as 2nd Language “Media Studies” Material Development – a New Zealand Case Study. In Presented at the World Chinese Language Association’s 8th Conference. .

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2005). Changing the landscape of Asian Studies in America: the success story of the novel The Joy Luck Club. In 16th NZ Asian Studies Society International Conference. Hamilton.

  • Sun, S. (1999). The New Zealand-born Chinese community of Auckland: Aspects of Language Maintenance and Shift. In The 24th Congress of the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia. Perth.

  • Sun, S. (1999). The under-representation of the Mandarin Chinese Bachelor of Arts Structure in the L1English-L2Chinese Interlanguage. In The 24th Congress of the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia. Perth.


  • Sun, S. Y. H. (2020). Online Language Learning: Design and Co-configuration. (University of Sydney, Australia; Massey University, New Zealand, Sydney, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand). Retrieved from https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/21749

  • Sun, S. Y. H. (1999). The Under-Representation of the Mandarin Chinese BA Structure in the L1English-L2Chinese Interlanguage. (The University of Auckland, Auckland).

Oral presentations

  • Sun, S. (2017). Design for computer assisted language learning. Sydney, Australia. Retrieved from http://crlionline.net/node/222

  • Y. H. Sun, S., & Crezee, I. (2017). Hermeneutic phenomenology and vignette data collection and analysis. AUT Tower (WT building).

  • Sun, S., & Crezee, I. (2017). Research Methodologies: Hermeneutic Phenomenology; Vignettes. AUT Tower, AUT.

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