Christy Lao is Associate Professor in the Graduate College of Education at San Francisco State University and core faculty in the Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin) Bilingual Authorization Program. Previously, she was a faculty member of the Bilingual/Bicultural Program of Teachers College, Columbia University and of Hong Kong Baptist University. Her research focuses on second language acquisition, bilingual and biliteracy development, and teacher education. Her most recent research project titled “California STARTALK Project for Chinese Bilingual Teacher Candidates (CAST)” aims to develop a nontraditional Chinese program to help college students improve their Chinese and prepare them to become bilingual teacher to alleviate California’s critical shortage of Chinese bilingual teachers.

Lao has worked very closely with schools and school districts to help develop Chinese dual language programs in San Francisco, New York City, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China. She has provided professional development in second language and literacy development in the U.S. and in many parts of the world. Lao is a featured presenter at the National Association of Bilingual Education and at the California Association of Bilingual Education.

During her visiting scholar appointment at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, Lao will be working with Dr. Rebecca Silverman to explore the effect of the CLAVES intervention on the academic language, reading comprehension, and writing of Chinese speaking English language learners.