Yi is Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian & Asian American Studies at Stony Brook University. She was a faculty member in the Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures (REALC) at Emory University in 2020. She received her Ph.D. in Chinese Applied Linguistics in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona, where she also minored in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching and Anthropology & Linguistics.

As an applied linguist, her primary research interests cover social and cultural aspects of language use and second language learning. Her work uses both qualitative and quantitative methods as well as social network analysis tools to study the usage of Chinese as a second language by transnational and multilingual students in the context of global languages and migration. She seeks to answer questions such as how multiplicities of identities (like racial, ethnic, gender, etc) impact the language learning experiences, how ideologies towards different languages involved in the multilingual community influence individuals’, institutional, and societal expectations of language use, hence make an impact on the learning of additional language in certain contexts.

#1 Identity and Ideology in Transnational and Global Contexts

Her past and recent work focuses on identity and ideology of multilingual study abroad students, in both long-term and sojourn abroad programs, and in both language-focus and non-language intensive programs like English-taught programs in non-Anglophone countries like China. Now she is also working on case studies focusing on students from minority backgrounds, aiming to provide a more holistic understanding of the language use and learning experience for these underrepresented groups.

See related work:

  • Wang, Y., & Diao, W. (In Press). Chinese Heritage Speakers as Language Brokers in Internship Abroad. Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education.

  • Wang, Y., & Diao, W. (In Press). Topics in Everyday Discourse: Mandarin L2 Learners with their Chinese Peers in Xiao, F (Ed), Second Language Chinese Development. Lexington Books.

  • Wang, Y., & Diao, W. (2023). “In a Foreign Bubble” while in China: Language Use among International Students during China’s Belt and Road in Zhang, D., & Miller, R. (Eds). Crossing Boundaries in Research, Understanding, and Improving Language Education. Springer. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-031-24078-2_15

  • Diao, W., & Wang, Y. (2021). Transcending Gender Taboos: Talk in the Dorm Among Female Study Abroad Students in China. International Journal of Chinese Language Education. No.9. 93-126. Retrieved from http://ijcle.eduhk.hk/en/catalog/No.9/04/

  • Diao, W., & Wang, Y. (2021). Multiracial Chinese American women studying abroad in China: The intersectionality of race, gender, and language learning. Intercultural Communication Education, 4(1), 39-55. https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v4n1.444

  • Diao, W., Wang, Y., Donovan, A., & Malone, M. (2018). Interactional Development through Dinnertime Talk in Sanz, C., & Morale-Front, A. (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Study Abroad Research and Practice. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315639970

#2 Third/Additional Language Acquisition

Another line of her research deals with the learning of an additional or third language of multilingual individuals. She is interested in the question of how the experience of learning a third language may differ from learning a second language in terms of sociolinguistic awareness and syntactic features. She is interested in building a multilingual corpus for studying additional language learning.

See related work:

#3 Language Use and Learning in Digital World

Currently, she is also working on the sociolinguistic analysis of anti-Asian and Asian American hate speech as well as the language patterns by Chinese language users on Twitter using a large-scale multilingual corpus with over 60 million tweets.

See related work:

In addition to research, she is also actively involved in teaching practices and service in the field. She is currently elected as Asian Language Convener at AAUSC and served as a member in the AAAL GSC Committee for two years.