Dr. John Brender is Director of the Confucius Institute. Professionally dedicated to language and cultural education, he has taught Spanish, Japanese, linguistics, foreign-language teaching methodology, and English as a second language. He has also presented multiple lectures on cross-cultural communication in China and the U.S. His research has focused on international and ethnic student identity at North American universities and the effects of short-term study abroad programs on individual self perception. In December 2015, Dr. Brender was presented with an individual Performance Excellence Award by Chinese Vice Premier, Madam Yandong Liu, and Hanban: The Office of Chinese Language Council International, in Shanghai, China.
Research Interest/Area of Expertise
International student development at American universities
The effects of short-term study abroad experiences
Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications
- Confucius Institute Directors' Training Certificate, Xiamen, China, 2014
- Ph.D. Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education, Michigan State University, 2006
- B.A. Spanish, Hope College, 1984
- M.A. Community College Administration, Chicago State University, 1998
- M.A. Romance linguistics, University of Michigan, 1988
Awards and Grants
Individual Performance Excellence Award, granted by Hanban: The Office of Chinese Language Council International, December 2015.
Brender, J. (2008). Japanese College Students in the U.S.: Identities and Values, Saarbruchen, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Muller.
Brender, J., Pinnamaneni, V., Kandagatla, P. (2009). Indian Identity. Michigan Journal of College Student Development, Spring/Summer 2009, Vol. 14, No. 1.pp. 1-7.
Brender, J., Hermiz, D., & Karmo, S. (2008). Chaldean-American Undergraduate Identites, and Values. The Michigan Journal of College Student Development, Spring/Summer 2008, Vo. 13, No. 1, pp. 1-7
Dirkx, J., Jessup Anger, J. E., Brender, J.R., Gwekwerere, B. and Smith, R.O. Beyond Culture Shock: The Meaning of Affect and Emotions in International Educational Experience. Presented at the 2006 Midwest Research-to-Practice Conference, University of Missouri-St. Louis, October 5, 2006.
Brender, J. (1996). Effects of Homework Completion on Test Scores in First and Second-Semester Spanish Courses at a University with Liberal Admissions, ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. 395-452. December, 1996.
Brender, J (2006). Japanese Undergraduates at an American University: Acculturation Identity, Cultural Identity, and Values. Doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University.
At Wayne State University:
Elementary Spanish I, Elementary Spanish II, Intermediate Spanish I, Intermediate Spanish II, Review of Spanish Grammar and Composition, Medical Spanish, Chinese Learning Community
At Other Institutions:
Linguistics, Spanish Phonetics and Phonology, Foreign Language Teaching Methodology, Spanish Conversation, Elementary Japanese I, Elementary Japanese II, English as a Second Language
Other qualifications directly relevant to courses taught
Teaching English in the Chinese Countryside: Annual workshop presented at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China for participants in the Summer Service Learning Program in Rural China, July 2012, July 2013, July 2014, July 2015, July 2016.
The Immersion Obstacle Course: Creating an “Aha” Moment. Presented at the 10th Annual World Conference for Confucius Institutes, Shanghai, China, December 6, 2015.
Cross-Cultural Communication : a series of presentations for students at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China, July 2013, July 2014, July 2015, December 2015.
Chinese, Koreans & Japanese: Some Cultural Comparisons. Presented at the US Attorney’s Office of Eastern Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, May, 2015.
Learn a Chinese Phrase: The Mobile Application. Presented at the 9th Annual World Conference for Confucius Institutes, Xiamen, Fujian, China. December 7, 2014.
Where the Twain Meet: At the Crossroads of Chinese and American Culture. Presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan, May 2014; and to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Detroit, February 2014.
The "Learn a Chinese Phrase" Video Series: Learning Chinese from Idioms . Presented at the 8th Annual World Conference for Confucius Institutes, Beijing, China, December 7, 2013.
Language and Cultural Videos Produced by the Wayne State Confucius Institute: Presented at the Fifth Annual Conference for the Chinese Language Association of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, November 3, 2012.
Implementing a Successful Language and Culture-Based Quiz Bowl. Presented at the 2012 Michigan World Language Association, Lansing, Michigan, October 25, 2012.
Hi Donie! Mnemonic Devices for Teaching the Subjunctive and other Aspects of Spanish. Presented at the 2012 Michigan World Language Association, Lansing, Michigan, October 25, 2012.
Learning from Learners: How Successful Students Study Chinese. Presented at the Fourth Annual Conference for the Chinese Language Association of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan, November 5, 2011.