He took the road less travelled by historians
Ch’en Ta-tuan (陳大端 1921–91) was the primary inventor of an imaginative new approach for teaching Chinese as a second language. He put the approach into practice at Princeton University in the early 1960s and at the summer-intensive Chinese School at Middlebury College in the late 1960s. In the 1980s he was the main force behind an initiative by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation to begin Chinese language programs in dozens of American high schools. He supported these and other programs by writing and editing a variety of new teaching materials, by mentoring a new generation of Chinese language teachers, and by offering his services as a consultant. Eventually he made an immense contribution to Chinese language teaching in the Western world.