Kun Shan Lee

Kun Shan Lee

Professor of the Practice in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

External address: 
2204 Erwin Road Room 207, Box 90414, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90414, Durham, NC 27708-0414
(919) 681-2684

Kunshan Carolyn Lee is a Professor of the Practice of Chinese and the Director of the Chinese Language Program. She also serves as the faculty director of the Duke Study in China program since 2001. Lee has been continuously working on the curriculum development in and articulation between the program on campus and the one abroad. Among Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, her research interests include sociocultural theory, language teaching methods, intercultural competence, community-based learning, assessment, needs analysis, and teacher development.  She is currently working on a research project investigating the impact of interaction with language partners on the development of intercultural and linguistic competencies in adult learners of Chinese as a second language in the study abroad context.  To foster language use and the negotiation of meaning in real-life settings in a non-target cultural environment, Lee has enthusiastically facilitated community-based learning in the Chinese language curriculum with colleagues in the program on campus through a variety of project-based activities enabling students to interact with the communities that promote the learning of the Chinese language and culture. Additionally, Lee has been involved in the development of teaching materials that aim at promoting the advanced-level linguistic and cultural competencies of Chinese as a second language for adult learners. Some of her recent publications are (co-author) Crossing Cultural Boundaries: An advanced Chinese multimedia course, 1st edition in 2010 and 2nd edition in 2014, published by Routledge Company-Taylor and Francis Group; (co-editor) Chinese as a Foreign/Second Language in the Study Abroad Context, published in 2008 and reprinted in 2010 by Beijing University Press, China; two teaching and learning websites for beginning and advanced learners of Chinese as a foreign/second language, respectively.

Keywords: Chinese as a second language, Chinese language pedagogy, intercultural competence, needs analysis, assessment, teacher development, study abroad education, curriculum articulation, community-based learning


Her research interests are development of foreign language curriculum (including study abroad program), second language acquisition, Sociocultural theory, and computer assisted learning.

Education & Training

  • M.A., University of Iowa 1993

  • B.A., University of Iowa 1989

Selected Grants

Project GO awarded by Institute of International Education (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2018

Lee, K-SC, Liang, HH, Jiao, LW, and Wheatley, J. The Routledge Advanced Chinese Multimedia Course: Crossing Cultural Boundaries, 2nd Edition. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, March 2014.

Lee, CK, Liang, HH, Jiao, LW, and Wheatley, J. Crossing cultural boundary: A multimedia advanced-Chinese course. Routledge Publication, January 2010.

Lee, KS. "Evaluating the Effectiveness of Scaffolding in One-on-one Sessions of a Study-Abroad Program." Chinese as a Second/Foreign Language in the Study-abroad Context. Ed. K-S Lee. Beijing University Press, 2008.

Lee, K. "Evaluating the Role of On-line Multimedia Teaching Materials for Upper-level Chinese Courses." Proceedings of Operational Strategies and Pedagogy for Chinese Language Programs in the 21st Century: An International Symposium. Ed. S-H Teng, S-C Hsin, and H-HL Domizio. 2005. pp304-309.

Lee, K-S. "The Effect of a Content-Oriented, Task-based Approach for Advanced CFL Curriculum: Fostering Form and More." proceedings of the International Conference on Chinese for Specific Purposes and Teaching Chinese Culture (June 2012).

Li, J, and Lee, K-S. "The Graphic Factor in the Teaching and Learning of Chinese Characters." Ed. V Ling. The Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association (JCLTA) Volume: 41 (2006): 79-92.

Li, J, and Lee, K-S. "The radicals’ importance for Chinese characters’ cognition." Journal of Chinese Teaching in the World vol 4 (December 2005).

Lee, KS. "The dance of quality and quantity in a study abroad program: the Chinese case." in Institute of International Education (IIE) Networker (2004): 29-31.