Third Space Lab Brown Bag Lunch Research Talk: Zhang Xin and Emmanuelle Chiocca  

You are cordially invited to attend the TSL Brown Bag Lunch Research Talk by Co-Directors of the Lab, Dr. Zhang Xin and Dr.  Emmanuelle Chiocca on Distinguishing Oneself: First-year International Students’ Pre-College Motivations and Expectations in a Sino-Foreign Joint-Venture University in China.

Date/Time: Fri, Nov 18, 4pm BJT
Location: CC1095 and Zoom (register to receive zoom link)

Snacks and bubble teas provided. 

Please RSVP by Thursday, November 17


China has shown increased engagement in International Higher Education (IHE), an interest motivated by a tremendous demand among both Chinese and international students.  Conducted at a full-scale Sino-foreign joint-venture university (JVU) in China, this study seeks to explore the motivation of first-year international students for applying to and attending Sino-foreign JVU in China. A second related question investigates what they expect to experience prior to matriculation. Mixed-methods data collection and analyses suggest that international students at a Sino-foreign joint-venture university were motivated by a strong desire to distinguish themselves for integrative, international signaling, and instrumental purposes, and expect to change as a result of studying and living in an intercultural environment in China.


Emmanuelle Chiocca is Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics and International Education and Assistant Director for Additional Languages in the Language and Culture Center at Duke Kunshan University, where she also co-directs the Third Space humanities research lab. Her primary intellectual interest lies in holistic global and intercultural learning. More specifically, she researches how learning experiences result in the transformation of student worldviews, and how people change perspectives in international education contexts, especially in translingual environments. As a second related line of research, she investigates metacognition and motivation associated with experiential learning and virtual exchange in languaculture courses. Email: 

Xin Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Chinese and intercultural communication in the Language and Culture Center at Duke Kunshan University. She directs the Chinese as a Second Language (CSL) program and co-directs the Third Space humanities research lab. Her research lies at the intersection of applied linguistics, Chinese language pedagogy and intercultural communication. Her recent publications focus on Third Space as a new frame of conceptualizing foreign language teaching and learning, intercultural encounters, and the interplay of multilingual individuals and contexts in the dynamic co-construction of identities and relationships. Email:

About the Event

The HRC Third Space Lab brown bag lunch research talk is open to all members of the DKU community and beyond who are interested in engaging in a conversation about research projects, either a published work or a work-in-progress, broadly related to languages, cultures and intercultural communication. If you are interested in participating either as a speaker or as audience, please fill out this survey: or contact Dr. Zhang Xin (