Academic and Teaching Staff

Prof. LI Chor Shing David 李楚成
Professor and Head of Department

ORCID: 0000-0002-8427-0424

Scopus Author ID: 26029878700


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Research/Teaching Interests

Bilingual interaction, Chinese-English code-switching, Cantonese-English code-mixing (translanguaging), tense and aspect, Chinese-English contrastive grammar, EFL (English as a foreign language) learning difficulties and correction strategies, Hong Kong language-in-education policy, Chinese as a lingua franca in Greater China, Cantonese as an additional language, pragmatics and intercultural communication, Hong Kong English, World Englishes, globalization and English-medium university education. More recent interests focus on the historical spread of Chinese in sinographic East Asia (漢字文化圈): Japan, Korea and Vietnam, especially the uptake of kanji ‘returned loans’ from Japan to the other nations in East Asia, and the use of literary/classical Chinese among literati of Sinitic (written Chinese) to conduct ‘silent conversation’ through Sinitic brushtalk (漢文筆談).


Bio Note

David C. S. Li (李楚成, alias Li Chor Shing) is Professor and Head of Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies (CBS), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). His main research interests include Bilingual interaction and code-switching (translanguaging), Multilingualism in Greater China, Chinese learners’ EFL learning difficulties and error-correction strategies, Cantonese as an additional language (HK), South Asian Hongkongers’ needs for Cantonese and written Chinese, Language-in-education policy in Hong Kong (香港兩文三語政策), World Englishes, Hongkong English, and China English. Since mid-2017, he became interested in the historical spread of Classical Chinese (Literary Sinitic) within Sinographic East Asia (the Sinographic cosmopolis: China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam), in particular:


  1. the use of Classical Chinese or Literary Sinitic (文言, wényán) as a ‘scripta franca’ among literati in their ‘silent conversation’ for cross-border, face-to-face communication through ‘brushtalk’ or ‘brush conversation’ (漢文筆談) in early modern East Asia until the 1900s;+ and

    + The third modality of face-to-face communication? Centuries-old ‘silent conversation’ through Sinitic brushtalk (筆談), and script and lexical borrowing within the Sinographic cosmopolis. General Research Fund (GRF) #15603420 (2020-2021), HK$ 423,600. 1/2021 – 12/2022.

  2. bi-directional borrowing of sinogram-based loanwords across the Sea of Japan, especially the uptake of kanji-based ‘returned loans’ from Japan by other East Asian societies, notably China and Korea, amidst sociopolitical tension between these East Asian nations since the 1900s.


His monographs include Beiträge zur kontrastiven Aspektologie: Das Aspektsystem im modernen Chinesisch (‘Studies in contrastive aspectology: The aspect system in Mandarin Chinese’, PhD dissertation, Peter Lang, 1991); Issues in bilingualism and biculturalism: A Hong Kong case study (Peter Lang, 1996); Multilingual Hong Kong: Communities, languages, identities (Springer, 2017); Discourses in search of members. In honor of Ron Scollon, ed. by David C. S. Li, University Press of America, 2002); Chinese-English Contrastive Grammar: An Introduction (with Zoe Luk, HKU Press, 2017); and 兩文三語: 香港語文教育政策研究 (Biliteracy and trilingualism: Language education policy research in Hong Kong, with Leung Wai Mun梁慧敏, HK CityU Press, 2020). He has published over 100 articles in journals such as Linguistics; Journal of Chinese Linguistics; Applied Linguistics; International Journal of Applied Linguistics; Annual Review of Applied Linguistics; Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics; Journal of Pragmatics; World Englishes; English World-Wide; Asian Englishes; Asian English Studies; English Australia; English Today; AILA Review; International Journal of the Sociology of Language; International Journal of Bilingualism; International Journal of Multilingualism; Multilingua; International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism; Discourse and Society; Chinese Language and Discourse; Global Chinese; China and Asia; Written Language and Literacy; The Canadian Modern Language Review; Journal of Second Language Writing; TESOL Quarterly; Linguistics and Education; New Horizons in Education; Asia Pacific Journal of Language in Education; RELC Journal; Language, Culture and Curriculum; Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses; 現代外語; 外语教学与研究; 语言战略研究; 中国社会语言学; 辭書研究.


Selected Publications

  1. Li, David C. S. (2020). Writing-mediated interaction face-to-face: Sinitic brushtalk (漢文筆談) as an age-old lingua-cultural practice in premodern East Asian cross-border communication. China and Asia, special issue on Sinitic brushtalk, 2(2): 1–41.
  2. Leung, Wai Mun and Li, David C. S. [梁慧敏﹑李楚成]. (2020). 兩文三語:香港語文教育政策研究 [Biliteracy and trilingualism: Language education policy research in Hong Kong]. Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press.
  3. Li, David C. S., Aoyama, Reijiro, & Wong, Tak-sum. (2020). Silent Conversation through brushtalk (筆談): The Use of Sinitic as a Scripta Franca in Early Modern East Asia. Global Chinese 6(1): 1–23.
  4. Li, David C. S. (2017). Multilingual Hong Kong: Languages, Literacies and Identities. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
  5. Li, David C. S. (2006). Chinese as a lingua franca in Greater China. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 26: 149-176.

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