Dr. Eunjeong (Esther) Lee

Dr. Esther (Eunjeong) Lee directs Claflin University’s Intensive English Language Program (IELP), and is also an Assistant Professor of English and Foreign Languages.


Dr. Lee’s specific research interests include corrective feedback, curriculum development, emotion and learning, informal English conversations, ESL learning patterns, and ESL program management. Before coming to Claflin in 2014, she spent six years developing and directing an intensive English immersion program in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. There, she taught a group of American ESL pre-service teachers how to meet Korea’s unique EFL challenges, and worked with them to develop a culturally sensitive and diverse curriculum for ESL and EFL learners, based on multicultural and multilingual perspectives. Dr. Lee is eager to continue her work at Claflin’s new IELP, and to develop it into a nationally ranked ESL program.

Dr. Esther Lee’s own educational background is similar to that of many international students. She first came to the United States nine years ago to join the TESOL MA program at New York University. Since English was not her native language, she faced a lot of social and academic challenges, which motivated her to learn English quickly. Because of this experience as an ESL learner, Dr. Lee focused her graduate research on fast English improvement and effective teaching strategies for ESL learners. Using her own extensive research and a lot of ESL classroom observations, she has developed a highly effective ESL curriculum, along with unique teaching techniques to help her ESL students improve their English in a short amount of time.

Dr. Lee’s passion for high-quality ESL education keeps her energized and excited to bring more international students to Claflin. Her goal as a teacher is to give something back to the international community. Well-prepared lessons, well-selected textbooks, and continued research on effective pedagogies and teaching techniques help her do that. More importantly, Dr. Lee tries to encourage and motivate her students to be confident English speakers in their communities, so they can succeed wherever they go.


  • PhD in Foreign and Second Language Education (ESL, TESOL), Ohio State University (2009-2013)
  • MA in TESOL, New York University (2006-2008)
  • MA in English Education, Seokyeong University (2001-2004)
  • BA in English Language, Seokyeong University (1997-2001)
  • Earned Secondary Education Certificate (Grade II) in Teaching English (2001)

Research Interests

  • Oral Corrective Feedback
  • Affective Elements of L2 Pedagogy (Emotion and Learning)
  • Motivation, Investment, and Identity Change in English Learning
  • Independent Practice and Oral English Improvement
  • Metacognition and English Improvement
  • Informal English Conversation
  • ESL Learning Patterns and Practice
  • ESL Curriculum Development
  • ESL Program Management
  • TOEFL and IELTS Test Learning Strategies


As the first director of the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) at Claflin University, Dr. Esther Lee has developed a highly effective ESL curriculum, along with unique teaching techniques to help her ESL students improve their English in a short amount of time. Claflin’s IELP curriculum combines practical oral and written English with TOEFL and IELTS test preparation. Many IELP graduates have used their new skills and higher test scores to secure new jobs or to pursue advanced degrees. In the IELP, Dr. Lee has taught courses in English Pronunciation, Listening, Speaking, and Grammar, as well as TOEFL and IELTS test preparation courses. She also coordinated a new Undergraduate TESOL Certificate Program, to help undergraduate students improve their employment opportunities after graduation.

Dr. Lee’s favorite part of directing the IELP program at Claflin is seeing her students improve their English quickly and effectively, and she believes Claflin’s unique teaching methods and curriculum have a lot to do with that success. Specifically, whenever she hears success stories about students using their improved English and TOEFL scores to get a good job or finish a degree, she is very proud of her work combining pedagogy research with practical curriculum development.

Activities and Honors

  • Graduate Dissertation Research Fellowship Recipient from the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State—Funded by the Marilyn Ruth Hathaway Education Scholarship (Award: $32,000)
  • Reviewers for several peer-reviewed international journals: TESOL Quarterly, System, and Journal of International Students
  • Professional memberships in TESOL, AAAL, NAFSA, EducationUSA, AIRC, ICEF, and EnglishUSA (AAIEP)
  • Collaborated with the Director of the Office of International Affairs to research outcomes of Ohio State’s English Conversation Partner Program
  • Improved the English Conversation Partner Program by creating diverse activities and programs to learn about international and American college students’ cultures and life-styles, and to improve their friendships
  • Partnered with the Director of Ohio State’s ESL Spoken English program to develop an effective pedagogy for international graduate teaching assistants
  • Conducted several studies focused on effective strategies to improve Teaching Assistants’ (TA’s) language skills and to model best teaching practices

Recent Publications

Lee, E. (2017). An integrated loop model of corrective feedback and English learning. Journal of International Students7(3), 581-600. 

Lee, E. (2016). L2 learners’ prior English education and their perceptions of oral corrective feedback. 
Journal of International Students, 6(3),798–816.

Lee, E. (2016). Reducing international graduate students’ language anxiety through oral pronunciation corrections. System, 56(1), 78–95.

Lee, E. (2016). International and American students' perceptions of informal English conversations. Journal of International Students, 6(1), 14–34.

Lee, E. (2014). Motivation, investment, and identity in English language development: A longitudinal case study. System, 42(1),440–450. Reprinted in 2nd Virtual Special Issue, September 2016.

Lee, E. (2013). Corrective feedback preferences and learner repair among advanced ESL students. System, 41(2), 217–230.

Lee, E. & Song, H. (2009).A study of L2 learners' perceived efficacy of one-on-one English conversation with native speakers. Foreign Languages Education, 16(1), 29–52.

Song, H., & Lee, E. (2004). Study of the effects of using a movie CD-ROM in English classrooms on language learning. The Korea Association of Foreign Language Education, 11(1), 131–151.

Recent Presentations

Lee, E. (March 2018). Language Learning Strategy Use Among ESL Beginners. 2018 TESOL Convention. Chicago, Illinois.

Lee. E. (March 2018). Pronunciation Training and Oral English Improvement Among Adult ESL Beginners. 2018 TESOL Convention. Chicago, Illinois.

Lee, E. (March 2017). Corrective Feedback Loops: Modeling L2 Practice and Oral English Learning. 2017 TESOL Convention. Seattle, Washington.

Lee, E. (March 2017). Reducing International Graduate Students’ Language Anxiety through Oral Pronunciation Corrections. 2017 TESOL Convention. Seattle, Washington.

Lee, E. (March 2014). The Connection between Students’ Previous Classroom Cultures and Corrective Feedback. The American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Conference. Portland, Oregon.

Lee, E. (March 2014). The Association between Oral Corrective Feedback and Affective Variables. The American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Conference. Portland, Oregon.

Lee, E. (April 2013). “Corrective Feedback Preferences and Learner Repair Among Advanced ESL Students.” Video presentation. TESOL academic.org. http://youtu.be/qpf3qte5yoA

Lee, E. (March 2013). Bidirectional Effects of Informal English Conversations between Natives and Nonnatives. 2013 TESOL Convention. Dallas, Texas

Lee, E. (Sep 2012). Guest Speaker, “Oral Corrective Feedback in a Second Language Acquisition.” Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Lee, E. (March 2012). Motivation and English Acquisition: An Ethnographic Case Study. The American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Conference. Boston, Massachusetts.

Lee, E., & Cennamo, K. (March 2012). Corrective Feedback and Perceived Oral Improvement Among Adult ESL Learners. The American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Conference. Boston, Massachusetts.

Lee, E. (March 2011). Corrective Feedback Preferences and Learner Repair Among Advanced ESL Students. 2011 TESOL Convention. New Orleans, Louisiana.

Lee, E. (May 2008). Study of the Efficacy of English Conversation with Native Speakers. New York University, New York, NY.

Lee, E. (Dec 2007). Research on Students’ Perceptions on Learning English Using a Real Story DVD Drama, ‘Connect with English’. New York University, New York, NY.

Esther Lee
Dr. Eunjeong (Esther) Lee
Director of Intensive English Language Program; Assistant Professor of English
  • Intensive English Language Program
  • School of Humanities & Social Sciences
Grace Thomas Kennedy, 218