1887
Volume 129, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0019-0829
  • E-ISSN: 1783-1490
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Abstract

It has been widely acknowledged in language acquisition research that cultural learning is an inseparable part of language learning. However, insufficient attention has been paid to the culture of classroom learning which involves both teachers' and learners' cultural values, beliefs, roles, expectations, and conceptions of teaching and learning. Communication challenges become obvious when teaching methodologies developed in one educational context are exported to another educational context.

This paper reports on the findings from a case study conducted in 1997 in the People's Republic of China where pedagogical communication conflicts between English native speaking teachers and Chinese university English language majors became acute. The paper focuses on the problematic area - the discourse of participation that was highly valued, promulgated and practised by native speakers teaching English in China. It will point out some of the discrepancies between this discourse and the Chinese culture of learning. In transplanting Western educational models to Chinese classrooms, participants did not sufficiently acknowledge the cultural distance between these models and the Chinese local socio-cultural and educational realities. The discourse of participation was strongly resisted by Chinese students and teaching by native speakers often failed to achieve the desired results. In spite of the "good" intentions on the part of both native teachers and Chinese students, there existed a vast gulf in their perceptions of what constituted "good" teaching and learning, of what appropriate roles they were fitted in, and what they expected of each other. The paper argues that the gulf, the hidden source of the pedagogical communication problems, can be bridged through creating a cultural synergy in which common interests are to be found and shared, sources of problems identified, cultural differences understood and respected, and learning maximally enhanced.

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2000-01-01
2019-11-15
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