Teacher Adaptation to International Contexts

Teacher Adaptation to International Contexts
Orientation

The remainder of this subject is concerned with how you as a teacher in a new country can adapt to the myriad social and cultural aspects of that country. Moving overseas and teaching English is an exciting endeavour in many ways, as you experience new ways of living where some of the most mundane things in ones own country can become the new, the thrilling, the frustrating, the joyful, and the unexpected. There has been a lot of research done on sojourners adapting to new cultures, and most recently there have been a few myths broken down with respect to the traditional concept of culture shock. For the teacher, you not only have to deal with the day-to-day cultural differences at the shop, on the bus, and in the street, but also the differences in the classroom. The classroom in one country can be a vastly different site of cultural practices in another country. Walk into a classroom in Egypt and you are likely to find students snapping their fingers loudly while at the same time moving their wrists swiftly downwards and calling out in a loud voice the answer to a question the teacher has asked. Walk into a classroom in China and you are likely to find students sitting quietly and writing copiously as the the teacher provides the lessons content in lecture-style. This unit will delve into the social and cultural practices of various international contexts, both in society at large, and also in the institution and the classroom.
Topics to be cover:

1. Adapting to new cultures – using Bochner’s ‘A, B, C’ framework.
2. Critical incidents in cross-cultural contact.
3. School and classroom social and cultural practices in your international context.

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