NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED558942
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 205
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-8670-4
Beliefs and Practices Regarding Intercultural Competence among Chinese Teachers of English at a Chinese University
Tian, Jie
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, George Mason University
The foreign/world language (FL/WL) profession has become more concerned with intercultural dimensions of language teaching and learning. Various models and theories have been suggested from both inside and outside the language education field to help teachers understand the intercultural dimensions in teaching and improve their practices regarding intercultural competence (IC) in their language classes. The development of IC in FL/WL classrooms has recently just begun to gain attention from Chinese college teachers of English as an educational innovation. However, empirical research on this topic has been minimal. The literature is also scarce on discussing how IC is viewed similarly or differently in different cultures, and particularly as they might be viewed similarly or differently in eastern and western cultures. This study therefore aims to investigate aspects of IC in English as a foreign language (EFL) classes in China and its development in instructional approaches and practices, provide empirical research based in Chinese university classrooms on the perceptions and practices of Chinese teachers of English regarding IC, examine IC in EFL classrooms from the Eastern perspective, and explore new "territory" in identifying and defining aspects of IC. The research collects both quantitative and qualitative data to provide particular lenses to different dimensions of intercultural competence and to bring out detailed contextual analysis. The research site is a large public university located in a large city in eastern China. There are 96 Chinese teachers teaching English in this university. A survey on teachers' perceptions of intercultural competence was distributed to these teachers. A sample of 11 teachers was selected for class observations and one-on-one interviews. The findings of this study suggested that IC development in the Chinese EFL classroom carries with it a sense of Chineseness and an emphasis on transmitting a Chinese consciousness. The participating teachers' perceived IC involves various aspects, including not only the behavioral, cognitive, and attitudinal dimensions of IC, but also the moral aim of developing the learner to be a whole person under the influence of Confucianism. Despite the various aspects the participating teachers discussed in terms of the conceptualization of IC, their most commonly IC practices still aimed to promote the acquisition of a body of knowledge regarding cultural facts, practices and perspectives. Though most of the teachers recognized the importance of IC, the intercultural dimensions of teaching have not yet become a regular focus in their EFL classes. Traditional teacher-centered teaching approach still dominated the participating teachers' cultural teaching practices. Data also suggested that Chinese philosophy, institutional context, and personal background contributed to the construction of the Chinese teachers' beliefs and practices regarding IC in EFL teaching. The barriers for the teachers to implement their beliefs appeared as teachers' lack of cultural knowledge, the test oriented system, curriculum requirements, and students' limited language proficiency. On the basis of this work, implications and suggestions are made for teacher educators, policy makers, developers of curriculum and instructional materials, and the Chinese teachers of English. Professional development programs that particularly focus on IC development are needed. Teachers need curriculum and instructional materials that support them in terms of cultural content and instructional pedagogies. It would also be beneficial for teachers and curriculum developers both home and abroad to form Communities of practice (CoPs) and hold discussions on IC development in the FL/WL classrooms. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China