Who adapts? Beyond cultural models of 'the' Chinese learner

Gu, Q. and Schweisfurth, M. (2006) Who adapts? Beyond cultural models of 'the' Chinese learner. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 19(1), pp. 74-89. (doi: 10.1080/07908310608668755)

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From a comparative perspective, this paper analyses Chinese learners' intercultural experiences in Chinese and British educational contexts. In the Chinese context, interview and questionnaire research was carried out in 24 universities that hosted the British Council's English teaching development programmes. The research uncovered perspectives on change in the Chinese teachers, who were the learners in this teacher training programme. In the UK, a current study is probing into the challenges Chinese learners face in adapting to the British higher education teaching and learning culture. Early results reveal a change process in the learners, affected by a range of inter-related personal, cultural, social, psychological and contextual factors. Research literature on the links between the Chinese cultural context and Chinese learning styles has provided an important basis for understanding the interface between Chinese learners and Western modes of education. However, in comparing the perspectives of Chinese learners in two contrasting educational and cultural contexts, this paper highlights how factors other than culture alone also influence the adaptation that takes place as part of the learning process. Factors such as the professional identities and motivations of the teachers and learners, the context where teaching and learning take place, and the power relationships between them are shown to be significant issues in the strategic adaptations made by Chinese learners.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Schweisfurth, Professor Michele
Authors: Gu, Q., and Schweisfurth, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Educational Leadership & Policy
Journal Name:Language, Culture and Curriculum
Published Online:22 December 2008

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