A Critical Ethnography of 'Westerners' Teaching English in by Phiona Stanley

By Phiona Stanley

Tens of hundreds of thousands of Western 'teachers', a lot of whom wouldn't be thought of academics in other places, are hired to educate English in private and non-private schooling in China. Little has formerly been recognized, other than anecdotally, approximately their stories, concerning the impact they've got on schooling within the context, or on students' perceptions of 'the West' that end result from this touch.

This publication is an ethnographic examine of Westerners' lived stories instructing English in Shanghai, China. it truly is in keeping with 3 years of groundbreaking examine into the pre-service education, lecture room practices, own identities and explanations, and native socially built roles of a bunch of 'backpacker teachers' from the united kingdom, the united states and Canada. it's a learn that is going past the study room, addressing broader questions on the sociology, and politics, of transnational schooling and China's evolving courting with the skin global.

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Additional resources for A Critical Ethnography of 'Westerners' Teaching English in China: Shanghaied in Shanghai

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No mention is made of learning about culture in general or of having students investigate their own culture(s) so as to understand their own cultural assumptions better. Nor is mention made of problematizing historico-political power dynamics, at least not in English classes. Instead, the objective appears to be primarily the transmission of facts about ‘different cultures’, presumably essentialistic national cultures, in the Hofstedian sense. This invites an approach to culture in which simplified cultures are learned about, having first been characterized for teaching purposes.

Crucially, Carbaugh’s and Spencer-Oatey’s definitions of culture do not try to allocate culture deterministically, by country of birth or passport. These later definitions, rather than Hofstede’s, therefore inform this study. However, Hofstedian distinctions may have some value in contexts where the ideology of education is conceived as academic rationalism and/or social and economic efficiency (J. C. Richards 2001). This is because these models would seek, respectively, to use education as a vehicle to transmit norms and traditions and to define and teach towards a set of social needs and roles into which learners might fit; such needs would necessarily be essentialist.

These later definitions, rather than Hofstede’s, therefore inform this study. However, Hofstedian distinctions may have some value in contexts where the ideology of education is conceived as academic rationalism and/or social and economic efficiency (J. C. Richards 2001). This is because these models would seek, respectively, to use education as a vehicle to transmit norms and traditions and to define and teach towards a set of social needs and roles into which learners might fit; such needs would necessarily be essentialist.

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