Culture and Classroom Communication: A Case Study of Asian Students in New Zealand Language Schools

| March 30, 2004
Title
Culture and Classroom Communication: A Case Study of Asian Students in New Zealand Language Schools

Keywords: export education, intercultural communication, ESOL, TESOL, English language teaching, Asian students, teaching methods, pedagogy

Authors
Mingsheng Li
Yunnan Normal University
liming@paradise.net.nz

Bio Data
1980-1995 Lecturer (1980-1991) and Associate Professor (1992-1995) of English at Yunnan Normal University, Kunming, the People’s Republic of China, teaching English skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), English literature, language assessment, theory of translation at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

1991-1995 Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Language Studies, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming, the People’s Republic of China.

2001- present Senior Lecturer of Communication, the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand in Wellington, New Zealand, teaching Business Communication and Intercultural Communication.

Qualifications
September 1999 PhD in Education, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

July 1987 MA in English Language and Literature, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming, the People’s Republic of China

February 1980 BA in English Language and Literature, Kunming Teachers’ College, Kunming, the People’s Republic of China

Abstract
This paper reports findings of a qualitative study conducted from December 2002 to March 2003 at two New Zealand English language schools. Forty Asian students participated in the survey. The study reveals that, in spite of the positive learning experiences in the schools, there also exists a significant mismatch with Asian students’ learning expectations. The recurring themes that reflect Asian students’ negative perceptions and experiences relate to issues of teacher competence, teacher quality, teaching approaches, course content and learning materials. It was found that the interactive teaching methods adopted by New Zealand teachers are culturally incompatible with Asian students’ learning conceptualisations. The findings suggest that some teachers’ adoption of the communicative or interactive teaching approach led to Asian students’ negative learning experience in New Zealand. The paper recommends that New Zealand teachers develop three sets of interrelated skills in order to cope with the complex ESOL teaching situations and to ensure quality teaching: linguistic skills, pedagogical skills and intercultural communication skills.

[private]
GDE Error: Error retrieving file - if necessary turn off error checking (404:Not Found)
[/private]

Category: Quarterly Journal