The cross-cultural adjustment of EFL expatriate teachers in Taiwan
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AbstractThis study investigates expatriate English teachers’ cross-cultural adjustment in Taiwan. Cross-cultural adjustment theories and the differences between Chinese and Western culture are reviewed. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected in order to develop the framework for the study. The process was examined across three facets of adjustment: general, working and interaction with host nation. The study was based on the framework of Black, Mendenhall and Oddou (1991) and develops an empirical cross-cultural adjustment model for native English- speaking expatriates who work in Taiwan as English teachers. The framework was successfully implemented by means of questionnaire and interview data and a literature review. The key findings of this study are: 1. Expatriate English teachers’ job satisfaction, age, previous crosscultural experience and their motivation for or purpose in coming to Taiwan are the key factors which affect their intention to stay in Taiwan. 2. Expatriate English teachers’ Mandarin or Taiwanese language ability has significant effects on their daily activities and social life outside work in terms of general adjustment. 3. Cross-cultural training for expatriate teachers could improve their living conditions in Taiwan in terms of general adjustment. 4. Expatriate teachers who possessed an undergraduate degree had more difficulties in their relationship with school management. 5. The total time expatriate teachers had spent living in Taiwan had some effect on their job satisfaction and adjustment in relation to interacting with the Taiwanese. Based on the empirical findings of this study, some recommendations for language education institutions and Westerners who are working or planning to work as English teachers in Taiwan are as follows: 1. Those who are planning to go to Taiwan to work as English teachers should receive some cross-cultural training and gain basic Mandarin or Taiwanese language skills before departure. An undergraduate degree is the basic qualification but an English teaching certificate or higher degree is strongly recommended. 2. English language education institutions should offer expatriate teachers cross-cultural training which includes basic local language skills, general information about living and working in Taiwan and the differences in the education system, teaching methodology and management style between Taiwanese and Western cultures. 3. When recruiting expatriate teachers, it is recommended that English language education institutions should avoid those who are including a trip to Taiwan as part of wider Asian travel and who are likely to stay in Taiwan for a relatively short time.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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