Sino-US English Teaching, ISSN 1539-8072, USA
Culture shock: Indirect communication—A foreign teacher’s teaching experience in a Chinese university located in a Hakka region * WANG Liu-mei
(School of Foreign Languages, Jiaying University, Meizhou 514015, China)
Abstract: Culture shock is unavoidable for foreign teachers in China. Using qualitative method, this paper reports a case study of culture shock—a foreign teacher’s teaching experience in a Chinese university located in an area with a unique local population. The city involved in this study is Meizhou, located in Guangdong Province, which is considered “the capital of Hakka”. The study found that indirect communication is a big shock for foreign teachers who teach in this area. The paper explores the reasons from the perspectives of Hakka culture and points out that culture shock can be an important aspect of foreign teachers’ professional development, cultural learning and personal growth. Finally, the study provides implications for language teaching and learning in a similar area, such as Meizhou. Key words: culture shock; foreign teachers; students; Hakka; indirect communication
Foreign teachers are an increasingly significant presence in Chinese universities. Now, China annually recruits more than 100,000 foreign experts to teach English as a foreign/second language1. Their contribution to upgrading educational standards in the country is acknowledged by both Chinese individuals and government officials. Many foreign teachers come to China with high expectations, hoping to make a contribution to Chinese education. For example, they come with their own thoughts and expectations, such as “I am a professional teacher with more than 10 years of teaching experiences in the United Kingdom”. They do not anticipate any problems between students and themselves. However, once in China, foreign teachers may experience “culture shock”, such as...