Feng, Y. (2008) Teacher voices from China: the impact of cross-cultural experiences on EFL teachers’ motivation for professional development. Paper presented to: Asia Pacific Educational Research Association (APERA) Conference 2008, Singapore, 26 - 28 November 2008.
The ever increasing demand for the reform in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in China has put teachers of English in the spotlight. Much research has focused on EFL teaching methodology. However, the void in the research of EFL teachers’ motivation for professional development from teachers’ own perspective has yet drawn enough attention. Based on their personal cross-cultural experiences, the researchers assumed that EFL teachers with cross-cultural experiences have better cultural awareness than their peers. This enables them to have more advantages in terms of language competence, teaching strategies and effectiveness, which further motivate them for professional development. To explore the impact of the experiences on the motivation for teachers’ professional development, the researchers conducted a flexible designed case study using narrative inquiry approach. The narrative accounts and reflexivity about their own career life were collected and validated by the data from a questionnaire survey in the two universities in China where the researchers attach. The findings support the existing literature that cross-cultural experiences of EFL teachers play a significant role in their teaching. In addition, the study suggests that cross-cultural experiences have a strong impact on EFL teachers’ motivation in seeking further professional development
Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
teacher voice, cross-cultural experience, EFL teacher professional development