Advertisement

Occupying the ‘Third Space’: Perspectives and Experiences of Asian English Language Teachers

  • Toni DobinsonEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Multilingual Education book series (MULT, volume 11)

Abstract

This chapter is drawn from a larger study which describes the experiences and perspectives of a group of Asian English language teachers who were also postgraduate students in a Master’s program provided offshore in Vietnam and onshore in Australia by an Australian university. Case study data were gathered from the two sites through semi-structured interviews, related documents and primary texts. Findings relating to one of the key interview questions, which investigated Asian postgraduates’ responses to Western educational discourses, form the basis of the chapter. Asian teachers reported feeling very influenced by pedagogical approaches which had originated in the West, and felt professionally inspired by them to search for new, innovative teaching approaches. They also recognised the benefits of a synthesis of Western and local approaches. Despite occupying this ‘Third Space’, however, Asian postgraduates reported feelings of inferiority, disruption, and frustration on both personal and pedagogic levels when attempting to work within Western discourses and, in some cases, when working alongside Western teachers. In this chapter I argue for greater recognition of what Asian teachers can offer in terms of their ability to ‘adapt’ rather than to ‘adopt’ (Li, TESOL Quarterly, 32(4):696), and ‘recast’ rather than imitate (Chowdhury and Phan, Asia Pacific Journal of Education 28(3):311). This cultural and educational acumen could form the basis for more dialogue between language teachers in the Asia Pacific region.

Keywords

Third space Intercultural competence Educational discourses Transnational education Asian English language teachers 

References

  1. Alderman, H., Orazem, P. F., & Paterno, E. M. (2001). School quality, school cost and the public/private school choices of low-income households in Pakistan. The Journal of Human Resources, 36(2), 304–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aspland, T. (1999). You learn round and I learn square: Mei’s story. In Y. Ryan & O. Zuber-Skerritt (Eds.), Supervising postgraduates from non-English speaking backgrounds (pp. 25–39). Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bax, S. (2003). The end of CLT: A context approach to language teaching. ELT Journal, 57(3), 278–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bennell, P. B., & Akyeampong, K. (2007). Teacher motivation in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. London: Department of International Development.Google Scholar
  5. Berns, M., Barrett, J., Chan, C., Chikuma, Y., Friedrich, P., Hadjidimos, O.-M., Harney, J., Hislope, K., Johnson, D., Kimball, S., Low, Y., Mchenry, T., Palaiologos, V., Petray, M., Shapiro, R., & Shook, A. R. (1999). Hegemonic discourse revisited. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 9(1), 138–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bhabha, H. (1994). The location of culture. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Blommaert, J. (2005). Discourse: A critical introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste (trans: Richard Nice). Harvard: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Bourdieu, P., & Passeron, J. C. (1977). Reproduction in education, society and culture. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Bowser, D., Danaher, P. A., & Somasundaram, J. (2007). Indigenous, pre-undergraduate and international students at Central Queensland University, Australia: Three cases of the dynamic tension between diversity and commonality. Teaching in Higher Education, 12(5–6), 669–681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Braine, G. (2010). Non-native speaker English teachers: Research, pedagogy and professional growth. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Bright, D., & Phan, L. H. (2011). Learning to speak like us: Identity, discourse and teaching English in Vietnam. In L. J. Zhang, R. Rubdy, & l. Alsagoff (Eds.), Asian Englishes: Changing perspectives in a globalised world (pp. 121–140). Singapore: Pearson.Google Scholar
  13. Butler, Y. G. (2005). Comparative perspectives towards communicative activities among elementary school teachers in South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Language Teaching Research, 9(4), 423–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chang, D. F., & Sue, S. (2003). The effects of race and problem type on teachers’ assessments of student behaviour. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71(2), 235–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chen, Y., & Shorte, M. (2010). Oral English, culture, and strategies: Propellers and roadblockers in learning for Chinese international students. Cultures of Learning Conference. http://www.utas.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/167391/Chen.pdf. Accessed 7 May 2011.
  16. Chowdhury, R., & Phan, L. H. (2008). Reflecting on Western TESOL training and communicative language teaching: Bangladeshi teachers’ voices. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 28(3), 305–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Crozet, C., Liddicoat, T., & Lo Bianco, J. (1999). Intercultural competence: From language policy to language education. In J. Lo Bianco, C. Crozet, & A. J. Liddicoat (Eds.), Striving for the third place: Intercultural competence through language education (pp. 1–20). Canberra: Language Australia.Google Scholar
  18. Denzin, N. K. (1992). Symbolic interactionism and cultural studies. Cambridge: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  19. Dung, H. D. (2005). Moral education or political education in the Vietnamese educational system? Journal of Moral Education, 34(4), 451–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Foondun, R. A. (2002). The issue of private tuition: An analysis of the practice in Mauritius and selected South-East Asian countries. International Review of Education, 48(6), 485–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Forbes-Mewett, H., Marginson, S., Nyland, C., Ramia, G., & Sawir, E. (2009). Australian university international student finances. Higher Education Policy, 22, 141–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Herder and Herder.Google Scholar
  23. Gao, L., & Watkins, D. A. (2002). Conceptions of teaching held by school science teachers in P.R. China: Identification and cross-cultural comparison. International Journal of Science Education, 24(1), 61–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gao, M. C. F., & Liu, X. (1998). From student to citizen: A survey of students from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Australia. International Migration, 36(1), 27–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gu, Q. (2011). Managing change and transition: Chinese students’ experiences in British higher education. In J. Ryan (Ed.), China’s higher education reform and internationalisation (pp. 134–150). Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Gutiérrez, K. D. (2008). Developing a sociocritical literacy in the third space. Reading Research Quarterly, 43(2), 148–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hallinger, P. (2010). Making education reform happen: Is there an ‘Asian’ way? School Leadership and Management, 30(5), 401–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hamston, J. (2000). ‘Reading’ Asia: Selective traditions, talking futures. Viewpoints on Literacy: Challenging Voices, Changing Views, 63–67. Paper presented at The Inaugural Viewpoint/School Library Association of Victoria Conference, 26 November 1999. http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/153114252?versionId=166868491. Accessed 30 May 2012.Google Scholar
  29. Hayes, D. (2009). Non-native English-speaking teachers, context and English language teaching. System, 37, 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Illich, I. (1970). Deschooling society. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  31. Inbar-Lurie, O. (2005). Mind the gap: Self and perceived native-speaker identities of EFL teachers. In E. Llurda (Ed.), Non-native language teachers: Perceptions, challenges and contributions to the profession (pp. 265–281). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  32. Ingleby, J. (2006). Hybridity or the third space and how shall we describe the kingdom of God? www.redcliffe.org/mission. Accessed 20 Aug 2012.
  33. Juhana, J. (2012). Psychological factors that hinder students from speaking in English class (a case study in a senior high school in South Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia). Journal of Education and Practice, 3(12), 100–110.Google Scholar
  34. Kam, H. W. (2002). English language teaching in East Asia today: An overview. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 22(2), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Khawaja, N. G., & Dempsey, J. (2008). A comparison of international and domestic tertiary students in Australia. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 18(1), 30–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Koydemir, S., & Demir, A. (2008). Shyness and cognitions: An examination of Turkish university students. The Journal of Psychology, 142(6), 633–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kramsch, C. (2009). Third culture and language education. In V. Cook & L. Wei (Eds.), Contemporary applied linguistics: Language teaching and learning (pp. 233–254). London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  38. Kumaravadivelu, B. (2006). TESOL methods: Changing tracks, challenging trends. TESOL Quarterly, 40(1), 59–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Labov, W. (1972). Language in the inner city: Studies in the Black English vernacular. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  40. Labov, W. (1982). Speech actions and reactions in personal narrative. In D. Tannen (Ed.), Analyzing discourse: Text and talk (pp. 219–247). Washington: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Lantolf, J. P. (2000). Sociocultural theory and second language learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Lewthwaite, M. (1996). A study of international students’ perspectives on cross-cultural adaptation. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 19, 167–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Li, D. (1998). It’s always more difficult than you plan and imagine: Teachers’ perceived difficulties in introducing the communicative approach in South Korea. TESOL Quarterly, 32(4), 677–703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  45. Liu, Y., & Fisher, L. (2010). What have we learnt after we had fun: An activity theory perspective on the cultures of learning in pedagogical reforms. In V. Ellis, A. Edwards, & P. Smagorinsky (Eds.), Cultural-historical perspectives on teacher education and development: Learning teaching (pp. 180–195). Oxon: Routledge/Taylor Francis.Google Scholar
  46. Lo Bianco, J., Liddicoat, A. J., & Crozet, C. (Eds.). (1999). Striving for the third place: Intercultural competence through language education. Melbourne: Language Australia.Google Scholar
  47. Louie, K. (2005). Gathering cultural knowledge: Useful or use with care? In J. Carroll & J. Ryan (Eds.), Teaching international students (pp. 17–25). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  48. Mahbubhani, K. (2008). The new Asian hemisphere: The irresistible shift of global power to the east. New York: Public Affairs.Google Scholar
  49. Medgyes, P. (2000). Non-native speaker teacher. In M. Byram (Ed.), Routledge encyclopedia of language teaching and learning (pp. 444–446). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  50. Meganathan, R. (2009). English language education in rural schools of India: The situation, the policy and the curriculum. http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/blogs/rama-meganathan/english-language-education-rural-schools-india-situation-policy-curriculum. Accessed 11 June 2013.
  51. Mercieca, P., Chapman, A., & O’Neill, M. (2013). To the ends of the earth: Northern soul and southern nights in Western Australia. Lanham: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  52. Middlehurst, R. (2002). Variations on a theme: Complexity and choice in a world of borderless education. Journal of Studies in International Education, 6(2), 134–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  54. Milner, R. (2010). What does teacher education have to do with teaching? Implications for diversity studies. Journal of Teacher Education, 61(1–2), 118–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Moje, E. B., McIntosh Chiechanowski, K., Kramer, K., Ellis, L., Carrillo, R., & Collazo, T. (2004). Working toward third space in content area literacy: An examination of everyday funds of knowledge and discourse. Reading Research Quarterly, 39(1), 38–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Neilsen, R. (2011). Moments of disruption and the development of expatriate TESOL teachers. EA Journal, 27(1), 17–31.Google Scholar
  57. Phan, L. H. (2004). University classrooms in Vietnam: Contesting the stereotypes. ELT Journal, 58(1), 50–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Phan, L. H. (2008). Teaching English as an international language: Identity, resistance and negotiation. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  59. Prakash, G. (1992). Postcolonial criticism and Indian historiography. Social Text, 31/32, 8–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Qian, X., & Smyth, R. (2008). Measuring regional inequality of education in China: Widening coast-inland gap or widening rural-urban gap? Journal of International Development, 20, 132–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Riessman, C. (1993). Narrative analysis. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  62. Rogers, C. R. (1969). Freedom to learn. Ohio: Bell and Howell.Google Scholar
  63. Said, E. W. (1978). Orientalism. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  64. Sanderson, G. (2003). Living with the other: Non-western international students at Flinders University. In P. Ninnes & L. Tamatea (Eds.), Internationalising education in the Asia–Pacific region: Critical reflections, critical times. Proceedings of the 30th annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society (pp. 148–169).Google Scholar
  65. Schoorman, D. (2011). Reconceptualizing teacher education as a social justice undertaking. Childhood Education, 87(5), 341–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Skyrme, G. (2007). Entering the university: The differentiated experience of two Chinese international students in a New Zealand university. Studies in Higher Education, 32(3), 357–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Soja, E. (1996). Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and other real-and-imagined places. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  68. Sukarno (1955). Speech at the opening of the Bandung Conference. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1955sukarno-bandong.html. Accessed 2 June 2009.
  69. Takayama, K. (2008). Beyond Orientalism in comparative education: Challenging the binary opposition between Japanese and American education. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 28(1), 19–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Taylor, P. G., & Chiam, C. L. (2011). Theories and epistemic positions—universal, personal and cultural possibilities. In A. Ó¦rtenblad, I. A. Bajunid, M. Babur, & R. Kumari (Eds.), Are theories universal? (pp. 7–17). Malaysia: ELLTA and Yayasan Ilmuwan.Google Scholar
  71. Welch, A. R. (2007). Blurred vision? Public and private higher education in Indonesia. High Education, 54, 665–687.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Widin, J. (2010). Illegitimate practices: Global English language education. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  73. Xu, Y. (2007). Strangers in strange lands: A metasynthesis of lived experiences of immigrant Asian nurses working in Western countries. Advances in Nursing Science, 30(3), 246–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Ying, C. C., & Young, K. (2007). The centrality of textbooks in teachers’ work: Perceptions and use of textbooks in Hong Kong primary schools. The Asian–Pacific Education Researcher, 16(2), 155–163.Google Scholar
  75. Yue, Y., & Le, T. (2010). Cultural adaptation of Asian students in Australia. In Proceedings of the AARE international education research conference. Canberra: Australian Association for Research in Education.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationCurtin University and Graduate Research School, University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia

Personalised recommendations