International Education and the Chinese Learner

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Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. International Education and the Chinese Learner. Description International Education and the Chinese Learner is one of the first full-length studies in the relatively new field of transnational pedagogy to explore the role of the Chinese learner in international schools and universities across the globe.


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It describes the unprecedented growth of international schools and university exchange programs during the past decade together with the way in which Chinese learners at all levels have taken advantage of these opportunities and have been scrutinized in the process.

The results of this internationalization have in some cases solidified stereotypes about Chinese learners and in other instances have helped to overcome those prejudices.

Teachers within the international schools comment about the challenges of integrating students from different ethnic and national backgrounds in their schools and about the rewards of developing intercultural programs that will give the students the most substantial, diverse, and ethical education and encourage cross-cultural understanding, build academic skills, and develop character. Teachers within international schools and university and school teachers who teach exchange students and other international students will find the understanding, experiences, and practical advice to be of help in their own teaching, but those within international business communities may well find the research helpful in understanding their own intercultural environments.

Flap copy International Education and the Chinese Learner is one of the first full-length studies in the relatively new field of transnational pedagogy to explore the role of the Chinese learner in international schools and universities across the globe. Review quote "This is a valuable book with accessible, critical, thought-provoking perspectives and a wealth of insights -- essential reading for those interested in Chinese learners and international education.

Chinese students flock to UK universities

It offers a unique combination of well-chosen case studie show more. The development of students' ability to manage independent learning abilities and greater responsibility for their own study is evidenced in the following quote:. I have become more independent in my life here. As for study, I enjoy my studying because I like my subject very much. I have a lot of spare time at university. But I am mostly doing my own stuff in my spare time, something about my subject Art and Design.

Due to the nature of my subject, I often make connections of what I encounter in my spare time with my subject. British lecturers have also noticed their Chinese students' conscious and reflexive change towards more independent learning. I had an interesting example of a Chinese student who started a degree with us and she had problems. Very often the Chinese students have problems finding themselves extending from one to two years. But she went from a student who in her first year suffered all sorts of problems to a student who in her second year took a piece of research which she found, challenged it, researched it and actually came up with some original research data disputing quite an important article which she based her research on.

Ample evidence from the experiences of the case study students shows that the intercultural learning experience is also a transitional and rebirth experience. Thus, change in students' perception of plagiarism is indeed part of their wider adaptation to the academic conventions of their host countries. For example, Cui, the female student in English Literature, commented:. But now [on Master's course] the situation is very different. I have been reading materials in my subject as the course goes along. So I have, consciously and subconsciously, gained some understanding in the field.

Sometimes when I come across something interesting in a book, I put it down in my notebook. So when I am writing up my essay, I can use my old notes which are very useful. I also look for more references according to the specific subject of my essay. So the process of preparing for my essays is very different from before. It is clear that what she had acquired over time was not only a better understanding of her subject. She had also acquired a deeper understanding of ways of writing in the host, dominant academic community.

She managed to engage confidently with the academic conventions as an active and competent learner. What shines through is her successful development and adaptation. In addition to the need to adjust academically to the local teaching and learning culture, students who travel abroad also encounter problems of adapting socially to the local society. The experience of a different living style and the confrontation of contrasting traditions, values and expectations can be emotionally and psychologically challenging. However, when they were put together by a postgraduate student to summarise his social life in the UK, the term conveyed a powerful and profound psychological frustration that he had coped with in his student life.

This frustration was additional to the learning shock related stress and tensions that he might also have suffered. Leading a boring and lonely social life and feelings of a lack of sense of belonging contribute to Chinese students' sense of alienation in the host society. I was just wondering why I didn't feel lonely at all when I first came here. Because I didn't know what was going to happen. So every day was a new day. But this time I came back [after Easter break] I know what is going to happen to me.

I know I'm going to have a presentation and lots of study. To be honest, I don't like my personal life here. I enjoy my study life but my personal life is kind of boring. Everyone [friends in England] has got their [own] stuff to do. I just felt that I didn't belong here. It's not my place. I'm the guest and the guest is always less powerful; and also they are the host or something like that. This student's story is not, unfortunately, unique. Jiayi's journeying into her student life in England was accompanied by her constant intention to retain friendships and seek a sense of belonging within her class, her accommodation and the local society.

I realised my weaknesses when I had to independently deal with everything in life, things like communicating with people and solving problems. When I was in China, I had my parents, relatives and good friends with me. When I came here, I strongly felt that this country was a strange place to me. So naturally I had made some Chinese friends. I was a little worried that staying with my Chinese friends all the time might not help me to improve my English quickly.

But then I found it rather difficult to communicate with English people.


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Analysis of the data from the three studies upon which this article is based suggests that it is important to adopt a holistic and developmental lens to view and interpret Chinese students' experiences while they are studying in the UK. This is because change at the deepest level is related to their perceptions of self, i.

Given the distinctive intercultural environment in which they live and study, the process of their identity change has been interwoven with the growth in their maturity i. One has to cross cultural boundaries to experience the development of their intercultural competence and awareness.

'Set up for failure'

To achieve such balance, the social actor is constantly engaged in a process of identity negotiations: in terms of how they perceive themselves and how they would like to be perceived by others each time they cross the boundary. The experience of studying abroad is a personal journey which may take different forms and have different endings.

For some, this journey is filled with happiness, joy and enjoyment of personal, academic and social achievements, despite many ups and downs. For others, however, it is a bitter journey which ends in frustrations and failures. In each individual case, biographical, affective, cognitive and circumstantial variables come into play, with students' previous language learning and aptitude impacted upon by their motivation, attitudes, anxiety, learning style and strategies, as well as by unpredictable elements such as location, type of accommodation, and degree of contact with native speakers.

Nonetheless, it is encouraging to observe an overall positive message from the three studies regarding Chinese students' intercultural experiences in the UK. They enjoyed the achievement of personal independence, broadened life experiences and interests and improved interpersonal and communication skills. I think the biggest change is my ability to independently manage my life. I have to think everything for myself. It is a feeling that there is nobody around to help me with all this.

My life in the UK has improved my ability to communicate with people. I came here on my own. I realised that I had to get used to a completely different environment and meet different people. Sometimes when I come across problems, I need to learn to ask for help from those new friends. I feel that my interpersonal abilities have greatly increased. I think the biggest change for me is that my way of thinking has changed drastically. I begin to feel that my personal views are equally importantly.

I seem to have developed a stronger personality. I wouldn't take someone's views for granted any more.

A Chinese language class in College of International Education, Beijing Union University

This article has examined the border crossing experiences of different cohorts of Chinese students in the UK. The three studies upon which it is based were set out in the wider context of the internationalisation of higher education. A synthesis of key findings from the three studies has identified distinctive patterns of struggles, changes and achievements that different groups of Chinese students have experienced over time. The findings all suggest that it is the interaction of these learners with their particular living and studying environments that facilitates change.

This suggests not only that constructs shaped by culture can be changed, but that the nature of each individual's motivations and experiences is a major factor.

International Education and the Chinese Learner

This is in contrast to deterministic notions of culture and learner. No, there's no returning to the point of origin, no regaining of childhood unity. Experience creates style, and style, in turn, creates a new woman. Polish is no longer the one, true language against which others live their secondary life. Polish insights cannot be regained in their purity; there's something I know in English too. The wholeness of childhood truths is intermingled with the divisiveness of adult doubt. When I speak Polish now, it is infiltrated, permeated, and inflected by the English in my head.

Each language modified the other, crossbreeds with it, fertilizes it. Like everybody, I am the sum of my languages — the languages of my family and childhood, and education and friendship, and love, and the larger, changing world — though perhaps I tend to be more aware than most of the fractures between them, and of the building blocks. The fissures sometimes cause me pain, but in a way, they're how I know that I'm alive. Volume 44 , Issue 1. The full text of this article hosted at iucr.

In this Book

If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. European Journal of Education Volume 44, Issue 1.

Free Access. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Abstract Increasing global competition for students has witnessed an ever more rapid internationalisation of higher education. Introduction The late 20th and early 21st centuries have witnessed unprecedented change as the volume and speed of global flows of people, information and images, financial capital, policies, knowledge and expertise have increased exponentially Appadurai, ; Friedman, The Internationalisation of Higher Education: the context Internationalisation is the most revolutionary development of higher education in the 21st century Seddoh, Figure 1 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint.

Change as Transition and Development: managing challenges By bringing together patterns and themes identified in all the three studies, it becomes clear that, despite various intercultural challenges and struggles, most students have managed to survive the demands of the learning and living environment and to adapt and develop. Managing Academic Challenges All studies adopted a holistic and developmental perspective to probe into students' learning process, which is, itself, holistic and developmental in nature.


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Learning Shock Learning shock refers to some unpleasant feelings and difficult experiences that learners encounter when they are exposed to a new learning environment. For example: When I first started studying here, I was not used to either the study or the life here. Hui, Male, Undergraduate student. The development of students' ability to manage independent learning abilities and greater responsibility for their own study is evidenced in the following quote: I have become more independent in my life here.