Transformation of Chinese as a Foreign Language Teachers’ Relationship with Their Students in the Australian Context

Yu Han, Xiaoyan Ji, Jinghe Han


This study explores the transformation of teacher–student relationship between expatriate Chinese as a Foreign Language (CFL) teachers and their students situating in the Australian educational context. The disparity of tradition between the two educational cultures influences substantially on communication between teachers and students within classroom. To better understand how CFL teachers’ background educational culture may impact their interaction with Australian students, focus group discussion data were applied as the data collection method. Findings reveal that at the beginning of their teaching practice CFL teachers’ understanding of teacher–student relationship influenced by their background educational culture had major impact on their strategies in teacher–student interaction in class. However, with the progress of teaching and meantime influenced by the Australian local educational culture, their behaviors for dealing with teacher–student relationship in class changed. Basically, their ways of handling teacher–student relationship transformed from a more Eastern guanxi tendency to a more Western rapport tendency. This transformation did not occur automatically and easily; it was achieved by the CFL teachers’ struggles and tribulations in the process of interacting with their Australian students. In an era of CFL teacher shortage, it is hoped that this study would shed some light on CFL teacher education.

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International Journal of Contemporary Education

ISSN 2575-3177 (Print)   ISSN 2575-3185 (Online)

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