Monday, February 15, 2010

Remaking of Face

Ouyang, Huhua (2000) Remaking of face and community of practices: An ethnographic study of what ELT reform means to local and expatrate teachers in today's China. Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong.

Read it here.

Hugely eye-opening to anyone who is or is considering becoming a foreign teacher in China. I read chapter 3, which is about the students' and administrators' complaints about foreign teachers and how they go about voicing them. Another major part (which I didn't read) is an explanation that Chinese universities are based on the danwei ("work unit") system, which is a kind of Maoist/communist community, which doesn't necessarily hold as much currency in the job market in today's China.

It's stuff I didn't really know at all -- definitely worth a read as an explication of why the "foreign expert" system is deeply flawed, and (in my view) why other emerging models of NEST/NNEST integration (I promise to stop citing Ningbo and Shantou as soon as I learn about others) may be better.

Apparently was published as a book in 2004, but maybe in Chinese - I can't find any references.

Thinking about my possible role in the future as a teacher-trainer / someone with etic/emic knowledge of ELT in China. Don't want it to define my career, but I think it could be a rewarding part of my future work.