The Perspective of American Teachers on American and Taiwanese Students’ Learning Attitudes in Class Instructor: Dr. Hsiu-Hui Su Students: 9622611 林以悅 (Elly), 9622612 施緯華 (Grace) Date: Jan. 8th, 2009
Contents Introduction 1 Literature Review 2 Methodology 3 Data Analysis 4 Conclusion 5
Language is a product of the culture, in which members have created the language to carry out all their cultural practices to identify and organize all their cultural products, and to name the underlying cultural perspectives in all the various communities that comprise their culture. (Moran, 2001).
The realities and traits in collectivistic classrooms
In these collective classrooms, students’ behaviors are shaped into an indirect mode. There are hardly discussions, debates, or challenges to the teachers’ point of view. The teachers are always right because they are teachers. (Samovar, Porter & McDaniel, 2007)
Learning style is made up of different behaviors that play the role as indicators of how one learns and adapts to the environment and it also gives us a clue as to how a person’s mind acts. (Ballone & Czerniak, 2001)
Learning attitudes constitute one’s perception and the target culture. learning attitudes were determined the component to which learners would actively involve themselves in leaning progress. (Brown, 2000)
Qualitative research assumes that all knowledge is relative, that there is a subjective element to all research and knowledge, and that holistic, ungeneralizable studies are justifiable. In metaphorical terms, quantitative research is ‘hard’ while qualitative research is ’soft’. (Nunan, 1992)
Interview can be characterized in terms of their degree of formality, and the type of interview can be divided into four categories: (1) informal conversational interview (2) interview guide approach (3) standardized open-ended interview and (4) closed, fixed response interview. (Patton, 1990)
The type of interview adopted in this study is a standardized open-ended interview (:a semi-structured interview). The interviewers pre-selected the exact wording and sequence of the interview questions. Two interviewees were asked the same basic questions about the education in the same order.
IQ1: Do students in your country actively participate in classroom activities?
Role of Ts & Ss some Ss are more involved; others are not. activity-oriented teaching in elementary schools
Some Ss get involved in class; some don’t.
Ss prefer field-trips.
Students group discussions in high-school few learning activities (T-centered) in college try less to get Ss involved in class try harder to get Ss involved in class Teachers U.S.A. Taiwan U.S.A. Interviewee B Interviewee A Interviewees
IQ2: Do Taiwanese students actively participate in classroom activities?
Role of Ss The closer Ss sit near the platform, the more motivation they are. The participation depends on Ss’ learning motivation. Kindergartners may participate in the class; but not high-school or university Ss. Taiwanese students Interviewee B Interviewee A Interviewees
IQ3: Do students in your country ask questions in class?
Role of American Ts & Ss They’ll adjust the course if the Ss look confused even though they don’t ask questions. They feel comfortable and happy if Ss ask questions. They’ll admit it if they don’t know the answer to the question and they’ll try to find it. American Ts Some Ss do, and others don’t. They feel comfortable asking questions in open class. American Ss Interviewee B Interviewee A Interviewees
IQ4: Do you think Taiwanese students actively ask questions in class?
Role of Taiwanese Ss The older Ss, such as the retired and the housewives, are more willing to ask questions. High-school or college Ss are more quiet. Adults Ss do ask questions actively, but young Ss seldom ask questions. Taiwanese Ss Interviewee B Interviewee A Interviewees
IQ5: Averagely, how do you perceive the difference in learning style among Taiwanese students and American students?
Role of Student American students are willing to try different way to help themselves learn. American students don’t do necessary study at all. But they do pay more attention in class than Taiwanese students. American Students Taiwanese students are more diligent than American students. Taiwanese students are much more studious. Taiwanese Students Interviewee B Interviewee A Interviewees
IQ6: Comparing to American students; do Taiwanese students worry a lot about making mistakes?
Role of Student American students worry, too. America people don’t do that necessary. American Students Asian students are more worried. Asian students have more pressure form the society and the parents. Taiwanese students don’t get involved too much in class because they are too afraid of making mistakes. Taiwanese Students Interviewee B Interviewee A Interviewees
IQ7: Based on your teaching experience, are both Taiwanese students and American students willing to understand target language culture and value the system before they learn the language?
Role of Student Not quietly sure but it’s important for both. It will help and get learners excited, get them motivated. American students do not learn the second language since English as the world language. Therefore they have no drive and need to learn the culture. American Students Taiwanese Students Interviewee B Interviewee A Interviewees
IQ8: Comparing Americans students; do you think Taiwanese students are kind of “risk-takers” in learning language?
Role of Student Westerns are more direct spoken, but sometimes it depends on the satiations. American Students Asia society is quieter, however. It depends on the context to assert it is good or not. Some want to try different ways to express their meaning and ideas. Taiwanese Students Interviewee B Interviewee A Interviewees
American students behave quite similarly as Taiwanese students do in class.
The participation in both Taiwanese and American classes depend largely on the students’ learning motivation, and the learning motivation depends mainly on the student’ age. The adult learners behave more positively than much younger ones.
American teachers, especially in primary schools, try harder to design more activities to attract the students to get involved in the class. However, high-school or college teachers talk more in class. This is like the situation in Taiwan as well.
Both interviewees agreed that Taiwanese students are more studious and they really pay much attention on studying than American students do. The reason could be referred to the value of Confucianism and the pressure from their parents’ expectation.
The researchers proposed that teachers would need to pay attention to the attitudes held by the students of different cultural backgrounds when designing their curricula or dealing with culture-related issues in the classroom.