*** SHIRA ***Intro self and YUELI (one of 3 largest EAP programs in Canada, have over 500 AP, another 200-300 in special programs); Areas of interest: sociocultural linguistics and acculturation. Draw relationship between Canada and Singapore. While explicit sociolinguistic instruction in the language classroom has become more widely accepted than ever, the understanding and teaching of Canadian culture remains a controversial issue, particularly as Canadian culture becomes increasingly diverse. ImpetusShira: in a Pre-MBA classroom, discussion abt cross-cultural communications sparked disagreements abt what Canadians are like. How many times has Canadian personality come up in your classroom, with students making surprising comments abt Canadians? Abt behaviours, personality traits, and so on.The degree to which Canadians are perceived to exhibit characteristics such as ‘politeness’ and ‘friendliness’ has stirred debate, particularly in ESL/EAP classrooms, owing to differing personal experiences and acculturation processes.
*** SHIRA ***1) TO THE AUDIENCE: Think about all the people you’ve met in Canada. What are 5 personality traits (characteristics or adjectives) that you think of to describe them? Personality traits are those that describe the way that people act, not look.2) The reason why we asked you this question is...............ImpetusShira: in a Pre-MBA classroom, discussion abt cross-cultural communications sparked disagreements abt what Canadians are like. How many times has Canadian personality come up in your classroom, with students making surprising comments abt Canadians? Abt behaviours, personality traits, and so onWe decided to . . . .Is there a stereotypical Canadian?
Because of time limitation some sections will be interwoven together.
When teaching any given language, we are inherently and inseparably teaching a given culture in an effort to facilitate second language learners’ acculturation processes. the acculturation process, that is the successfulness of of cultural adaptation, has been explored by social psychologists such as Berry and Sam, for many years. It is recognized as a significant component of language teaching, has yet to become adequately understood by second language teaching literature. Schumann-More specifically, he suggested that the degree to which a second language learner can acquire the target language is directly related to the promotion or inhibition of social solidarity between the learner and members of the target language community. Social solidarity is promoted by minimizing the social distance between the second language group and the target language group, facilitating acculturation and language acquisition. Cheng and fox- explored the factors which affect acculturation at Canadian universities and the role of EAP in L2 students’ acculturation processEXTRA INFO:The term ‘acculturation’ dates back to Redfield, Linton, and Herskovitz (1936) when it was defined as “those phenomena which result when groups of individuals having different cultures come into continuous first-hand contact with subsequent changes in the original culture patterns of either or both groups” (p. 149).Aof IE – help schools manage cultural diversity-this shows that relevant topics are receiving more attention recently and are even being implemented at the educational policy level. In this document, the council of Europe outlines the importance of intercultural pedagogy. Interculuralism is here defined as = being open to , interested in, curious about and empathetic towards people from other cultures, and using this heightened awareness of otherness to evaluate one’s own everyday patterns of perception, thought, feeling and behaviour in order to develop greater self-knowledge and self-understanding. ….involves intercultural competencies or understanding of cultural knowledge, including behaviours, attitudes, and values, and the interactions of people from different cultures rather than adopting.. Also, intercultural competence allows intercultural citizens to participate in multilingual and multicultural communitiesRelated to successfulness of multicultural societiesTowards a better understanding of academic acculturation: Second Language Students in Canadian Universities (Cheng & Fox, 2008)Factors which affect acculturation in Canadian EAP
Intercultural competence allows intercultural citizens to participate in multilingual and multicultural communities (Council of Europe’s Autobiography of Intercultural Encounters, 2009) Definition of acculturation: “those phenomena which result when groups of individuals having different cultures come into continuous first hand contact with subsequent changes in the original cultural patterns of either or both groups” (Redfireld, Linton, and Herskovitz, 1936)
We used term, ‘people living in Canada’, because you don’t know when you meet someone (for the first time) if they were born in Canada or not.
This Canada-wide, online, survey/interview-based study compared a) Canadian-born (CB; N=130) and b) internationally-born (IB; N=169) post-secondary students’ and recent graduates’ perceptions of people in Canada. Employing social media outreach, the study consisted of a) an online survey, with an unprompted adjective ranking section and a Likert-scale section, and b) follow up e-interviews (N=16)…..WILL NOT DISCUSS TODAYDetails about OUTREACH:-we were surprised to get so many NCBs and relatively fewer CBs-why we didn’t use ELI Ss: we wanted to compare apples and apples, one type of postsec student with another-We contacted people viaPersonal & professional email contactsEmailed survey link to York U, York Int’l office, York Linguistics Dept. Listserv, Humber College CE, George Brown College, UOIT, our instructor listserv, U of TorontoPosted to 100s of postsecfacebook pagesTweeted survey thru my twitter account
Using statistical analysis and anecdotal evidence, findings suggest that the overall perceptions of CB and IB groups are more similar than different. However, when unprompted, CB respondents are more likely to perceive people in Canada as ‘polite’, ‘kind’, and ‘caring’ while IB respondents are more likely to describe them as ‘friendly’ and ‘talkative’. In addition, Likert-scale results demonstrate that CB respondents are significantly more likely than IB respondents to perceive people in Canada as “funny”, “intelligent”, “caring”, and “hardworking”.CBs and NCBs2 analyses of this question: # adj. mentions, and weighted rankings of adj.s taking into account whether a student ranked an adj. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th
*** DANA ***-Why weighted ranking?-wanted to capture the fact that Ss’ ranked some adj.s more highly than others-The closer to a student’s first choice, the higher the score for the adjective
Largest discrepancies with POLITE and KIND
Discussion:Politeness is a facet of cultural….difficult to impose one’s concept of politeness on another culture….potential for miscommunication in various socially cultural contexts. Kindness may have several interpretationsCaring implies an emotional/nurturing quality…..Ibs may not have a strong social support networkFriendly, IBs > CBs
“in-group” vs. “out-group” hypothesis…..P-values are used to indicate statistical differences between two groups. P-values higher than 0.05 are statistically insignificant. P-values of less than 0.001 are extremely statistically significant. (mean that there is very minimal coincidence that the two groups responded similarly). We first wanted to see if there was statistical significance in the overall ranking of the adjectives, so we separated into positive and negative. No overall statistical significance. But there is extreme statistical significance for some specific adjectives.
Discussion: Intelligence and hardwork may be socially contrained, reflect a socialization process eg. Degree to which critical thinking is stressed Humour is very culturally sensitive…. Martin (2007) suggests that humour is associated with social integration and group cohesion. Some adjectives suggest a lack of support network: caring, loyal, In an unpaired t test, a p-value less than 0.0001 is considered extremely significant by statistical standards, meaning that the difference demonstrated between groups is more than simply coincidence and that in 95 out of 100 cases the results would be reproduced if the study was replicated. A p-value higher than 0.05 is statistically insignificant, meaning that any difference that resulted between the two groups is inconclusive.
*** DANA ***We didn’t edit for grammar!-Dana to read boldfaced comments
*** DANA ***
IBs to apply their own norms of politeness to everyday Canadian situations …. Right and wrong ways of thinking about a problem may not be sufficient…eg. NA values critical thinking…beyond the status quo. if a student were to disagree with an instructor, the intelligent and/or appropriate reaction would vary across cultures and be perceived differently accordingly.conclude that some form of “acculturation” is taking place
Extra QWhat significance, if any, do these results have for your teaching and/or administrative context?
-culture is tied to national features or characteristics-changing with each wave of immigrants, international students, and migrant workers. -no studies to date which explore the emic (within a culture) /etic (from outside a culture) perspective of culture and how it relates to SLA. We also found that although a number of previous studies have explored national cultural identity, such as Hofestede and McCrae and Costa, often from the perspective of social psychology (see “Conceptual framework” section), existing studies have failed to contrast emic and etic perspectives of Canadian culture.No studies to date have been able to determine to what extent a member of Canadian culture and a member of another culture would similarly perceive Canadian culture, thus contributing to how Canadian culture could be taught in the second language classroom.
Largest discrepancies with POLITE and KIND
***SHIRA***Overall evaluation of both groups The data somewhat triangulatesfrom the open-ended question as we see polite, friendly, and helpful as the highest rated. Peaceful, respectful are highly rated when prompted but not unprompted Lowest rated adjectives are mostly negative, with the exception of risk taking which is neutral. –up for interpretation
*** DANA ***- Sample size: recall ours was a “sample of convenience”- About 40% of responses from York U: Is it truly representative of all post-sec Ss in Canada?Statistical significance??? Linguistic limitations of Ss? Do all Ss (CBs & NCBs) have similar understandings of adj.s?Heterogeneity of NCBs:NCBs include people who came to Canada when very young, new immigrants, int’l Ss, and so on
I Am Canadian, eh? A Study on Canadian Cultural Perceptions - s. packer & d. lynch (tesol)
I Am Canadian, Eh?:A Study on Canadian Cultural Perceptions TESOL 2013, Dallas, TX Shira Packer & Dana Lynch firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com York University English Language Institute Toronto, ON NOT FOR REPRODUCTION OR CIRCULATION WITHOUT THE EXPLICIT PERMISSION OF THE AUTHORS
Warm-up Question! Think about all the people you’ve met from Canada. What are 5 personality traits that you immediately think of to describe them?(Keep in mind, personality traits are those that describe the way that people act, not look.)
Agenda• Purpose of study• Research question• Methodology• Data analysis• Implications for ELT
The Social Context of SLA• Language is not an isolated system but part of daily social communication (Dell Hymes, 1972)• Sociolinguistic competency as one of the three main linguistic competencies (Canale and Swain, 1980)
Importance of Acculturation for SLA• Acculturation & Adaptation (Berry & Sam, 1980) =cultural changes resulting from intercultural encounter• There is a direct relationship between a) a learner’s potential to learn a second language and the degree of acculturation to the target language group (Schumann, 1978) b) academic achievement and acculturation process among second language post-secondary (Cheng & Fox, 2008)
Other Relevant Cultural Theories• Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions (1980) 1. Power Distance 2. Individualism 3. Masculinity 4. Uncertainty Avoidance 5. Long-term Orientation
Current challenges with existing research• Ambiguity of Canadian culture – Immigration – US influence – ESL/EAP classroom disagreements• Lack of acculturation studies
Research Question How do Canadian-born post-secondary students and recent graduates’ (CBs’) andinternationally-born Canadian post-secondary students and recent graduates’ (IBs’) perceptions of people in Canada differ (if at all)?
MethodologyFormat: 1. Cross-Canada online survey (n=299) a. Background information questions b. Unprompted adjective ranking question c. 30 Likert-scale questions 2. E-interview (n=16)Social Media Outreach: 1. Video: ttp://vimeo.com/18546862 2. Email 3. Facebook: 4. Twitter
Respondent Profile• CBs = 130; IBs = 169• 64% female; 36% male• Represented 84 different post-secondary institutes across Canada
Canadian Post-Sec Institutions Represented1. Acadia University 29. Kwantlen Polytechnic University 56. Trent University2. Algonquin College of Applied Arts 30. Langara College and Technology 57. Université de Montréal 31. Laurentian University3. Athabasca University 58. Université de Sherbrooke 32. McGill University (11)4. Aurora College 59. Université du Québec à Chicoutimi 33. McMaster University5. Bishops University 60. Université du Québec à Montréal 34. Medicine Hat College6. Brandon University 61. Université Laval 35. Memorial University of7. British Columbia Institute of Newfoundland 62. University College of the Fraser Valley Technology 36. Mohawk College of Applied Arts 63. University of Alberta (6)8. Brock University and Technology 64. University of British Columbia (6)9. Canadian Mennonite University 37. Mount Royal University 65. University of Calgary10. Canadore College of Applied Arts 38. Mount Saint Vincent University 66. University of Guelph and Technology 39. MTI Community College 67. University of Kings College11. Cape Breton University 40. Nipissing University 68. University of Lethbridge12. Capilano College 41. North Island College 69. University of Manitoba13. Capilano University 42. Northern Alberta Institute of 70. University of New Brunswick14. Carleton University Technology 71. University of Northern British15. Centennial College of Applied Arts 43. Nova Scotia Community College Columbia and Technology (various campuses) 72. University of Ontario Institute of16. Collège universitaire de Saint- 44. OCAD University Technology Boniface 45. Queens University (14) 73. University of Prince Edward Island17. College of New Caledonia 46. Redeemer University College 74. University of Regina18. College of the North Atlantic 47. Ryerson University 75. University of Saskatchewan19. Concordia University 48. Seneca College of Applied Arts 76. University of Toronto (UofT) (36)20. Crandall University and Technology 77. University of Victoria21. Dalhousie University (10) 49. Sheridan College of Applied Arts 78. University of Waterloo22. École polytechnique de Montréal and Technology 79. University of Western Ontario23. Fanshawe College of Applied Arts 50. Simon Fraser UniversitySimon (Western) and Technology Fraser University 80. University of Windsor24. George Brown College of Applied 51. Sir Sandford Fleming College of 81. Vancouver Community College Arts and Technology Applied Arts and Technology 82. Wilfrid Laurier University25. HEC Montréal 52. Southern Alberta Institute of Technology 83. York University (119)26. Humber College of Applied Arts 84. Yukon College and Technology (10) 53. St. Lawrence College27. Huron College 54. St. Thomas University28. Keyano College 55. Thompson Rivers University
Adjective Ranking QuestionThink about all the people you’ve met in Canada.What are 5 personality traits (characteristics or adjectives) that you think of to describe them? 1. ____________ 2. ____________ 3. ____________ 4. ____________ 5. ____________
‘Weighted Ranking’ Method of AnalysisThe score for each adjective is determined as follows:If a S’s… 1st choice 5 2nd choice: 4 3rd choice: 3 4th choice: 2 5th choice: 1
Results: Top Adjectives Average Score per Respondent 2 1.83 1.8 1.68 1.57Percentage of Respondents 1.6 1.4 1.2 1.05 1 0.83 0.8 0.72 0.75 0.6 0.36 0.4 0.340.37 0.4 0.3 0.2 0 CBs IBs
Results: Adjectives with the Greatest DifferencesAdjective Difference in points CB points per IB points per per respondent respondent respondentPolite .52 1.57 1.05Kind .39 0.75 0.36Caring .25 0.34 0.09Friendly .16 1.68 1.83Generous .05 0.23 0.08
Likert-scale Question To what extent do you agree with the following statements, where 1 represents strongly disagree and 5 represents strongly agree: People in Canada are…..• Friendly • Modest • Easygoing• Peaceful • Funny • Patient• Helpful • Hardworking • Outgoing• Polite • Self-confident • Generous• Selfish • Boring • Honest• Respectful • Cooperative • Cold• Loyal • Optimistic • Afraid• Competitive • Dissatisfied • Individualistic• Open-minded • Materialistic • Reliable• Caring • Risk-taking • Intelligent
Results: Are there significant differences in perceptions?Overall, no significant differences in perceptionsbetween CB and IB groupsOverall P-value CB mean IB mean @ 95% confidence interval (n=130) (n=169)Positive Characteristics .1409 3.79 3.63Negative Characteristics .2239 3.01 3.16
CB & IB E-Interview Sample Quotes Positive experiencesCB IB“I was walking through my “When i came to Canada grocery store one day with many people in University my mom and we saw a helped me to adapt to the man accidentally bump environment and to reduce into a girl . . . The girl the culture shock.” explained about the man saying sorry, and the friend just said, “oh, yeah, we have to say ‘sorry’ here, it’s a Canadian thing.””
CB & IB E-Interview Sample Quotes Negative experiencesCB IB“. . . many Canadians “Even though seem to have an Canadians generally impenetrable wall seems to be that keeps them acceptance of others, from showing others deep down the who they really are” heart, they do not really understand others.”
Implications for ELT1. Sociolinguistic forms of politeness should be carefully attended to by both language teachers and learners1. IBs students may have a different understanding of: a) “intelligent” responses to classroom discussions b) expectations of work quality and quantity2. Lessons that explore cultural humour may help IBs adjust to foreign cultures1. While there is some evidence of a positive acculturation process for IBs, potential exists for further social integration; therefore, the acculturation process should be explicitly addressed in ELT programs.
Works CitedBerry, J. W. & Sam, D. L. (1980). Acculturation and adaptation. In J.W. Berry, Segall, M. H., Kagitcibasi, C. (Eds.), Cross-cultural psychology: Social behaviour and application (Vol. 3, p. 291-326). Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon.Cheng, L. & Fox, J. (2008). Towards a better understanding of academic acculturation: Second Language Students in Canadian Universities. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 65(2), p. 307-333.Council of Europe (2009). Autobiography of intercultural encounters. Language Policy Division.Katz, D., & Braly, K. W. (1933). Racial stereotypes of one hundred college students. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 28, 280-290.McCrae, R. R., & Costa, R. T., Jr. (1987). Validation of the five-factor model of personality across instruments and observers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 81-90.Norton, B. P. (1995). Social identity, investment, and language learning. TESOL Quarterly, 29(1), p. 9-31.Paunonen, S. V., Jackson, D. N., Trzebinski, J., & Forsterling, F. (1992). Personality structure across cultures: A multimethod evaluation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62(3), 447-456.Schumann, J. (1976). Social distance as a factor in second language acquisition. Language Learning, 26, p. 135-143.
Link to Presentationhttp://slidesha.re/14c5BqG
Discussion Questions1. How, if at all, do you address Canadian culture in your classroom and/or at your institution?2. To what extent do you feel that your students (and/or students at your institution) have an “accurate” understanding of Canadian culture/perception of Canadians?3. To what extent can ESL instructors and administrators assist acculturation?
Culture is……“[the] practices, beliefs, values, symbols and traditions, withparticular ways of understanding the world. Cultures can beunderstood as the fixed, inherited features of different national,ethnic and religious groups…Cultures can also be understood asdynamic and changing, continually being redefined byindividuals and groups as they interact with others of differentbackgrounds or respond to changing circumstances ”(Byram, Barrett, Ipgrave, Jackson & Méndez García, 2009, p.9)
Limitations of Study• Sample size (n=299)• Sample of convenience• Significant York U and other urban representation• CBs and NCBs are heterogeneous groups• Our video may have promoted positive responses• Respondents with frequent social media access may be more likely to respond