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Sheila holder's disseration proposal 2.3a

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Sheila holder's disseration proposal 2.3a

  1. 1. Salient factorsthat impact expatriateteachers working in Bermuda By Sheila V. HolderDissertation Proposal submitted to Northern Caribbean University In partial fulfillment of the doctor of philosophy degree At Northern Caribbean University February 5,2012
  2. 2. i Table of ContentsChapter 1 ......................................................................................................................................... 1Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 1 Rationale...................................................................................................................................... 3 The Background to the Problem.................................................................................................. 6 Problem Statement .................................................................................................................... 11 Purpose Statement ..................................................................................................................... 12 Research Questions ................................................................................................................... 12 Significance of the Study .......................................................................................................... 12 Theoretical Framework ............................................................................................................. 14 Delimitations/Limitations of the Study ..................................................................................... 19 Definition of Terms ................................................................................................................... 20 Ethical Considerations............................................................................................................... 21 Organization of the Study ......................................................................................................... 22Chapter 2 ....................................................................................................................................... 23Review of Literature ..................................................................................................................... 23 Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 23 Expatriates in Biblical Settings ................................................................................................. 24 Socialization .............................................................................................................................. 27 Culture ....................................................................................................................................... 29 Culture Shock ............................................................................................................................ 30 Intercultural Competence .......................................................................................................... 34 Cross Cultural Adjustment ........................................................................................................ 36
  3. 3. ii Social learning theory. ........................................................................................................... 39 Self-efficacy theory. .............................................................................................................. 41 Transformational learning theory. ......................................................................................... 42 Critical Factors that Impact Expatriate Teachers during their Work Experience ..................... 44 Inadequate preparation for work overseas. ............................................................................ 44 Personality characteristics. .................................................................................................... 45 Stress, tolerance, and coping. ................................................................................................ 46 Homesickness and loneliness. ............................................................................................... 48 Behavior of Students ................................................................................................................. 48 Family Related Situations ......................................................................................................... 50 Summary ................................................................................................................................... 51Chapter 3 ....................................................................................................................................... 54Methodology ................................................................................................................................. 54 Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 54 Research Design ........................................................................................................................ 54 Proposed Sample ....................................................................................................................... 56 Criteria for Selection of Teachers ............................................................................................. 57 Principals ................................................................................................................................... 57 Data Gathering .......................................................................................................................... 58 Interviews .................................................................................................................................. 59 Data Analysis ............................................................................................................................ 60 Reliability and Validity ............................................................................................................. 62References ..................................................................................................................................... 65
  4. 4. iiiAppendix A ................................................................................................................................... 74 Letter of Consent to Principal ................................................................................................... 74Appendix B ................................................................................................................................... 76 Interview.................................................................................................................................... 76Appendix C ................................................................................................................................... 77 Participant Information ............................................................................................................. 77
  5. 5. 1 Chapter 1 Introduction The island of Bermuda, which has a total land area of 21 square miles and often calledthe pearl of the Atlantic, is a self governing colony, located off the east coast of the UnitedStates. It is positioned in the North Atlantic Ocean and lies 640 miles to the southeast of CapeHatteras, North Carolina. Bermuda is 853 miles south of Halifax Nova Scotia, and 1,100 milesnortheast of Miami Florida. One of the nine smallest populated places in the world, Bermudawas discovered in 1505 by Juan de Bermudez, a Spanish navigator. The island lay dormantwithout settlers until 1609 when English sailors, shipwrecked by a terrible storm, landed on itsshores. The island was colonized by the English in 1612 and became a crown colony of Britainin1684.Its status changed to an overseas territory in 2002. Its economy is based on internationalbusiness and tourism. Its gross national product per capita is reported to be among the worlds‘highest. The island has a hilly terrain and is a mile and a half at its widest point. It has nineparishes and two municipalities one of which is the capital city of Hamilton. The othermunicipality is the town of St. George‘s. The humid sub-tropical climate is warmed by the GulfStream because of the prevailing westerlies that carry winds eastward causing mild winters withan average temperature of 68 degrees, although the humidity and the wind chill often make thetemperature feel much colder. The average summer temperature is 84 degrees. Prior to 1965, theBermuda school system was racially segregated. When the desegregation of schools act wasenacted in 1965, two of the formally maintained ―white‖ schools and both single-sex schoolsopted to become private schools. One of the formally single-sex schools is now categorized ascoeducational. The rest became part of the public school system and were either aided or
  6. 6. 2maintained. At present, there are 26 schools in the Bermuda Public School System, 18of whichare primary schools,five are middle schools, two are senior schools, and one special school.There are two aided primary schools, two aided middle schools, and one aided senior school.There are six private schools in all with two of them being classified as religious schools. The educational system in Bermuda is deemed as independent because it is not alignedwith any other country such as Britain, Canada, or the United States. There are no bilingualschools because the population is mainly English speaking and there has been no real demand forthem even with our growing multi-cultural population.Bermuda‘s educational structure asoutlined by the Education Act of 1996 states that only three categories of schools can operate inthe Bermuda Education System. The categories are as follows: Aided school- has all or a part of its property vested in a body of trustees or board of governors and is partially maintained by public funding or, since 1965 and the desegregation of schools, has received a grant-in-aid out of public funds. Maintained school- has the whole of its property belonging to the Government and is fully maintained by public funds. Private school- not maintained by public funds and has not, since 1965 and the desegregation of schools, received any capital grant-in-aid out of public funds. The private school sector consists of sixtraditional private schools; two of which are religious schools, and the remaining four are secular with one of these being a single gender school. Within the private sector there are a number of home schools that must be registered with the government. They receive minimal government regulation. There are insufficient Bermudian teachers to satisfyall of the teaching vacancies thatoccur in the system.At the time this study was conducted the Ministry of Education
  7. 7. 3employed746 teachers. One hundred forty of these teachers are recorded as non-Bermudian. Itshould be noted here that the term non-Bermudian encompasses two distinct categories: Thefirst category being the spouse of a Bermudian whose status will change after 10years if theperson remains married to their Bermudian spouseand the secondcategory being a person whohas been recruited and is employed on the island for a specific skill set with definite time limitsand restrictions. Many of the expatriate teachers have been recruited mainly from Canada, United States,United Kingdom, and the Caribbean islands. A fewer number are now arriving from thePhilippines and India. Expatriates teachers are employed at every level of the public schooleducational system from pre-primary to secondary.All teachers in Bermuda, Bermudian orexpatriate, must hold a valid license from the Bermuda Educators‘ Council to teach in the publicor private schools. The Employment Survey of Department of Statistics reports that most of the expatriateteachers, 40%, are employed at the secondary level of education. This can be contrasted with amere two percent teaching at the pre-primary level(Bermuda Government of AnnualEmployment Survey 2010). A brief overview of the education system has been provided here as a backdrop into thecomplexities of the country that will be encountered by the expatriate teachers. They will bereferred to as an expat on occasion. By introducing a snapshot of the host culture one can achievean understanding not only of the Bermudian populace but an awareness and appreciation of theperspectives, perceptions,and way of life confronted by expatriate teachers who live in thecountry of Bermuda.Rationale
  8. 8. 4 Immigrating from coast to coast and country to country and teaching in a foreign countrycan present opportunities and challenges for expatriate teachers as they confront critical issuesthat impact their tenure while fulfilling their professional responsibilities and adjusting to anunfamiliar social-cultural and academic environment. When expats first arrive in a host countrythey are thrust into an unfamiliar environment–their senses are bombarded with novelsounds,smells, sights, and way of life in this new the social environment. All of these factors have a direct impact on the mind-set, viewpoint,andactivities of theexpatriate teacher. Just trying to understand the culture into which they‘ve entered is a complexundertaking. They‘ve arrived in the host country with head knowledge, but no practicalknowledge about the socialization of the new society orhow they will adequatelyfit into the newculture. One expatriate teacher noted, ―Even though I checked the Internet and knew prices werehigh, nothing prepared me for the first time I bought groceries. The culture shock I felt when Iwas at the checkout counter and the cashier said ‗$252.00‘ and all I had was four bags ofgrocerieswas mind boggling.‖Garson (2005) an American educator, writing, about her firstarrival in Cairo commentedthat nothing in her preparation had prepared her for her entrance intothis vibrant,frenetic, and chaotic 24/7 city. Yet expatriates are expected to adjust to a differentculture almost immediately, perform their job responsibilities capably, and be ready for thenuances that a different culture can bring. Some expatriate teachers stay in the host country for arelatively short period of time, a year or less, and others extend their stay beyond the expectedinitial norm that is the contractedtenure. My interest in these experiences of expatriate teachers developed from current and pastprofessional experiences. In 1994, I became the principal of a K-12 private school with a studentpopulation of about 500 students. I had always taught with expatriate teachers on the staff,
  9. 9. 5however,as a principal I was immediately confronted with expatriate teachers on a differentechelon. One of my pressing challenges was locating qualified teachers who would fill vacantpositions in the elementary and secondary sections of the school. I was not only concerned withthe effectiveness of the expatriate teacher‘sstay in the school system, but also their length of stay.I wanted to ascertain the factors and conditions that would contribute to a long and successfulsojourn. Because I was unable to secure enough Bermudian teachers at the school, expatriateteachers had to be hired who could adapt to the Bermudian culture and contribute to the ultimateacademic success of students. I recognized that all students are deserving of a quality educationand as such I wanted teachers in the school who would contribute to that goal. I felt moreaccountable for the continuing success of the expatriate teachers. Their success in the classroomand their acclimation to the island was paramount to the academic success of the students. Iwanted to achieve better success in this aspect of my administration. I already had firsthand knowledge of expatriate teachers who arrived on the island, settledin, and accepted the challenges of adapting to a different culture. They interacted successfullywith other faculty members, parents, and students. They acclimated into the school environmentsuccessfully. The students were successful in their relationships with them and in their academicstudies. Alternatively, I had encountered expatriate teachers who just seemed unable to deal withthe nuances of their new environment. There seemed to be too many challenges-culturally,socially, and academically for them to overcome. The realities of teaching in the host country didnotresonate with their expectations. Their coping competencedid not allow the expatriateteachers to adequately address, cope with, or deal with the stressors they accounted. Some ofthese teachers had difficulty adapting to the school environment or the Bermudian way of life in
  10. 10. 6general. After a year, or two at the most, they decided to leave the island even though they werecontracted for three years or six years and would take a financial loss and possibly lose faceamong their colleagues.The Background to the Problem There are strict guidelines and conditions that govern the working status of all expatriateworkers in Bermuda. Expatriates initially come to the island on a one, two, or three year contract.If at the end of the contracted period a qualified Bermudian is available and has applied for theposition then the contract of the expatriate is not renewed. In many cases it does not matter if theexpat has performed with excellence or with mediocrity, the position is awarded to theBermudian applicant.This stipulation holds for the public or private sector and for the field ofeducation there is no exception. One can immediately see that the expatriate worker can viewthis matter with concernbecause it can impact their job security. If the expatriate worker isunsure that their contract will be renewed at the end of the contracted period it can influencetheir feelings of security, commitment, and wellbeing. It has to be taken into account that theexpatriate has uprooted himself from his country, sold his car, and if he/she owned a house put itup or sale or rent; all for a three year contract that may or may not be renewed for another threeyears. The contract may be renewed for another three years. After that,special appeal wouldhave tobe made to the Minister of Immigration for another extended period of three years. One can immediately see that this situation can cause a quandary when dealing withexpatriate teachers and the school system. An experienced expatriate teacher may not want togive up job security in their home country and sojourn to a country where time limits are placedon their employment and their job security is in question.This type of situation is more suited and
  11. 11. 7more appealing to the younger and less experienced teacher who may not have familyresponsibilities of marriage and children. Another dilemma that seriously impacts the stability in the school system is that theexpatriate teachers may have years of teaching experience and the Bermudian teachers may bejust beginning their career and come to the system right out of college or university. There arehowever exceptions to this rule. If the employer can make a case that the expatriate teachersareserving in key positions and their departure could adversely affect the school then the schoolmay apply for a further extension. In the case of schools there are certain subject areas wherethere are difficulties in finding Bermudian teachers for particular subject areas, mainly, thosesubject areas of Mathematics and Science. Then an exception may be granted. A third factor that can impact expatriate teachers (and other foreign workers) is the factthat they are not allowed to secure a second job without the express permission of theimmigration department. Further they may not even volunteer their services in areas other thanwhat they were contracted for, if in volunteering they make it possible that byso doing theyprevent a Bermudian from being employed. Bermuda is in somewhat of a unique position in regards to teacher retention and teacherturnover when the focus is on the expatriate teacher. On one hand the country must makeallowances for the employment of its own people and yet still provide some job security forthose workers who have come to the island to provide assistance for the country. These are thebackground issues that the government education department or a private school system mustface as they grapple with the issues of teacher turnover within the schools. Just when theexpatriate teacher has begun to adapt to the new environment they may have to leave because of
  12. 12. 8governmental regulations. This uncertainty about their future job security not only causesjobstress but also may reduce commitment to the school system. One of the privateschools on the island operates a K-12 school. It employs about50faculty and staff with about 35 of those persons being teachers. About one fourth of theteachers who are employed in that school are recruited from the United States, Canada, or theCaribbean. The school relies heavily on recommendations from other superintendents andtelephone interviews in the hiring process. Most recently the personnel committee has begunusing Skype so that the interviewee and interviewers can see each other during the interviewingprocess. All expatriate teachersin this school system are hired initially on a three year contract,without having a face-to-face conversation with the educational superintendent, or personnelcommittee. This commitment is made without a visit to the island before acceptingemployment.That has been expressed as anexpense that the school feels it cannot afford.Theexpatriates have not been introduced or oriented neither to the customs and mores of the peoplein the host country; nor have they been oriented to the educational system at the time of hiring.Most teachers who arrive from overseas come within a week or two of the opening of the newschool year or worse still, after school year has already commenced. In such cases they areimmediately confronted with the normal pressuresthat occur at the beginning of a school yearand the additional socio-cultural challenges. These circumstances often overwhelm the teacherright from the inception of the process and do not allow for a smooth start. While someexpatriate teachers cope admirably with this problematic start to their Bermudian experience,others have found it to be a negatively challenging experience. While the aforementioned scenario is my personal experience at one private, relativelysmall school, this scene is similarly played out in the public school system. Every year the
  13. 13. 9Ministry of Education in Bermuda hires scores of teachers from various parts of the world towork in the school system. Too often, expatriate teachers have a chaotic beginning at the onset oftheir experience.Coupled with the challenges that have been already mentioned, these teachersare without personal transportation because Bermuda does not allow them to obtain avehiclelicense immediately upon arrival;therefore they must traverse the public bus system or rely onbeing picked upprivately by assigned teachers. These teachers must negotiate andcollaboratewith other teachers to find out where essential services such as grocery stores, postoffices, andbanking facilities are. They must find a way to get from place to place to conduct personalbusiness, while adjusting to a new school environment. These educators often come from dissimilar cultures and arrive in Bermuda where theyare confronted by a culture that is in many ways unlike their own.The attitudes and behaviors ofthe nationals for the most part, differ from their own experience.In the educational circles inBermuda discussions are often centered onthe dishearteningattitudes a sizeablenumber ofBermudian students display toward their education. Many appear passive and disinterested inlearning.Seemingly, school achievement and academic success are not important factors on thestudents‘ horizon. They live in a country that is economically stable and has been rated asnumber two in the world, just behind Switzerland when it comes to income per capita. Manystudents andtheir parents have not had to work hard for anything. They are given what they wantwith few strings attached. Some students do not see the importance or the need of getting a firstclass education.Some studentswill cheerfully and gleefully telltheir teachers that one day theywill make more money than they do because of what their family owns. And moreimportantly,that it will become theirs (student) one day. This greatly impacts the way in whichstudents relate to school in general and contributes to the students‘ attitudes towards learning and
  14. 14. 10teachers, both Bermudian and expatriate. However, most often, it is the expatriate teacher who isconfronted with poor behaviors, careless attitudes, and a lack of seriousness toward learning onthe part of students they teach. A majority of expatriate teachers have managed to successfully adapt tothepreviouslymentioned conditions but unfortunately too many leave with a rather negativefeeling about Bermuda and their teaching experience on the island. This really becomes an acuteproblem when these teachers leave during the school year,or after teaching for only one or twoyears.Suitable and qualified replacements are difficult to find. This affects the quality ofeducation that the student may receive in the short term while the replacement is beingsought.Research has shown that there is a correlation between teacher turnover and studentachievementColgan,(2004).Gaps in student learningexperience emerge which contribute toinstability and lowers students‘ academic performance. Thousands of dollars are spent inreplacing teachers and unfortunately the replacement may not be as qualified in the subject areaas the previousteacher was. When the expatriate teachers leave the island after only teaching fora year or two acute problems occur for both the teachers and the employer. It is financiallycostlyand emotionallydraining for both parties.The teacher has had to sell their car, rent or sell theirhome, and leave behind family and friends. If they are married the spousemay not be able tosecure work immediately, thereby causing financial constraints. The cost of living in Bermuda ishigh;all these factors produce stress in the expatriate worker. The employer has financial costs also. It has been estimated by one of the private schoolsthat it takes at least three years for the organization to recover the expenses incurred in securing ateacher from overseas and settling them on the island.When party, the teacher, or the schooladministrators‘experience failure, it is at a financial lossto both the teacher and the organization.
  15. 15. 11 An additional precipitousfactor that occurs is that parents begin to beanxiousandapprehensive about their children‘s education. Parents become dissatisfied and thereputation of the school comes under question when there are numerous teacher turnovers in ashort space of time. This in turn can and does affect the enrolment of the school for subsequentyears. Students do not develop lasting and meaningful relationships that can contribute to thequality of student learning. The actual motives for the expatriate teachers coming to teaching inBermuda falls into question and distrust begins to breed among the nationals and disillusionmentspreads among the expatriate teachers.Problem Statement A great deal of research can be obtained concerning the successful socialization ofteachers into the workplace of their own country. However little data can be found that addressesthe expatriate teacher moving from their home country and adjusting to a host country and aforeign culture while negotiating how to work in the subculture of a new school. The perpetualpractice of expatriate teachers coming to Bermuda for relatively short periods of time andleaving at the end of one contractual term of three years, or even before the end of thatdesignated period causes a lack of academic continuity, serious disruptions, and gaps in studentlearning. High costs are also associated with the hiring and reparation of expatriate teachers. Thelack of longevity contributes to distrust among the expatriate teachers themselves and among theBermudian stakeholders. The parents and students and some administrators have misgivings andexpress skepticism about the motives of the foreign teachers and the reasons why they havecome to Bermuda to teach. Many administrators, colleagues,and students often wonder how longthe expatriate teacher will stay. They may openly question, who will benefit more, the studentsor the expatriate teacher?
  16. 16. 12Purpose Statement The purpose of this qualitative research study is to examine the perceptions andexperiences of expatriate teachers who teach in Bermuda, in both the public and private schoolsystems.Research Questions Thestudy will be guided by five salient questions: 1. How do the expatriate teachers describe the effect of the Bermuda cultural experiences on their sojourn in the country? 2. What are the specific factors thatdetermine the success of the expatriate teacher? 3. What are the specific factors that impede the success of the expatriate teachers? 4. What do the expatriate teachers in the study describe as stressors that occurred during their tenure? 5. What can the Bermuda educational system do to facilitate the longevity and success of expatriate teachers? Significance of the Study It is hoped that this research studywill make a significant contribution to discoveringways to reduce expatriate teacher attrition whether in public or private education in Bermuda.While anecdotal information may exist, such information is not formalized into a body oforganized knowledge. The findings could contribute in a very significant way when recruitersand administrators are seeking to provide overseas teachers to fill the teaching vacancies in theirschools. The outcomes of the study can give assistance to administrators in understanding thechallenges and measures of success for expatriate teachers. Better success in this area will
  17. 17. 13accomplish better stability in the classroom. An improved retention rate among the expatriateteachers will be a factor in achieving better success rate among students.An additional beneficialoutcome will be more effective orientation programs forbeginning expatriate teachers. There is apaucity of information on this topic and no documented studies have been reported in the islandof Bermuda where the focus of this research will be conducted. The research that is availableconcerns itself primarily with the student-teacher experience overseas, or with the experience ofteachers in higher education. Very little research has been completedor even explored regardingexpatriate teachers in the elementary or high schools. Further the research has been confined tolarger countries such as Australia, Japan, and Singapore. Thus, the K-12 focus will add to thebody of professional knowledge on the subject. It is hoped that those who recruit expatriate teachers will have research-basedinformation that will enable them to be more aware of challenges that such teachers encounterand reveal how to deal with them in a proactive manner. This information may provide aresource to identify processes to assist administrators and others who recruit teachers fromcountries other than Bermuda.The researchwill providewell-identified processes that willcontribute toa better match between teachers with their new assignment in Bermuda. Oneproposed outcome from this study will be to outline and recommend a well organized inductionprogram and create an orientation handbook thatwill assists schools in developing programs forthis vital segment of expatriate teachers in Bermuda. Additionally recruiters can work to resolvethe troubling cultural situations that plague the expatriate teachers. This will lead to a morestabilized teaching force;and thereby, provide better learning conditions in the classroom, whichin turn will strengthen the school system and benefit the students.
  18. 18. 14 One meansof achieving more appropriate hiring and induction practices is by developingpolicies that will assist in reducing the cost of repatriation and disruptions caused by suddendepartures or brief stays of expatriate teachers. The study will also take into account theresources, time, and effort that is expanded in finding teachers overseas, the financial expensesoccurred by the employers and the employees, and the learning gap that occurs for the studentswhen teachers are only present with them there for short periods of time. This study may generate further development and improvement in cross-culturalsocialization and the successful acculturation process. For the expatriate teacher, this programwill provide information about services and resources that are available to them as teachers. Anintroduction to the culture, practices, and traditions and customs of the Bermudian people willalso be provided.Theoretical Framework My research was guided by researchers such as Deardorff(2009 and Fantini (2000) whohave contributed theoretical models to enhance the knowledge and visual perception ofintercultural competences to the field of cultural intelligence.Deardorff has stated thatintercultural competence can beaptly describedas thecapacity one has to enhance his or herknowledge, to examine theirattitudes and behaviors so that they are exposedto andare flexible toother cultures. She contends that for people to survive in today‘s global populaces people neednot only to understand differences but intercultural competence but need to adjust to working andsocial environments that are different from their own. Fantini (2000) further develops this idea of intercultural competence by articulating thatintercultural competence isnot just being aware of the differences that are a part of multiculturalism but it is the fundamental and ultimate acceptance of people who are different to one‘s self
  19. 19. 15outside of one‘s own culture. It is the ability to interact and interrelate with them in a genuinelyconstructive and positive manner that is free from negative and preconceived attitude. He takesthe definition deeper by adding that intercultural competence is the ability to create a synthesis asit, were, something that is neither ―mine‖(the native) or ―yours: (the expatriate) but somethinggenuinely new‖.These thoughts of Alvino Fantini and others are summed up in literature used fortraining by companies that are involved in cultural awareness studies. This research is also based on the work of Varhegyi (2008)and Stephanie Nann(2008).Vera Varhegyi the cofounder of Élan Interculturel, has stated that intercultural transition refersto a set of concrete phenomena: how we feel, behave, and change when we encounter a newcultural environment. Out of their field research Varhegyi (2008)and Nann (2008) produced andsubmitted a framework model for intercultural competences for the Intercultool Project. Furthertheir work has defined intercultural competence as having three critical areas: 1. The affective level that deals with ones emotions such as loneliness, stress, and discomfort and the capacity to observe, interact, and analyze one‘s emotions. 2. The behavioral level that encompasses interaction, communication style, ritual, and body language. That is the ability to communicate effectively in situations where communication is carried out in anticipated style and secondly one has the capacity to develop trust in a novel environment. 3. The cognitive level has a duel focus where the person can make sense of situations by being aware of biases and stereotypes that may be present and then mobilizing their former knowledge and relying on what they see. Also on the cognitive level one is aware of the dynamics of culture and is prepared to decode within a new context regarding cultural mechanisms.
  20. 20. 16The researchers view knowledge in this model as an integration within thecognitive level.Knowledge is an awareness one has of the dynamics ofother cultures. Knowledge encompassesthe values and the worldview that the expatriate brings to the unknown culture. The expatriateteachermust be prepared to develop strategies they can use when encountering conflicting values,of necessity they must observe and decode what is new asthey rely on their own previousknowledge to move through the stages of intercultural competence. Researchers such as Ward (2001)would place ―identity‖ in the cognitive level; butVarhegyi and Nann(2008) contend that identity should not be placed in the cognitive domain.Theymaintain that identity is inextricablyinvolvedin all levels of intercultural competence. Theypropose that identity is actually at the core of intercultural competence. In their view onesidentity is significantly involvedin how the person negotiates threats to their identity with thenew society in the host country. Identity strategies that can be used to conquer both personal andgroup identities can be the answer to tackling threatssuch as racism and discrimination.Theexpatriate‘s capacity for self-reflection and awareness of self in relation to the new culture is aneeded progression along the continuum to competence. The framework model (see Figure 1) is based on the field research done by Varhegyi andNann for the Intercultool Project (2008). The aim of the project is to develop an assessment toolthat can give feedback to expatriates and other professionals about their capacity to deal withcultural diverse situations. Framework model for intercultural competencesCRITICAL AREAS COMPETENCE DEFINITION THEORETICAL BACK-UPSA – affective levelEMOTIONS Emotion management: Matsumoto: Intercultural(discomfort,  capacity to cope with stress, Adjustment Potential Scale
  21. 21. 17confusion, anxiety and other negative Lazarus, Folkman 1984: Coping,loneliness, stress, emotions Stress, anxietyfrustration, fear,  capacity to relativise from one‘s Ward psychological adjustmentetc.) emotions to become able to Gudykunst Anxiety – uncertainly observe, analyse, interact in a management theory more emotionally neutral state (not acting on the impulse of emotions)B – behavioural levelINTERACTION Being able to communicate in a Ruben CommunicationRelatedness situation where the expected styles competence 1976(comm. efficiency, of communications, Fogel Communication inComm, Style, codes/rules/rituals of communication creative/rigid framesRituals, may differ between interactionBody language, partners.Creating newrelations) Capacity to establish social relations with new people. Developing trust, creating a new social network in the new environment.C – cognitive levelCOGNITION Capacity to make sense of the Kruglanski: need for cognitive(making sense, situation with an awareness of the closureDissonance, built-in psychological biases such as Rokeach: open vs. dogmaticStereotypes) categorisation, stereotypes etc. thinking Being able to build up alternative Need for cognitive consistency explanations to the first evaluation Tolerance of ambiguity often based on attribution mistakes. Kolb (1984) Learning style Mobilising previous knowledge and inventory relying on observation.KNOWLEDGE Awareness of the manifestations, Cultural anthropology introductoryAbout worldviews dynamics and varieties of ―cultures.‖ texts(values) Being prepared to observe andContext (legal, decode the new context, relying ontechnical, previous knowledge and informationhistorical, econ., on history, geography, politics,etc.) sociology, cultural anthropology,Social organization etc.(gender, hierarchy,community, family)Figure 1.Intercultural model Varhegyi and Nann
  22. 22. 18IdentityIDENTYTY Negotiating between different needs Hermans – Theory of diological(threads to attached to identity: self, dialogicalitycollective, personal  recognition of personal identity Camilleri: identity strategiesid, self doubt)  recognition of group identity Cohen-Emerique: identify threats(Including  handling threats to group in intercultural interactionPHYSICAL identity (racism, discrimination) Breakwell 1988: identify threatsBASICS)  relational function Pyszczynski, T, Greenberg 2003  ontological function Terror management theory Being able to handle unusual Zahama (1988) self shock physical sensation, exposure to Ting-Toomey: facework in different foods, smells, climates. intercultural setting Handling differences in appearance (one‘s appearance not fitting to the others‘ etc.)Figure 1 (cont.).Intercultural model Verheghi and Nann Varhegyiand Nann(2008) propose that identity is the central element in all interculturalencounters. A person‘s identity-attitudes, biases, and personality are all components of selfidentity. The affective, behavioral,and cognitive levels of the model are critical components thatprovide the framework that is needed to successfully maneuver through the process ofinterculturalcompetence. In this sense Deardorff‘s(2009) premise that intercultural competenceoccurs when theexpatriate is open and flexible to change is in keeping with the Varhegyiand Nann‘smodel(2008).The expatriate bringstheir identity–whothey are as a person, their perception ofself,and their knowledge about cultural mechanismsto the intercultural experience.This createsaninteraction between the customs of two varying cultures-the previousexperiences and the newexperiences thatthe expatriate is now acquiring. New skills are created, and as Fantini(2000)says, a synthesis begins emerging, something that is neither the former nor the present but aforging of the two cultures, something new has now developed. This framework shows the critical areas of competence that will be addressed in the studyof expatriates in Bermuda.Each level will be addressed. First there is the affective domain. This
  23. 23. 19area will dealwith the ability of the expatriate teacher to deal with discomfort, stress, sadness,loneliness, anxiety, and other negative emotions. On the behavioral level,the expatriate teacher arrives and is unfamiliar with localcustoms, common behaviors, and the expected styles of communication. The ability to makesense of psychological biases, refraining from stereotypes, and mobilizing previous knowledge isa challenge of cognition and behavior for foreign teachers. The expatriate teachers‘ worldviewand values impact the expatriate‘s adjustment to their new working environment. Internalconflict occurs while the teacher decodes in this new environment. The ability to communicatewithin the expected local vernacular while juggling their knowledge and perceptions of theirdeveloping relationships, and knowledge of the students, challenges the comfort level of theteacher. The capacity to forge relationships with new people will create new social networks inthe new culture. Lastly, negotiating between threats to one‘s identity, and being aware ofpersonal biases, being able to handle foods, climate, racial tension, and even threats to groupidentity are salient factors in developing intercultural competence.Delimitations/Limitations of the Study This study will only focus on expatriate teachers who have come to Bermuda to teach.While there are literally hundreds of expatriate teachers in Bermuda, only a representative groupwill be selected to be a part of the study. It will be a small sampling of about 15persons whohave experienced the stated phenomena. In the context of this study the ability to generalize theresults of the Bermuda experience may not be germane to other jurisdictions.
  24. 24. 20Definition ofTerms Acculturation.This isdefined as the phenomena of sequential psychological changes as aresult of continuous and direct contact between individuals having differentcultures(Berry,2006). Assimilation.This is when immigrants become absorbed into the native populationthrough acquisition of cultural values and personal traits of the national culture (Kim, 2001). Cross-cultural adjustment.This term has been conceptualized as the degree ofcomfort,familiarity, and ease that an individual feels toward a new cultural environment(Takeuchi, Yun, Seokhwa, & Russell,2002). Cross-cultural adjustment, expatriate adjustment, orsimply adjustment, will be usedinterchangeably throughout the paper. Cultural intelligence.Cultural intelligence is defined as a person‘s ability to functioneffectively in situations that are characterized by cultural diversity which is becoming typical oftoday‘s global work settings Ang& Van Dyne, (2008) Culture shock.The anxiety that results from losing familiar signs and symbols of socialintercourse and reflected in culture based adjustment difficulties in functioning satisfactorily inthe host country is defined as culture shock (Pires, Stanton,& Ostenfeld, 2006). Cultural transitions.This is a movement from a place where the rules are known andwhere things feel right and comfortable, to one where nothing seems to make much sense at first. Expatriate.A person who has citizenship in at least one country but who is living inanother. Most expatriates only stay in the foreign country for a certain period of time..BusinessDictionary Host country.The primary culture or country where the expatriate is living and working.
  25. 25. 21 Intercultural competence. A fundamental acceptance of people who are different toone‘s self outside of one‘s own culture.The ability to interact with them ina genuinelyconstructive manner that is free of negative attitude (Fantini, 2000). Identity theory. A theory which considers how group membership affects an individual‘sidentify and sense of belonging in particular groups. National. For the purpose of this study, a national is referred to as acitizen ofBermudawho holds a passport and is entitled to its rights and protection of the country. Stress tolerance. The ability to engage in goal-oriented activities despite the existence ofpressures such as workload or time pressures. Successful expatriate experience.To complete an expatriate assignment meeting theprofessional objectives of that assignment and the ability to adapt to the host culture.Ethical Considerations There are several ethical considerations that may influence this research.The researcherwill not reflect discrimination in any of its forms in the study. The study will be characterized byopenness and honesty. An informed consent form will be requiredfor each participant that will bea part of the research documentation.A copy of the consent form will be placed in the appendix.Approval where needed will be sought from the Ministry of Education, and governingschoolboards for private schools. These important stakeholders will know what the study will entail, themethods that will be used, and the purpose for the study. The benefits of the study are both professional and personal. Those who participate willreceive feedback on the outcome of the study. The information received will be confidential andthe results reported objectively. Confidentiality will be assured by assigning pseudo names to theparticipants. Furthermore, the information will be coded.The participants may feel free to
  26. 26. 22withdraw at any time if they feel uncomfortable with the process. There are no known risks orvulnerable populations that will be asked to participate in the study. While there will bepurposeful sampling no one will be forced to participate and all will have the opportunity tovolunteer.Organization of the Study The introductory chapter of this research project will provide a general background of thestudy.A statement of the problem and the purpose statement will be included. Researchquestions and the significance of the study will be provided. A rationale for conducting the studyhas been given.This chapter willdelineatethe delimitations and limitations of the study anddiscuss key terms used throughout the research.The ethical considerations and organization ofthe study will be outlined. Chapter 2will present a review of the literature that has influenced the study. A briefhistorical perspective will be undertaken. The literature will inform the theories that govern thestudy. Models of social-cultural adaptations will be explored. The chapter will present themessuch as acculturation, culture shock, transformational learning, and a lack of orientation ofexpatriate teachers thathas emerged from current literature. Chapter 3will provide the methodology of the study. It will outline how the researchdatawill be collected and the research design of the study. A list of participants and theircharacteristics will be presented. It will present a section on data analyses. Chapter 4will present the findings and results of the study.It will also restate researchquestions andpresent the findings and the interpretation of the analysis of the data. Issues ofvalidity and reliability will be included.
  27. 27. 23 The fifth and final chapterwill give a summary of the results.Conclusions will be drawnfrom the findings and recommendations for further research will be posed. Recommendations toimportant stakeholders for best practice will be shared. Chapter 2 Review of LiteratureIntroduction This literature review will examine major theories and provide comparisons andsimilarities of previous empirical research. It will facilitate an understanding and providesyntheses and further interpretation of already known information about the topic under review.The research will investigate a broad range of topics pertaining to expatriates in the workplace,inclusive of: (a) biblical perspectives, (b) socialization of humans in society, (c) culture andculture shock, (d) intercultural competence and adaptation, (e) theories of learning, (f) andfactors that impact success or failure of expatriates. There has been a steady increase in the magnitude of traveling from country to country asthe trend of globalization has made international travel more commonplace. Employmentopportunities in overseas countries have become more prevalent. Living and working in acountry other than what is considered the home country is now considered a normal part of aperson‘s career development. A professional in the field of business or industry, an educator, agovernmental worker, or a person seeking to better themselves economically or seeking personaldevelopment may take advantage of the opportunity to live and work abroad. Just as the world has become more assessable to travelers and job opportunities becomemore abundant, so has the body of literature become more prolific that examines the wayexpatriates encounter and adapt to the nuances of a host culture (Sims &Schrader, 2004;Moseley,
  28. 28. 24Reeder,&Armstrong, 2008;Furnham, 2010). A number of researchers, such as Lee and Sukoco(2008),Brown and Holloway (2008),Armes and Ward (2001) have addressed the adaptation ofexpatriates in the business sector, while the successful adaptation of expatriate teachers hasattracted some research from Brislin (1981), Bennett (1986), and Armes and Ward (2001),Connellan (2000) point out that Hogan and Goodson (1990) suggest a significant factor in thefailure of business expatriates to meet their overseas expectations is their lack of understandingof the host country‘s culture by the expatriate worker as well as a lack of effort on the part of theexpatriate to adapt to cultural nuances or social patterns of the host country. The literature review presented in this study has been drawn from a variety ofsources.These include refereed journals, books, dissertations, online journals, and the Internet.Expatriates in Biblical Settings While one may think that leaving your home culture and traveling to another is a fairlyrecent phenomenon, since Biblical times the custom of leaving your natural home and moving toa new culture has been in existence. There are numerous recorded instances where persons in theBible journeyed from their home and relocated to another country. One such well known biblicalcharacter was Abraham. God called Abraham to leave his family of origin and all that hetreasured and migrate to an unknown country. ―Now the Lord had said to Abram: Get out ofyour country, from your family, and from your father‘s house to a land that I will show you‖(Genesis 12:1).He, along with his wife Sarah, and his nephew, Lot travelled for hundreds ofmiles and lived in a new land(Genesis 12:4). It is recorded that Abraham and his nephew Lotprospered in the new land (Genesis 13:8-10).Lot also began a family and never returned to hiscountry of origin. He adapted to his city environment and adopted many of the practices andvalues of his new environment (Genesis, chapter 19).
  29. 29. 25 Moses is another example of a well known biblical figure who was an expatriate. Hisparents, Jochebed and Amram had been transplanted from their homeland to a foreign land.Their son, Moses, though born in Egypt, was not considered an Egyptian (this is similar to manyimmigration laws today) and was in grave danger as were all infant Hebrew boys who weretargeted to be put to death. Moses was hidden on the Nile River by his mother as a baby butfound by the king‘s daughter. The biblical record indicates that she claimed him as her son but hecontinued to live with a Hebrew family (Exodus 2:7-9) throughout his childhood.About the ageof 12he was taken to the royal palace to live (Exodus 2:10). Although having lived in Egypt allof his life, and now living in the palace, Moses did not embrace all the customs, traditions, orvalues of Egypt even though he lived in the king‘s palace where he received the highest civil andmilitary training in preparation to be the successor on Pharaoh‘s throne(White,1939). Yet, whenhe witnessed an Egyptian mistreating a Hebrew man,whom Moses considered to be his people,he killed him(Exodus 2:11-12). He escaped to the country of Midan where he lived, worked, married, and had children.Upon the birth of his son Gresham he declared, ―I have been a foreigner in a foreign land‖(Exodus 3:22). Remaining in Midan for a total of 40years he tended sheep until God revealed tohim that it was time to return to Egypt, his original home (Exodus 3:10; Hebrews 11:24-26;White, 1939).Following God‘s leading Moses became a phenomenal servant leader and ledthe exiled Israelites successfully from Egypt to the borders of Canaan. Paul, a prominent Jew mentioned in the New Testament, fits the description of anexpatriate. He traveled to many countries such as Macedonia, Syria, Phoenicia, and Cilicia topreach and teach the gospel of Christ. On another journey he travelled to Rome, Italy andremained there for two years (Acts 13:2).He continued preaching the gospel and lived for short
  30. 30. 26periods of time in places such as Greece and other countries in Asia. While in Corinth, Paulbecame acquainted with Aquila and his wife. ―Because he was tentmaker as they were, hestayed and worked with this couple...‖(Acts 18:1-3).These trips commonly known as missionaryjourneys are recorded in the Bible and are the names of many of the books in the in the NewTestament, such as Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, etc. These are cities in whichPaullived and worked but he wrote letters known as epistles to the churches in these places. Not only did men have the experience of expatriation but the Bible records the journey oftwo women who sojourned from one country to another. The story is recounted in the book ofRuth. Elimelech and Naomi, his wife, traveled from Bethlehem, their home country, with theirtwo sons to the country of Moab. The family made the trip because of a famine in their homelandand became resident foreigners of Moab. The family remained there until Naomi‘s husband,Elimelech died. The sons also married women from that country and continued to live there untilthey also died. Then Naomi, widowed and childless, decided to return to her home country of Bethlehemin Judea(now Israel). Her daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah, desirous of remaining with theirmother-in-law, began the journey with her. During the journey Orpah turned back at the urgingof her mother in law. Ruth, however would not be persuaded. She travelled to Bethlehem withher mother-in-law and then became a foreigner in Naomi‘s homeland. She later married Boazand settled in his country (Ruth 4:13). In today‘s common vernacular the previouslymentioned individuals and other persons inthe Bible such as Joseph, Esther, Mordecai, and Daniel would be known as expatriates. Theyserved with distinction in a country other than their homeland. Crossing physical and culturalbarriers, they sojourned from the country of their birth, and became resident foreigners in other
  31. 31. 27distinctivecultures. These biblical men and women endured the loss of the familiar andbroadened their horizons to embrace a new future. They encountered new meaning and valuesand embraced the culture of countries. They lived and worked and brought up their families (ifthey had one) with the challenges that come along with a new society. In each instance these biblical characters attempted to preserve their own culture; yet to agreater or lesser degree they all assimilated into the culture of the new society. Hendricks (2003)states the call from God to travel to unfamiliar and unknown countries are a ―call to transmitmeaning-the meaning of life at its deepest level.‖ - While no known theoretical research has been recorded on these biblical characters, theresearcher can assume that the circumstantialities of culture and culture shock, social andtransformational learning, cross-cultural experiences, and intercultural competences were alldeeply embedded in their human contacts with the host nationals.Socialization A great deal of research has been written concerning the successful socialization ofhumans. Socialization, defined can be viewed as the conscious and unconscious process wherebyhumans learn behavior patterns and norms that enable them to function appropriately in theirenvironment. It is based on the need to belong and the desire to be accepted (Finsterbusch,2009). Socialization is really social interaction between people. It is a process of learning andadapting to the roles of society from both a formal and informal exposure that occurs within anindividual‘s home and within society (Bandura, 1986). Socialization has also been defined as the process of transmitting values, beliefs, andculture that is essential to a society‘s survival. It occurs naturally from the earliest days of aperson‘s life. Humans learn what is acceptable and appropriate as they interact with others.
  32. 32. 28Bandura (1986) writes that socialization is a learning process and can be formal such as what islearned in school and what is learned on the job; but socialization can also be informal in termsof what a person observes and experiences in everyday living. For example, girls are socializedto the roles of what it means to be daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, and wives; similarly boyslearn to be sons, brothers, fathers, uncles, and husbands. It is not necessary to take formal classesto learn how to perform in gender roles and how males and females should act and behave intheir role. People observe and experience what socialization means and what society expects ofmale and female roles and begin to fulfill the expectations of the roles from the time they arechildren. Hofstede (1980) addressed the role that socialization plays in culture. He contends thatpeople rarely adapt the values of those from cultures other than their own by mere observation,but over time through interaction with various environments such as economic, ecological, andtechnological they are more apt to change. He states that it takes a prolonged period of residencefor the expatriate to realize not just differences in culture but the subtle nuances of the hostcountry. Socialization is also linked with the adaptation process when an expatriate sojourns to adifferent environment or country. This process of adapting to a new culture is similar to what oneexperiences when they were being socialized to their home culture. The expatriate becomessocialized to their new environment as they become comfortable within the host country. Theyobserve and adopt customs and values of their new environment. Total socialization to a newenvironment is not easily attained because socialization in any culture occurs over an expansionof time. Living, working, socializing, and adopting the habits of the people, singing their songs,dancing their dances, attending their churches, and observing their holidays are all a part of the
  33. 33. 29socialization process. It is a learning experience that a successful expatriate will willingly engagein during the process of being acculturated in the host country. Socialization is highly germane to an expatriate‘s adjustment because it involvesunderstanding of how organizations function. Newcomers to the culture learn about their jobsand the new environment through this process. Socialization has also been linked to severalimportant organizational outcomes. Among these are: job satisfaction (Ashforth, Saks, &Lee,1998; Major et al., 1995), organizational commitment (Ashford & Taylor, 1990; Ashforth et al.,1998; Klein & Weaver, 2000), and performance (Ashford & Taylor, 1990).Culture Culture is extricably bound to socialization.Finsterbusch (2009) declares culture ―is theordinary, everyday objects of living and the daily routines of life that is regularly punctuated byfestivals, celebrations and other special events (p.1). Han and Northoff (2008) put forwardthatour brains and minds are shaped by the experiences that occur in the context of the culture inwhich we develop and live. ―Culture somehow implies that rituals, climate, values and behaviortie together into a coherent whole‖ (Schein,1994, p.15). We understand ourselves, others and theenvironment within which we operate. People are socialized according to their culture-the waythey behave in their own environmental setting. It is based on a country‘s framework of whereand how people fit in the community; it is how one views education, religion, family, andfriends. Culture then is the sum total of all the beliefs, customs, values, traditions, and attitudesthat distinguish one group of people from another. Culture is the very essence of a people and determines what is important tothem.―Routine and special times are the stuff of culture, for culture is the sum total of all theelements of one‘s social inheritance‖ (Finsterbusch, 2009, p.1).One can see evidences of a
  34. 34. 30country‘s culture but culture cannot be touched. A person can feel the effect of the culture but itcan‘t be packaged up. As such encountering a foreign culture, such as expatriates do, is very much likeencountering a secret code. Until you are able to unlock the code, little of what you see orexperience will make much sense. Peter Conrad, (1991) described it this way: Society has always seemed to me an idea dreamed up by conspirators. The tribe adheres thanks to shared understandings, which never need to be voiced; it celebrates its uniqueness by the exchange of private jokes, by perfecting a dialect of signals. I used to be amazed, before I could understand the language, by the sight of a whole world which conversed in Portuguese. Everything was unintelligible: I couldn‘t even read the gestures, and because of their vehemence having come from the land of laconicism, where only madmen or migrants talked with their hands -- I used to assume that people were quarreling when they were only being exuberant. The ability of expatriates to adapt across cultures is regarded as one of the three mostimportant factors for expatriate performance (Lee &Sikoco, 2010). When expatriates do notachieve cultural adjustment, they tend to have much more difficulty in adapting to theenvironment and are more likely to fail (Caligiuri, 2000). As a result researchers have beganfocusing on identifying factors that influence cultural adjustment (Black, Mendenhall &Oddou,1991).Culture Shock When a person is exposed to a culture that is different from what they are accustomed to,whether voluntarily as a tourist, or as an expatriate worker, it is common to feel somewhatfrustrated, nervous, and overwhelmed. It is what has been termed as culture shock. Over the
  35. 35. 31years researchers have tried to refine the definition of the term culture shock, by looking at veryspecific psychological factors or facets that make up the experience (Winkelman, 2003; &Xia,2009). It has been seen as a loss of one‘s culture, a marker of moving from one culture to anotherand a resocialization into another culture. There remains no clear definition of the term cultureshock, but the first usage was attributed to the anthropologist Oberg (1960) over 50 years ago(Ward et al., 2001). Culture shock describes the anxiety of not knowing exactly what to do in anew culture. It is the process of initial adjustment to an unfamiliar environment. When an expatriate worker is first exposed to a new country and experiences a feeling ofambivalence—a feeling of not knowing what to do, how to act, not feeling readily accepted inthe new culture, and experiences a lack of direction, they are experiencing what is known asculture shock. Lysgaard (1955) proposes a way to deal with culture shock which he calls the Ucurve of adjustment. He describes it in the following words: [We] observed that adjustment as a process over time seems to follow a U-shaped curve: adjustment is felt to be easy and successful to begin with; then follows a ‗crisis‘ in which one feels less well adjusted, somewhat lonely and unhappy; finally one begins to feel better adjusted again, becoming more integrated into the foreign community. (p. 15) Another researcher, Alfred Adler (1975), has identified four or five stages of adjustmentthat persons living and working abroad can expect to encounter. The first stage of initial contactis the honeymoon stage that is characterized by enthusiasm, expectancy, and exhilaration.Expatriate workers in this honeymoon stage will demonstrate an eagerness to please and arefascinated by the newness of the experience. Inevitability misunderstandings begin to mount andthe individual moves along to the second stage that is known as the hostility stage. Many timesthis stage is characterized by frustration and anger, judgmental, and sometimes depression. Many
  36. 36. 32times the expatriate feels misunderstood and typically is overwhelmed by the new culture‘srequirements. The third stage of adjustment involves that of reintegration and acceptance. Theexpatriate begins to relax in the new environment and begins to reach out and make new friendsand find ways to take advantage of the recreational outlets and even change their originalexpectations. The fourth stage continues the process of reintegration toward autonomy and theincreased ability to have a balanced approach and perspective to interpret both the positive andnegative aspects of the former and new culture. Adler (1975) specifies the fifth stage asreciprocal interdependence. This is where the expatriate has moved to a place of culturality,where she is comfortable with both cultures. This sequence of adjustment to a new culture is experienced by just about all personswho sojourn to new countries. The process has been referred to as a U-curve or a W-curvebecause it moves from higher to lower levels or adjustment and then returns to higher levels.Church(1982) discusses empirical studies in support of the U-curve hypothesis yet there arestudies that refute this theory. Furnham and Bochner (1986) cite several problems with the U-curve hypothesis. Theyconsider variables such as loneliness, homesickness, depression, and other attitudes that impact aperson‘s adjustment. Kim(1988) reports the most serious weakness of a U-curve is the inferencethat the process is a smooth move along each stage. In reality it is not so and the process can beawkward and unpredictable. Every person experiences the world through his or her own culturally influenced values,assumptions, and beliefs. Therefore when persons encounter another culture their values, beliefs,
  37. 37. 33and assumptions clash with what they are now confronting.The encounter with a new cultureoften poses a threat to one‘s way of life. Adler‘s (1975) view is that culture shock is verysignificant in the understanding of change, including the changes that come when people movefrom one place to another. What he calls ―transitional experiences‖ hold a great potential forgrowth and development for all individuals that would naturally include expatriates. One approach that has emerged in the study of culture shock is the social/learningbehavior model that emphasizes culture-specific knowledge, skills, and assimilation.Researchers Black and Mendenhall (1991) put forward Bandura‘s (1977) social learning theoryas a way of comprehending the process. Basically, they posit that the degree to which individualsbelieve they can succeed in learning another‘s culture influences their willingness to persist inimitating the other culture behavior. The intensity of what is known as culture shock is not thesame in each individual. Depending on an individual‘s home culture, specific family, and worksituations determines how well or how poorly the expatriate will adjust to the new environment. Culture shock as it relates to expatriation is a process that affects all people who relocateto other countries. The changes in food, socializing, climate, transportation, and daily interactionwith people, may have a profound effect on the expatriate worker. The ability of the expatriateteacher to understand and to master culture of the host country is an important factor indetermining if the teacher will be successful. Furnham (2010) notes, While the term ‗culture shock‘ may have originated in the academicliterature it very quickly took root in the popular imagination. Guides on how to mitigate the effects of culture shock are offered to allsorts of travelers. People recognize it immediately though they are surprised by it. There are many related definitions but they nearly all convey a similar meaning. The concepts quoted are: ‗disorientation‘, ‗anxious confusion‘,‗disease‘
  38. 38. 34 or ‗mental shock‘ or ‗transition shock‘:it is agreed that culture shock is a disorientating experienceof suddenly finding that the perspectives, behaviors and experienceof an individual or group, or whole society are not shared by others.Intercultural Competence Intercultural competence focuses on a person‘s ability to communicate appropriately andeffectively in intercultural contexts. The importance of effective intercultural competence hasbeen well recognized in research studies. Hammer, Bennett, &Wiseman (2003) distinguishbetween the terms ―intercultural sensitivity‖ and ―intercultural competence‖. They refer to thefirst as the ability to discriminate and experience relevant cultural differences and the latter as theability to think and act in appropriate ways in the context in cross cultural experiences. Theyargue that the expatriate to allow for greater intercultural competence to be experienced mustexercise both of these behaviors. Bennett (1986, 1993- ) has suggested a theoretical framework for conceptualizingintercultural sensitivity and intercultural competence that is the well-known DevelopmentalModel of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS). It has six stages, which identify issues that may beimportant to individuals at various stages of developmental levels. The DMIS as it is commonlycalled,was created to give explanation to how people interpret cultural differences. Theunderlying assumptions being that the development of intercultural sensitivity moves along acontinuum of stages of personal growth, moving from ethnocentrism-the first three stages whichis one‘s own culture as being central to understanding another‘s culture, to ethno relativism (thelast three) where one‘s own culture is experienced within the contexts of other cultures (Bennett,1986). He further contends, the more one‘s cultural experiences become sophisticated, the moreone‘s competence in intercultural relationships is strengthened.
  39. 39. 35 There are data that specifically address the experiences of teachers in higher education,journeying from their home country and adjusting to a host country and a foreign culture whilenegotiating how to work in the subculture of their new temporary home. There are instanceswhere universities send their faculty abroad on international assignment. Keller (as cited byCircarello, 2004) states as a result of data her research.Four themes emerged from her study for asuccessful sojourn in a foreign country particularly pertaining to expatriate educators: (a) everyeducator is not necessarily suited for an overseas assignment one must choose the ―right‖teacher; (b) after choosing the candidate the teacher should receive in-depth training, thisoccurring before they leave their home country; (c) even after the teachers are situated in theirnew country and have begun their assignment, they should continued to receive support from theuniversity; (d) it is critical for universities to maintain open lines of communication with facultywho are assigned abroad. Varner&Palmer (2005) argued that the ability to adapt to a host country‘s culture plays acritical role for an expatriate to have a positive experience.This is also the beginning ofintercultural competence.
  40. 40. 36Cross Cultural Adjustment Cross-cultural adjustment is the state of being at ease, and the familiarity that anexpatriate feels toward their host country as they adjust to their new environment.Firmin,MacKay,&Firmin(2007) in their study of student teachers who complete their training overseas,declare that cultural challenges are one of three critical factors that have the greatest impact onoverseas teacher internships. According to Firmin et al.(2007),expatriate teachers need to knowhow to be appropriate in their behavior in the classroom and with persons on the street or inchurch. Successfully adapting to cultural differences was listed as an important skill to bemastered. A number of terms have been used to describe this process of adapting successfully to anew country and thus a new culture: cross-cultural, acculturation, cultural diversity, culturaltransmission and assimilation are but a few. ―Cultures exist to serve the vital, practical,requirements of human life‖(Sowell, 2009,p.77). Every society is interwoven with socialdifferences: both those that are the result of real difference in access to resources and those thatare more the product of people‘s imagination. For nationals and expatriates living together in acommon society calls for intercultural competence on the part of both entities involved. Simplystated one could say that a level of openness to accept differences of each is needed forintercultural competence to be possible. Every expatriate who arrives in a host country experiences a period of adjustment.Adjustment refers to the process of well being to a life situation. Researchers such as Kamal andMaruyama (1998) have included a range of outcomes that give a measure adjustment. Theyincluded the work of previous researchers in outlining a comprehensive measure of expatriateadjustment, including self-awareness and self-esteem (Kamal & Maruyama, 1990), mood states
  41. 41. 37(Stone Feinstein & Ward, 1990), and health status (Wardas cited in Babiker, Cox, & Miller,1980). Other typical measures of adjustment involve other subjective experiential constructs thatrefer to well-being such as anxiety, mood, depression, subjective well-being, satisfaction, andhappiness. Friedman,Dyke,& Murphy (2009) point out that the most widely cited model of cross-cultural adjustment is the model developed by Black et al. (1991). It draws on the research onexpatriate adjustment and domestic work adjustments. Black et al. suggest that adjustmentoccurs twice: first, prior to the expatriates‘ arrival into the country that is termed anticipatoryadjustment. In this stage it occurs as a function of the training and accuracy of their expectationand any previous international experience. This adjustment period is further influenced by anymechanisms or criteria that have been utilized by the organization. Secondly, there are in-countryfactors which impact adjustment. These can be determined as individual skills such as relationaland perceptual skills factors, job characteristics organizational socialization, non-workenvironment, and spousal and other family members family issues if such factors pertain. While there is some academic research on cultural differences on international businessand organizational cultural, the expatriates‘ experience is largely impacted by variables that arespecific to a person‘s personality, their abilities, personal history, and the organization(Friedmanet al.,). Phenomenological research which is the description of the experiential meanings as welive them will be a most appropriate way to capture the richness and descriptive phenomenon asexperienced by the expatriate worker as it will provide the reader an understanding of the livedexperience. According to Marsumoto, Hirayama & Le Roux,&Brislin (1981) three factors ofadjustment have been identified including (a) having successful relationships with people from
  42. 42. 38other cultures; (b) feeling that interactions are warm, cordial, respectful, and cooperative; and (c)accomplishing tasks in an effective and efficient manner. Hammer, Gudykunst, & Wiseman(1978) focused on these factors, and also added the ability to manage psychological stresseffectively. Black and Stephens (1989) Even so, there is some ambiguity as to what a successful adjustment to the host countryreally means. Several models have been put forward. Ward and Kennedy (1999),Gullahorn andGullahorn (1960),Oberg (1960), andAdler (1975) all delineate phases of excitement, shockculture stress, and adaptation. What all the models seem to have in common is the first stagewhen there is positive feeling, fascination, excitement, and euphoria about the host country.Although some models give time lines for the phases there is in fact little indication as to howlong each phase will last and therefore this is absent from most models. Brown and Hollowaypoint to the work of Furnham and Erdmann (1995) who say it is important to distinguish betweenpsychological and socio-cultural adjustment. They further state that distinguishing between thetwo may have significant implications for those who offer support. As such, some may focus onthe expatriate acquiring skills to assisting in the socio-cultural adjustment while others may needa course of action that addresses low self esteem or depression. While most of the research has been advising expatriate teachers to heartily embrace theirnew culture, conversely, authors Herman &Bailey (1991) urge a degree of caution in the culturalexchange process. They quote Briere (1984) and Horowitz (1987) as supporting their argument,citing that an overly enthusiastic admiration of a foreign culture is as dangerous as a negativeperception regarding a new culture. Most of the literature corroborates the impact that acculturation has on the entire process.Acculturation refers to the process of intercultural adaptation. Wichert, (1996 ) noted that Kim‘s
  43. 43. 39early work in 1977 noted that as immigrants moved from one culture to another their values andbehaviors may be maladaptive to the new. Kim also characterizes acculturation as thephenomena whereby ―sooner or later, immigrants come to understand better the norms andvalues, and to adopt salient reference groups of the host society‖. Cross-cultural adaptationrefers to the ―process over time that takes place within individuals who have completed theirprimary socialization in one culture and then come into continuous and prolonged firsthandcontact with a new culture (Kim, p.37).(Stenbacka, 2001) Professional studies and scholarly literature on this important topic is still beingdeveloped. As an increased number of teachers, both experienced and student teachers, ventureoverseas, they experience the opportunities that international teaching brings therefore moreresearch is being produced. Several theories address the transition between the home culture and the introspective andtransformational journey from known customs, beliefs,values, and traditions to the unknownwaters of a new culture. The process of acculturation of the expatriate will be viewed through thelenses of social learning, self-efficacy, and transformational learning. Social learning theory. Albert Bandura (1977), a leading proponent of the social learning theory explains humanbehavior in terms of the mutualinteraction between cognitive, behavioral, and environmentalinfluences. This theory referenced by Ormond (1999) focuses on learning that occurs within asocial context. It considers that people learn from one another and includes concepts such asmodeling, imitation, and observational learning.Bandura, the leading proponent of this theory,puts forward several principles and provides implications to explain the theory.
  44. 44. 40The primary principles of the social learning theory are: (a) People can learn by observing thebehavior of others and as such by the outcomes of those behaviors. Learning can occur without achange in behavior. This concept is in direct opposition to the behaviorist view that says forlearning to occur there has to be a permanent change in behavior. Rather, says social theoristslearning may or may not result in a behavior change. (b) Cognition plays a role in learning. Andthat awareness and expectations of reinforcement or punishments can have a major result on thebehaviors that people exhibit,and (c) as such the social learning theory serves as a transitionalbridge between the behaviorist‘s theories and the cognitive learning theories. Bandura (1977) has suggested that the environment reinforces modeling in several ways.He suggests that imitated behavior in and of itselfleads an observer to reinforcing consequencesand the behavior is learned through modeling and is thereby reinforced.Bandura (1977) hasfurther proposed that social learning theory can be used to explain cultural differences and it isincumbent for a new comer in the host culture to become competent in new learning in order toensure adjustment in the new environment. Researchers, Black and Mendenhall (1991), discuss Bandura‘s social learning theory andput forwardthat learning can occur as a result of modeling and observing other people‘sbehavior. They argue that the extent to which individuals believe they can succeed is significantto the amount of success they experience. Their willingness to persevere in mirroring ―the other‖culture impacts and influences their lived experience. Mendenhall and Oddou (1985) contendthat expatriates often learn culturally appropriate behavior through social learning. Further,Bandura (1986) addressed the topic of social-cultural diffusion and adaptation for people ofdifferent cultures. He noted that there is some pressure to adapt to a new culture and to reshapebehaviors in a diffusion process. There are a range of stages that expatriates experience as they
  45. 45. 41maneuver through the stages of adjustment to a new culture. There are obstacles to a smoothtransitional change of lifestyle and such as being forced to learn a new way and the time it takesto journey through it is the cross-cultural learning process. Self-efficacy theory. Another theory that has meaningful context to this study and is related to the theory ofsocial learning is the theory of self-efficacy.Theself efficacy theory can be defined as the beliefin one‘s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage perspectivesituations. According to Bandura, a person‘s attitudes, abilities, and cognitive skills comprisewhat is known as the self-system. This system plays a major role in how we perceive situationsand how we behave in response to different situations. Self-efficacy determines how people feel,think,and behave toward situations and motivate themselves. A strong sense of self-efficacyenhances an individual‘s personal well-being.Possessing such a strong sense of efficacy fostersan optimistic outlook and engenders deep engrossment and interest in activities. In contrast, says Bandura, those who doubt their capabilities often do not attempt whatthey perceive to be difficult tasks. They have low aspirations and a less than robust belief in theirability to overcome adversity and fall victim to stress and depression. Bandura (1986) records that there are four major sources of efficacy expectations:(a)performance accomplishments: the most influential source of efficacy formation, because itprovides the most authentic evidence; (b) vicarious experience: less influential than performanceaccomplishments. Although seeing the success of others similar to one‘s self can raise a person‘sself efficacy; (c) verbal persuasion: although this does not provide authentic evidence, it doesraise favorable logical arguments that may raise self efficacy; (d). emotional arousal: especially
  46. 46. 42in threatening situations, desensitization, and massive exposure treatments may produce somereduction in avoidance behaviors. Another study suggests that there is a strong correlation between expatriates‘effectiveness and how well they adjust their behavior within a host culture. This study of99expatriates occurred in Europe and was related to the variables of self efficacy and selfmonitoring. Results of this particular study indicated that participants with high general self-efficacy expressed significantly greater degrees of interaction and work adjustment than thosewith low or weak self-efficacy(Harrison, Chadwick, & Scales, 1996). Transformational learning theory. Another theory that relates to this study of expatriate adaptation and effectiveness is thatof transformational learning. The study of transformational learning emerged with the work ofJack Mezirow (1994, 1997). Transformational learning is defined as learning that induces morefar-reaching change in the learner than other kinds of learning; especially learning experienceswhich shape the learner and produce a significant impact, or paradigm shift, which affects thelearner‘s subsequent experiences (Clark,1993). Transformative learning is concerned with ―howlearners construe, validate, and reformulate themeaning of theirexperience‖ (Cranton, 1994,p.22). When a learner is confronted with a new situation and becomes open to doing things adifferent way, accepting of new ideas, are less defensive about their own view, and reflectivethey are then in a transformational learning mode. Mezirow (1997) also posits that individuals donot make transformative changes in the way they learn as long as the new material fitscomfortably in their existing frames of reference. The theory specifically asserts that learningcenters upon making meaning of life experiences.

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