Foreign-born instructors in the U.S.: Intercultural competence, teaching strategies, and job satisfaction
Oksana Wasilik, University of Wyoming, United States
University of Wyoming . Awarded
This study examines intercultural competence, teaching strategies, and job satisfaction of foreign-born instructors in a small U.S. higher education institution. The research questions addressed by this study are: (1) How do foreign-born instructors score on intercultural competence? (2) How do foreign-born instructors' teaching strategies differ depending on their cultural differences? (3) Do those foreign-born instructors who score higher on intercultural-competence scale have more positive experience (more satisfied) working at the U.S. universities? And are instructors who apply generative or supplantive types of teaching strategies more satisfied with their jobs?
Mixed-methods approach was used for the study design and data collection. The quantitative part of the study was designed in the form of a self-report instrument. The qualitative data was collected in the form of semi-structured interviews.
The study found that foreign-born instructors assessed themselves quite high on the intercultural-competence scale. Also it was found that intercultural competence was most strongly related to the instructor's length of teaching in the U.S., instructor's age, and tenure status. As far as teaching strategies, instructors coming from cultures where generative style of teaching is more common tended to favor generative teaching strategies in the U.S. classroom. Similarly, foreign-born instructors who originated from cultures favoring the use of supplantive teaching style were more inclined to apply supplantive strategies in the U.S. Finally, foreign-born instructors with higher intercultural competence had higher job satisfaction. The best predictors for job satisfaction of the foreign-born instructors were intercultural competence and generative native strategies.
A number of implications for practice were suggested in the study. First, intercultural competence comes with teaching experience in the U.S. classroom. Second, instructors need to understand the circumstances in which generative or supplantive strategies work the best and adjust their teaching compared to the practices common in their native cultures. Finally, foreign-born instructors can increase their job satisfaction by working on improving their intercultural competence and adjusting their teaching style towards more student-oriented, generative approach.
Wasilik, O. Foreign-born instructors in the U.S.: Intercultural competence, teaching strategies, and job satisfaction. Ph.D. thesis, University of Wyoming.
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