Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Education




Dr. Paul Tarc


Globalization intensifies international educational transfer; regional knowledge, values, and pedagogies flow across nations. Due to the unequal relations of power and influence between nations, Chinese educators typically favor knowledge and pedagogies from Western developed countries. Without enough careful consideration of the local context(s), undesirable learning effects appear to be generated. This study is motivated by the desire to enhance understanding on how Western knowledge and pedagogical practices could more optimally meet local college Chinese students’ complex English language learning needs. To illuminate what actually happens in the processes of adoption and adaptation of Western language, knowledge, and pedagogy, I examined English language pedagogies in one Chinese college. I employed multi-staged interviews with six Chinese English language teachers and a small-scale survey for another seventeen participant-teachers. My study explores limits and possibilities for a non-coercive relationship between East and West, bottom-up influences, and more sensitivity and reflexivity in international educational transfer. It finds that Western knowledge as the curriculum content and Western pedagogy need to be adapted and modified according to students’ uneven English language foundations, accustomed learning habits, learning goals and heterogeneous identities related to their socio-economic backgrounds.