Lost Marbles Part I by rt3463df


									Working with Students from China
  – A Cross-Cultural Perspective

                 Sherri Xie
       International Student Services
           University of Alberta

               March 7, 2007
• Three generations of Chinese Students
• The Millennium Generation
  • Social background and characteristics
  • Learning environment
  • Challenges in Canadian institutions
  • Cultural behavioral patterns
• How can we be more helpful?
          Chinese students in Canada
                                                                33801 35580
                                                         30807      22.3% 22.3%
2078 2166 3019     3.9%
   2.9% 2.9% 2.9%

1996   1997     1998    1999    2000    2001      2002    2003   2004   2005

         Three generations
of Chinese students studying abroad

1) Pre-Tiananmen Square Protests: 1978-1989
2) Post-Tiananmen Square Protests: 1990-1999
3) Millennium Generation: 2000-
   (born in 80’s)
                   Millennium Generation:
                  Social Background
• Rapid economic development
   • “It’s glorious to become rich.” – Deng Xiaoping
   • “Shift from a subsistence economy to consumer economy with the
     emergence of a large middle class.”

• Communist ideology was replaced by the
  entrepreneurial spirit, nationalism and pragmatism
   • “Black or white, as long as it catches the mouse, it’s a good cat.” –
     Deng Xiaoping

• Globalization and penetration of Western culture have
  great impact on the society
              Millennium Generation:
               At the Crossroad

• Financially well-off – most from upper middle
  class family
• Politically naive -- Grew up with the booming
  economy and rising nationalism with no
  experience in the political turmoil
• Culturally open – struggle to break up with
  tradition in face of the “modern”, different and
                  Millennium Generation:
                  A Lonely Crowd
• Socially lonely – one child in a family; lack of
  social interaction
• Academically stressful – highly competitive to get
  into the “key” schools
   • “I want my child to accomplish what I could not.”

• Psychologically vulnerable –pressure from family
  and society
   •   “I wish my parents don’t make me their project.”
                 Millennium Generation:
             Learning Environment
• Curriculum is prescribed, highly structured and formalized
• Teacher centered
• Final exam centered
• Emphasis on imitation, practice, and memorization
   • Memorization– “a path to understanding”

• Emphasis on individual efforts, no peer-group work
               Millennium Generation:
      Challenges in Canadian Institutions

• Disoriented: from “dependent” to “independent”
• Disappointed: feel not supported the way they
• Disadvantaged: classroom discussion, group
  projects, presentation, critical thinking
• Lost in translation: language barriers, slang
             Millennium Generation:
Challenges in Canadian Institutions

Different Writing Styles:
  -- Cultural rhetoric patterns
• Indirect (vs. Direct)
• Inductive (vs. Deductive)
             Millennium Generation:
   Challenges in Canadian Institutions

Plagiarism? “Are you kidding me?”
  -- Cultural view of knowledge
• Not knowing of referencing
• Referencing is not formally taught in school
• Knowledge is considered as the common
  property to be shared
             Millennium Generation:
          Cultural Behaviors
• Group Oriented
  • One relates to others
  • Relationships – Roles – Obligations
  • Family
  • Friends (“cheating or cooperation?”)
               Cultural Clash
          ---- “Why did she ignore me?”

1. Mike Ho arrived in Canada a few days ago. He
   was waiting to see the graduate secretary while
   she was talking to another student. After about
   10 minutes Mike wanted to get her attention but
   she was fully occupied in the conversation with
   the student even though she knew he was
   there. After another 10 minutes, Mike left and
   felt upset. He came to you now complaining that
   the secretary ignored him and unfriendly.
                    Cultural Clash
     ---- Is it Cultural or Are they just inconsiderate?

2.1 A small group of Chinese students were talking
  loudly in the lobby while there’s a workshop going on.
  They showed no sign of lowering their voice.
2.2 A Chinese student squeezed past you in the bus
  without saying “excuse me”.
2.3 A Chinese student was standing much closer to you
  in line than you would feel comfortable. When you
  moved ahead a bit, he followed you right away.
               Cultural Clash
---- Is it Cultural or Are they just inconsiderate?
                 Millennium Generation:
         How can we be more helpful?

- Understand where they are from and be effective in
  offering advice. Be directive at can be very helpful.
- Appropriate goals, appropriate process.
- Advise beyond what they came in for. Catch the
  “teachable moments”
- Facilitate decision making but instill a sense of ownership
  of decisions.
     Millennium Generation:
How can we be more helpful?

                • What are the issues?
                • How do you explain
                the behaviors in the
                cultural context?
                • What would be your
                   Scenario # 1
                   Group work
A first-year Chinese student came to tell you her recent
experience with her group work… She said it was hard
to participate in brainstorming for ideas with her group
of Canadian students. “They were talking all the time,”
she said, “I didn’t even have a chance to talk.” She
said she didn’t want to say no to any ideas they put
forward, so would just move along with whatever they
decided. She also found out that she was rated not so
good by peer evaluation and she was frustrated.
                 Scenario # 2
             When seeking advice…

After the advising session with you, Jack Gao went to see
another advisor, Sarah, whom he had seen before, and
talked in their mother tongue. Sarah printed out something
for him afterwards. The next day, Jack went to see another
advisor, Joe, for the same issue.
               Scenario # 3 Meatloaf
At the dinner, the host mother cooked meatloaf as a main
course. Jim Tang didn’t like meatloaf at all, but when his host
mother asked him if he liked it, he nodded and said, “Yes.”
The host mother gave him half of the meatloaf. Before
finishing his dinner, Jim told the host mother that he had to
make a long distance call and then took his plate with the
meatloaf to go to his room. The next day, the host mother
was cleaning the kitchen. She found out that the half of the
meatloaf was in the trash can wrapped in foil. She was very
upset and angry. She called you and complained that Jim
should not lie to her and waste the food.
            Scenario # 4 Best Friends
Tim Guo and Fred Song are best friends and they both took
English 130. Fred was sick for a week and asked Tim to let him
copy his homework. Tim felt obligated. The professor found out
and said it was plagiarism. They both failed the class and
received a warning from the Dean. Tim came to see you and he
was very upset.
Meanwhile, he showed you two completed tax return forms and
asked you to check for him and Fred. You found out that Fred
didn’t sign on his form. Tim said he would sign for Fred
because Fred is in another city visiting his brother.
Thank you!

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