First Advisor

Dannelle D. Stevens

Date of Publication

Spring 5-16-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum & Instruction




Foreign teachers -- United States -- Attitudes -- Case studies, Acculturation -- United States -- Case studies, Identity (Psychology), Chinese language -- Study and teaching -- United States



Physical Description

1 online resource (xi, 171 pages)


In recent years in the United States, an increasing number of people are learning Mandarin, the dominant Chinese language in China. Because of the shortage of Mandarin teachers, many visiting teachers from China with Chinese educational background are teaching Mandarin in the U.S. schools. In the U.S. classrooms, these teachers are challenged to adapt to a new setting. This experience can lead them to changing their teaching identity, that is, their basic beliefs, attitudes and practices about teaching. Understanding how Chinese teachers may form a new teaching identity in the U.S. context serves to inform future professional development activities designed to increase their competence as teachers in U.S. classrooms. The purpose of this study was to describe and explain what is visiting Chinese language teachers' identity and how the identity changes might take place when they teach Mandarin in U.S. classrooms. The broader goal is to find ways to encourage Chinese language teaching competency in the U.S. classrooms and to foster cross-cultural communication.

In this study, I used mixed methods research to study 14 visiting Chinese language teachers with Chinese educational background to find out how they perceive their teaching and how they teach in the U.S. classrooms. My findings were: (a) visiting Chinese language teachers changed their teaching attitudes, beliefs, and teaching practice in U.S. classroom; (b) teachers with a high teaching identity on Teaching Identity Survey maintained a high level of teaching identity after four months of teaching in U.S. classrooms; and, (c) visiting Chinese language teachers who changed their teaching identity engaged in critical reflections on their teaching practice, and learned from both Chinese and U.S. teachers. To have a positive impact on Chinese language teachers' identity and increase the likelihood of success, two implications are evident. First, Chinese language teachers could benefit from the professional development program with a focus on cultural differences and U.S. classroom management strategies. Second, U.S. schools and Chinese language programs need to create opportunities for teachers to learn from each other and build a professional community.


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