MLA Directory of Periodicals
REAO: East Asian Studies Journals
University of the Fraser Valley, Canada
There has been a relative lack of research on lived experiences of minority immigrant teachers in Canada, particularly on identity issues of immigrant Chinese teachers in Canadian universities. Drawing upon identity theories, this paper presents a case study conducted with five immigrant Chinese teachers of Mandarin at a public university in Greater Vancouver. It investigates whether and how these teachers introduce Chinese cultural information in their Mandarin classrooms and how such teaching practices intertwine with their identity construction and negotiation in response to multiple cultures. Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured interviews and classroom observations. The research findings suggest that the teachers strategically integrated cultural knowledge with language teaching based on students’ linguistic backgrounds and Chinese proficiency, and that the moments of their culture teaching foregrounded their cultural identity, ethnic identity, and professional identity as well as their 'third space' as a privilege to help students negotiate cultural differences. Further studies are encouraged to compare different groups of Chinese teachers teaching Chinese as a second language and to deepen our understandings of the richness of immigrant teachers’ identities.
Mandarin teaching in Canada, culture teaching and language teaching, immigrant Chinese teacher, teacher identity