Learning to Teach, Again, in China


  • Lisa Lynn McLeod-Chambless Georgia State University




international students, cross-cultural teaching, China, TEFL


Teaching English abroad provides an opportunity to travel the world however, it can also be challenging endeavor. Having limited exposure to and understanding of the culture adds to the intensity of the challenge and the inability to navigate daily living in a new environment can be a painful disorienting experience that often results in culture shock. Young Yun Kim’s theory outlines a developmental model that presents the trials of cross-cultural adaptation as a dynamic and transformative process through which “intercultural personhood” can be developed. Kim argues that the stress of acculturation and deculturation is an opportunity for growth that is manifested in cycles of “stress-adaptation-growth”.  This account of a three-year experience living and teaching at a public high school in China applies Kim’s model to demonstrate how the difficulties of cross-cultural experiences can be the catalyst for transformation and development of intercultural identity. Developing an understanding of the cultural context through awareness and reflection facilitates the ability to teach students from other cultures. Educators in Georgia, particularly ESL teachers, are likewise challenged by cultural differences with their students and can further develop their intercultural skills in regardless of location.

Author Biography

Lisa Lynn McLeod-Chambless, Georgia State University

PhD student, Teaching and Learning, Language and Literacy



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Additional Files



How to Cite

McLeod-Chambless, L. L. (2018). Learning to Teach, Again, in China. GATESOL Journal, 28(1). https://doi.org/10.52242/gatesol.68



From the Trenches Outside of Georgia