The research process

Purposive sampling (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000; Groenewald, 2004) was used to first recruit Chinese-born Chinese language teachers at two universities in the northeastern United States. Initial open-ended interviews were arranged with interested participants. Prior to the interview, participants were asked to consider the following question: 'How do you understand language teaching, its key principles and practices, and how do you put it to use in your classroom?' This first interview was followed by a classroom observation, which was in turn followed by a second open-ended interview to reflect further with the teacher on language teaching. This process was repeated in China at two Chinese universities with teachers who were teaching English. To minimise risk and to protect privacy, all participants were assigned a unique identifying number (i.e., P1 for participant number 1 at the first school, P41 for participant number 1 at the fourth school, P25 for participant number 5 at the second school, and so on).

Methodological constraints limited the analysis to 6 of 16 teachers enrolled (Giorgi, 2011, personal communication), who are described in Table 9.1. This participant sample was consistent with the norm for a phenomenological study (Cresswell, 1998), and in the end yielded nearly 300 pages of transcripts, a data set of sufficient size for fruitful analysis (Freeman, 2005/1998; Kvale, 1996). Moreover, since in phenomenology the mental phenomenon is the object of analysis, the observation transcripts were not analysed.

Table 9.1 Description of participants

Part. #

Sex

Age

BA - YoG

Major

MA - YoG

Major

Teaching

experience

1

F

34

1994

Chinese

1997

Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language

China: 10 United States: 3

5

M

54

1981

English

Language

and

Literature

  • 1984
  • 1996

Eng. Lang. & Lit

Chin. Cult. & Lit. Crit. (Ph.D.)

China: 16 United States: 11

31

F

41

1987

Applied

Linguistics

1997

Chinese Lang. and Lit.

China: 3 United States: 4

21

M

39

1990

English

Education

2006

2nd Lang. Acquisition

China: 17

25

F

32

1997

English

Education

2003

Linguistics

China: 13

41*

M

44

1984

English Lang. and Lit

1999

C.A.L.L. (in UK)

China: 23 UK: 1.5

 
Source
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