Teacher Development: East Meets West

During staff orientation in August, YCIS Shanghai invited Mr. Shi Xudeng, professor from East China Normal University, to give a lecture on cultural differences to all Primary and Secondary level Chinese teachers at Century Park Campus.

In a light-mannered and humorous approach, Professor Shi gave classic examples of cross-cultural misunderstandings and the rationale behind each culture’s approach. As a result, the teachers developed a deeper understanding of the cultural differences. The teachers not only left with a stronger grasp of westerners’ cultural identity, but also gained a more objective and structured understanding of the Chinese culture. More importantly, the Chinese teachers learned practical ways to communicate effectively with westerners to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding.

Professor Shi has been teaching Chinese as a second language for 20 years. During the period, he also has been a guest lecturer in La Trobe University in Australia and University of Applied Sciences Bremen in Germany. Now his study focus is in cross-cultural communication, and he has published several books on the subject.

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