Achives: culture shock

By Neil Root
Neil Root is a writer and London based English Language teacher with 10 years experience.

Cultural Sensitivity When Teaching Abroad

By Gideon (Flickr: Cafe de Bellas Artes) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

When teaching in another country EFL teachers are the guest of that culture, and no matter where it is there will be different customs, beliefs and cultural expectations. This varies greatly – in most European countries the change won’t be so defined, but in the Middle East and Asia the differences are very striking. Part of your job is to meet that culture halfway and to adapt your sensibilities in line with that of your students. This is a lesson quickly learnt by many teachers working worldwide.

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By Neil Root
Neil Root is a writer and London based English Language teacher with 10 years experience.

Adapting to an alien culture

By Gulustan (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

EFL teachers are usually adventurous people, and one of the main reasons people do the job is to travel and broaden their experiences. It can be thrilling and massively rewarding, and develop your character greatly. But it is also important to remember that you are going to a country with an alien culture or language, unless you’re lucky enough to know the country and speak the language.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Reverse culture shock

You’ve been living in a new, exciting, stimulating land for months or years. The sights, sounds, smells, people and adventures have all been new and invigorating. Then, it’s all over. Your contract is up, your visa has expired, and it’s time to head back home.

Arriving home and only seeing mono-lingual signage, hearing announcements in only one language at the baggage carousel while being subjected to having to listen to some garish regional accent at the neighboring baggage carousel; it’s all a part of reverse culture shock. Or at least it was for me. Sure it’s nice to be home in the town that I’m most familiar with, yet, it’s so unexciting. So uneventful. So not stimulating to the mind.

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