Asia Pacific Education Review

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 50–63 | Cite as

The development of personal, intercultural and professional competence in international field experience in initial teacher education

  • Sylvia Yee Fan Tang
  • Pik Lin Choi


This paper reports a qualitative case study of four preservice student teachers’ professional learning experiences in an international field experience programme situated in the language and cultural immersion component of a PGDE(Primary) Programme in Hong Kong. Two of the student teachers undertook the international field experience in Australia and Canada. The other two had their “non-local” field experience in mainland China1. The findings reveal student teachers' development in personal and intercultural competence in cross-cultural experiences. Their professional learning experiences in the action context, socio-professional context, and supervisory context of the cross-cultural school settings, and their reflection upon these experiences constituted the development of their professional competence. Suggestions for improvement of the international field experience programme and implications for future research are discussed.

Key Words

initial teacher education international field experience student teachers student teaching professional learning 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baker, F. J., & Rosalie, G-B. (2000).Building an international student teaching program: A California/Mexico experience (Report). California: California State Polytechnic University Pomona.Google Scholar
  2. Bennett, M. J. (1993). Towards ethnorelativism: A developmental model of intercultural sensitivity. In R. M. Paige (Ed.),Education for the intercultural experience (pp. 21–71). Yarmouth: Intercultural Press, Inc.Google Scholar
  3. Bodycott, P., & Crew, V. (2001). Short term English language immersion: Paradox; culture shock; participant adjustment. In P. Bodycott & V. Crew (Eds.),Language and cultural immersion-Perspectives on short term study and residence abroad (pp. 1–10). Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  4. Britton, E., Pain, L., Pimm, D., & Raizen, S. (2003).Comprehensive teacher induction: Systems for early career learning. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  5. Byram, M. (1994). Residence abroad-<Fieldwork> in pre-service teacher development. In T. B. Council (Ed.),The European dimension in pre- and in-service language teacher development: New directions (pp. 67–87). Clevedon: Multilingual Maters Ltd.Google Scholar
  6. Clement, M. C., & Outlaw, M. E. (2002). Student teaching abroad: Learning about teaching, culture, and self.Kappa Delta Pi Record, Summer, 180–183.Google Scholar
  7. Connelly, J. (2001). Border crossings. In P. Bodycott & V. Crew (Eds.),Language and cultural immersion - Perspectives on short term study and residence abroad (pp. 23–34). Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  8. Crew, V., & Bodycott, P. (2001). Reflections on short term study and residence abroad. In P. Bodycott & V. Crew (Eds.),Language and cultural immersion - Perspectives on short term study and residence abroad (pp. 141–150). Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  9. Cushner, K., & Mahon, J. (2002). Overseas student teaching: Affecting personal, professional, and global competencies in an age of globalization.Journal of Studies in International Education, 6(1), 44–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Davcheva, L. (2002). Learning to be intercultural. In G. Alred, M. Byram & M. Fleming (Eds.),Intercultural experience and education (pp. 67–86). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.Google Scholar
  11. Eraut, M. (1994).Developing professional knowledge and competence. London & Washington, D.C.: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  12. Evans, M., Alano, C., & Wong, J. (2001). Does a short language course in an immersion setting help teachers to gain in communicative competence? In P. Bodycott & V. Crew (Eds.),Language and cultural immersionerspectives on short term study and residence abroad (pp. 91–100). Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  13. Ferry, B., & Konza, D. (2001). Supporting cross-cultural adaptation during practice teaching in China: Reflections on a decade of experience.Educational Practice and Theory, 23(1), 79–96.Google Scholar
  14. Glaser B. G., & Strauss A. L. (1967).The discovery of grounded theory. New York: Aldine Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  15. Heyward, M. (2002). From international to intercultural: Redefining the international school for a globalized world.Journal of Research in International Education, 1(1), 9–32.Google Scholar
  16. Hill, B., & Thomas, N. (2002). Preparing Australian teachers to teach Asian studies: The importance of in-country experience.Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 30(3), 291–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kuechle, J., Ferguson, P., & O’Brien, R. (1995). A collaborative student teaching program in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.Action in Teacher Education, 17(2), 36–39.Google Scholar
  18. Mahan, J. M., & Stachowski, L. (1990). New horizons: Student teaching abroad to enrich diversity.Action in Teacher Education, 12(3), 13–21.Google Scholar
  19. Mahan, J. M., & Stachowski, L. L. (1989). Instructional suggestions from abroad concerning overseas teaching.Journal of Teacher Education, 40(6), 40–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McKay, P., Bowyer, L., & Kerr, J. (2001). Simultaneous immersion: Promoting language learning and teaching methodology in English immersion for teacher trainees. In P. Bodycott & V. Crew (Eds.),Language and cultural immersion - Perspectives on short term study and residence abroad (pp. 35–48). Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  21. McNally, J., Cope, P., Inglis, B., & Stronach, I. (1997). The student teacher in school: Conditions for development.Teaching and Teacher Education, 13(5), 485–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Murdoch, P., & Adamson, B. (2001). The effects of a short term study abroad programme upon sociolinguistic competence in the use of English as a second language. In P. Bodycott & V. Crew (Eds.),Language and cultural immersion-Perspectives on short term study and residence abroad (pp. 101–112). Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  23. Myers, E. J. (1996). A culturally diverse field experience setting for preservice teachers.Education (Chula Vista), 117(2), 286–289.Google Scholar
  24. Myers, E. J. (1997). Some benefits of an education abroad program for elementary preservice teachers.Education (Chula Vista), 117(4), 579–583.Google Scholar
  25. Quinn, L. F., Barr, H., Jarchow, E., Powell, R. R., & Mckay, J. W. (1995). International student teaching: New Zealand and the United States Perspectives on Schooling.Action in Teacher Education, 18(2), 18–27.Google Scholar
  26. Slick, S. K. (1998). The university supervisor: A disenfranchised outsider.Teaching and Teacher Education, 14(8), 821–834.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Stachowski, L. L., & Visconti, V. A. (1998). Service learning in overseas nations: U.S. student teachers give, grow, and gain outside the classroom.Journal of Teacher Education, 49(3), 212–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tang, S. Y. F. (2003). Challenge and support: The dynamics of student teachers’ professional learning in the field experience.Teaching and Teacher Education, 19(5), 483–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Taylor, E. W. (1994). Intercultural competency: A transformative learning process,Adult Education Quarterly, 44(3), 154–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Vall, N. G., & Tennison, J. M. (1991–92). International student teaching: Stimulus for developing reflective teachers.Action in Teacher Education, 13(4), 31–36.Google Scholar
  31. Wang, J. (2001). Contexts of mentoring and opportunities for learning to teach: a comparative study of mentoring practice.Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(1), 51–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ward, M. J., & Ward, C. J. (2003). Promoting cross-cultural competence in preservice teachers through second language use.Education, 123(3), 532–537.Google Scholar
  33. Willard-Holt, C. (2001). The impact of a short-term international experience for preservice teachers.Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(4), 505–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Williams, L., & Kellecher, R. (1987). International student teaching: Linkage for change.Innovative Higher Education, 11(2), 84–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Wilson, A. H. (1993). Conversation partners: Helping students gain a global perspective through cross-cultural experiences.Theory into Practice, 32(1), 21–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Education Research Institute 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational Policy and AdministrationThe Hong Kong Institute of EducationNew Territories, Hong Kong SARChina

Personalised recommendations