Characteristics of Good Foreign Language Educators Across Cultural Boundaries
Identifying the characteristics of high-quality foreign language teachers has been a matter that has occupied researchers and teacher trainers for decades, resulting in an assortment of diverse sets of qualities presented in various publications. However, these sets of characteristics differ depending on the cultural context they exist in. The role and position of a teacher are closely linked to existing cultural values which impact the ways educators and students are supposed to behave. Furthermore, educational objectives are often perceived in diverse ways. Nevertheless, the author of this article strongly believes that despite flagrant culture-related differences, there exist culture-indifferent characteristics of effective teachers which may be either transferred between cultures or rediscovered in one’s native cultural reality. Therefore, the first part of the chapter tackles Western and Eastern educational philosophies and the most striking, culture-based differences between foreign language teacher characteristics in Eastern and Western cultures. The study described in the following section aimed at identifying the characteristics of good foreign language teachers that pertain to every cultural environment or that may transcend from one culture to another. The data was gathered with the use of interviews. The final section contains conclusions and suggestions for further research.
KeywordsGood language teacher Reflectivity Motivation Teacher development Cultural differences
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