Teaching international fee-paying students in a primary and intermediate school in New Zealand: An investigation into the issues classroom teachers face
View fulltext online
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1453
This research examines the issues primary and intermediate classroom teacher’s face when teaching international fee-paying students in a primary and intermediate school in provincial New Zealand. Historically, international education policy development has influenced changes in classroom practice and to school structures and systems. This small-scale qualitative research project utilised three research methods to investigate issues facing teachers of international students within two schools. The research methods utilised were semi-structured interviews, semi-structured classroom observations and documentary analysis. The findings indicate that classroom teacher’s practice has changed due to the presence of international students. More often than not, the variation between both schools findings are reported separately. However, common themes from both schools emerged. This research project does not draw comparisons between the two schools, because of their different contexts. At school A, policy did not align with practice, which was evident in the lack of support, guidance and professional development offered to classroom teachers. School B’s policies did align with practice, with regular professional development occurring internally or externally, support and guidance offered by two senior management team members and external organisations. Key differences between the two schools were the organisations’ structure. Not all classroom teachers interviewed received formal training focusing on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) or cross-cultural awareness. This is significant because one teacher qualified in teacher education recently. Historical factors were important in shaping the issues faced by classroom teachers. This research concluded that because although these schools only enrolled a few international students, policies and procedures are still required to be in place to support these students and their teachers. This research highlights the need for schools to look at ways of sustaining change through collaborative relationships, within and across schools. At a national level, the evaluation of the effectiveness of initial teacher education with regard to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and cross-cultural awareness training should be undertaken.