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Since its inception, the attrition rate of teachers in the Native English Teachers (NETs) scheme in Hong Kong has been very high. Though the introduction of financial incentives has reduced this slightly, the problem remains, and this thesis explores an alternative explanation for the high attrition, in the field of cross-cultural adjustment. The thesis argues that the effectiveness of the NET scheme is affected by the extent to which issues of cross-cultural adjustment are addressed sufficiently, and that the high attrition rate can be explained, in part, by neglect of issues in cross-cultural adjustment, both in terms of the sojourners and of the host culture. A literature review indicates that cross-cultural adjustment has many different dimensions, and that levels of culture shock and cross-cultural adjustment depend, in part, on individuals’ characteristics. The thesis reports a small-scale qualitative investigation into the experiences of NETs in Hong Kong, seen through different lenses and theories of cross-cultural adjustment, and using a grounded theory approach to data analysis. The empirical data gathered reveal a complex, differentiated and individualized view of cross-cultural adjustment, and that it changes in individuals over time. Cross-cultural adjustment is also seen to apply to host cultures and service providers as well as to the sojourners themselves. Serious shortcomings are found in the provision of suitable preparation, induction, training and ongoing support provided for NETs in Hong Kong in terms of cross-cultural adjustment, and recommendations are made for interventions with the sojourners, the schools and the Hong Kong government’s NETs scheme and associated training programmes

Year: 2009
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Provided by: Durham e-Theses

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