This paper aims to examine ethnographic evidence on the acculturation of non-native English-speaking teachers in accounting (ANNESTs) in an Australian university to understand the process, strategies and outcomes of the acculturation process.
Ethnographies of five ANNESTs representing diverse cultural backgrounds were studied. Data were collected from publicly available sources and informal discussions supplemented by semi-structured interviews.
The findings show that integration – that is, learning and participating in the Australian host culture while maintaining original cultural values – is the most popular acculturation strategy, followed by assimilation, whereby ANNESTs interact primarily with the host culture and retain loose links with their original culture. ANNESTs covered in this study fall into different stages of the acculturation process depending on their English language competency, the extent of contact with native Australians, cultural proximity and length of residence in Australia.
This paper concludes that challenges of acculturation confronting ANNESTs concern broader cultural issues than language proficiency alone. Institutional support directed at enhancing teaching effectiveness of ANNESTs should be devised from this perspective.
Given the cultural relevance of accounting systems and the influence of culture on the learning and teaching styles of ANNEST, the study illuminates that ANNEST’s acculturation strategies could facilitate or hinder the ANNEST’s speed of cultural understanding necessary to productively engage in the learning and teaching.
Abayadeera, N., Mihret, D. and Hewa Dulige, J. (2019), "Acculturation of non-native English-speaking teachers in accounting: an ethnographic study", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARJ-01-2017-0005Download as .RIS
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