chapter  12
13 Pages

Teaching for Learning in the Transnational Classroom

ByBETTY LEASK

The transnational classroom is a complex site of intercultural engagement, which provides both opportunities and challenges for teachers. Teekens (2003: 68) has noted the demanding nature of the role of the academic teaching in an international classroom. She suggests that a complex blend of personal qualities, cultural and disciplinary knowledge, language and teaching skills is required. The transnational teaching environment, whilst being a complex and rapidly changing environment (Hudson and Morris 2003: 74) that requires particular types of cultural knowledge and self-awareness (Galvin 2004: 234) and curriculum modifi cation (Gribble and Ziguras 2003: 210), also provides many valuable learning opportunities for lecturers engaged in offshore teaching (Gribble and Ziguras 2003; Leask 2004a). Two of the major challenges for teachers in the transnational classroom are, fi rstly, identifying the range and balance of knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to develop to be successful transnational teachers and secondly, balancing their own learning with that of their students-understanding and meeting the immediate needs of their transnational students whilst simultaneously developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will make them more effective teachers in this environment. This chapter draws on insights provided by two separate research projects conducted in Hong Kong and Singapore in which the expectations of offshore students were explored both directly and indirectly through interviews with staff and students. What both groups had to say provides some insights for staff wishing to respond to the challenges of transnational teaching and has been translated into some practical guidance on teaching for learning in transnational classrooms.