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Demand hard work

Although teachers - with the exception of P5 - are concerned with affective issues, this does not mean that they are 'easy.' On the contrary, the teachers demand hard work, both from themselves and from the students. P5 expects his students to work hard to memorise material so that they can pass daily quizzes, but more importantly so that they can build a linguistic foundation for spontaneous communication. But P21 embraces the hard work of a composition class because it allows him 'to understand how much my students are learning how to write in another language' (135).

Two issues

Two issues are noteworthy. The American teachers noted that yu ren doesn't work well in America. 'You have to forget your moral role or something' (P1: 147), because the teacher '[doesn't] want to be too much in [the students'] private life' (P31: 104). P31 was adamant that she would not take the kind of moral, parental role in the United States that she would take in China because 'I don't want to put the yu ren part more, uh, like too much because this is America. Not everyone wants you to be so caring, right? [laughing]' (104). It is not that the teachers' view of jiao shu yu ren changed. Rather, they saw that in American educational culture, yu ren practices were considered intrusive and were therefore unwelcome by American-born students.

The second matter is that those teachers who are outside the Chinese testing system - P1, P5, and P31 in the United States, and P41 in China - do not need to worry about students' test performance. Rather, they are able to focus on spoken language development and communicative work, such as P41's use of interesting story scenarios to allow students to use English to talk about financial matters. This freedom did not change their self-conceptions, but it altered their perception of what they were able to do with their students.

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