Managing the adjustment of EFL teachers in English language schools in China

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Xue, Qiu
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MSc in International Business
Dublin Business School
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The current study was designed to better understand the adjustment of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) to living and working in China. The thriving EFL industry in China; its reliance on expatriate EFL Teachers who have to adjust to an unfamiliar environment; and the lack of previous research on the adjustment of EFL Teachers make this an important study. A sample of 51 EFL Teachers was surveyed using an online questionnaire. The Results indicated that language ability was significantly related to interaction and work adjustment. Perceived Organizational Support was significantly related to all three dimensions of adjustment: interaction adjustment, work adjustment, and adjustment to the general environment. The sample was relatively well-adjusted to living and working in China, although findings also implied that language schools need to improve their management of the adjustment of EFL Teachers with regards to increasing the effectiveness of culture and language training. The paper is concluded with practical recommendations and implications for future research. The study adds to the body of literature on expatriate adjustment by focusing on the adjustment of EFL Teachers, who are self-initiated foreign employees rather than sent abroad by a parent company; and by measuring a range of variables using a unique combination of instruments adapted from previous research with self-developed instruments.