Students' Attitudes Toward Foreign-Born and Domestic Instructors

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Abstract

Based on G. W. Allport's seminal work on ethnocentric bias, this study compares students' attitudes toward foreign-born and domestic instructors, using new affect and stereotype measures. Additionally, it explains individual differences in affect toward foreign-born instructors as a function of student personality (Big Five Inventory), contact (previous study with foreign-born teachers and interest in study abroad), stereotype, and affect factors. Participants were 128 students from a predominantly White college in the Midwest. They reported limited previous experience with foreigners and overall preference for domestic instructors. Significant differences were found in student stereotype about communication, favoring domestic instructors over foreign-born ones. Multiple regressions explained 58% of the variance in student affect toward foreign-born instructors and showed positive effects for student agreeableness, conscientiousness, and interest in study abroad. Stereotypes about foreign-born instructors' competence also strongly influenced student affect toward these instructors. An inverse relationship was found between interest in study abroad and attitudes toward domestic instructors and between affect toward domestic and foreign-born instructors, reflecting dualistic thinking. Results are discussed with regard to globalization.

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