Title: Conceptions of Modesty and Showing-off Behaviours: Impacts on Postgraduate Students’ Being Able but Unwilling to Respond/ABU in a UK University
Stream: Learning Experiences, Student Learning & Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Joe Ce Qiao, University of Stirling, United Kingdom
There have been many discussions regarding Chinese students' reticence. The author, in 2021, created a new term ABU - being able but unwilling to respond (ABU) to explore a particular type of reticence of Chinese and EuBA (European, British and North American) learners. Apart from many frequently reported factors such as low English proficiency, academic incompetence, etc., modesty and fear of being labelled as a show-off/FSF are repeatedly concluded by researchers targeting East Asian context. But regrettably, no one has reported what modesty and show-off are (gap 1); there is a lack of quantitative and comparative study to check whether Chinese students have stronger ABU tendency (gap 2); whether modesty and FSF are factors for ABU (gap3). Therefore, the researcher used questionnaire, interview and classroom observation to collect data to fill those three gaps with 28 postgraduate s (Chinese and EuBA) in a UK university. Attitudinal questionnaire data filled gaps 2&3 – Chinese learners have stronger ABU tendency; modesty and FSF are factors for Chinese learners' ABU, not EuBA's ABU. Open-ended questionnaire data and phenomenological interview provided rich descriptions of what modest and show-off behaviours are (gap 1) and the differences do exist between Chinese and EuBA groups. Furthermore, classroom observation for an online class for 2 months enabled the researcher to calculate 'how many words' and 'how many times' Chinese students and EuBA students verbally speak out for answering questions and peer discussion. This responded to a non-stop debate about that Chinese learners are reticent/not reticent with evidence.
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