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Abstract

From a constructivist point of view teacher identity evolves as the teacher interacts and negotiates with others. However, before negotiation can occur, instructors must establish their own teacher identity as a starting position. This narrative study analyzes how international teaching assistants negotiated with their American undergraduate students. Twenty participants engaged in two individual interviews and a videotaped classroom observation where the negotiation strategies were discussed and observed. Findings revealed that although experience improved their negotiation skills, many international teaching assistants struggled with negotiating with students because they did not understand the students’ background. Furthermore, cultural norms influenced how participants approached the negotiating process. The implications of cultural norms in cross-cultural teacher negotiation are discussed.

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