Research Project: English Language Instructor's/Teacher's approaches to teaching Confucian students

My name is Jessica Portelance and I am a master’s student working under the supervision of Dr. Elizabeth Falzone in the Department of Education at Niagara University. As part of my master’s degree, I am conducting a research study on current English Language Instructor's/Teacher's approaches to teaching students who come from Confucian heritage cultures in an online setting. If you have experience as an English language instructor/teacher/professor/professional with students in this demographic, I would like to invite you to participate in this study and offer your insights.

For the purpose of this study, “Confucian heritage culture” will refer to cultures originating in countries categorized as “Confucian Asia'' in the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) project (2020), which categorizes countries based on societal values and behaviours deemed desirable in general. These countries include China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. Also included in this definition will be Vietnam, as Vietnam is frequently associated with Confucian heritage culture (Weiming, 2019), despite that it is notably missing from GLOBE’s data. This study will not address the debate on whether Taiwan and Hong Kong are truly individual countries separate from China, and will follow GLOBE’s lead in establishing them as separate entities for cultural consideration.

If you decide to volunteer for this study, your participation will consist of a 1-hour focus group consisting of 3-5 participants, which will take place via videoconference (Zoom and/or GoogleMeet). After participating in a focus group, you may be asked to take part in a one-on-one follow-up interview via video conference (Zoom and/or GoogleMeet), and/or submit a previously used lesson plan and/or sample assignment/task given to students as artifacts for review and analysis. During the focus group interview you will be asked questions about your current practices when working in an online learning environment with students who come from Confucian heritage cultures, as well as your views and opinions around the needs of students from Confucian heritage cultures. With your permission, I would like to record these interviews to ensure accurate transcription and analysis. Any information made public will remain anonymous and only my professor and I will have access to the data collected containing any individually identifiable data. All individually identifiable data will be destroyed upon completion of the study.

This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the Institutional Review Board, Niagara University's research ethics board.

If you would like to participate, or you require additional information to assist you in reaching a decision about participation, please do not hesitate to contact me at You may also contact my supervisor at

Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness. (2020). Confucian Asia. Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Project.
Weiming, T. (2019). Confucianism. Encyclopedia Britannica.