Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2014

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Schrier, Leslie L

Second Advisor

Plakans, Lia M

First Committee Member

Wesely, Pamela M

Second Committee Member

Colvin, Carolyn

Third Committee Member

Ryang, Sonia


This multiple case study was designed to explore the adjustment and cultural learning of sojourning English language teachers (ELTs) in Japan and South Korea. Qualitative research methods were used to design the study and to collect the data. Using Holliday's Host Culture Complex model (1994) as a theoretical framework, shared patterns in the adjustment process emerged from the participants' blogs and interviews. The patterns provide evidence supporting cultural learning through relationships with various people in different parts of the host culture complex. The strongest pattern revealed that the relationship between sojourning ELTs and their co-teachers was one of the more beneficial relationships for the sojourners' cultural learning. However, these relationships were only found in government-sponsored English language programs, such as the JET Program in Japan and EPIK in South Korea. Another strong pattern revealed that the participants' relationships with their significant others marked a shift in their adjustment patterns in one or more parts of the host culture complex. This study prompted the creation of a new revised host culture complex, which includes foreigners within the target culture. These foreigners, some who are also sojourning ELTs, have shown to influence the adjustment process of the participants. Additionally, this study demonstrates the use of social media for research and professional development in English language education.


cultural adjustment, English language teaching, Host Culture Complex


xi, 242 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 234-242).


Copyright 2014 Jeremy Slagoski