Introduction and Background
In presenting evidence of my development as a scholar toward the achievement of a
doctoral degree, it is relevant to present some intellectual biography by way of events that
have led to my present research interests. Specific evidence of scholarship, research, and
intellectual collaboration are presented on pages referenced by the links above.
At the present stage in my doctoral studies, I am preparing a proposal for my dissertation.
My area of research concerns the integration of language and culture in the Chinese as a
foreign language classroom. I propose to combine linguistic semantics with principles from
the field of Intercultural Communication to formulate a systematic approach to teaching
Chinese interactional culture by way of Chinese language. This is the culmination of an
intellectual journey that began long ago.
I have always had a fascination with the subliminal mental activity that underlies
interpersonal interaction. In this regard, I have been especially influenced by Erving
Goffman's Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959) and Edward T. Hall's The Silent
Language (1959) and The Hidden Dimension (1967). Goffman's dramaturgical metaphor
laid out a template for my thinking on interpersonal interaction, and Hall introduced me to
culture as the larger template upon which interpersonal interaction takes place.
Thus one intellectual fascination led to another. In my twenties, by way of a Chinese friend
in college, I had a significant encounter with cultural difference. I began to study Chinese
language and culture, and this developed into my undergraduate major, Cross-Cultural
Studies (Toccoa Falls College, Georgia, class of 1992). I went on to graduate study in
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (a.k.a. Applied Linguistics, Georgia
State University. Immediately upon graduation, my wife and I set off to live in Taiwan for the
next eight years.
Immersed in the Chinese world, my habit of analyzing human interaction had an opportunity
to be fully and more interestingly indulged as analysis of intercultural interaction; and as a
lecturer in a newly opened Applied Foreign Languages department, I had the opportunity
to develop a course called "Cross-cultural Encounters" which culminated in a self-published
textbook of the same name (Danison, 1998). During this period I engaged in research on
the subject of teaching culture in EFL classrooms (resulting in publications Danison 1999,
2000; other ESL-related publications in this time period include Danison & Huang, 1999,
Some time after returning to the US, I enrolled for doctoral study in Curriculum and
Instruction in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice, School of Education,
University at Albany, New York. Under the influence and guidance of my academic adviser,
Professor Istvan Kecskes, I continued to explore interpersonal interaction with a renewed
focus on linguistics in the service of foreign language pedagogy. The following pages
(Scholarship and Research) provide an account of my development in terms of scholarly
thinking and research ability.
Danison, E. (1998). Cross-cultural Encounters: Foundations in cultivating cultural
awareness. Course text at Kao Yuan Junior College and Pingtung Teacher's College,
Taiwan (as of 2007). Published by the author.
Danison, E. (1999). "Learning Culture in Taiwan's AFLD: Foreign films as resource."
Conference paper presented at the English Teachers' Association of the ROC 8th
International Symposium on English Teaching, November 11-13, 1999, Taipei.
Danison, E., & Huang, Z. (1999). Restaurant English for Vocational High School, Volume
I. (Student and teacher editions) Taipei: Tung Ta Publishers.
Danison, E., & Huang, Z. (2000). Restaurant English for Vocational High School, Volume
IV. (Student and teacher editions) Taipei: Tung Ta Publishers.
Danison, E. (2000) "Teaching Culture in the Applied Foreign Languages Department." In
Communication & Culture in the Global Economy, Clyde Warden, editor. Taipei: Crane
Publishing Co. Ltd.
Goffman, E. (1959). Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Random House.
Hall, Edward T. (1959). The Silent Language. New York: Doubleday.
Hall, Edward T. (1966). The Hidden Dimension. New York: Doubleday.