Adjunct Assistant Professor
Office Location: LA237
Office Telephone: 406-243-4551 406-721-4691
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Phyllis Ngai’s research and teaching interests lie at the crossroads of language, culture, communication, and public education. Dr. Ngai is the author of Crossing Mountains: Native American Language Education in Public Schools in the Contemporary Native Communities Series published by AltaMira Press. She also is the author and co-author of five book chapters, two monographs, and 17 professional-journal articles on intercultural communication, bilingual and multicultural education, and Indigenous education. Her recent research explores (1) communication differences in Native/non-Native educational partnerships; (2) the impacts of different Indian-education approaches on Native and non-Native students' learning outcomes in public middle schools; (3) Native and non-Native public-education stakeholders' perspectives on Indian Education for all; and (4) the development of European-American teachers' intercultural sensitivity and its impacts on instructional communication in classrooms of an urban school that serves primarily African American students from economically disadvantaged communities Washington, D.C. Currently, Phyllis teaches courses in intercultural communication and international development communication. To contribute to the Missoulian community, she volunteers to support implementation of Indian Education For All in local public schools. While actively involved in scholarship, teaching, and community service, Phyllis still finds time to enjoy the beautiful Montana outdoors with her family. Her favorite pastimes include Nia and Zumba, jazz piano, reading on mountain lakeshores, and cross-country skiing.
1 - 2 p.m. Wednesdays
And by appointment.
Ed.D., The University of Montana-Missoula, 2004
M.A., The University of Montana-Missoula, 1996
B.A., The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1994
Field of Study
Intercultural and International Communication Multicultural and Multilingual Education Indigenous Education
COMM 202S Nonverbal Communication(blended) COMM 251 International and Development Communication (online and on-campus)
COMM 451 Intercultural Communication (online and on-campus)
Dr. Ngai has taught courses in communication studies, multicultural education, integrating Indigenous education, and English as a second/foreign langauge in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Missoula since 1995.
Crossing Mountains: Native American Language Education in Public Schools. 298 pages. In the Contemporary Native American Communities Series. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press. 2012. Link to the book: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780759121249
Other Peer-reviewed Publications:
Indigenous Education in the Norwegian and U.S. Contexts. In “Mapping” Indigenous Futures: Sami and Native American Studies in Higher Education co-edited by Bjorg Evjen of University of Tromso and Kathryn Shanley of University of Montana. Forthcoming. Co-author.
Partnership for Knowledge-based Development in Asia. Box in The SAGE Handbook of International Higher Education edited by Darla K. Deardorff, Hans de Wit, John Heyl, and Tony Adams. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2012.
Indigenous Education for Critical Democracy: Teacher Approaches and Learning Outcomes in a K-5 Indian-Education-For-All Program. Equity & Excellence in Education, 2011, v44, #2, pp. 249-269. Lead author.
Implementing Montana’s Indian-Education-For-All in a K-5 Public School: Implications for Classroom Teaching, Education Policy, and Native Communities. Journal of American Indian Education, 2010, v49, #1 & 2, pp. 44-62. Lead author.
Indigenous Studies and Intercultural Education: The Impact of a Place-based Primary-school Program. Intercultural Education, 2010, v.21, #6, pp. 597-606. Lead author.
An Emerging Indian-language Education Framework for Reservation Public Schools with Mixed Populations. Journal of American Indian Education, 2008, v. 47, #2, pp. 22-50.
Bilingual Education in Rural Schools with Native and non-Native Students: Indigenous-Language Program Elements for an Inclusive Model. Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 2007, v.10, #6, pp. 723-751.
Community-based Indigenous Education for Global Competence. The International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations, 2007, v.7, #2 (online).
Indian Education For All in an Urban Public School. Phi Delta Kappan, 2006 November, p. 211. Lead author.
Grassroots Suggestions for Linking Native-Language Learning, Native American Studies, and Mainstream Education in Reservation Schools with Mixed Indian and White Student Populations. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 2006, v. 19, #2, pp. 220-236.
Organizational Communication and Globally Displaced Perimeter Populations: A Neglected Challenge for Intercultural-communication Training. In International and Multicultural Organizational Communication, co-edited by George Cheney and George Barnett. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2005, pp. 225-267. Lead author.
A Reinforcing Curriculum- and Program-reform Proposal for 21st Century Teacher Education: Vital First Steps for Advancing K-12 Multicultural Education. Equity and Excellence in Education, 2004, v. 37, #4, pp. 321-331.
Linking Distance and International Education: An Educational Strategy for Developing Multicultural Competence Among Distance Learners. Journal of Studies in International Education, 2003, v.7, #2, pp. 157-177.
Bilingual Education for All: A Benefits Model for Small Towns. Bilingual Research Journal, 2002, v.26, #2, pp. 269-294.
Organizational Communication in Refugee Camp Situations. New Issues in Refugee Research. Working Paper No. 71, December 2002. Monograph published by UNHCR, The United Nations Refugee Agency, Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit. Lead author.
Nonverbal Communication Behavior in Intercultural Negotiations: Insights and Applications Based on Findings from Ethiopia, Tanzania, Hong Kong, and the China Mainland. World Communication, 2001, v.29, #4, pp. 3-35.
Preparing for Diversity in the Midst of Adversity: An Intercultural-communication Training Program for Refugee Assistance Crisis Management. In Handbook of Crisis and Emergency Management, edited by Ali Farazmand. NY: Marcel Dekker, 2001, pp. 23-38. Lead author.
Managing Refugee-assistance Crises in the Twenty-first Century: The Intercultural-communication Factor. In Handbook of Crisis and Emergency Management edited by Ali Farazmand. New York: Marcel Dekker, 2001, pp. 737-765. Co-author.
Cross-cultural Management: The Pitfalls of Unspoken Signals. World Executive's Digest – English edition, 1998 January, pp. 49-50. Lead author.
Nonverbal Hints for Successful Intercultural Negotiation. World Executive's Digest --Chinese edition, 1997 November, pp. 58-60. Lead author.
A Process Guide for Realizing Indian Education for All: Lessons Learned from Lewis & Clark Elementary School, 75 pp. 2000 copies printed and distributed by Office of Public Instruction, Helena, Montana, 2007. Lead author.
Growth with Sustainable Development? Impressions of Addis Ababa at the Start of 2011.>Afrikan Sarvi, Horn of Africa Journal, 2011, v.1, #1, online. Co-author.
Beyond Reversion: Hong Kong in the Year of Transition. The Montanan, 1998, Spring, v.15, #3, pp. 22-23. Lead author.
Phyllis Ngai grew up in Hong Kong and has lived in Missoula for 17 years. Dr. Ngai has taught in four cultures (Hong Kong, China, Ethiopia, and United States) and conducted research on four continents (Asia, North America, Africa, and Europe). Recently, as a volunteer, she helped build houses for the needy in Guatemala.