AbstractThere is growing awareness that Western educational practices and language pedagogies cannot simply be exported to other parts of the world. The ethnocentricity of many teacher education projects that aim at introducing CLT to Asian societies have caused cultural conflicts and have led to the call for culturally appropriate methodologies. This paper presents an ethnographic analysis of three situations taken from two in-service teacher education courses in which cultural norms and identities were salient. It is argued that in the context of cross-cultural in-service courses it is important to identify possible culturally inappropriate procedures and ideas and locally introduce these aspects in the learning situation. This approach paves the way for ‘intercultural reciprocity’ (Coulby 2006), which will allow the course to evolve into a place from which C1 and C2 can be reflected upon without loss of face.