Disrupting dangerous illusions in international education: performativity, subjectivity, and agency in English language courses for overseas students (ELICOS)

Jensen-Clayton, Cecily (2016) Disrupting dangerous illusions in international education: performativity, subjectivity, and agency in English language courses for overseas students (ELICOS). [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Abstract

This study investigated the illusory nature of international education by focusing on English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS). As a business model, ELICOS is designed to recruit from a niche market – international students with low English language proficiency. The purpose of this study was to interrogate the performativity of ELICOS in order to map the damage and dysfunction in the business model while seeking and sowing seeds of hope for more empowering alternatives.

Performativity was utilised as an operationalising concept to address three research questions: (1) the external and internal historical influences on ELICOS; (2) how selected teachers have experienced the ELICOS system; and (3) how ELICOS students (as international students) have been constructed. These questions were framed to investigate the functioning of ELICOS as project, product and process, drawing on three sources of data: the scholarly literature; teachers’ accounts in interviews with me, and my own experience.

A postmodernist conceptual framework underlaid the approach to analysing the knowledge economy, neoliberalism, internationalisation, performativity, subjectivity and agency. The methodology included genealogical analysis, thematic analysis, rhetorical analysis, and auto-ethnographic analysis to interrogate the data. These analyses revealed many instances of dissonance, discontinuity and disconnection, giving rise to psychological, linguistic, pedagogical and ethical concerns.

The underlying purpose of addressing the illusory nature of international education and ELICOS has been to generate new theoretical, methodological and pedagogical understandings. For example, the issue of acculturation can be considered as a potential risk to both education and business. As well, a new vision of pedagogical, linguistic and ethical challenges was articulated as international students as consumers were identified as bilingual/plurilingual learners within a monolingual oriented system. This study can provide insights for revising the present business model to become more ethical, equitable and sustainable for institutions, to make ELICOS more transparent for students and teachers, to provide teachers with a way to make more sense of their teaching practice, and to provide insights for policy-makers.


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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education (1 July 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education (1 July 2013 -)
Supervisors: Danaher, Patrick
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2017 05:21
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2019 05:24
Uncontrolled Keywords: agency; bilingual/plurilingual learners; business model; disconnect; discontinuity; dissonance; international education; internationalisation; knowledge economy; monolingualism; neoliberalism; performativity; primary stakeholders; secondary relationships; subjectivity
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130299 Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/32845

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