Rediscovering identity: a more generous reality for non-native English users in teaching and learning

Young, Kathryn (2008) Rediscovering identity: a more generous reality for non-native English users in teaching and learning. In: Language Issues in English-Medium Universities: a Global Concern , 18-20 June 2008, Hong Kong.

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International cross-disciplinary postgraduate students for whom English is not their first language often assume a reductive self image premised on questions of what constitutes technical efficiency of communicating in academic learning and teaching contexts. Yet during their postgraduate studies, there remains the potential for these self images to reformulate and come to reflect a counter discourse that values more productive ways of thinking and acting in language, which essentially challenges the hegemony of the students’ taken up discourse and power relations of what constitutes efficiency in communicating in English.

This paper reports on research that critically examines ways in which international students at an Australian regional university who learned English in a variety of bilingual and EFL settings have through collective and individual processes of making, remaking and negotiating their identity, conceive of themselves as other than what constitutes efficiency in language learning and communication. It reveals how they draw on continuing links with their locations as they rediscover and reconstitute their identity beyond the binary division of self and the other. It further reveals much about an ongoing dilemma encountered in similar instructional settings where international non-native speakers of English enroll. This dilemma relates to charting a course that favors a counter narrative avoiding the divisions of humanity into ‘us’ and ‘they’ and is premised on discovering a more generous reality in teaching and learning.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Unpublished.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 10 May 2010 04:52
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2012 05:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: international students; postgraduate students; English as a second language; ESL
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2003 Language Studies > 200303 English as a Second Language

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