Title

International Students’ Identity Construction through Discourse.

Presenter Information

Barry University

Location

1052

Format Type

Paper

Format Type

Paper

Start Date

January 2016

End Date

January 2016

Abstract

Universities in the United States offer educational opportunities to many international students from around the world. Some of these international students come from nonnative English speaking countries and struggle with their language skills. Research studies show that language hinders international students’ ability to communicate. These international students are at risk as they feel disconnected from society, excluded, and less empowered. International students are subjected to unequal power and Discourse relationships. This disconnect misrepresents their identity as they struggle to create and construct who they are through language and Discourse. Based on the work of Foucault, Gee, Norton and Wodak, this study aimed at understanding identity construction of international students through Discourse. This study used a phenomenological qualitative paradigm approach to understand the lived experiences of identity construction. The participants of this study were international graduate students who are speakers of non-standard English as defined by Kachru (2006). The findings of this study indicated that after the international students came to study in the U.S., they developed a new Discourse of being non-participatory, disengaged and silent. The participants also related that languaging did impede their identity construction. They also shared experiences of being marginalized and stereotyped. After a period of their study, the international students developed a new Discourse of confidence and empowerment and retrogressed into yet another Discourse of doubt and uncertainty as they were trying to establish their careers. The researcher recommends ongoing professional development for faculty teaching these students to foment alteration of beliefs about international students.

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Jan 14th, 4:00 PM Jan 14th, 4:20 PM

International Students’ Identity Construction through Discourse.

1052

Universities in the United States offer educational opportunities to many international students from around the world. Some of these international students come from nonnative English speaking countries and struggle with their language skills. Research studies show that language hinders international students’ ability to communicate. These international students are at risk as they feel disconnected from society, excluded, and less empowered. International students are subjected to unequal power and Discourse relationships. This disconnect misrepresents their identity as they struggle to create and construct who they are through language and Discourse. Based on the work of Foucault, Gee, Norton and Wodak, this study aimed at understanding identity construction of international students through Discourse. This study used a phenomenological qualitative paradigm approach to understand the lived experiences of identity construction. The participants of this study were international graduate students who are speakers of non-standard English as defined by Kachru (2006). The findings of this study indicated that after the international students came to study in the U.S., they developed a new Discourse of being non-participatory, disengaged and silent. The participants also related that languaging did impede their identity construction. They also shared experiences of being marginalized and stereotyped. After a period of their study, the international students developed a new Discourse of confidence and empowerment and retrogressed into yet another Discourse of doubt and uncertainty as they were trying to establish their careers. The researcher recommends ongoing professional development for faculty teaching these students to foment alteration of beliefs about international students.