Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.
College of Liberal Arts
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
Oral participation, Identity, Academic Discourse Socialization, Small group discussions, EAP, University
As an instructor in an English for Academic Purposes program, students’ patterns of participation were puzzling to me. I wondered why some international students did not speak in class and what I could do to help them. This research attempted to discover participants’ perspectives regarding academic discourse socialization in small group activities, how students relate participation to their identities, and to discover the changes in identity and participation which occurred throughout the semester. In this research, 12 international university-level ESL students were involved in a dialogue journal which included a pre- and post-semester questionnaire, video-recorded small group discussions, and an audio-recorded stimulated recall task.
Through a statistical analysis and an emergent theme approach, it was found that although students’ frequency counts for oral turns taken and number and type of academic strategies used did not significantly increase, changes did occur in relation to students’ perceptions and attitudes as identified in the stimulated recall, discussion journal, and questionnaire methods. Students experienced increased confidence after expressing initial anxiety about fears of being misunderstood or making mistakes. The confidence arose after their negotiation of academic discourse and negotiation of identity throughout the semester. They also reported improvements in their oral speaking abilities. Students gained knowledge of their own academic backgrounds and of academic strategies including the importance of listening, critical thinking, and developing their pronunciation and vocabulary. Students also expressed a preference for small group discussion despite having minimal experience in their home countries.
Holmes, Rebekah M., "Academic Discourse Socialization Through Oral Practices: The Negotiation of Participation and Identity Amongst University ESL Learners" (2016). Culminating Projects in English. 59.