POWER, IDENTITY, AND CULTURE IN INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF ACADEMIC WRITING

2019-05-08T02:56:37Z (GMT) by Jessica Garska Sarah O'Brien

ABSTRACT Issues surrounding English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and its use by English as an additional language (EAL) students in higher education have become increasingly significant in recent years, fueled both by increased international student mobility and increased linguistic and cultural diversity within and outside of the student body. As well as posing language-related challenges, the transfer of EAL students to an English-speaking foreign university also demands the negotiation of new university expectations, channeled through a new cultural environment. While Academic Literacies research has identified that concepts such as power, identity, and culture play a role in academic writing, students’ own perceptions remain relatively unexplored. Consequently, this study analyzes the ways in which EAL students articulate their relationship with academic writing at a tertiary institution in Ireland. Data for this study were gathered through questionnaires and interviews and analyzed through discourse analysis through a critical lens. The findings suggest that while participants generally positively reflect on their ability to negotiate academic writing through the English language, there is nonetheless a high level of conflict between dominant linguistic norms and the students’ expression of their identity and culture.