NEGOTIATING ACADEMIC DISCOURSE PRACTICES, IDEOLOGIES, AND IDENTITIES: THE SOCIALIZATION OF CHINESE PHD STUDENTS by Tim Anderson B.A., The University of Saskatchewan, 1999 B.Ed., The University of Saskatchewan, 2006 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 2010 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Language and Literacy Education) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) March, 2016 © Tim Anderson, 2016 ii Abstract The internationalization of Canadian universities and the rising number of students who speak English as an additional language have greatly influenced higher education in the country. A central component of this change involves the ways incoming students are able to negotiate the academic discourse practices, identities, ideologies, and communities that are essential for success. Against such a backdrop, this dissertation explores the academic discourse socialization of seven foreign Chinese PhD students in the faculties of arts and education at a major Canadian research university. This study draws on the theoretical frameworks and constructs of language socialization (Duff, 2007a, 2010a; Ochs, 1986; Ochs & Schieffelin, 1984, 2012), transnationalism (Duff, 2015; Ong, 1993, 1999; Vertovec, 2009), internationalization (Altbach & Knight, 2007; de Wit, 2002; Marginson, 1999), and panopticism (Foucault, 1995). A multiple case study method was used to address the various sources of socialization and their outcomes in terms of the students’ academic trajectories. The primary data sources include semi-structured interviews conducted near the start and end of the study period, narrative accounts produced by each participant charting their academic writing experiences, and voluntarily submitted academic texts that contained varying degrees and types of written feedback. This study provides insight into the diverse and influential sources of internal and external socialization that affect second language students’ academic discourse practices, identity and ideological (re)negotiation, and community integration. Although much prior case study research involving similar populations has concentrated primarily on students’ deficits and perceived or actual barriers to success, this study largely uncovered the opposite characteristics and experiences of its doctoral participants: students who were resilient, grounded, and exceedingly talented in the face of considerable adversity, and who exemplified strategies and positionalities conducive to achieving their desired goals. In some cases, however, insufficient or undesirable academic support provided to the students resulted in missed opportunities to improve academic language and literacy practices and subsequent socialization into discourses and communities. These stories of both success and neglect, and the socialization that did or did not occur, are of pedagogical and theoretical importance in determining best practices in doctoral student support and education. iii Preface A version of Chapter 2 has been published as: Anderson, T. (2015). Seeking internationalization: The state of Canadian higher education. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 45(3), 166-187. Chapter 2 and the remaining dissertation were researched, analyzed, and written by the author, Tim Anderson. This study was approved by the University of British Columbia’s Behavioural Research Ethics Board (UBC BREB Number: H12-03661) under the original project title: Socialized to succeed? Chinese graduate students’ negotiation of academic discourse practices at a Canadian university. iv Table of Contents Abstract………………………………………………………………………………………. ii Preface………………………………………………………………………………………... iii Table of Contents……………...……………………………………………………………... iv List of Tables………………..……………………………………………………………….. vii List of Figures…………………………...…………………………………………………… viii Acknowledgments………………………………………………………………………….... ix Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………….. 1 1.2 Rationale for the Study…………………………………………………………. 2 1.3 Second Language Graduate Writing…………………………………………… 3 1.3.1 Language Socialization Perspectives…………………………………. 3 1.3.2 Additional Theoretical Orientations…………………………………... 8 1.4 Situatedness and Positionality………………………………………………….. 10 1.5 Research Questions…………………………………………………………….. 12 1.6 Operationalizations…………………………………………………………….. 12 1.7 Participants……………………………………………………………………... 13 1.8 Methodology and Analysis…………………………………………………….. 14 1.8.1 Methodology………………………………………………………….. 14 1.8.2 Data Collection Procedures…………………………………………… 15 1.8.3 Thematic Analysis……………………………………………………. 17 1.9 Student Profiles………………………………………………………………… 19 1.10 Significance……………………………………………………………………. 21 1.11 Dissertation Organization……………………………………………………… 22 1.11.1 Chapter 2: Seeking Internationalization: The State of Canadian Higher Education……………………………………………………... 24 1.11.2 Chapter 3: Reproductions of Chinese Transnationalism Through Study Abroad…………………………………………………………. 24 1.11.3 Chapter 4: The Doctoral Gaze: Foreign PhD Students’ Internal and External Academic Discourse Socialization………………………….. 24 1.11.4 Chapter 5: The Discursive Positioning and Socialization of Foreign Doctoral Students Through Written Feedback………………………... 25 1.11.5 Chapter 6: Conclusion………………………………………………… 26 Chapter 2: SEEKING INTERNATIONALIZATION: THE STATE OF CANADIAN HIGHER EDUCATION 2.1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………….. 27 2.2 Global Perspectives…………………………………………………………….. 30 2.3 Canadian Perspectives………………………………………………………….. 31 2.4 Challenges of Canadian Internationalization: Macro and Micro Perspectives… 37 2.4.1 Macro Perspectives…………………………………………………… 37 2.4.2 Micro Perspectives……………………………………………………. 40 2.5 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………… 41 v Chapter 3: REPRODUCTIONS OF CHINESE TRANSNATIONALISM THROUGH STUDY ABROAD 3.1 Introduction……………………………………………………………….……. 45 3.2 Transnationalism, Internationalization, and Applied Linguistics………………. 45 3.3 Transnational(ized) Identities…………………………………………………... 47 3.4 Chinese Transnationalism and Canadian Higher Education……………….…… 48 3.5 Background and Methods………………………………………………………. 50 3.5.1 The Participants……………………………………………………….. 50 3.5.2 Procedures…………………………………………………………….. 51 3.6 Results…………………………………………………………………………... 52 3.6.1 Shaping of Transnational Identities…………………………………… 52 3.6.2 Discursive Representations of Haigui………………………………… 52 3.6.3 Constructing the Legitimate Chinese Transnational………………….. 56 3.6.4 “The Flowing Space”: Nationalism, Transnationalism, and Representations of Home……………………………………………… 59 3.7 Discussion………………………………………………………………………. 64 3.8 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………… 67 Chapter 4: THE DOCTORAL GAZE: FOREIGN PHD STUDENTS’ INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL ACADEMIC DISCOURSE SOCIALIZATION 4.1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………….. 69 4.2 Chinese Postsecondary Students in Canada……………………………………. 70 4.3 Theoretical Frameworks……………………………………………………….. 72 4.3.1 (Second) Language Socialization……………………………………... 72 4.3.2 Self-socialization……………………………………………………… 72 4.3.3 Panopticism and Language Socialization…………………………….. 74 4.4 Methodology…………………………………………………………………… 76 4.4.1 Context and Participants……………………………………………… 76 4.5 Analysis………………………………………………………………………… 78 4.5.1 External Sources of Socialization…………………………………….. 78 4.5.2 Scholarly Positioning: External Socialization into Categories of Legitimacy……………………………………………………………. 79 4.5.3 Indexing Deficiency…………………………………………………... 84 4.5.4 “Don't Take Things Personal”: Critical Incidents as Agency Building 89 4.5.5 Internal Sources of Socialization……………………………………... 90 4.6 Discussion……………………………………………………………………… 96 4.7 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………… 99 Chapter 5: THE DISCURSIVE POSITIONING AND SOCIALIZATION OF DOCTORAL STUDENTS THROUGH WRITTEN FEEDBACK 5.1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………..... 100 5.2 Background……………………………………………………………………. 101 5.2.1 Written Feedback Research in Applied Linguistics………………….. 101 5.2.2 Feedback as Socialization……………………………………….……. 103 5.3 The Study………………………………………………………………….…… 104 5.4 Findings…………………………………………………………………….….. 107 vi 5.4.1 A-Ming……………………………………………………………….. 108 5.4.2 JoJo…………………………………………………………………… 110 5.4.3 Lily…………………………………………………………….……… 113 5.4.4 Polar Bear…………………………………………………………….. 115 5.4.5 Shasha……………………………………………………………….... 117 5.4.6 Sissy…………………………………………………………………... 119 5.5 Discussion……………………………………………………………………… 124 5.5.1 Feedback Across Communities………………………………………. 125 5.5.2 Rethinking Critical and Corrective Feedback………………………... 126 5.5.3 Rethinking Feedback for PhD Students………………………………. 128 5.6 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………... 131 Chapter 6: CONCLUSION 6.1 Introduction……………………………………………………………………. 132 6.2 Research Questions and Contributions………………………………………… 132 6.2.1 Chapter 2……………………………………………………………... 133 6.2.2 Chapter 3……………………………………………………………... 134 6.2.3 Chapter 4……………………………………………………….…….. 135 6.2.4 Chapter 5…………………………………………………….……….. 135 6.3 Challenges and Limitations……………………………………………………. 136 6.4 Recommendations……………………………………………………………… 138 6.5 Final Thoughts…………………………………………………………………. 140 References………………………………………………………………………………...… 142 Appendix A: Recruitment Poster………………………………………………………... 168 Appendix B: Letter of Initial Contact…………………………………………………… 169 Appendix C: Participant Informed Consent Form………………………………………. 171 Appendix D: Sample Interview Questions………………………………………………. 176 Appendix E: Sample Narrative Prompts and Questions……………………………….... 178 Appendix F: Transcription Conventions…………………………………….………….. 180 vii List of Tables Table 1.1 Summary of Manuscript Chapters…………………………………………..... 23 Table 2.1 Canadian and Foreign Student Enrolments in Canadian Universities………... 33 Table 2.2 Canadian, Permanent Resident, and International Student Enrolments in Canadian Universities………………………………………………………… 34 Table 2.3 Total Foreign Student Enrolments in Canadian Universities by Continent of Origin…………………………………………………………………………. 34 Table 2.4 Top Five Sources of Undergraduate and Graduate Foreign University Student Enrolments at Canadian Universities by Country of Origin………..... 35 Table 2.5 Top Five Sources of Foreign Graduate Student Enrolments at Canadian Universities by Country of Origin (Master’s, Doctorate, or Equivalent)…….. 36 Table 2.6 Total Foreign Chinese Graduate Students in Canada by Immigration Status... 36 Table 3.1 Full Time Undergraduate and Graduate Student Enrolment at Canadian Universities, 2000 and 2010………………………………………………….. 46 Table 4.1 Basic Stages of a Social Sciences PhD at Alia Coast University……...…….. 77 Table 5.1 Participant Information……………………………………………………….. 105 Table 5.2 Submitted Writing Samples with Feedback…………………………………... 106 viii List of Figures Figure 1.1 Screenshot of Initial Coding in HyperRESEARCH……………………………. 19 Figure 2.1 Percentage of Total Revenues of Universities and Degree-granting Colleges (2013 dollars)………………………………………………………………....... 28 Figure 2.2 Annual Revenues by Type of Funds of Universities and Degree-granting Colleges (2013 dollars x 1,000)……………………………………………....... 28 Figure 2.3 Canadian Tuition Fees, 2000-2001 to 2012-2013 (2013 dollars)……………… 29 Figure 2.4 Global Growth in Foreign Tertiary Education…………………………………. 30 Figure 2.5 Chinese Permanent Resident Trends in Canada………………………………... 37 ix Acknowledgments I owe this dissertation to many people. First, to Dr. Patricia Duff, my brilliant and inspiring supervisor, I can’t express how much your patience, support, and mentorship have meant to me over the years. To my supervising committee, Dr. Ryuko Kubota and Dr. Ling Shi, your input and guidance have been intensely appreciated. I am additionally grateful for the time and thoughtful insights from my university examiners, Dr. Anthony Paré and Dr. Pierre Walter, and external examiner, Dr. Brian Paltridge. My heartfelt appreciation also extends to the inspiring group of (fellow) doctoral students who gave their time and dedication participating in this research. Your selfless candour and openness made this study what it is. I’d like also to express my warm gratitude to the many influential instructors and professors I’ve had the great fortune to work with at UBC: Dr. Monique Bournot-Trites, Dr. Margaret Early, Dr. Bonny Norton, Dr. Kenneth Reeder, Dr. Theresa Rogers, Dr. Steven Talmy, and Dr. Victoria Purcell-Gates. Thank you to Dr. Sandra Zappa-Holman and Dr. Reg D’Silva for the formative opportunities in the UBC-Ritsumeikan Program. Dr. Geoff Williams, our incredible former Head, and Dr. Bernie Mohan both provided me support and opportunities in ways they probably don't even know. In particular, I’d like to acknowledge and thank Dr. Jan Hare for her invaluable support and guidance over my many years at UBC. I’m indebted to your support, Jan. To LLED staff, Chris Fernandez, Anne Eastham, Teresa O’Shea, Lia Cosco, Anne White, Angela MacDonald, Laura Selander, Laurie Reynolds, and Sheri Wenman: thank you all for your professionalism and guidance over the years. Thanks also to my (current and former) UBC colleagues for your friendship and inspiration: Nikki Friedrich, Won Kim, Liam Doherty, Ai Mizuta, Dennis Murphy-Odo, Nasrin Kowkabi, Klara Abdi, Tomoyo Okuda, Joel Heng-Hartse, John Haggerty, Ismaeil Fazel, and Alfredo Ferreira; and also, to Ryan Deschambault for his camaraderie and taking part in “the ride” – both literally and otherwise. I would like to acknowledge the very generous support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship and UBC’s Aboriginal Scholarship. I also need to express my appreciation to the Department of Language and Literacy Education at UBC for the multiple opportunities to teach during my PhD, and to my amazing students who taught me so much over the years. To my family, Rick and Brenda Anderson, Corine Anderson, Thamilarasu Subramaniam, and my dear friends, Burt Tunstall and Garry Mason: I love you all. Finally, to my children, Julia and Alexander, I love you more than you’ll ever know. And to my partner, Liz Chiang, none of this would have been possible without your love, support, and friendship. 1 Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 Introduction In 2012 there were just over 6,300 PhD degrees conferred in Canada, 1,017 of them to international students (Statistics Canada, n.d.-a). Widely considered a pinnacle of academic achievement, doctoral degrees are as coveted as they are difficult to obtain as evidenced by the high attrition rates, with estimates in North American universities ranging from 40% to 50% of students who do not complete their degrees (Chiswick, Larsen, & Pieper, 2010; Elgar, 2003). Doctoral students who speak English as an additional language, or who are the first generation in their families to engage in postsecondary education, may encounter additional challenges adapting to the linguistic, cultural, and academic practices of their new social and educational communities. Despite these issues, and the high rates of degree non-completion, there is a surprising lack of research that has investigated culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) PhD students’ experiences during their programs and the complex factors that facilitate or impede academic and social success. This study set out to explore precisely what is required, in terms of academic discourse socialization, for a group of foreign doctoral students to achieve their goals and flourish during their academic programs. In this dissertation I therefore present results from a 16-month-long multiple-case study investigating the experiences and trajectories of seven foreign1 Chinese PhD students at different stages of their social sciences programs at a major Canadian university, hereafter referred to pseudonymously as Alia Coast University (ACU). I explore the various struggles, successes, and adjustments students encountered during the acquisition, representation and production of academic discourse, attempts to achieve personal and programmatic goals, and integration into their targeted discourse communities and practices from a language socialization conceptual framework (Duff, 2007a, 2010; Ochs, 1986; Ochs & Schieffelin, 1984, 2008, 2012; Schieffelin & Ochs, 1986). Despite the growing pressures on PhD students to produce quality (and publishable) academic scholarship during the course of their programs, the precise and complex 1 Foreign students refer to postsecondary students who are not citizens of the country where the data were collected; International students refer to postsecondary students who have crossed a border with the express intention to study. The use and differentiation of these terms follow OECD’s (2014) operationalizations, data that are drawn on heavily in Chapter 2. To achieve as much consistency as possible between international and national (Canadian) internationalization trends, this study has maintained the use of those terms. 2 nature of academic learning processes at the doctoral level remains under-researched. This study addresses that gap. 1.2 Rationale for the Study The importance of attracting international graduate students has become increasingly evident in Canadian post-secondary contexts (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2011; Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, 2011, 2012). Of notable interest is the strong contingent of students from the People’s Republic of China who currently comprise the largest group of foreign students at Canadian universities, with a considerable portion being graduate students (Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b; see also Table 2.2 in the following chapter). This number continues to increase yearly and the resulting educational, economic, social, and intellectual impact of maintaining this flow of graduate students is of critical importance to Canadian universities (Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada 2012; Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b). Yet there is compelling evidence to suggest that some Chinese graduate students may have trouble adjusting to North American academic settings (Huang, 2009, 2011; Huang & Brown, 2009; Lu & Han, 2010) and struggle with their academic writing (Cheng, Myles, & Curtis, 2004; Liu, 2011; Qian & Krugly-Smolska, 2008)—struggles that are certainly not unique to Chinese second language (L2) students but worthy of attention due to the large (and ever growing) populations of Chinese international students both in Canada and globally. How these students navigate success or failure is therefore of vital importance to their continued enrolment in Canadian universities and the programs they take part in; their degrees of success also reflect on the quality of mentoring and socialization provided by their instructors, supervisors, departments, and host universities. As presented in Chapter 2, students’ experiences, either positive or negative, might also impact future recruitment and enrolment trends at host universities as students discuss study abroad experiences when they return to their home countries or through other channels, like social media, or if they secure academic appointments in various contexts. Examples of students’ successful development and support can in turn benefit instructors, supervisors, and universities in helping future students become socialized more effectively into their academic discourse communities as well as all relevant stakeholders during their time abroad. 3 1.3 Second Language Graduate Writing The following two subsections present literature on the second language writing of graduate students that theoretically underpins this dissertation. I begin with those studies that utilize a language socialization theoretical framework followed by additional studies addressing L2 graduate writing issues that use other conceptual frames to investigate similar phenomena. 1.3.1 Language Socialization Perspectives Although limited in scale, some important research has drawn on a language socialization framework to address both first and second language graduate student writing issues. A line of inquiry in this avenue of research has concentrated on the ways students are socialized into their (new) academic communities by instructors and advisors—often referred to as “mentors” or “gatekeepers” in the literature to emphasize their influential roles in enculturating students into different communities and disciplinary practices. In particular, there has been attention focused on the ways students are “doctored” (Trocchia & Berkowitz, 1999) into PhD programs and PhD studenthood, including the social and academic demands of the degree itself, the process of preparing and composing in-depth research studies and dissertations, and relationships with advisors and instructors and the roles they play transitioning doctoral students to (future) professional academic careers. Work has been conducted in this area (referred to below) without specific focus on the first or second language status of students, instead concentrating on the roles or subject positions that all doctoral students might share and the different factors that contribute to the varying degrees of socialization these students encounter and the impact such socialization has on their lives, both present and into the future (i.e., Austin, 2002; Austin & McDaniels; 2006; Trocchia & Berkowitz, 1999). Other research has aligned more closely with the experiences of second language graduate students specifically (i.e., Casanave, 2010; Chang, 2009; Morita, 2004; Nam, 2008; Seloni, 2008, 2012; Trice, 2005; Trice & Yoo, 2007; Zhang, 2011). For purposes of clarity, and to outline both the similarities and differences between L1 and L22 doctoral students, both kinds of aforementioned studies are addressed in this section. Doctoral students’ own decisions and ambitions can significantly contribute to their current 2 This term is used to refer to all students who speak English as an additional language and recognizes the wide variance of individuals’ different experiences and proficiency levels as well as their unique cultural and linguistic repertoires and histories. 4 and future success (or lack thereof) and involve a variety of factors, as Trocchia and Berkowitz (1999) note, including: (1) inner desires, motivations, or investments in their programs; (2) the sense of camaraderie or attachment to their academic communities (and to their peers, professors, and advisors); (3) positive views of their own research areas (i.e., believing their work is important and useful); (4) perceptions of the quality or stature of their mentors and department; and, (5) abilities to successfully network and form professional relationships during and after degree completion (Trocchia & Berkowitz, 1999). Others emphasize external factors and influences and the ways academic mentors can shape students’ lives. For example, Austin (2002) and Austin and McDaniels (2006) discussed factors involved in socializing graduate students for future faculty roles, a notably complex process especially in light of the recent “oversupply” of PhD students for available tenure track faculty positions in Western universities (Austin, 2002; Cyranoski, Gilbert, Ledford, Nayar, & Yahia, 2011). From the student perspective, Austin’s participants expressed a desire for increased attention, feedback, and advice from their mentors and more opportunities to discuss and reflect on their programs and future careers, including specific advice about the demands of faculty life and better (current) teaching opportunities. As Austin and McDaniels (2006) note: If faculty members are to research, teach, address societal problems, and carry out institutional responsibilities at high levels of excellence, then their socialization in graduate school should prepare them with the competencies they need to fulfill all aspects of their work. (p. 449) As such, the socialization of graduate (doctoral) students should be considered in reference to the long term impacts on not only the students themselves but also on the faculties, programs, and universities they may be entering as they begin their new professional roles and attempt to negotiate the various demands that are involved (including becoming mentors themselves). From a second language prospective, foreign CLD students may encounter different hurdles in their interactions with professors and advisors as they not only encounter similar struggles, confusion, stress, and anxiety faced by their L1 English-speaking peers, but may also face added linguistic, sociocultural, or educational differences in trying to navigate relatively unfamiliar institutional and academic environments, expectations, and requirements (Morita, 2004; Trice, 2005) and being concerned with the curricular relevancy of their programs if or when they return home to look for employment (Trice & Yoo, 2007). These cultural and 5 linguistic differences that are co-constructed within local discourse communities (Morita, 2004) may result in difficulties and challenges for students, often requiring the development of different strategies to overcome these challenges or, in the case of unsuccessful or unwilling students, stress, anxiety, social distance, disillusionment, and possible academic struggle or failure. Fritz, Chin, and DeMarinis (2008) caution, however, that referring to “international students” as a broad and inclusive category fails to account for the vast differences between groups and individuals and the unique experiences they have during their time abroad. Students from China, for example, may encounter noticeably different challenges compared to students from Britain or the US who are also “international” in origin and enrolment status and yet may have vastly different prior experiences and may require much different levels of support to succeed. Chang (2009) also cautions that the cultural or linguistic differences of certain international students should not be viewed as potential hindrances to successful learning and integration into local communities. Chang’s investigation of the socialization of international PhD students in the US revealed quite the opposite, by concluding “rather than being disadvantaged by linguistic or cultural barriers, the NNES (nonnative English speaking) international students are able to position themselves strategically and make deft use of their resources to claim legitimate membership in their respective disciplinary communities” (Abstract). These findings are important, particularly with the growing internationalization of graduate school demographics in English speaking universities and the impacts these shifts could have on student-mentor relationships into the future. The role of socialization in academic communities is also not a unidirectional one, from a more experienced professor or advisor always and consistently imparting useful knowledge or skills to a lesser-experienced student. As Casanave (2010) found, the process of advising her doctoral students and their decisions to take certain risks in their own dissertation writing practices led her to become increasingly reflective of her own role in the broader advisory process. This included not only her potential influence on her own students’ decisions and actions, but how her position (as an established scholar and mentor to others) could impact the field more generally, particularly in terms of changing traditional dissertation genre styles and allowing students more opportunities for expression and creativity in their composing practices. These types of reciprocal and mutually influential relationships between “newcomers” and “oldtimers”—indeed the “bidirectional enculturation” of discourse community members (Duff et 6 al., 2013), including the co-agentive role of peer socialization—are recognized as playing an important part in the more overriding co-agentive socialization process between more- and less-experienced members of different communities and how they can mutually influence and accommodate each other (Morita, 2004; Zamel, 1997). Nam (2008) followed nine Korean graduate students at a US university and reported the challenges and successes they encountered while being socialized into local academic (written) discourse practices. Using a variety of methods to triangulate findings—including interviews, classroom observation, and textual analysis of the students’ written artifacts—Nam’s investigation focused on the (institutional) availability of academic support and its uptake by international students. Nam concluded that the students in her study were either unwilling (due to the stigma of being positioned as insufficient or remedial—“afraid of losing face”; see also Bronson, 2004)—or unable due to a lack of L2 proficiency to properly and consistently access these resources. Despite the availability of a variety of resources for these students, including ESL writing courses, writing center tutorials, discipline-specific academic courses, and interactions with peers (both fellow Korean students as well as L1 English speakers), the students were not able to articulate their needs well, felt shy, or encountered “mismatched needs and services” (p. 160) with the available resources. (For example, classes or tutors focused on surface, text-level errors instead of deeper discoursal issues that also required attention.) The result of this inability or unwillingness for Nam’s participants to adequately become socialized into their academic communities resulted in decreased academic performance and anxiety and as a consequence affected their study abroad experiences in negative ways. The failure of the students, Nam concludes, was essentially a failure of the institution. By not providing systemic and comprehensive learning (and linguistic) support, international students can be overburdened with academic demands that can result in an array of negative consequences, including under-performance and poor grades, embarrassment, and social anxiety. Zhang’s (2011) investigation of 10 international Chinese graduate students in a Canadian university revealed that her participants experienced a range of linguistic and rhetorical challenges across several written academic genres. All of the students in Zhang’s study, from various social sciences and engineering departments, struggled with technical aspects of writing, including idiomatic forms of expression, lexical choice, sentence structure, and syntax. Some students also reported difficulty meeting the rhetorical expectations in their English academic 7 writing, citing differences between their L1 (Chinese) and L2 (English) as the causal factor. As a result of these reported challenges (by the students themselves as well as their professors), some of Zhang’s participants felt they were unfairly punished for language and rhetorical errors despite producing superior lab reports compared to their domestic (native English-speaking) classmates, and were even told by professors they had “bad English” and “poor” grammar/structure in the feedback they received on written assignments. As a result of such pervasive discouragement, Zhang argues: CIG [Chinese international graduate] students’ “deficit” views of their own writing abilities and the discursive focus on the quality of language rather than the novelty of ideas in the publication arena might keep CIG students further away from the publication process in the Canadian academia. (p. 47) Seloni’s (2008, 20123) microethnography investigated the in- and out-of-class writing practices and socialization of six multilingual doctoral students during the first year of their programs in the US. Seloni’s participants were comprised of English L2 speakers with several of them claiming English as a third or even fourth language. The participants were primarily from regions in Asia—China, Taiwan, and Japan—with the remaining two students coming from Columbia and Cyprus. Similar to Casanave’s (2010) doctoral participants from Japan (as discussed above), Seloni noted the resistance and challenge some of her students experienced through their creation of “hybrid forms of literacy practices” (2008, p. 240) through their dialogic interactions within both formal classroom contexts as well as outside in more informal situations and academic support groups, or “safe houses” (Canagarajah, 1997, 2004) where students could reflect and discuss (and resist) the academic literacy practices expected of them. These insights regarding the use by L2 students of multiple forms, types, and genres of literacies (such as the use of vernacularization and “multimodal, intertextual and heteroglossic literacies”; Duff, 2007a, p. 4) can contribute to acceptable forms of academic discourse that can play vital roles in how students are able to become socialized (to various degrees) into their respective academic communities. As Ivanič and Camps (2001) describe, such resistance by students in their academic writing is an example of their critical awareness and expressions of their own literary voices, such as the use of more personal or reflective writing styles in academic texts and the reaction (or resistance) against “monolithic features of academic writing” (Seloni, 2008, p. 3 Both studies reported on the same longitudinal ethnography. 8 188)—although Seloni’s participants were also quite self-reflective (and practical) regarding the struggles and potential problems that asserting their voices too strongly could cause as novice and unestablished scholars. 1.3.2 Additional Theoretical Orientations Although a relative paucity of research has considered L2 graduate academic writing issues from a language socialization framework4, others have addressed similar issues from a variety of complementary theoretical orientations. Paltridge and Starfield’s (2007) comprehensive guide for supervisors of L2 graduate students details precise steps, suggestions, and assistance to help in the writing of theses and dissertations. In addition to a detailed genre approach for analyzing and addressing separate sections and chapters of the graduate thesis, the book importantly addresses the situated social and cultural contexts of thesis and dissertation writing and issues of writer identity. Paltridge and Starfield (2007) draw, in part, on Paltridge’s (2002) cross-analysis of thesis and dissertation guidebooks compared to the actual production of theses and dissertations across several disciplines at a large Australian university. Paltridge found a lack of explicit attention paid to theses genre variability in these guidebooks, findings that did not represent the range of thesis types found in his analysis. Other work by Starfield et al. (2015) analyzed the evaluative language used on 142 examiner reports of doctoral dissertations at a New Zealand university. The meaning that is constructed (and at times misconstrued) through the feedback and evaluation process can have vast implications for the students and their research reports. Doctoral examiners should be increasingly reflective and critical of their own language choices on these reports, the authors conclude. Paré’s (2011) work has similarly addressed the importance of supervisory feedback on doctoral writing, noting the relative lack of studies that have adequately addressed writing development during students’ PhD programs. Paré notes the lack of preparedness of some supervisors in addressing more complex issues in thesis writing (apart from surface level errors), in addition to the role of the supervisor in guiding students into appropriate disciplinary and rhetorical practices in their writing—practices that may be challenged or impeded by institutional discourses that consider writing to be a “universal skill” 4 Many more studies have used a language socialization framework to address oral discourse processes and genres at the graduate level (e.g., Morita, 2000; Wang, 2009; Zappa-Hollman, 2007). 9 that people naturally or easily acquire and the resulting lack of university support that may arise from such perceptions (see also Starke-Meyerring et al., 2014). Additional studies have also documented the increasing pressures levied upon doctoral students regarding the demands to publish in English-medium academic journals, either to meet program requirements or to competitively position themselves during the academic job search and into their future careers. Li’s (2005, 2006a, 2007) various work (drawn from her larger doctoral dissertation research; Li, 2006b) reported on the multiple case study she conducted on the publication journeys of several Chinese doctoral students at a Chinese university, all seeking to publish in international (English) science journals as a requirement to graduate. Under pressure to compete with other prestigious universities and to improve its academic profile, the university Li’s participants attended enacted a policy requiring PhD students to publish in order to graduate. Li documents the struggles that these Chinese PhD students encountered when attempting to attain high status publications in renowned scientific journals, including outright rejection, appeals (after rejections), substantial revisions, and the difficulty navigating reviewer comments. Cheung (2009) similarly investigated six Chinese applied linguistics doctoral students studying in Hong Kong universities and their attempts to publish in English (applied linguistics) academic journals. Amidst the mixed proficiencies of Cheung’s participants, and their sometimes ambivalent or even negative attitudes regarding publishing in English, some common issues emerged. Namely, hindrances to publication opportunities included a pervasive lack of confidence, language proficiency issues and inexperience with journal genres, problems with revisions, and feeling disadvantaged because they were non-native speakers. One notable difference between Cheung’s and Li’s contexts was the disparity in program requirements between the two contexts, with the students in Hong Kong not being required to publish in order to graduate (unlike Li’s participants), although other kinds of pressures were similar across both contexts in terms of the perceived and actual importance of publishing to further one’s career and to improve academic qualifications. Saneh’s (2009) study of five Iranian graduate students’ textual (rhetorical) practices at a North American university similarly outlined the struggles some L2 writers encounter when operating in a second language and culture and encountering different discourse traditions. Using a contrastive rhetoric (CR) approach to explain the differences in rhetorical patterns between 10 languages, and informed by a more critical perspective towards CR brought forth by Kubota and Lehner (2004) (and later Kubota, 2010a, 2010b), Saneh (2009) was cognizant of the tendency of traditional CR to construct “static, homogeneous, and apolitical images of the rhetorical patterns of various written languages” (Kubota & Lehner, 2004, p. 9) and sought a more dynamic and comprehensive explanation to explain “the relevance of culture in writing studies” (Saneh, 2009, p. 171). Saneh’s findings outlined in part that the more “poetic” and “persuasive” rhetorical positions exerted by experienced Iranian writers in their L1 were viewed punitively and unfavourably in their English academic communities; also, that writers’ linguistic and institutional histories have a larger impact on L2 writing success than does “novice” or “newcomer” status, as all students in Saneh’s studies were already experienced and practiced writers, some quite established in their home country of Iran. I now turn to issues regarding my own positionality in this dissertation study and then present the research questions, an introduction of each of the seven participants, the study’s methodology, and a summary of each remaining chapter in this dissertation. 1.4 Situatedness and Positionality There are several personal, professional, and academic reasons why I decided to research this topic and this student population in this specific context. To better explain my current decisions, however, I need to briefly discuss my past. I first moved to Asia in early 2000 to teach English as a foreign language at an English language school in the south of Taiwan. I was not yet a “teacher” in the technical sense, but I had a recently acquired bachelor’s degree in English Literature and enthusiasm and dedication to become a successful educator. I was fortunate to end up at a school with supportive staff and mentors who taught me how to teach and how to enjoy doing it, and it was there that my passion for teaching (and learning) languages grew. The next year and a half proved to be a very formative experience in my life trajectory, including several subsequent trips back to Taiwan to teach English and study Chinese, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree in Education and becoming a certified teacher, and now (in 2016) as a latter-stage doctoral candidate in TESOL and applied linguistics. I have accumulated over a decade’s worth of teaching experience across a variety of classrooms and involving a diverse range of students, many of whom spoke Chinese as their first language. I also during this time period met my wife, a Taiwanese (Chinese L1) doctoral student, who has provided me with a window into 11 some of the experiences international English L2 students can encounter during their transitions into English-medium Western academic discourses and communities. Being a current doctoral student myself also inspired me to study the experiences of other PhD students who were seeking similar goals, including immediate and future academic success, publication opportunities, the ability to fit in and network with colleagues and peers, as well as how to deal with consistent pressure of meeting deadlines and expectations and looming academic job searches. One of the major mediating factors to achieve all of this desired success (for doctoral students, including myself) is intimately connected with academic writing, which strongly motivated my research trajectory. As Hyland indeed (2011) notes “universities are ABOUT writing and […] specialist forms of academic literacy are at the heart of everything we do.” (p. 53). It is with this academic reality in mind that my research topic came to fruition. I am also interested in the broader trends and impacts associated with the rising international student populations at Canadian universities, having been a university student myself for over 15 years. Now, as an instructor in higher education, I see the benefits as well as the challenges that both foreign and domestic L1 and L2 students and instructors can encounter and the varying expectations and experiences that can negatively impact or enhance cooperation and understanding. This dissertation seeks to contribute to a better and more nuanced understanding about how to deal with these issues. The above-described cumulative interests and experiences, combined with the lack of research in the area, have therefore been the primary drivers for my decision to research this topic. These experiences and positionalities have also provided me with both an insider and outsider perspective to guide this research process, particularly being a PhD student myself and experiencing many of the same pressures, challenges, and successes learning and adapting to the rigours of academic life during my PhD. I also, however, recognize my own involvement in subjectively shaping, interpreting, and representing the stories and experiences of the seven participants in this study—indeed the inevitable situatedness of the qualitative research process (Matsuda & Silva, 2005). My own stances and positionalities, in particular, inevitably influenced the answers I sought and the ways I interacted with my participants, either electronically or face-to-face during interviews. In so doing this dissertation is therefore a reflection of myself in addition to the seven students who generously gave their time and effort to help me achieve my own academic pursuits. 12 1.5 Research Questions The following three overarching questions guided this study: 1. What constitutes effective and acceptable English academic discourse, according to participants’ self-representations of their academic trajectories or local standards as defined or implied by the authors and evaluators, in Chinese doctoral students’ written academic texts? 2. What are the social, cultural, and academic processes, practices, and communities that contribute to the discourse socialization of these students? 3. How do the different instances of socialization into academic discourse impact the lives and communities of foreign Chinese graduate students? 1.6 Operationalizations The following operationalizations of key terms or categories of students are maintained throughout the dissertation, the details of which are more thoroughly explained in Chapter 2. 1. International students refer to students on a student visa who entered Canada with the sole purpose to study at a Canadian university, as well as those on diplomatic, trade, and other missions, and refugees. 2. Foreign students refer to postsecondary students who are not citizens of the country where the data were collected, including both “international students” and “permanent resident” students. 3. Canadian students refer to Canadian citizens. 4. Internationalization of higher education refers to the process of global student and staff mobility, partnerships and cooperation between international higher education institutions, the proliferation of branch campuses and distance learning, and the associated intercultural and international impacts on curricula, teaching, and learning (Knight, 2004, 2008). 5. The specific program types included in the statistical analysis of Canadian university data as provided by a series of Statistics Canada custom tables (Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b, 2014a, 2014b) are: undergraduate (first cycle), post-baccalaureate non-graduate program, graduate qualifying program (second cycle), health-related residency program, graduate program (second cycle), and graduate program (third cycle). 13 6. Statistics Canada data counts are randomly rounded to multiples of three to ensure strict confidentiality of its surveyed student population (Statistics Canada, 2013b). As a result, some subtotals and grand totals of the Canadian postsecondary data used in this paper will be inconsistent when comparing data across tables due to Statistics Canada’s random rounding of numbers. 1.7 Participants A combination of snowball and convenience sampling was utilized to locate and recruit the participants based on the pre-established criteria of being: (a) a current Faculty of Education or Faculty of Arts doctoral student at ACU; and (b) an international or permanent resident student who was originally from China and spoke English as an additional language. Students from the Faculties of Education and Arts were chosen to allow for a greater comparison of academic tasks and stages than including participants from other disciplines might allow. Students in the physical sciences, for example, will likely have far different academic writing experiences (and encounter different types of challenges and successes) than someone in Asian Studies or History might. I also decided to limit participation to include international or permanent resident students from China due to their prominent place in Canadian graduate schools. Both sampling approaches used in this study are part of the larger category of nonprobability sampling which does not use random sampling and whose results cannot be generalized to larger populations with the same validity as probability sampling (Bryman, Teevan, & Bell, 2009). Convenience sampling is an approach that utilizes the resources (i.e., participants) that are readily available to the researcher (Richards, 2003). The following recruitment tactics were used to attract students to participate in this study. First, after ethical approval was received from my university, hard-copy recruitment posters (Appendix A) were hung in each applicable department’s common areas for graduate students, as well as other public spots where graduate students might congregate, including libraries and hallways. I then solicited the help of each individual department in the faculties of Arts and Education by requesting that they send their international graduate students an electronic copy of my recruitment request (Appendix B). Finally, I contacted ACU’s Chinese Graduate Student Society, which similarly sent a recruitment request via email to its members. 14 The second approach was snowball sampling, also called chain-referral sampling, which allows researchers to find participants based on social connections where relevant group members make contact and refer the participant to other relevant group members (Duff, 2008). In the case of this study, I used my social networks to make connections with other current PhD students from China (which was ultimately unsuccessful). I also asked members who were already recruited to ask applicable friends, classmates, and colleagues if they were interested in participating. Used in combination, both convenience sampling and snowball sampling provided me with a suitably distributed base of participants representing students in different stages of their doctoral studies. I felt capturing students’ experiences at varying stages of their programs would provide a more representative sample of the different writing tasks, requirements, expectations, and pressures over the full course of a doctoral study. Eight students who met the previously established criteria to participate in the study were eventually recruited, one of whom was excluded from the final analysis stage due to a lack of sufficient data (i.e., s/he did not participate in the final interview nor did s/he submit any written feedback for analysis). Participants were ultimately included in the analysis and final version of this research report based on their willingness and ability to commit to the entire study period, being able to take part in both sets of interviews, submitting narrative and feedback data, and meeting the criteria of being foreign Chinese PhD students who spoke English as an additional language. All participants read and signed the Participant Informed Consent Form (see Appendix C) and were given the choice between a $50 gift certificate for the University’s bookstore or five hours of academic writing consultation from the researcher that took place at various stages during the 16-month study period. Only two of the participants chose the writing support with the remainder choosing the gift certificate. 1.8 Methodology and Analysis 1.8.1 Methodology This research used a descriptive multiple-case study design combining participants’ (emic) perspectives and the researcher’s (etic) interpretations. The benefits of a case study design include the potential to capture and contextualize the unique voices and experiences of various people over a sustained period of time as well as allowing for an analysis of students’ own texts and associated feedback. Focusing on a limited number of participants, case study also allows 15 phenomena to be investigated in depth longitudinally and in naturally occurring contexts (Duff, 2008; Miles & Huberman, 1994; Yin, 2009). Case study as a research methodology is therefore a valuable resource to capture diverse perspectives through the use of complementary data collection methods and analyses, including the ones used in this study as noted in the following section and as elaborated in each subsequent manuscript chapter. The use of case study in applied linguistics, in particular, allows for a comprehensive examination of the intersecting linguistic, historical, educational, and sociocultural factors involved in language teaching, learning, and use through the combination of complementary, generally qualitative and interpretive, research methods (Duff, 2008). Case study’s growth in popularity in applied linguistics is in part due to its flexibility to research “a more complex portrayal of the research participant as a multifaceted social being and not just the “site” of L2 development” (Duff, 2008, p. 19) and the ability to focus on individual learners, teachers, speakers, or writers, and their behaviours and attributes across time and in different environments. The following presents the specific research methods used in this multiple case study to triangulate data collection. 1.8.2 Data Collection Procedures (a) Semi-structured interviews were conducted with all seven participants, A-Ming, JoJo, Lily, Polar Bear, Qiu, Shasha, and Sissy (all self-chosen pseudonyms, listed here in alphabetical order). These interviews took place at the beginning and the end of the 16-month research process to inquire into their feelings, attitudes, prior experience, practices, and expectations regarding their academic writing and the roles that external and internal sources had in their socialization into departmental and disciplinary academic literacy and discourse practices and communities. Interview data were then analyzed with the qualitative analysis software HyperRESEARCH using a thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) to identify key themes related to the students’ negotiation of academic discourse practices (a process detailed below). I also took into account the written texts referred to in the interviews and the associated feedback received on those texts, including the students’ reactions and interpretations of the feedback they received. All interviews took place between April 2013 and August 2014, typically running between 1 and 1.5 hours per interview, and were conducted mostly in English (with a limited amount of Mandarin Chinese) at mutually convenient locations on the ACU campus (see Appendix D for the core questions that 16 guided the semi-structured interviews). (b) Student-generated narratives were collected throughout the 16-month study period to allow for the participants’ stories and perspectives to be solicited and analyzed at various stages of their programs. As a methodology, narrative inquiry has gained credibility and attention in second language and literacy acquisition research (Barkhuizen, 2011; Duff et al., 2013) and as Denzin and Lincoln (2005) note, “narrative inquiry is flourishing; it is everywhere” (p. 641). Particularly as an approach to allow participants an avenue to express their thoughts and opinions in self-directed environments, it is a method acutely aligned with qualitative research in education, the humanities, and the social sciences (Duff et al., 2013). In this study, participants were asked to keep written accounts charting their experiences as writers in the academy over the course of the study. They were given the option to document their progress using either written or oral formats (recorded with a digital audio recorder supplied by the researcher), although all participants eventually chose to provide their narratives in written (digital) form, which were then submitted through email. At the onset of the study, participants were asked to align their writing topics generally towards their experiences as academic writers at ACU but were encouraged to be creative and explore any relevant avenue related to the goals of this study (researching the academic writing processes and experiences of L2 doctoral students) and submit what they had written every month. After two months with very few submissions, and based on requests from several participants, I then provided prompts or guiding questions (see Appendix E for sample prompts and questions) to alleviate the work-load my original plan was causing. Asking these busy students, who voluntarily chose to participate in this study and self-reported they had academic writing problems, to produce additional writing every month without additional or specific guidance proved to be a challenge. However, my change in strategy two months into the study yielded better results moving forward. By the conclusion of the study, their narrative submissions differed greatly in both length and quantity. Sissy provided both the most submissions (five) and the longest (one over 2100 words, written without any guiding prompts). Shasha, Lily and A-Ming submitted three narratives, all with the use of guided prompts and with varying lengths. A-Ming, in particular, wrote the least, providing a group low of 115 words on his 17 first submission, although his subsequent narratives were much more extensive and detailed. The narrative accounts were analyzed using a thematic analysis and focusing on critical or salient incidents and students’ affective responses to them, such as a student’s reflection on receiving critical written feedback on an assignment and how it made them feel. (c) Reviewer feedback from a submitted journal article and a variety of course-based writing assignments was analyzed for important instances of discourse socialization in terms of critique, support, and guidance for improvement. In some cases, the (unintended) socialization that occurred came from indecipherable feedback handwritten in the margins or by the complete absence of sufficient or sufficiently detailed feedback itself. The participants’ reactions towards and interpretations of that feedback were then analyzed from discussions in the interview and narrative accounts. This cross-analysis between the written feedback and the students’ response to it provided insight into the impact the feedback had on the students’ perceptions of self, their writing, their self- and other-perceived abilities as writers, and the resulting investment or motivation in their doctoral programs and subsequent writing tasks. All the written feedback submitted by the participants in this study was first counted, charted, and then categorized so as to better contextualize the types and amounts of feedback the participants received in the broader discussion of how they perceived that feedback as helping or impeding their progress as developing writers and discourse community members, a process discussed specifically in Chapter 5. The interview and narrative data that addressed or referred to that feedback, and the feedback they received in general over the course of their PhDs, were then analyzed thematically. 1.8.3 Thematic Analysis This study used a thematic analysis to analyze both interview and narrative data used in this study. Thematic analysis enables researchers to search for themes within the data without predetermining a set of themes before the analysis process begins. As Braun and Clarke (2006) note, “Thematic analysis is a method for identifying, analyzing and reporting patterns (themes) within data. It minimally organizes and describes your data set in (rich) detail” (p. 79). The 18 thematic analysis utilized in this study looked for prevalent, unique, or otherwise salient themes across all the interview and narrative data. However, just as caution should be practiced when using all forms of (qualitative) data analysis and when making broad generalizing claims about the research findings or its neutrality, my desire to seek a balance between fairly representing the perspectives of my participants and my own interpretations does not mean that either perspective is any more “real” or “true” than the other, as participants’ own reflections and interpretations can be inaccurate or misrepresentative based on a variety of factors, such as not wanting to look “bad,” “negative,” or “insufficient” or simply forgetting or misremembering past events or accounts. I have tried to mitigate these effects through the data triangulation noted above and through the use of a ground-up data-driven thematic analysis. This process was facilitated in part through the use of HyperRESEARCH, a computer-assisted code-and-retrieve qualitative data analysis program. In this study, all interview and narrative data were first transcribed (in the case of the interviews only, since narratives were submitted in electronic form) and then checked for transcription accuracy and to (re)familiarize myself with the content. All data were then entered into HyperRESEARCH and organized according to each individual participant. I then performed an initial coding of the entire data corpus within HyperRESEARCH by highlighting words or sections of text that corresponded to the language and literacy socialization of each participant (see Figure 1.1 for a screenshot of this initial coding process). Some examples of these initial codes (as shown in Figure 1.1) are as follow: • Haigui5 • Being Chinese • Bought vs. earned transnationalism • Chinese nationalism • Chinese international students • Critiques of China • Chinese pride • Desire to remain abroad • Undergraduate vs. graduate Codes were then organized into code-groups and categorized into sub-themes and themes. Some of these themes subsequently formed the foundations for Chapters 3, 4, and 5 of this dissertation 5 Haigui (海归) is a Mandarin Chinese term referring to Chinese international students who have studied abroad and returned to China; see Chapter 3 for a detailed discussion of this term. 19 covering: (1) the effects of transnational discourses on socialization; (2) internal and external sources of academic discourse socialization; and (3) socialization through written feedback. Figure 1.1. Screenshot of initial coding in HyperRESEARCH 1.9 Student Profiles Seven foreign Chinese PhD students in the faculties of Arts and Education participated in this study. The following presents a brief summary of each student. Although, as noted in the following chapters, their experiences at times varied quite broadly, they all demonstrated impressive skillsets and qualifications. Several were already accomplished (young) scholars who had achieved high status publications and research funding, despite being (for the majority, with the exception of Qiu) only early- to mid-program students. The following information, and that within each of the manuscript chapters, is therefore provided to establish some context of their personal, linguistic, and academic backgrounds. A-Ming came from a middle class family and described his parents as having “some schooling” and being speakers of both Mandarin and Hakka. His bachelor’s and master’s degrees were both done in China. He then spent two years working as a research assistant at a highly ranked American research university before beginning his PhD in the Faculty of Arts at ACU in 20 2013. At the time of the study he was amongst the most prolific of the group in terms of published academic work (despite being only a first year student). His PhD was funded by two ACU-based scholarships and other teaching assistantship (TA) appointments. JoJo began her PhD at ACU in 2011 and her participation in the study spanned the second to third years in her Faculty of Education PhD program. She came from a middle class family with a university-educated father and a mother who had a high school diploma. Her family spoke both Mandarin and their region’s local dialect in China, with JoJo being the only English speaker. Both her undergraduate and master’s degrees were obtained in China. Her PhD was funded by a combination of Chinese and Canadian scholarships and other awards and by holding various TA and research assistant (RA) positions at ACU. Lily reported a middle class upbringing and monolingual (Chinese) college-educated parents. She began participation in the study just two weeks into the first term of her Faculty of Arts program. She had two bachelor’s degrees from a major Chinese university and completed a master’s degree in the US. Her funding included an ACU-based fellowship and multiple TA-ships in her department. Polar Bear was in the second year of his Faculty of Arts degree when the study began. He, like many others in this study, reported coming from a middle class family in China. He was the only participant in the study who was married and he and his wife combined spoke Mandarin, Cantonese, French, English, and Arabic. His bachelor’s and master’s degrees were both obtained in China with the latter being an English-medium program at a prestigious joint-venture Chinese and American university. His PhD was funded by two university fellowships and several TA and RA appointments. Qiu was in the fifth year of her doctorate in the Faculty of Arts when the study commenced in April 2013. She came from an upper-middle class family, according to her self-report, with university-educated parents and a father who was a currently (at the time of the study) a Chinese university “headmaster” (her term). In addition to Mandarin, Qiu reported that both her parents spoke English, with her father being highly proficient due to his leadership role at a Chinese university that employed foreign instructors. Her PhD had been funded by a variety of scholarships and she consistently served as a teaching assistant through the totality of her doctoral program. She received an MA also from ACU and had recently (two years prior to the 21 start of the study) become a permanent resident of Canada. She has since completed her PhD and left academia for an industry position that she described as being her “dream job.” Shasha’s involvement in the study spanned the second to third years of her Faculty of Arts program. She described her family status as being “low SES” with both parents having only primary school educations. She reported being the only speaker of English in her family. She attended an “underprivileged” high school (according to her report) and described her strong self-motivation and dedication as being the reasons she was able to attend university at all (having come from a low SES family and gone to an underprivileged high-school). She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degree’s in China before coming to (Eastern) Canada for her second master’s degree, which was followed by her enrolment at ACU in 2012. Her doctorate was funded by an ACU fellowship and various TA-ships. Finally, Sissy was a Faculty of Arts student in her first and second years at ACU over the course of the study period. Both her undergraduate and master’s degrees were done in China before attending ACU in 2012. She described coming from a middle class background with a university-educated father and a secondary-school educated mother. She was the only English speaker in her family and was funded by a Chinese and a Canadian scholarship. 1.10 Significance This dissertation builds on previous scholarship by generating additional data on the lived experiences of foreign L2 doctoral students in postsecondary contexts. With the potentially high-stakes outcomes of study abroad experiences for students’ and families’ lives, as well as the associated economic, social, cultural, and intellectual impacts on the universities and surrounding communities, more information detailing the lives and experiences of foreign students will benefit stakeholders in important ways. The original descriptive data analysis undertaken in Chapter 2 specifically highlights the recent internationalization trends in Canada and the effect of these trends (and potential future impacts) on meeting international student targets moving forward. The Canadian government and universities are highly motivated to maintain and aggressively increase current international students numbers for both short and long term benefits. Research in this dissertation addresses these concerns at the broader (national) statistical level as well as more intimately through the individual cases of each participant who shared their experiences in great depth and detail. This dissertation will add to that area 22 specifically by contributing additional knowledge about their academic (and social, in some cases) experiences navigating the discursive maze of doctoral school. For Sissy in particular, the reported lack of departmental and university-wide support affected her ability to gain disciplinary knowledge early on in her program and, as a result, caused her to feel alienated and discriminated against. Others, however, highlighted the many instances of beneficial support and opportunities they received that socialized them into practices and discourses conducive to achieve success. Finally, this research also benefited me (the researcher) in several professional ways, namely by providing sources of data and opportunities for my dissertation research and potential publications, as well as opportunities to learn how to conduct rigourous (longitudinal) qualitative research using a variety of research methods, methodologies, and sources of analysis. This long process also provided opportunities to reflect on my own practices, abilities, struggles, and successes as a doctoral student and writer—self-reflections possibly experienced by the members of this study as well. Some of the challenges and anxieties as well as motivating successes, for example, that my participants encountered, I had also experienced (or would experience). As an instructor of postsecondary students as well, learning about fellow doctoral students’ preferences regarding certain academic practices (such as receiving written feedback of varying quality and the impact this had) also made me increasingly reflective of my own pedagogy. 1.11 Dissertation Organization This dissertation follows a manuscript- or journal-based format consisting of four central chapters written in the form of publishable journal articles that are more or less independent, bookended by an introduction and conclusion chapter (see Dong, 1998; Paltridge, 2002; Paltridge & Starfield, 2007 for a discussion of this and other dissertation types)6. The article-based chapters contained herein examine intersecting issues related to the internationalization of Canadian universities and the academic discourse socialization of Chinese foreign L2 students studying at ACU. Chapter 2 begins with a discussion and analysis of global and national internationalization trends and issues in higher education and serves as a foundational chapter for the dissertation. Chapter 3 concentrates on the transnational identities, ideologies, and discourses 6 Although considerable effort was made to limit repetition across chapters, this is an inevitable consequence with a dissertation of this form. The participant summaries and discussion of methods and theory, in particular, may therefore contain similar (but not identical) content at points of this dissertation. 23 of two focal participants and how issues involving educational migration can influence the trajectories (and socialization) of international doctoral students. Following this, Chapter 4 involves all seven participants and investigates the broader sources of internal and external academic discourse socialization during PhD students’ programs and the surveilling function of this socialization on their abilities or desires to acculturate academically. The final “article” of this dissertation, Chapter 5, then focuses more specifically on the precise roles and functions of one important source of this external socialization, written feedback, and its influence on the students’ academic writing development and literacy socialization. The following section now presents a brief summary the four remaining “article” chapters (after this introductory chapter) and the conclusion, beginning with a table (Table 1.1) of the four interior chapters that discuss the major findings of this study. Table 1.1: Summary of Manuscript Chapters Chapters Participants Data Theory Key issues 2) Seeking internationalization: The state of Canadian higher education N/A National and international higher education statistics; government reports; higher education research Internationalization of higher education; transnationalism; neoliberalism Global and Canadian postsecondary internationalization trends; impacts and implications 3) Reproductions of Chinese transnationalism through study abroad A-Ming, Sissy Interviews; narratives Language socialization; transnationalism; internationalization The role of transnational discourses in identity formation and socialization 4) The doctoral gaze: Foreign PhD students’ internal and external academic discourse socialization A-Ming, JoJo, Lily, Polar Bear, Qiu, Shasha, Sissy Interviews; narratives Language socialization; panopticism Academic discourse socialization is both internally and externally mediated and directed 5) The discursive positioning and socialization of foreign doctoral students through written feedback A-Ming, JoJo, Lily, Polar Bear, Shasha, Sissy Interviews; narratives; written feedback Language socialization; second language writing Considers written feedback as sociocultural practice that positions students into a range of identities that facilitate or impede socialization into targeted academic discourses and communities 24 1.11.1 Chapter 2: Seeking Internationalization: The State of Canadian Higher Education Chapter 2 is a detailed review of current research, trends, and impacts regarding the internationalization of Canadian universities. This chapter has been accepted for publication by the Canadian Journal of Higher Education (Anderson, 2015). Nested in global student mobility trends and drawing on recent (and in some cases underreported) national and international statistical data7, this chapter argues that the rapid rise of international students in Canada has both benefits and challenges for the country and its institutions. These include the provision of additional sources of revenue for Canadian universities and communities, the socioeducational impacts related to growing international populations on students, instructors, and universities, and longer-term effects associated with the targeted attraction of skilled professionals to Canada and Canadian industries. I emphasize that increased attention should be focused on student issues amidst the broader discussions related to the internationalization of higher education. This chapter concludes with several cost-efficient suggestions that could support foreign L2 students during their transitions into disciplinary practices, communities, and discourses. 1.11.2 Chapter 3: Reproductions of Chinese Transnationalism Through Study Abroad This chapter discusses the influence of national and transnational discourses on two students’ socialization into their respective academic discourses and communities at ACU. I begin by outlining the growing intersections between transnationalism, the internationalization of higher education, and applied linguistics research and then present two informative, and somewhat contrastive, stories outlining A-Ming’s and Sissy’s perspectives and experiences—as second language PhD students—during the early-stages of their respective doctoral programs. I concentrate specifically on their representations of influential national and transnational ideologies related to overseas returnees and representations of home and how these ideological stances positioned them in relation to their local (Canadian) discourse and communities to varying degrees of success. 7 The dated nature of the Canadian statistics in this chapter reflects the year this article was originally submitted for review (January 2014) and the availability of Statistics Canada data at that time. 25 1.11.3 Chapter 4: The Doctoral Gaze: Foreign PhD Students’ Internal and External Academic Discourse Socialization Chapter 4 focuses on the various internal and external sources of socialization that the seven students in the study experienced, and highlights the roles of these sources on their abilities or willingness to learn and participate in the academic practices of their disciplines and their academic communities. Several key methodological and theoretical findings emerged in this chapter. First, drawing on Foucault (1995), I present key elements and impacts of both self and other socialization that mediate students’ abilities to acculturate into their targeted academic discourse communities. I then discuss the important function of all socialization incidents in helping these students learn how to do being PhD students and emerging scholars—i.e., perform the identity of doctoral student and scholar. Finally, I highlight the theoretical and pedagogical implications of applied linguistics research that focuses primarily (or entirely) on L2 students’ deficits and the influence of these deficits on their (in)abilities to integrate and thrive academically. 1.11.4 Chapter 5: The Discursive Positioning and Socialization of Foreign Doctoral Students Through Written Feedback Chapter 5 discusses the written feedback practices experienced by six of the participants in this study. Traditional written feedback research in second language academic contexts has tended to investigate the effect of different types and amounts of feedback on reducing linguistic errors, typically performed using (quasi)experimental research designs. Using a second language socialization framework (Duff, 2007a, 2010), which foregrounds the social, cultural, and interactional contexts of language learning and use, this chapter considers written feedback to be a form of social practice that influences students (and teachers) and discursively positions them into a range of identity categories. Data sources for this chapter include interviews conducted with each participant at the start and end of the study period, student-written narratives addressing their academic writing experiences at ACU, and samples of the feedback students had or were receiving on their writing during their PhD study. Findings show that feedback played an important role in the students’ broader academic socialization and contributed to their (co)construction of academic identities and access to expected and preferred literacy and discourse practices in their departments and disciplines. This chapter also highlights the 26 limitations of generalizing previous feedback research findings involving other L2 postsecondary writers to L2 doctoral populations, noting potential differences in their abilities to adapt, understand, self-reflect, and accept such feedback. I conclude by presenting several key intersections and deviations with previous socioculturally-framed written feedback research. 1.11.5 Chapter 6: Conclusion This final chapter presents a brief summary of key findings and intersections across the interior four chapters of this dissertation. I then discuss the central theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical contributions this study offers as well as challenges and limitations. I conclude with some final thoughts about the research process, my positionality within this study, and the students themselves who generously shared their time, effort, and reflections. 27 Chapter 2: Seeking Internationalization: The State of Canadian Higher Education8 2.1 Introduction The proliferation of global student mobility and academic cosmopolitanism continues to significantly alter the landscape of Canadian universities. Between 2000 and 2011, foreign student9 populations grew over 99% in Canada, from 89,532 to 178,491—more than doubling domestic university students’ 37% growth (Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b). Over this period, tuition fees for international students10 have accordingly skyrocketed to address and take advantage of the growth in international students wishing to attend Canadian universities. These high tuition fees have been necessitated (or at least justified) by ongoing budget cuts to public universities (CAUT, 2013; Kiley, 2011; Thompson & Bekhradnia, 2010) and mitigated by the significant educational and social capital of Canadian universities and their ability to attract globally mobile students. Figures 2.1 and 2.2 outline the changing revenue streams of Canadian universities between 2000 and 2012. Although federally allotted postsecondary funding as a proportion of GDP has declined considerably since the early 1990s (CAUT, 2013), it has remained generally static since 2000 as a percentage of total university revenues (Statistics Canada, n.d.-b). The most notable changes have instead come with reductions in non-federal funding to Canadian universities (including provincial and municipal grants and allocations) and other sources, including donations, investments, endowments, and non-governmental grants. In contrast to these reductions, there have been equally significant increases in revenues generated by student tuition fees. Since 2000, profits from tuition rose five percent as a proportion of total university revenues, from just under four billion to over eight billion dollars in 2012–201311 when adjusted for inflation (see Figures 2.1 and 2.2). 8 A version of this chapter has been accepted for publication by the Canadian Journal of Higher Education. 9 Foreign students refers to postsecondary students who are not citizens of the country where the data were collected. 10 International students refers to postsecondary students who have crossed a border with the express intention to study. 11 All figures in this paper have been converted to real 2013 Canadian dollars to adjust for inflation. 28 Figure 2.1. Percentage of total revenues of universities and degree-granting colleges (2013 dollars) (Statistics Canada, 2014a) Figure 2.2. Annual revenues by type of funds of universities and degree-granting colleges (2013 dollars x 1,000) (Statistics Canada, n.d.-b) A considerable portion of these rising tuition revenues have derived from international students, who typically pay three to four times more than domestic students, with international undergraduate students’ annual tuition costs averaging $18,462 in 2012–2013 compared to $5,646 for their Canadian peers (Statistics Canada, 2014a, 2014b). International graduate student tuition costs were also considerably higher, at $13,299 compared to $5,979 for Canadian students. Although changes to the Statistics Canada survey universe make comparisons of pre- and post-2006 tuition data difficult,12 Figure 2.3 provides a general look at the rising tuition fees for international and domestic students since 2000 (with two sets of data, to account for Statistics 12 “Data for 2006–2007 [onwards] result from the modifications to the questionnaire (implementation of the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) for both undergraduate and graduate programs) and the expansion of the survey universe” (Statistics Canada, 2014a). 44% 28% 19% 10% 41% 25% 24% 10% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Non-‐Federal Other Tui;on and other fees Federal 2000-‐2001 2012-‐2013 0 5,000,000 10,000,000 15,000,000 20,000,000 25,000,000 30,000,000 35,000,000 40,000,000 $,000 (2013) Federal Tui;on and other fees Other Non-‐Federal 29 Canada’s survey changes). Adjusted for inflation, tuition for Canadian undergraduate students remains the lowest, slightly behind Canadian graduate students’, while international undergraduate students have experienced the largest and fastest-growing increases, from paying just under $12,000 in 2000–2001 to almost $18,500 in 2012–2013. Figure 2.3. Canadian tuition fees, 2000–2001 to 2012–2013 (2013 dollars) (Statistics Canada, 2014a, 2014b) Although the differential fee structures for international and Canadian students are in part due to the public subsidization of higher education in the country, they also reveal the ongoing corporatization of higher education as universities search for alternative revenue sources (Altbach & Knight, 2007)—issues that reflect the broader marketization of Western universities across various spheres of management, leadership, decision making, (intellectual) property structures, research, and funding (Marginson, 1999). This ongoing neoliberal imagining of Canadian higher education, while certainly not a new phenomenon, can pose challenges for universities regarding the need to balance fiscal pressures with their social and educational responsibilities to students. The extent to which universities have or have not been able to adapt to and accommodate the shifting student demographics in this era of hyper-internationalization remains an area of concern, particularly for some culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students who speak English as a second (L2) or additional language. The promotion of postsecondary-level internationalization13 in Canada has therefore created an ethical tension 13 Internationalization of higher education refers to the process of global student and staff mobility, partnerships and cooperation between international higher education institutions (HEI), the proliferation of branch campuses and distance learning, and the associated intercultural and international impacts on curricula, teaching, and learning. (Knight, 2004, 2008). 4,434 4,874 4,933 5,646 11,920 14,805 14,998 18,462 5,235 7,264 6,040 5,979 11,969 14,641 12,437 13,299 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 2000/2001a 2006/2007a 2006/2007b 2012/2013b $ (2013) Undergraduate Canadian Undergraduate Interna;onal Graduate Canadian Graduate Interna;onal 30 between the various benefits of larger numbers of foreign students versus the potential challenges and accommodations of adapting to increasingly diverse university populations. The following explores these issues in greater detail against the recent backdrop of Canadian and global higher education internationalization trends since 2000. 2.2 Global Perspectives The increase of globally mobile students has unfolded steadily over the last several decades with the most dramatic changes occurring since 2000 (see Figure 2.4). Most areas of the globe have experienced considerable growth at the postsecondary level, with Asia, North America, and Europe the leaders in attracting foreign students to their universities. Between 2000 and 2011, Asia’s share of enrolled foreign tertiary students grew 133% from 214,744 to 500,947, compared to Europe’s 121% increase from 920,140 to 2,033,082, and North America’s 60% growth from 569,640 to 913,464 (OECD, 2013a). Increases were not confined to these areas, however, as the total global population of foreign tertiary students grew over 100% between 2000 and 2011, from 2,071,963 to 4,265,579 (OECD, 2013a). Predictions for future growth suggest few signs of abatement, with estimates ranging from 6.4 to 8 million students studying outside their countries of citizenship by the year 2025 (Goddard, 2012; OECD, 2009). Figure 2.4. Global growth in foreign tertiary education (Goddard, 2012; OECD, 2009) The United States maintained its spot as the most popular single-country destination for foreign tertiary students, with 709,565 students in 2011 (despite a six percent drop in global market share between 2000 and 2011, from 23% to 17%), while in the same year continental Europe attracted nearly 50% of all foreign tertiary students studying abroad (OECD, 2013b). Canada’s global market share grew only marginally during this period, from 4.6% to 4.9% (OECD, 2013a, 2014), despite significant net increases in total enrolled foreign student 0 2 4 6 8 10 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 Millions Actual growth Predicted growth 31 populations nationally—as outlined in the forthcoming sections. Overall enrolments of international tertiary students in Canada as a percentage of total tertiary enrolments sits at 8.2%, slightly higher than the 2011 OECD average of 6.9% and more than double that of the United States at 3.4% (OECD, 2013a, 2014). The regions of origin for global foreign tertiary students, however, paint a significantly different picture from the regions of destination, with the vast majority of foreign students (approximately 75%) originating from non-OECD countries14 (OECD, 2013b). This outlines the disproportionate amount of symbolic and economic capital that OECD countries and their postsecondary institutions have for both fellow members and non-members alike. Fuelled strongly by China and its rapid liberalization and economic growth over the last two decades, Asia leads the world, with 2,149,708 tertiary students studying abroad, accounting for 50% of global totals. China is the largest single-country supplier of foreign tertiary students, with 722,915 people engaged in cross-border study as of 2011, almost 17% of global totals, more than three times higher than its closest rival country, India, and over five times higher than the next largest sending countries, Korea and Germany (OECD, 2013b). 2.3 Canadian Perspectives15 The Canadian federal government’s internationalization policy continues to revolve around the positive economic contributions of international students and the desire to increase innovation through the recruitment of skilled foreign professionals (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2011; Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, 2011, 2012, 2014). Although Canada’s overall market share of foreign tertiary student enrolments remains relatively modest in global terms, these students’ contributions to the Canadian economy have been considerable. In 2010 alone, international student expenditures contributed $7.7 billion to the Canadian economy, $445 million of that being direct governmental revenue, with an estimated creation or 14 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) member countries for 2013 are as follows: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. 15 The following operationalizations are maintained throughout the paper for all data related to the discussion of Canadian higher education: (1) International students refers to students on a student visa who entered Canada with the sole purpose of studying at a Canadian university, those on diplomatic, trade, and other missions, and refugees. (2) Foreign students refers to “international students” and “permanent resident” students. (3) Canadian students refers to Canadian citizens. (4) The program types included are: undergraduate (first cycle), post-baccalaureate non-graduate program, graduate qualifying program (second cycle), health-related residency program, graduate program (second cycle), and graduate program (third cycle). 32 maintenance of 81,000 jobs (Roslyn Kunin & Associates, 2012). In addition to the more tangible economic benefits, internationalization positively impacts Canadian universities by providing domestic students access to a variety of perspectives, languages, cultures, and experiences that foreign students bring with them to campuses—perspectives that have potential entrepreneurial, educational, and intellectual impacts. In a sense, internationalization brings the world to Canada without Canadian students ever having to leave. Foreign students who return to their countries of birth (or go elsewhere) after studying in Canada may also become future allies, collaborators, or business partners with Canadian academics, governments, or industry. Canada wants to transmit to highly educated and skilled foreign students the allure of the country and its institutions in hopes of improving Canada’s attractiveness and influence on the global stage, including the targeted migration of talented students to the country, particularly at the graduate level. Shifts in Canadian immigration policy have accordingly become more aggressive in actively encouraging international graduate students to come to Canadian universities by making migration more accessible than in the recent past. In November 2011, the Canadian federal government announced a revised international graduate student recruitment policy that outlined a plan to attract up to 1,000 additional international PhD students per year to Canadian universities as permanent residents (PR) through the Federal Skilled Worker Program (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2011). The Canadian Minister of State at the time, Gary Goodyear, speaking of this program, noted that “[d]octoral graduates play a unique role in the economy. They drive research, encourage innovation and pass on their knowledge through teaching…. And quite simply, Canada needs more of them” (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2011, p. 2). The recent announcement of the federal government’s International Education Strategy is similarly aimed at enticing international researchers and students to Canada through the strengthening of the Canadian education “brand” globally—with targeted recruitment focusing on six emerging markets (Brazil, China, India, Mexico, North Africa and the Middle East, and Vietnam)—and through providing enhanced funding opportunities for researchers and students who come (Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, 2014). Important also in this branding process are the international rankings of universities and the potential impact of these rankings on attracting higher income and achieving students (Clarke, 2007), indeed examples of the best and brightest that are desirable educational migrants both short and long term for the country. 33 This imperative to increase the presence of international students in Canada appears to be working. Table 2.1 outlines overall Canadian and foreign student enrolments in Canadian universities between 2000 and 2011, with foreign students doubling their population in just 11 years. Table 2.2 further delineates enrolment classifications into six categories and their corresponding growth percentages since 2000. Canadian undergraduate students remain the largest population quite substantially. International student numbers, however, have increased most dramatically over this period, including 167% growth for undergraduate students and 114% growth for graduate students—numbers that are especially resonant for Canadian universities due to the elevated tuition fees for international students, particularly at the undergraduate level. While total enrolments for domestic students remain considerably higher, the discrepancy in growth percentages between domestic and foreign university students in Canada is in line with global trends more generally, and it fits well with university and government mandates to further internationalize Canadian campuses. Table 2.1: Canadian and Foreign Student Enrolments in Canadian Universities16 Status 2000/ 2001 2001/ 2002 2002/ 2003 2003/ 2004 2004/ 2005 2005/ 2006 2006/ 2007 2007/ 2008 2008/ 2009 2009/ 2010 2010/ 2011 Canadian 693,483 714,051 749,736 795,468 813,366 825,204 838,995 843,246 860,655 924,876 952,299 Foreign 89,535 100,407 114,084 127,215 135,957 141,600 144,081 147,900 151,764 166,584 178,488 Total 783,018 814,458 863,820 922,683 949,323 966,804 983,076 991,146 1,012,419 1,091,460 1,130,787 (Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b) 16 Statistics Canada counts are “randomly rounded to a multiple of 3 using the following procedure: counts which are already a multiple of 3 are not adjusted; counts one greater than a multiple of 3 are adjusted to the next lowest multiple of 3 with a probability of two-thirds and to the next highest multiple of 3 with a probability of one-third. The probabilities are reversed for counts that are one less than a multiple of 3” (Statistics Canada, 2013b). Some subtotals and grand totals of the Canadian postsecondary data used in this paper will therefore be inconsistent when comparing data across tables, due to Statistics Canada’s rounding of numbers. 34 Table 2.2: Canadian, Permanent Resident, and International Student Enrolments in Canadian Universities Status 2000/ 2001 2001/ 2002 2002/ 2003 2003/ 2004 2004/ 2005 2005/ 2006 2006/ 2007 2007/ 2008 2008/ 2009 2009/ 2010 2010/ 2011 % Growth Canadian Undergraduate 596,424 613,653 642,984 683,883 693,567 703,602 710,466 707,676 720,672 770,802 794,172 33 Canadian Graduate 85,584 88,809 95,043 98,865 104,886 106,731 110,886 117,636 120,336 126,480 128,703 50 PR Undergraduate 37,827 40,152 43,290 45,675 48,036 49,983 51,798 52,944 54,843 59,523 62,190 64 PR Graduate 12,843 14,970 17,763 18,801 19,293 19,125 19,530 20,106 19,920 20,394 21,234 65 International Undergraduate 23,439 28,143 34,059 40,860 45,132 47,910 47,979 49,266 50,748 56,964 62,679 167 International Graduate 13,599 15,105 16,725 19,302 20,706 21,573 21,471 21,984 22,509 25,635 29,142 114 (Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b) Table 2.3 details the continent of origin of foreign students in Canadian universities since 2000. Similar to global trends (OECD, 2013b), continental Asia is the largest source of students for Canadian universities, providing 88,224 in 2010-2011—nearly as many as every other region of the globe combined. Table 2.4 notes the top five countries of origin for foreign students between 2000–2001 and 2010–2011, with students from China forming the largest group, comprising 19% of all foreign university students in Canada and exhibiting a 176% increase in that period. Table 2.3: Total Foreign Student Enrolments in Canadian Universities by Continent of Origin Continent of origin 2000/ 2001 2001/ 2002 2002/ 2003 2003/ 2004 2004/ 2005 2005/ 2006 2006/ 2007 2007/ 2008 2008/ 2009 2009/ 2010 2010/ 2011 Asia 42,885 50,187 58,839 67,179 72,150 74,997 74,343 74,973 77,853 86,046 88,224 Africa 11,973 13,626 15,816 17,421 18,081 18,939 19,734 20,913 21,717 23,454 25,092 Europe 16,629 17,043 17,955 18,996 19,536 20,370 20,427 20,979 21,336 22,146 22,824 Other 3,879 4,104 3,876 4,344 5,718 5,577 7,668 8,493 8,484 11,169 18,327 North & Central America & Caribbean 11,184 12,183 13,983 15,207 15,972 16,698 16,512 16,947 16,272 17,154 17,103 South America 2,382 2,661 3,045 3,465 3,894 4,422 4,791 4,974 5,451 5,940 6,273 Oceania 600 603 570 606 609 600 603 621 645 672 642 (Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b) 35 Table 2.4: Top Five Sources of Undergraduate and Graduate Foreign University Student Enrolments at Canadian Universities by Country of Origin Country of origin 2000/ 2001 2001/ 2002 2002/ 2003 2003/ 2004 2004/ 2005 2005/ 2006 2006/ 2007 2007/ 2008 2008/ 2009 2009/ 2010 2010/ 2011 China 12,330 17,349 22,950 27,693 29,823 29,991 28,788 27,744 28,455 32,889 34,041 France 3,987 4,236 4,665 5,022 5,352 5,727 6,507 7,191 7,701 8,637 9,672 United States 6,411 6,801 7,869 8,520 9,075 9,486 9,369 9,585 8,676 9,192 9,150 India 3,369 4,035 4,968 6,096 6,738 7,233 7,362 7,521 7,824 8,682 8,988 South Korea 2,697 3,111 3,489 4,260 4,866 5,799 6,456 6,702 7,065 7,317 7,194 (Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b) At the graduate level, China remains the largest provider of foreign students, with a total of 6,762 in 2010–2011 (see Table 2.5). Interestingly, and at odds with the overall growth trends of Chinese tertiary students globally, foreign Chinese graduate students in Canada peaked in 2003–2004 at 9,726 and have declined steadily since, with only marginal gains in 2009–2010, followed by further declines the following year. The result has been a 30% reduction in Chinese graduate students from peak numbers a decade ago. Table 2.6 specifies the broader grouping of foreign Chinese graduate students into their respective “international” and “permanent resident” categories. Since 2003, the number of international Chinese graduate students has risen by 29%, notably less than the overall international graduate student growth of 114% (Statistics Canada, 2013b). Permanent resident Chinese graduate students have declined 62% over this period, while the other four top source countries for PR graduate students in Canada (Iran, India, France, and the United States) have all increased considerably (Statistics Canada, 2013a). This dip appears likely to correspond to the decline in overall PR populations from China since the early 2000s, as noted in Figure 2.5. Causes for the stagnant growth in Chinese international graduate students in Canada appear slightly more varied. The 985 Project, an initiative of the Chinese government to improve the quality and reputation of its elite universities through large injections of financial capital, may be influencing an increasing number of Chinese students to remain in China as opposed to studying abroad. The presence of English-medium satellite universities and branch campuses in China is similarly providing alternative high-quality opportunities for Chinese students wanting international experiences without the exceptionally high costs associated with overseas study in Western universities (Mok, 2007; Stanfield & Shimmi, 2012). The number of postsecondary institutions has also grown considerably over this period in China, from 599 in 2000 to 1,112 in 2010, as have domestic graduate university populations, which increased 430% 36 between 2000 to 2010 from 283,000 students to over 1.5 million (Stanfield & Shimmi, 2012). Factoring in these changes with the rising Canadian tuition costs for international graduate students (particularly at the master’s level), the marginal growth of foreign Chinese graduate students in Canada highlights the various “push-pull” factors that motivate or constrain students’ mobility decisions with respect to international education. These trends, however, should still concern Canadian graduate programs in terms of attracting top (Chinese) talent to Canadian universities and to Canadian job markets post graduation, particularly as the Canadian government continues to pursue growth in Chinese student enrolments against the backdrop of the Asia-Pacific Gateway initiative and the goal to strengthen economic supply chains between North America and Asia (APGCI, 2013; Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2010). While overall foreign undergraduate and graduate student growth continues to trend upwards, the 30% decline in the nation’s largest foreign graduate student population should warrant attention moving forward, particularly as the international education market continues to become increasingly competitive. Table 2.5: Top Five Sources of Foreign Graduate Student Enrolments at Canadian Universities by Country of Origin (Master’s, Doctorate, or Equivalent) Country of origin 2000/ 2001 2001/ 2002 2002/ 2003 2003/ 2004 2004/ 2005 2005/ 2006 2006/ 2007 2007/ 2008 2008/ 2009 2009/ 2010 2010/ 2011 China 5,337 6,762 8,799 9,726 9,459 8,688 7,881 7,497 6,996 7,200 6,762 Iran 828 924 1,179 1,500 1,983 2,529 2,679 3,000 3,405 4,179 4,410 France 1,749 1,968 2,103 2,361 2,505 2,646 2,847 2,973 2,952 3,282 3,594 India 963 1,113 1,410 1,848 2,013 2,052 2,070 2,211 2,313 2,697 2,991 United States 1,869 1,776 2,055 2,103 2,274 2,379 2,490 2,691 2,628 2,919 2,964 (Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b) Table 2.6: Total Foreign Chinese Graduate Students in Canada by Immigration Status Status 2000/ 2001 2001/ 2002 2002/ 2003 2003/ 2004 2004/ 2005 2005/ 2006 2006/ 2007 2007/ 2008 2008/ 2009 2009/ 2010 2010/ 2011 Permanent Residents 3,849 4,935 6,339 6,372 5,418 4,599 3,921 3,537 3,000 2,787 2,430 International 1,488 1,827 2,460 3,354 4,041 4,089 3,960 3,960 3,996 4,413 4,332 (Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b) 37 Figure 2.5. Chinese permanent resident trends in Canada (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2003, 2013; Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b) 2.4 Challenges of Canadian Internationalization: Macro and Micro Perspectives 2.4.1 Macro Perspectives The promotion of the internationalization of higher education has not been without critique, particularly regarding the role it plays in the spread of (neo)colonial and neoliberal discourses from the west “outwards,” and the standardization of English-mediated and Anglocentric epistemologies and ontologies, including a bias towards Western-based knowledge creation, research methods, methodologies, and academic discourses. What constitutes “legitimate” research and knowledge has long been determined by colonial powers, who act as gatekeepers to academic communities, both within the west and outside it (Smith, 1999). Akena (2012) notes: European colonizers have defined legitimate knowledge as Western knowledge, essentially European colonizers’ ways of knowing, often taken as objective and universal knowledge. Arriving with the colonizers and influenced by Western ethnocentrism, Western knowledge imposed a monolithic world view that gave power and control in the hands of Europeans. It delegitimized other ways of knowing as savage, superstitious, and primitive. (p. 600) The resulting “homogenization of academic culture” (Kubota, 2009) that English-mediated and Western-based internationalization promotes thus contributes to the intensification of academic neocolonization in both study-abroad and home contexts for many foreign students (Altbach, 1971; Altbach & Knight, 2007; Kubota, 2009; Mok, 2007). These issues can create challenges for students as they attempt to competitively (re)position themselves after returning home or in the global market place while negotiating their way in an Anglocentric and Eurocentric academic 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000 45,000 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Chinese PR Graduate Chinese PR Total Linear (Chinese PR Total) 38 world. Alternatively, Steinman (2009) suggests that Western universities and their instructors should move to establish more flexible and additive relationships with foreign students coming from non-Western academic traditions instead of expecting them to unilaterally morph into the conventions and practices of their new academic communities and discourses. Another potential concern has been the perceived tension between rising foreign CLD student populations and the necessity to maintain rigorous admission and academic standards. In the UK, for example, it has been suggested that nearly two-thirds of recently admitted international undergraduate students might lack the language proficiency needed to thrive in classes (Paton, 2012). There have been related and highly charged discussions surrounding these enrolment trends and the potential preference that higher fee-paying international students may receive over more “qualified” (and culturally and linguistically advantaged) domestic students (Stanford, 2012; Watt & Newell, 2012). Similar types of discussions are also occurring in the Canadian context, including a controversial opinion piece from the online magazine of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, University Affairs, titled “Internationalizing the Canadian Campus: ESL Students and the Erosion of Higher Education” (Friesen & Keeney, 2013). The authors, both Canadian professors at the time of the article’s publication, argue that the challenges of underperforming “ESL students” in their classrooms outweigh any potential benefits: There is no sugar-coated way to say this: many of those who are welcomed at our universities are simply unprepared for the rigours of the university classroom…. Instead of engaging students in disentangling the nuances and subtleties of a particularly important passage from the assigned readings, one begins speaking to the class as one might speak to academically challenged teenagers…. Qualified students can hardly be blamed if they slouch in their seats and study their shoelaces, as the professor iterates, yet again, something they learned in grade school…. Given our experience, we believe that Canadian universities need to rethink their enthusiasm for non-English-speaking students. (n.p.) Although unrealistic, even hyperbolic, these opinions are certainly not unique in the broader discussion related to the increased presence of foreign students at Canadian universities. Recent articles in Maclean’s (“The Flap over the Fluency Gap,” MacQueen, 2013), The Vancouver Sun (“Foreign Students a New Cash Cow,” Todd, 2013), and CBC (“U of R International Students Hurt by Lack of English Skills, Prof Says,” CBC, 2013) highlight the growing debate over the potential language proficiency gaps of some foreign students and the compromising impact on 39 Canadian higher education. Arguments such as this reflect a demographic frustrated with the shifting nature of Canadian education and the challenges that some foreign students and those around them can encounter. These opinions, however, also reflect an unbalanced perspective on the current realities of higher education in Canada, from the short-term economic and socio-educational benefits to the longer-term impacts surrounding the recruitment, training, and possible migration of talented incomers. From purely pragmatic, strategic, and economic perspectives, it makes little sense for Canadian universities to “rethink their enthusiasm for non-English-speaking students” if this rethinking results in fewer students enrolling at Canadian universities. A conspicuously lacking point in many of these heated discussions is not whether Canadian governments and universities should continue to recruit and enrol CLD foreign students in the first place but how stakeholders can and should work together to ensure foreign students are provided better opportunities to succeed and socialize within their local communities and discourse practices. Leask (2010) argues that many of the perceived barriers of foreign L2 students, such as the ones outlined above, impact domestic students’ willingness to interact with foreign students in class—a reaction that limits foreign students’ opportunities to acculturate into their university communities. Dialectical hierarchies that favour standardized forms of English over non-standard varieties may also serve as barriers for some foreign students who speak English as a first or native language but do not speak the dialect of preference in their university setting—issues that can apply to Canadian students as well (Sterzuk, 2015). Steinman’s (2009) call for a “flexible, additive intent rather than a prescriptive, subtractive one” (p. 164) regarding the socialization of foreign L2 students is also important here, in both a pedagogical as well as an epistemological sense. Pedagogically, an inclusive, adaptive approach can lessen potential tensions and misunderstandings by encouraging greater reflexivity, understanding, and communication between teachers and CLD students. This reflexivity and responsiveness can facilitate the possibility of further internationalizing course curricula and teaching and learning approaches. In this sense, both students and teachers (foreign and domestic alike) can achieve greater degrees of understanding and co-operation by being receptive to each others’ perspectives while at the same time acknowledging and (co)constructing what types of academic expectations are typically preferred in their specific Canadian contexts. Epistemologically, a flexible, additive approach marks a shift away from Anglocentric and Eurocentric academic 40 norms and practices that can serve as barriers for some foreign students and can position them as culturally and linguistically “deficient” compared to their domestic peers, instead of as active agents with valuable skills and knowledge of their own. 2.4.2 Micro Perspectives Sometimes overlooked in broader macro-level discussions of the internationalization of higher education are the perspectives of the students themselves. There is a wide variety of research, some seemingly contradictory, that addresses international students’ experiences in Canadian universities. The Canadian Bureau for International Education’s (CBIE) 2009 national survey of postsecondary students reported overall satisfaction levels to be quite high for international university students, including the accessibility of professors, academic supports, and student advisors, for example. As a result, equally high numbers of students reported self-perceived successes in adjusting to the academic demands of their programs while in Canada. Grayson’s (2008) survey of four Canadian universities found similar results for both domestic and international students, with 75% and 70% of students, respectively, reporting general satisfaction with their programs. A significant body of research, on the other hand, has been more critical of the types of available supports and subsequent outcomes for international CLD students in Canada. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada reported that fewer than half of Canadian universities provided specific programs to sufficiently assist international students’ social and academic well-being (AUCC, 2007). Examples of this lack of support have been well documented through a variety of qualitatively orientated studies at the tertiary level. Séror (2008), for example, reported on the struggles that Japanese L2 university students encountered when attempting to decode instructors’ feedback on written academic assignments, and the potentially harmful ways such feedback can position or alienate students as deficient or “ESL” and in need of remedial support, as opposed to offering positive and affirming positionalities, such as those of “legitimate” or “autonomous” emerging scholars and professionals. Other foreign L2 students have reported struggling with academic reading and writing tasks due to the heavy demands of university course work, frustrations with receiving insufficient or confusing feedback from instructors, and oral fluency challenges during presentations and class discussions (Bronson, 2004; Cheng, Myles, & Curtis, 2004; Jenkins, 2005; Lu & Han, 2010; Zappa- 41 Hollman, 2007). At times, L2 students may also speak less or write shorter and less-complex texts to try to decrease potential errors (Cheng, Myles, & Curtis, 2004), and may rely on academic coping or rhetorical strategies like textual borrowing or patchwriting—which are often considered plagiarism in many Western contexts, a view that may be at odds with some students’ prior academic experiences (Pecorari, 2003; Polio & Shi, 2012; Shi, 2004). These varied perspectives suggest that although Canadian universities appear to be providing adequate opportunities for many foreign L2 students to succeed, there remains a considerable percentage who would benefit from more comprehensive and targeted academic support—support that can also benefit domestic English-speaking students who may require similar types of academic assistance. By further developing infrastructure that ensures students are able to access more precise academic assistance when needed, both domestic and foreign students alike will be better positioned to thrive during their time in Canadian universities and beyond. 2.5 Conclusion Canada has experienced incremental growth in attracting foreign students to its universities; however, compared to other major destination countries, particularly in Europe, growth has been moderate, and even disappointing or underutilized for some (Davidson, 2012; Friesen, 2012). Although increasing foreign student populations has been a prominent talking point for the Canadian federal government of late, other countries, particularly non-OECD members, are also targeting these core demographics in hopes of growing numbers at their own universities (Sharma, 2012) and realizing the subsequent financial, social, and educational gains from such change. China, for example, the world’s current largest exporter of students, has recently outlined its own aggressive goal to attract 500,000 international students by 2020, up considerably from 328,000 in 2012 (Hu, 2014; Millar, 2012). These alternative destination spots, such as China, will be appealing for some internationally mobile students based on lower tuition fees and cost of living alone. The Canadian federal government has similarly announced its own lofty targets to double current international student numbers by 2022 (Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, 2012)—targets that will be increasingly difficult as alternative, and perhaps more economically viable, options emerge globally. As Saneh (2009) notes, “the face of higher education in North America is changing” (p. 169), and Canadian universities, educators, 42 and students will need to better accommodate and adapt to such inevitable change instead of unfairly lamenting the erosion of Canadian higher education by the influx of “non-English-speaking students.” Universities, after all, have an “academic and social responsibility in the local and global communities” (Kubota & Abels, 2006, p. 82) to provide support and adapt to (and with) the students they so desperately seek. A failure to do so would be a failure not only to students but to the universities, their instructors, and the broader Canadian and international communities as well. In my own current research project—a longitudinal, multiple-case study investigating the second-language socialization (Duff, 2010, 2012a) of seven foreign Chinese PhD students at a large Canadian university—many challenges and frustrations similar to those presented above have emerged from my participants through in-depth interviews, narrative inquiry, and document analysis, as detailed in the forthcoming chapters. Several of the students encountered various challenges acculturating into their respective academic literacies and discourses during their programs, experiencing vastly differing degrees of success. The pressures of negotiating their way into the English academy while maintaining high grades, writing comprehensive exams and dissertation proposals, presenting at conferences, and writing for publication (in several languages) can be overwhelming tasks for many graduate students, particularly in the context of highly competitive doctoral programs at tier-one research universities. Several findings from my study, in particular, are pertinent in the broader discussion of Canadian postsecondary internationalization. First, despite an increasing focus on issues related to the affective impact of teacher-directed feedback on students’ academic writing tasks at the postsecondary level (e.g., Anderson, 2010; Bronson, 2004; Leki, 2006; Séror, 2008), too frequently the feedback that foreign L2 students receive on their academic writing is still misconstrued and insufficient. Instructors should continually reflect on their own practices and strive for more effective feedback strategies, particularly for L2 students who may require more thorough explanations and less ambiguous comments on their writing. Second, there is a crucial need for discipline-specific and level-appropriate academic writing support at universities to ensure all students are better prepared to learn the vocabulary, genres, registers, and conventions that are standard in their respective fields. Providing basic support for students in the form of writing centres or general writing courses may be missing the target, however well intentioned they are. In my study, several students reported seeking help from the university’s writing centre, only to be 43 disappointed and disillusioned by the lack of graduate-level assistance that was available. Those who attempted to access the writing centre’s services were paired with undergraduate tutors, often from different disciplinary backgrounds than themselves, who lacked the ability to provide targeted and nuanced guidance for complex and technical academic writing tasks required at the graduate level. Based on these findings, the following outlines several attainable and manageable supports that could ensure appropriate opportunities are available for struggling students who require them: 1. The development of faculty- or departmental-level peer-support networks or peer mentorships to serve both the academic and the social outcomes of students’ experiences (Topping, 1996; Westwood & Barker, 1990). This might include pairing incoming CLD students with senior-level students to facilitate both academic and linguistic support (if needed) as well as the exchange of knowledge, experience, and intercultural communication between pairs (Leask, 2010). 2. Reshaping university writing centres to offer discipline-specific content and genre knowledge (Mohamad & Boyd, 2010) and level-appropriate support for both undergraduate and graduate students. 3. Further refining university-provided academic support programs for struggling students to ensure discipline-based academic skills are being addressed (Baik & Greig, 2009). 4. Organizing student-run writing groups in which students can share, collaborate, be inspired, and learn from each other (Li & Vandermensbrugghe, 2011) 5. The facilitation and management of online departmental repositories that host samples of common professional and academic disciplinary genres that students will be expected to produce during their studies (and beyond, in some cases). These sample texts can act as guides or models for students unfamiliar with the specific conventions and practices that are standard in their content areas. Several of the above suggestions should be appealing for cost-benefit purposes alone. Peer support, peer tutors, peer-run writing groups, and academic text repositories all require limited initial set-up and maintenance in terms of financial capital. Added to the academic benefits of these activities are the potential social benefits as new students, foreign and domestic alike, are provided opportunities to immediately connect to their fellow students. Peer support and its 44 associated interactions can play vital roles in socializing students into their new programs and academic discourses. Minor investments in student support infrastructure could therefore entail both short- and long-term gains for universities. In the short term, students would be provided more opportunities to succeed, attrition rates might be lessened, and the quality of work would improve. In the long term, students’ positive experiences would be more likely to translate into favourable reviews and reputations for their former programs and universities (Andrade, 2006; Carr, McKay, & Rugimbana, 1999).Chapter 3: Reproductions of Chinese Transnationalism Through Study Abroad 3.1 Introduction Intersections between transnationalism, the internationalization of higher education, and applied linguistics continue to draw attention as the proliferation of academic mobility is increasingly impacting students, instructors, and universities worldwide (Anderson, 2015; De Fina & Perrino, 2013; Duff, 2015). As one of the world’s major receiving countries of international postsecondary students (UNESCO, n.d.), Canadian universities are similarly encountering student demographic changes and the associated challenges and benefits therein. The research discussed in this chapter presents two informative, and somewhat contrastive, perspectives based on the experiences of two international Chinese doctoral students at a Canadian university. I focus particularly on the students’ national and transnational ideologies, identities, and future outlooks, and how these formative experiences and positionalities shaped their perspectives, goals, and motivations during their doctoral study. This chapter demonstrates how the transnational identities of these two students were discursively and iteratively formed based on complex intersections of national and transnational discourses regarding the representations of overseas returnees (i.e., Chinese students returning to China following study abroad) and their conceptions and constructions of legitimate academic transnationalism and home. These experiences in turn had an influential effect on their challenges, desires, and abilities to integrate into local academic communities and discourses. 3.2 Transnationalism, Internationalization, and Applied Linguistics Transnationalism broadly refers to the various networks, communications, and relationships that connect people and institutions across national borders (Vertovec, 2009). In the context of higher education, transnationalism is typically associated with issues addressing: (1) student-body, faculty, and curricula internationalization; (2) enrolment trends; (3) knowledge conglomeration; (4) push-pull factors impacting globally mobile students and both the sending and receiving countries; and (5) the economic, social, and educational consequences (Altbach, 2004; Altbach & Knight, 2007). The official policies and public discourse of universities generally herald internationalization as a positive example of expanding cultural and academic diversity and welcome (and increasingly depend upon) the tuition revenues that can be greater 46 for international students than domestic students. This is particularly true in Canada where international undergraduate students, for example, pay 3.5 times more than the tuition of domestic students and whose population growth has outpaced domestic students exponentially (over five fold) since the year 2000 (Statistics Canada 2014a; Statistics Canada, 2014b; see also Table 3.1). Critics emphasize the extra demands that second language students can place on classmates, teachers, and universities due to newcomers’ possible inexperience with English-mediated academic language and literacy practices, local and national cultural norms and expectations, and other relevant forms of background knowledge that may impact participation, communication, and the production of academic texts (Friesen & Keeney, 2013). Such critiques have been challenged for failing to acknowledge the benefits of internationalization across a variety of economic, academic, sociocultural, and political domains (Anderson, 2015; de Wit, 2002). As guiding theoretical constructs, internationalization and transnationalism also provide frames to investigate the individual experiences of students and their access to resources, support, and opportunities that can facilitate socialization into social and academic discourses and communities (Duff & Anderson, 2015; Friedman, 2010; Kim & Duff, 2012). Table 3.1: Full Time Undergraduate and Graduate Student Enrolment at Canadian Universities, 2000 and 2010 Category and residency status 2000/2001 2010/2011 % Growth Canadian Undergraduate 596,424 794,172 33 Canadian Graduate 85,584 128,703 50 International Undergraduate 23,439 62,679 167 International Graduate 13,599 29,142 114 PR Undergraduate 37,827 62,190 64 PR Graduate 12,843 21,234 65 (Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b; adapted from Anderson, 2015) It is therefore not surprising that movements of transnational migrants and the resulting internationalization of discourses, practices, and artifacts have resulted in various intersections with applied linguistics research, including work on race and ethnicity (Block, 2010; Kubota, 2009; Li & Duff, 2014), gender (Menard-Warwick, 2009; Pavlenko & Piller, 2007; Piller & Takahashi, 2010; Schneider, 2011), identity (De Fina & Perrino, 2013; Hornberger, 2007; Perrino, 2013; Wei & Hua, 2013), social class (Block, 2014; O’Regan, 2014); neoliberalism (Block, Gray, & Holborow, 2012; Kubota, 2014; Park & Lo, 2012), and translanguaging 47 (Canagarajah, 2011; Creese & Blackledge, 2010; Hornberger & Link, 2012; Mazak & Herbas-Donoso, 2014; Wei & Hua, 2013)—issues separated into distinct themes or categories here but which are often inherently interconnected, including in much of the aforementioned work itself. The intersections between transnationalism, internationalization, and applied linguistics are therefore not only compatible in the literature but wholly necessary to gain richer and deeper insight of the impacts and integration of globally mobile students in educational settings. Research into the diverse and shifting composition of English-medium universities will also benefit from increased attention placed on language and literacy issues since they are often major predictors of L2 student success. These issues are similarly important for instructors, departments, and universities that act as gatekeepers to culturally and linguistically diverse students by controlling availability and access to programs that provide academic (language) support, grades, chances to integrate with peers, and other opportunities that can facilitate student success. 3.3 Transnational(ized) Identities Identity has been frequently discussed and theorized over the last decade in applied linguistics research (e.g., Block, 2007a, 2007b; Cotterall, 2011a, 2015; Duff, 2002, 2012b; Hornberger, 2007; Morita, 2004; Norton, 2013; Norton & Toohey, 2011; Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004; Ricento, 2005; see also a special 2015 issue of the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics (Mackey, 2015). Through a poststructural frame, identity is widely acknowledged to be a process that is socially constructed and mediated, contested, multiple, and fluid and which represents people’s lived experiences over space and time (Norton, 1997; Norton-Peirce, 1995). As Block (2006) notes, “[i]dentity is about negotiating new subject positions at the crossroads of the past, present and future” (p. 39). In today’s globalized world, these transitions across time can often involve transitions across space as people migrate for varying lengths of time, both locally and globally, involving different degrees of linguistic, cultural, and social upheaval. These movements are not only physical ones but may involve drastic epistemological and ontological changes that influence the way people view and construct the world (and themselves) and how the world views and constructs them. As people transition across transnational spaces the process of identity reconstruction may become amplified due to the sometimes drastic social, cultural, and linguistic changes that can occur. On these unique and complicated factors 48 involving transnationalism and identity construction, Vertovec (2001) notes: The experiences gathered in […] multiple habitats accumulate to comprise people’s cultural repertoires, which in turn influence the construction of identity - or indeed multiple identities. Each habitat or locality represents a range of identity-conditioning factors: these include histories and stereotypes of local belonging and exclusion, geographies of cultural difference and class/ethnic segregation, racialised socio-economic hierarchies, degree and type of collective mobilisation, access to and nature of resources, and perceptions and regulations surrounding rights and duties. (p. 578) De Fina and Perrino’s (2013) article titled “Transnational Identities” illustrates the growing attention to these issues in the field of applied linguistics. Like Vertovec, De Fina and Perrino note the multiplicity and instability of identity-work in transnational contexts and extend Vertovec’s definition to include to the heterogeneity of speech communities, language practices and ideologies, and translanguaging as examples of the identity (re)negotiation transnationals undergo in “super-diverse” (Vertovec, 2006) physical, social, and cultural spaces. Duff (2015) further adds that “[t]ransnationalism is central to current understandings of identity in applied linguistics, which aims to understand increasingly flexible, often digitally mediated forms of citizenship (or noncitizenship) for migrants who may encounter a series of borders, languages, and interim homes, before settling temporarily or permanently in yet another location” (p. 76). The construct of identity, although now “something of a buzzword, even a cliché, in applied linguistics and many other fields” (Duff et al., 2013, p. 107), nonetheless remains an important aspect to better understand the effects of transnational migration on individual people and their abilities, desires, and opportunities to socialize into their transplanted communities. 3.4 Chinese Transnationalism and Canadian Higher Education The late 1970s marked an important shift in the global mobility of Chinese students predicated by the political, social, and economic reforms following the death of Mao Zedong and what former Premier Zhao Ziyang referred to as the “extensive, profound and sustained transformation" of the country (Barnett, 1986, p. 37). The mass exodus of Chinese educational transnationals, however, began in force in the 1990s, linked closely with the country’s robust economic growth (Li & Bray, 2007; Naughton, 2007). China has since become largest exporter of foreign tertiary students with 636,354 people studying outside its borders as of 2010 (OECD, 2012), 34,041 whom are enrolled as full-time undergraduate or graduate students in Canadian 49 universities (Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b; see also Table 2.4)—the largest foreign student population in Canada by a significant margin. A substantial body of literature dealing with Chinese academic migration to North American postsecondary institutions has tended to focus on various deficits and challenges that students have adapting to social and academic life and their production of written and oral academic texts (i.e., Cheng, Myles, & Curtis, 2004; Huang, 2009, 2011; Huang & Brown, 2009; Huang & Klinger, 2006; Huang & Rinaldo, 2009; Lin & Scherz, 2014; Liu, 2011; Lu & Han, 2010; Qian & Krugly-Smolska, 2008; Windle, Hamilton, Zeng, & Yang, 2008; Zhang & Zhou, 2010). Less research has explicitly investigated the identity work Chinese transnationals undergo and the impact it can have on their participation in English academic discourses and communities. One promising avenue of such work includes the uptake and representation of certain Chinese transnational discourses and their influence on academic socialization. In Mandarin Chinese, haigui (海归) is a multilayered term referring to Chinese international students who have studied abroad and returned to China. Translated literally as “overseas returnees” (and referred to synonymously as the similarly pronounced 海⻳龟 (haigui, or “sea turtles”), the term is used to both describe and ultimately categorize these students into a range of conflicting identity positions. Positive representations frame haigui as risk-taking adventurers with increased social capital, while pejorative descriptions index students’ failure (to succeed abroad), inability to pass the Gaokao17 (China’s college entrance exam) in order to attend local universities, egotism, cultural and social dissonance (with local Chinese practices and ideologies), bourgeois cosmopolitanism, and Westernization (Chen, 2011; Hammond, 2012; Wang, Wong, & Sun, 2006). This notion of haigui has become especially salient in China and in the Chinese academic diaspora given the large and still rising number of Chinese international students globally, particularly at the postsecondary level and in Western universities, who seek migration opportunities after graduation or decide to return to China (Leung, 2015; OECD, 2014; Zeithammer & Kellogg, 2013; Zhang, 2013). Despite such trends, little research to date has considered the internally and externally reinforced impact of haigui on Chinese students’ formation of transnational identities and their variable abilities and desires to acculturate and adapt academically during their study abroad experiences. This chapter fills that gap. 17The Gaokao, China’s high-stakes college entrance exam, is an abbreviated form of: 普通⾼高等学校招⽣生全国统 ⼀一考试 (“The National Higher Education Entrance Examination”). 50 3.5 Background and Methods This study was conducted at a large Canadian university with primary data collection occurring between April 2013 and August 2014 as part of a larger multiple case study investigating the academic discourse socialization of seven foreign Chinese PhD students. The data sources for this section of the research study are comprised of two semi-structured interviews (conducted near the beginning and end of the study) and participant-generated narratives (consisting of self-directed written reflections, responses to guided prompts, and various email-based communications over the course of the 16-month study period). Two of the cases in this larger study, A-Ming and Sissy, yielded intriguing perspectives related to their (transnational) identity formation due to their contradictory representations of influential and guiding national and transnational discourses. Participant-chosen pseudonyms are used for both students as well as the university they attended. 3.5.1 The Participants A-Ming was a first year male social sciences PhD student at Alia Coast University (ACU)18. He joined the study during my second call for participants in August 2013. At the time of our first interview in early September 2013, he had arrived in Canada just two weeks prior for the start of his doctoral program. Both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees were obtained from separate, highly ranked universities in China, known as 985 universities.19 Following completion of his master’s degree in China, he spent over two years at a research intensive US university working as a research assistant in his field before coming to Canada to begin his scholarship-funded PhD in September 2013. His publication record was similarly impressive, including multiple single- and co-authored journal articles and book chapters in both Chinese and English. He reported being highly motivated to remain abroad and obtain an academic position at a North American university after completing his PhD. Sissy was from southeastern China and, like A-Ming, was also a social sciences PhD student at ACU. She was one of the first recruited students in the study and her participation spanned the first to second years of her program. Also similar to A-Ming, her postsecondary 18 For reasons of anonymity, the participants’ specific department affiliations have been excluded. 19 Chinese “985 universities” refers to universities effected by the Chinese government’s “985 project” announced in May 1998 (98/5) which infused large amounts of financial capital into targeted Chinese universities to improve infrastructure, research capacities, stature, and reputation. 51 education prior to beginning her doctorate was all completed in China before coming to ACU in September 2012. Both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees were from the same 985 university in China. She received funding from a major initiative of the Chinese government to support graduate students’ overseas education. At the completion of the study, Sissy had successfully published one article and one conference proceeding, both written in Chinese, and had a single conference presentation while she was still in China prior to her PhD program. Although Sissy was a self-described high-achieving student in China, particularly during her MA program, she reported experiencing a very difficult transition during her first year at ACU. 3.5.2 Procedures Participants in the larger study, including A-Ming and Sissy, were recruited using convenience and snowball sampling. Paper-based recruitment advertisements were posted around ACU campus and all departments in the Faculties of Arts and Education were contacted to request recruitment letters be emailed to their current PhD students. The University’s Chinese Graduate Student Society similarly agreed to send the letter to its members. Pre-established criteria limited recruitment to include foreign Chinese PhD students in the Faculties of Arts and Education only, criteria selected based on the desire to achieve as much similarity of PhD programmatic structures and writing practices as possible to allow for cross-case comparison of participants. Eight students who matched the initial criteria were recruited. One student was eventually excluded from the final analysis based on lack of submitted data. Two participants out of the remaining seven were selected for this sub-study based on their strong (and mostly contrastive) opinions regarding their roles as transnational academic sojourners in new academic and social environments. Initial interviews were conducted in April 2013 (Sissy) and Sept 2013 (A-Ming) and the final interviews in late April 2014 (Sissy) and early May 2014 (A-Ming). Participant narratives detailing their personal histories and academic (writing) experiences at ACU were collected over the course of the study, with A-Ming contributing three separate narrative submissions and Sissy five. The final collection of narratives and requests for clarifying information occurred until August 2015. Interview and narrative data were transcribed and then coded using the qualitative data analysis software HyperRESEARCH. This software package allowed me to sort data according to code groups, which in turn assisted in the organization of data into themes. Data were then analyzed thematically over several months in 2015. Following 52 the initial coding of both sets of interviews and the narratives, similar codes were grouped into sub-themes and themes. Three major themes were subsequently derived from this process and form the basis of this chapter, as outlined below. 3.6 Results 3.6.1 Shaping of Transnational Identities Three prevalent and recurring themes were generated from the coding and thematic analysis of A-Ming’s and Sissy’s interview and narrative data sets. As noted previously, both participants participated in two sets of semi-structured interviews. Their narrative submissions consisted of self-generated reflections of varied length guided by: (1) their experiences, successes, frustrations, and challenges as academic writers; (2) responses to guided prompts; and (3) email communication. Through a thematic analysis of these data, three themes were identified that appeared influential in the formation and representation of A-Ming and Sissy’s transnational identities: the discursive representation of haigui (overseas returnees to China) and legitimate transnationalism, and their varied conceptions of “home.” The different ways each person embodied and represented these discourses subsequently impacted their transnational identity formation and willingness or ability to integrate into their Canadian academic communities and discourses. 3.6.2 Discursive Representations of Haigui As noted, haigui is both a complex and contentious term. This notion of haigui and the meanings it indexes were originally introduced to me by A-Ming during our second interview in May of 2014. As demonstrated below, Sissy and A-Ming represent the term’s complexity on both ends of the spectrum, with Sissy acknowledging the potential negative perceptions of returning haigui, yet actively choosing to embrace and positively frame the term (and trajectory). A-Ming on the other hand represents and reinforces a much more critical interpretation, which characterizes overseas returnees to China as failures or “losers” who could not succeed abroad and return home out of necessity instead of active choice. A-Ming’s decision to initially leave China and his desire to remain abroad following his PhD appears to be strongly related to his reluctance to stay in China long term. This was shaped by several intersecting sub-themes related to his view of aspects of Chinese society and Chinese 53 nationalism, various threads of transnational and cosmopolitan discourses, and his perceptions of academic nepotism and favouritism, which he felt would limit his opportunities to succeed as an emerging scholar in China. He describes returning academic sojourners to China (haigui) as “losers” who could not succeed overseas and repatriate out of necessity—a perception in line with a prevalent narrative that negatively represents some Chinese student returnees as lacking talent, ability, and knowledge of local systems (Butt & Han, 2015; Chen, 2011; Guo, 2009; “Plight of the sea turtles,” 2013; Wang, 2009). This critical framing of haigui represents a growing public perception that recent returnees are less skilled and qualified (and subsequently less advantaged) than those previous generation of academic sojourners who were more deserving and who encountered greater obstacles getting admitted and succeeding while abroad. The changing public perception of recent returnees (for some) may also be representative of the sheer volume of students who are now pursuing study-abroad opportunities, a trend largely enabled by the massive growth of China’s economy over the last few decades. More people leaving suggests more then inevitably return, for a variety of personal, professional, and financial reasons. There is therefore a rising perception that Chinese nationally educated and trained students are now preferred within Chinese labour markets due to their knowledge of local systems and customs, consumption patterns, and technology. The claim that “Even as hordes of less employable expatriates return, the brightest remain abroad” (“Plight of the sea turtles,” 2013, para. 10) exemplifies how returning students are being publicly represented and positioned into certain identity categories, whether deserving or not, including by leading international English news-magazines like the Economist (“Plight of the sea turtles,” 2013). This subsequently can become a powerful narrative preventing potential returnees from returning to China permanently based on the desire to escape unfair portrayals of who they think they are, or of their skills and abilities, and their personal agency to succeed. The previously valued haigui has therefore been transformed into haidai (海待 – “seaweed”): returnees who are unemployable and lack upward mobility that “float” like seaweed in the water instead of actively swimming ashore like their haigui (“sea turtle”) predecessors (Hao & Welch, 2012; Zweig & Han, 2008). Aligning closely with such narratives, A-Ming articulated his extreme reluctance to repatriate to China following his program at ACU, citing the negative image of returning PhDs within China and his strong desire not to become one. The following excerpt occurred in our second interview during a discussion about a narrative prompt I had sent out prior in the study. One of these prompts 54 (included below) referenced Vanessa Fong’s (2011) ethnographic work with transnational Chinese students that reported on their self-described motivations to return to China after graduation in order to repay the motherland, or what Lai (2015) refers to as the “serving China” discourse. Fong (2011) also notes in her study that her Chinese international students often cited: “好好学习，报效祖国20.” Do you feel a broader obligation to return to China someday to “repay” your home country and help with its economic, social, cultural (etc.) growth? Why or why not? (Narrative prompt, April 22, 2014) A-Ming’s response to this prompt was, at the time, quite terse. He replied: “I would argue Fong knows nothing about Chinese international students” (Narrative, April 23, 2014). He fortuitously brought up this issue and Fong’s claim again during our final interview and expanded his thoughts in greater detail. It was during the course of that discussion (regarding his feeling about Fong’s claim) when he first introduced the term haigui. It is just when you get back, like Chinese students, when you get back you are nothing actually, if you, like in China that is kind of a culture. If you are a people, like from, we call, haigui, like finish your study here and came back to China. When people see you, you are just like a failure, a loser in Western countries. Like you are coming back because you cannot stay here [in the West], so you are kind of a loser. So people in China will just kind of look down upon you. You are a haigui or something. They are laughing at you sometimes like you are kind of a loser. So even if you are not a loser, you’ll think like you cannot get a good position, like higher level like position in China. You cannot change anything. So you need like social networks those kind things or like family background to get into political system or like education system. (Second Interview, May 2, 2014) Following this discussion with A-Ming, I decided to gauge other students’ reaction to this haigui term and the role, if any, it had in their decisions to remain abroad after graduation or return to China. Sissy’s response (shown below) discusses her representation of haigui, differing considerably from A-Ming’s, and highlights some of its underlying connotations, including the class and privilege undertones of Western-educated returnees to China or their potential disconnect with local (Chinese) knowledge and practices. She chooses primarily to focus on the positive aspects that being haigui entails, according to her own definition of the concept. 20 Haohao xuexi, baoxiao zuguo (Study hard and serve the motherland) 55 I know for some people, 'haigui' is a negative word. I think somehow it is also partly based on a sense of envy of those people who call us 'haigui'. On the one hand, they are a little bit jealous of our experience abroad (and potentially the higher social status brought about this experience), on the other hand, they think we have been educated by the Western knowledge, which would make us the 'unrealistic person' with little 'real knowledge' about Chinese contexts. […] However, I would like to say generally 'haigui' is still a positive word, if we didn't care too much about the social consensus but value the better job and social status that the qualification of a 'haigui' could win for us, relative to that in the Western world. (Email communication, August 13, 2014) Although recognizing the critical perceptions some Western-educated returnees might encounter when they return, Sissy presents a much more balanced (and also self-serving) representation of the term compared to A-Ming, both positive and negative, and how she herself is implicated in being part of this haigui group. Adding to the complexity of how they operationalize, accept, embrace, or disdain this label of haigui, both A-Ming and Sissy make clear distinctions between the ways PhD returnees are perceived in China versus undergraduate students (for A-Ming) and master’s students (for Sissy). While Sissy acknowledges the negative connotations of haigui, outlined in the excerpt below, she insulates herself from any pejorative labeling by stating that the term applies primarily to master’s level students, whose degrees lack practical application as opposed to returning PhD graduates whose skills and qualifications are more valued, practical, and legitimate. The last issue that may be taken into consideration is that for a master student 'haigui' in China is more possibly a negative label than that for a Ph.D. student. The Chinese think a Western master qualification is simply a qualification without representing either practical skills (except Language) or high academic capability. Chinese master education is more similar to the vocational education. (Email, August 13, 2014) Sissy’s own future plans—to return and live in China following completion of her Canadian PhD—seem influential in her distinguishing between master’s and PhD returnees and which group is more susceptible to becoming the negatively-viewed haigui. Sissy also frames her stance as being objective and neutral (and universally held) by stating this opinion is one of “The Chinese” instead of being her own subjective interpretation, as demonstrated in the sentence: “The Chinese think a Western master qualification is simply a qualification without representing either practical skills (except Language) or high academic capability.” A-Ming similarly distinguishes between returning students to China according to education levels, but his 56 distinction delineates between undergraduate and graduate students, with the label of haigui being less applicable for returning undergraduate students. The term, he argues, is far more problematic for graduate-level students because, unlike undergraduate students who A-Ming claims almost uniformly come from wealthy and socially-connected families, graduate students have less financial and social privilege and therefore possess few social, political, or professional connections back home. This notion is expanded in the following section where this issue is linked to A-Ming’s constructions of legitimate academic transnationalism and the applicability of a haigui positionality according to education level. 3.6.3 Constructing the Legitimate Chinese Transnational The distinction between Chinese undergraduate and graduate students was a focal point in my discussion of haigui with A-Ming. As noted, haigui was a concept that was introduced by A-Ming and was a term that I was not familiar with up to that point but became an important part of that interview in illustrating his extreme reluctance to return to China after graduation. As illustrated below, A-Ming constructs clear divisions of academic transnational legitimacy depending on students’ educational level, not dissimilar to Sissy’s opinion that master’s students are more susceptible to the label of haigui due to the nature of their degrees as “simply a qualification” to improve their resume but which lack any practical or marketable value. According to A-Ming, Chinese undergraduate students pursue study abroad opportunities primarily due to their families’ wealth, their superficial desires to travel and adventure abroad, and an inability to pass the Gaokao (and thus being unable to enrol in [decent] Chinese universities). This is in contrast to graduate students, he asserts, who are more deserving and legitimate academic transnationals who are able to pursue international education opportunities due to talent and hard work. During a discussion about an article A-Ming had recently published in ACU’s student newspaper addressing the possibility of Chinese students bringing democratic values home when they returned to China, I asked him about the technical differences between writing a newspaper text compared to other types of academic texts. His lengthy response eventually returned to the broad topic of his article and the varied composition of Chinese international students (more broadly) and their possible motivations for undertaking study abroad in the first place: 57 The situation here is like, there are two types of Chinese students outside China. One is kind of like undergraduate people, the other is graduate people. Undergraduate people, they are young. Like the reason they go to another country to further their studies, just because they cannot get into good universities back in China. So most of these undergraduate people they are from rich families in China, like the corruption family, the business family, and then most of them they are like, they are not the top students, at least in high school. They are just low level students and they cannot pass the… there is a Gaokao [⾼高考], the college entrance examination, they cannot get good grades to get into like top universities or like key universities in China. So these people, of course they are rich, they have a lot of money, so they will find some like, in Chinese zhongjie [中介]21 like kind, how do you say like, kind of a company, like link between the university here and also like students back in China. This kind of company they charge a lot of money from the students and they write all the application stuff and make a lot of cheating things like grades and stuff. And they help these people to apply, like program here [in Canada], in the United States, in Europe, everywhere, like Chinese students just everywhere. So of course they are kind of… There are several people, like they are super smart and they got that idea they want to go to like Harvard to get a better education, there are these kinds of people. But most people, I would say like 80% people, they are from rich families and they just want to spend their money here. (Second Interview, May 2, 2014) These strong opinions and generalizations—that 80% of international undergraduate Chinese students are from wealthy families and study abroad only because they cannot attend “good” domestic universities—are in contradiction to Fong’s (2011) longitudinal work on Chinese undergraduate students, as noted above, that claimed many of her participants felt a moral responsibility to return to China after graduating, citing a sense of filial nationalism and duty to the country. When I asked A-Ming about Fong’s claims, and the possibility that returning students feel a need to serve the Chinese motherland, he responded: [Fong argues] They want to like return, pay back to China and that’s not true actually. […] It’s just because they are rich. This is undergraduate people, so these people have no idea about returning or paying back after the university stuff like that. They just have no choice. And graduate people, they are doing master’s or PhD here and they are maybe working very hard like me. You have to work very hard to get admitted, accepted by like the Western programs. (Second Interview, May 2, 2014) 21 Education agent 58 A few important issues outlining A-Ming’s framing of Chinese academic transnationals are evident in the above interview extracts: (1) undergraduate students who claim to return to China due to obligations to repay their homeland do so (according to him) only because they cannot remain abroad, even if they would prefer to, and; (2) these students went abroad in the first place primarily because their families are rich and due to their inability to enrol in decent Chinese universities, and not because they are deserving and hard working students. Graduate students (like A-Ming), on the other hand, have (he asserts) earned their places due to hard work and perseverance and are therefore more legitimate academic transnationals than undergraduate students. He goes on to state: So like for me, for a lot of graduate students, they are from like low-level poor rural areas and stuff. So these types of people, education is the only way they can change themselves, move up or, yeah, so education. So you want to get a better education and you are working very hard to go to Western countries. And after your education, you don’t want to go back because like opportunities is not good back in China. (Second Interview, May 2, 2014) According to A-Ming, not only are graduate students harder workers and more deserving, but they also face daunting futures back home compared to their more privileged undergraduate counterparts. He further specifies that graduate students, like himself, not only deserve to be abroad more than their undergraduate counterparts, but they need to remain abroad after graduation because they will not be able to attain equal opportunities to succeed back home since they are from “low level poor rural areas” with few professional and social connections. His transnational identity formation, partly achieved through his socialization into Canadian academic discourses and communities, is therefore necessary to ensure he does not return to China. Considering the broader trends of internationally educated Chinese graduate students, A-Ming does not appear to be alone in this thinking. For example, US educated Chinese PhD students have extremely low rates of repatriation back to China following their programs. Finn’s (2014) investigation into the “stay rates” of foreign science and engineering students at US universities found Chinese students not only comprised the largest foreign PhD population studying in the US but had the second highest five-year stay rate after receiving their doctorates, with 85% of students remaining in the US following graduating. Only Iranian students, at 92%, represented a higher rate of non-return. These trends may be partly explained by the stigmatization that PhD students face if they cannot succeed and remain abroad, unlike returning 59 undergraduate students who are more sheltered or even exempt (according to A-Ming) from pejorative haigui or haidai labelling. This reported guiding narrative proves to be highly motivating for A-Ming to stay abroad after completion of his program at ACU. 3.6.4 “The Flowing Space”: Nationalism, Transnationalism, and Representations of Home A prevailing theme of international students’ reported study abroad experiences is a sense of instability and alienation as they migrate from their home countries across borders for varying periods of time, leaving personal and professional networks to encounter new ones in processes often mediated in second (or additional) languages and cultures with differing sets of expectations, customs, norms, and practices (Andrade, 2006; Ip, Chui, & Johnson, 2009; Sawir, Marginson, Deumert, Nyland, & Ramia, 2008; Sherry, Thomas, & Chui, 2010; Zhao, Jindal-Snape, Topping, & Todman, 2008). For both Sissy and A-Ming, uprooting their lives in China and moving to North America involved similar upheaval, but these experiences were shaped and expressed quite differently by each of them. A-Ming embraced living in this transnational “flowing space” while Sissy felt unhinged and alone as a recent transplant in Canada, perceptions not only demonstrative of their PhD experiences to that point, but which also reflected their planned future trajectories following their programs. When I asked Sissy about her sense of belonging at ACU, and whether she felt more at home in Canada or in China, she responded: Belong [here]… I have to say no. Until now I haven’t felt the belonging here. Maybe two years is a short time and also it’s because I don’t think people here, the global people, international people, need another belonging, sense of belonging, because they are very flowing, they live in the flowing space. So maybe it’s not a kind of… they don’t care about a kind of belonging, they just care about more things, for example, the personal achievement and the kind of horizon, expand in the horizon. So this is a different lifestyle. So if you ask me I think belonging, yes, China gives a big sense of belonging. (Second Interview, April 30, 2014) Sissy categorizes other non-Canadians at ACU as “the global people” who do not need to fit in or belong because they already belong elsewhere, like Sissy herself, who is also one of these “global people” and who ultimately belongs in China. Sissy’s representation of living in a “flowing space” is in line with the notion of “flexible citizenship” (Ong, 1999)—transnationals who experience “reverse, circular, or serial migration” (Duff, 2015, p. 67)—as well as unstable 60 or shifting identity negotiation during those movements across different spaces, languages, and cultures. In Sissy’s case, her sense of belonging in Canada and ACU, or lack thereof, is in part a reflection of her own self-reported experiences of feeling alienated within her department and the university across a variety of social, cultural, and academic domains.22 Living in this “flowing space” therefore precluded her socialization into her local academic communities and their practices, a decision she represented as being inevitable due to the instability of being a foreign student as well as one representative of all “global people” like her. Although she positions herself as being part of the “global people” group focused on individual achievements who do not need to belong in Canada, she criticizes these similar values when they are applied to her non-global-people colleagues at ACU. In the following passage, her reference to a “Chinese style” of interpersonal relationships and her clear preference for that style represents a common theme that unfolded over the course of this study where Sissy expressed her dispreference for the casual relationships she had formed with certain fellow students during her doctoral program. These types of relationships were manifestations of the Western style of individuality and casualness, she asserted, where “they” care only about individual personal achievements and casual relationships and not about intimately belonging to a group at a more meaningful level. She contrasts this superficiality with her own Chinese values of coveting deeper social connections and friendships, therefore simultaneously reinforcing and positioning others in her department as superficial and herself (and other Chinese people) as hardworking and more sincere—opinions perhaps shaped by the lack of cohort-based PhD programs at ACU, which may impact cohesion and unity amongst fellow students. During our final interview, and a discussion on whether her sense of belonging within her department had changed over the last year, Sissy outlined her thoughts: I think the style that I do things, the way I think about things especially, the style I do things, the style I treat people, I treat my friend, my family, are very Chinese style. I think this is good. I agree with these kinds of values. A very simple example: I like to make the close friends. I like to help them… not help them… I like to have close friends more than the daily communication, just professional, or the guests in your life. Many people here they have so many guests in their lives and they get used to this kind of communication, social intercourse in their life. But no, I don’t think this is good. So I like, for example, every week I get together with my close friends and we talk about what we are doing in 22 Chapters 4 and 5 address the various sources of socialization that influenced Sissy’s experience integrating socially and academically. 61 this week and just need one week one time we don’t need to meet each other every day. So this is a very long-term relationship. I quite agree with this kind of values. (Second Interview, April 30, 2014) According to Sissy, the way she “does things” and her commitment to family, friends, and hard work follows the principles of a “Chinese style.” She agrees with these values and believes them to be admirable traits and behaviours. She likes to make close friends—friends that involve more than everyday superficial interactions; or “guests” (or acquaintances) in one’s life, as she clarifies. Because people in Canada have so many “guests” in their lives, they have become accustomed to these types of superficial relationships, which is not “good,” according to Sissy. Her strong affiliation with this set of constructed Chinese values appears to have been impactful on her willingness and/or ability to integrate into Canadian communities. Her self-described alienation may also have been influenced by the large demographic disparity, as Sissy reported, between foreign and domestic students in her department (with very few of the former), or due to the habitus of students (in being more or less outgoing and welcoming) and Sissy’s fit within her academic peer group. It may also indicate a possible inability to embrace a transnational identity that would have proven useful in developing her academic and social interactions at ACU and her ability to integrate, a notion that will be explored in more detail in the discussion section below. A-Ming similarly represents living in his transnational space as being a fluid and mobile process. Unlike Sissy, however, who feels unsettled and alienated by this fluidity, A-Ming believes that “home” is a self-defined concept that lacks a unitary and fixed physical location, and he is “okay” with this sense of instability. In an interview, he stated: Like for me, I have no concept of home. Home can be everywhere, like I am okay. But sometimes I feel like home back in China of course because my family is still there, my dad and brothers and sisters. I want to go back like visit this family and stuff. Other than that, I don’t want to go back to China actually. I am okay to be everywhere, like yeah. (Second Interview, May 2, 2014) A-Ming’s perception of “home” on the surface bears similarity with Sissy’s concept of “the flowing space”; however, both experienced upheaval that impacted them quite differently. A-Ming, unlike Sissy, embraces the notion of being uprooted (from China) and becoming a highly 62 educated and mobile transnational cosmopolitan, which in turn appears to better facilitate his socialization into his ACU community.23 Both Sissy’s and A-Ming’s perceptions of home, as either embracing or lamenting their positions as transient international students, is further reflected in their markedly different ideological orientations towards their home country of China across several cultural, academic, social, and political domains. As noted above, Sissy aligns strongly with her constructed representation of Chinese values, feelings that imparted a sense of duty to represent these positive values during her time in Canada and as a member of her disciplinary community. For my case, an important reason is that my [social sciences] major makes me know more about China and the difference/common grounds among China and the West. The more I know it, the more I want to do something for it (anything that I think it is required to be shed lights on), also the more I want to clarify misunderstandings about China. (Sissy, Narrative, April 25, 2014; punctuation in original) A-Ming’s representations of China and Chinese values differ significantly from Sissy’s. This is represented in part though his embracing of a strong sense of “globality” or global citizenry and is further reflected and reinforced by his critical perceptions, and even outward disdain at times, of Chinese academic culture, in particular, as well as other aspects of Chinese social life. During a discussion about future plans, A-Ming reiterated (below) his feelings of distrust towards being allowed an equal opportunity to succeed if he returned to China and how these feelings had influenced his plans to remain abroad as well as his subsequent formation of a transnational identity that is content with locational uncertainty, as long as that uncertainty does not involve returning to China. A-Ming: I want to get a job in the university. I hope I can get a job in like a top university, a really top research university. I am okay to go back to like Asian area but not inside China. Because I don’t want to go back like Peking Universities and stuff. I am okay to go to like Singapore, the National University of Singapore, University of Hong Kong. I am okay with that. And even Taiwan. I have visited Taipei and stuff. I like being in Taiwan even more than mainland China, I don’t know why. Like people in Taiwan just live more like nice and kind to each other and they will trust, like social trust is more. I feel like I like Taiwan more than mainland China in terms of people relations and stuff. Tim: Even if you got offered like a top tenure track position at China’s number one university, like Peking University, you wouldn’t consider going back? 23 Additional factors contributing to their socialization (and outcomes) are expanded on in the following chapters. 63 A-Ming: I can’t go back. I think it’s easy for me to get a top, like a tenure job at a university, Peking University or Tsinghua University is not hard. Tim: And why don’t you want to go back to a top university? Is it just based on what you said before, it is more about social connections? A-Ming: Yeah, academic environment and a hierarchal structure. Like, like you are young professors and just the old people they just don’t like you. If you have more talented they hate you more. I don’t know it is kind of a weird culture. (Second Interview, May 2, 2014) A-Ming goes beyond stating that he prefers not to return to China after graduation, but rather offers the much more strongly worded, “I can't go back,” in reference to his belief that because he is young and talented, he will be hated and prevented from moving up the academic ranks at a Chinese university. Coupled with his fear of becoming a “loser” haigui if he were to return, these ideologies and interpretations of national and transnational discourses are influential in his drive to succeed locally, in Canada, and preferably remain in the West, or other parts of Asia as long as they are not China. His commitment to remain abroad even resulted in a strategic (epistemological and methodological) shift in his research approach from his qualitatively focused master’s research to a quantitative approach, which he was using for his PhD24—a shift predicated in part by feeling more “confident” writing quantitative reports. During a general discussion about his academic writing and his overall progress to date, he discussed this change following his master’s and into his PhD: Tim: So why did you make that switch from qualitative to quantitative? A-Ming: I am good at the quantitative stuff, mathematical. And more, for actually, for more international students—not every international students—especially from people from China, most professors if you noticed, social science, like the only way like I stay here, like not going back to other, not go back to China, is because they are good at quantitative things. […] Tim: Interesting. A-Ming: So I want to be like… it’s more likely to get a position here if you know how to do good quantitative research. Tim: I see. So it’s based on your interests and your experience, but also is it a strategic decision? A-Ming: Yeah, job opportunities. (Second Interview, May 2, 2014) 24 To maintain anonymity, more detail about A-Ming’s specific research focus cannot be included. 64 His transnational identity formation, shaped in part by his socialization into Canadian academic discourses and communities, forms an important component to ensure he does not return to China, including strategically changing his methodological focus to align more closely with his Western contemporaries (and other Chinese academics who have remained in the West). 3.7 Discussion The discursive (re)productions of haigui embedded in the broader discourses of international student transnationalism impacted A-Ming’s and Sissy’s integration into their respective academic discourses and communities to varying degrees of success. Both embraced, reflected, and constructed different threads of national and transnational discourses to reinforce their own interpretations, identities, ideologies, and future plans. Their representations of haigui reveal not only broader national and transnational ideologies in China regarding educational migration (cf. Butt & Han, 2015; Chen, 2011; Guo, 2009), particularly to Western countries, but also the active heuristic constructions of haigui based on their past and current experiences (as international students, transnationals, multilinguals, emerging academics, “Chinese”), future plans, and their own epistemological and ontological stances constructed within their respective social and academic domains. Both also aligned with narratives that are understandably somewhat self-serving. Sissy’s representation of more balanced and even positive interpretation of haigui is what enables her to imagine her future plan to return; it may also be a reflection of her awareness of likely becoming one in the near future—a rationalization of self-preservation and face-saving. Ultimately, however, her framing of the term and its applicability or inapplicability to herself are somewhat contradictory. Despite defining and representing what haigui could possibly mean for some people (both in positive and negative terms), she still emphasized that it is a term most applicable to master’s students whose lack of indepth skills make them more susceptible to being negatively categorized. Since she is not one of these master’s students, she is in no danger of becoming a negatively perceived haigui once she returns. She also frequently positioned her stance as representing a collective “Chinese” voice to legitimize and strengthen her own personal opinions. In so doing she lessens her own culpability in the delegitimization of those lesser-qualified master’s returnees and the possibility of herself becoming the “looked down upon” type of haigui that she distances herself from. Sissy’s representation of haigui and decision to return 65 may also be influenced by various other factors, including a preference to remain close to her family and loved ones (something she spoke about in an email during the study). It is also possible, or even likely, that she would encounter considerable difficulty finding her desired academic position within the highly competitive English-speaking West amidst a glut of highly qualified first-language or highly proficient English speaking academics that are available and competing for those jobs. A-Ming, in contrast to Sissy, exclusively emphasizes the negative elements of haigui and its sole applicability to returning graduate students, a group which he is potentially part of, and which he does not want to be associated with. There is also an expressed cultural and social dissonance with various Chinese practices and ideologies that can explain A-Ming’s thought process. Foreign-trained graduate students, A-Ming claims, “are nothing” if they return due to engrained social hierarchies of privileged and wealthy elites, academic nepotism, and jealousy towards talented junior (foreign-educated) scholars. A-Ming offers less reflection than Sissy about the roots of his derogative perspective and representation of haigui although he inadvertently provides many of the same reasons that Sissy did: a lingering unease that returning sojourners have been Westernized, are arrogant, and might seek to challenge the status quo (socially, educationally, epistemologically, politically) of established academics at Chinese universities. These perceived constraints upon upward academic and social mobility are powerful drivers for A-Ming, and were strong factors influencing his desire to “fit in” and ultimately thrive in Western academic contexts, including his strategic methodological research shift in hopes he will be better positioned in the North American job market. Both similarly represent themselves as transnational academic sojourners in fluid and somewhat unstable terms, but for different purposes and to much different effect. Sissy’s metaphor of the transnational “flowing space” is used to describe why she and other “global people” are not able or willing to form close connections or integrate fully in local environments. Since these “global people” already belong elsewhere, they cannot and do not belong in their temporary academic spaces at ACU. Feeling marginalized subsequently magnified her own marginalization within her department as she positioned herself and other international students into narrow categories based on her own challenges adapting and succeeding during her first two years in Canada. In so doing, it provided a defense mechanism for Sissy to convince herself that feeling alienated within her department and university was not only acceptable, but normal for 66 all transnational students who cohabitate the flowing space, floating without stability just like her. Living in this space therefore becomes her anti-home of sorts—a temporary destination until she can return to her real home in China. Returning now to Ong’s (1993, 1999) notion of flexible citizenship can help to contextualize Sissy’s case. Flexible citizenship is the transnational embodiment and enactment of the flexible subject (Ong, 1999), where people traverse regions and countries for different purposes and timescales and can take on different identities along the way. The degrees to which that flexibility can be exercised, however, might largely depend on the intersection of a multitude of complex factors, including individual motivations, efforts and abilities (including linguistic ones), opportunities, personal and professional networks, degrees of independence, and ideological orientations. In Sissy’s case, she was markedly constrained by many of these factors (and was therefore rendered somewhat inflexible) compared to A-Ming, and these constraints had an influence on her socialization and (at the time) perceived academic success. Indeed, as Matthews and Sidhu (2005) note, “the economic, political and cultural changes associated with globalisation do not automatically give rise to globally oriented and supra-territorial forms of subjectivity” (p. 49). This seems to have been a contributing cause in Sissy’s dispreference towards or inability to enact a flexible transnational subject position that could have ultimately contributed to her abilities and desires to socialize and be socialized into her academic discourses and communities; other contributing causes are taken up in the following two chapters. A-Ming, on the other hand, embraced this sense of transnationality much more fervently than did Sissy. He was the only participant in the larger study of seven students to use an English name in his daily life in Canada. While little may be drawn from this decision in and of itself, it can serve as a metaphor for his strong alignment with a transnational identity and, in a sense, a misalignment with a Chinese one. I asked A-Ming about how he perceived or represented himself, as “Chinese” or a “global citizen,” and he responded: I think more like a global citizen, like I am okay. I’m a Chinese right but I don’t… like some people when they introduce themselves in the public, they will “I am Chinese” or stuff. Usually I don’t say that. I’m just a people. I usually don’t say I am Chinese or I am from China. If you ask me where are you from? Yeah I am from China. But if, like introduction, some people in the classroom would say, oh you are from China, but I usually don’t say that. (Second Interview, May 2, 2014) 67 He expressed feeling comfortable and at home in Canada and in his program, he embraced and relished a future as an international scholar, and he made strategic research decisions to facilitate his goals. This flexibility in terms of aligning with a more globally-minded perspective over a strongly (Chinese) nationalistic one enhanced his ability to adapt to his surroundings, which in turn impacted his feeling at “home” in Canada (or anywhere) despite being away from his country of citizenship and family, and researching, writing, and communicating primarily in English. As Duff (2015) describes, international mobility “can lead to language shift to new languages, and, possibly through that process, as one scenario, to cosmopolitan, multifaceted, and multilingual or syncretic (hybrid) identities” (p. 59), which appears to have been the case with A-Ming. If we consider the “transnational practices and imaginings of the nomadic subject” (Ong, 1999, p. 3; italics in original) in reference to A-Ming, he not only practiced what was necessary for his success at ACU (e.g., doing quantitative research) but he imagined and enacted discourses that helped to facilitate it. In many ways, it seems, the opposite could be argued for Sissy. A-Ming and Sissy’s representations of their transnational selves, as members of a global (academic) diaspora of Chinese citizens who may or may not return, ultimately became self-fulfilling prophecies of sorts. A-Ming, by fearing haigui and embracing transnational fluidity, was highly motivated to remain abroad. Sissy considered her transnational space as one that lacked stability and impacted her ability to form closer and more meaningful connections with others; practices which were at odds with her values as a “Chinese” that she aligned closely with. In so doing, it appears to have adversely affected her own ability to embrace a transnational identity that may have better facilitated her integration into local discourses, practices, and communities. 3.8 Conclusion This chapter has addressed the role, enactment, and (re)production of various transnational discourses in A-Ming’s and Sissy’s academic socialization. Showcasing these two informative cases highlights the complex nature of socialization and the importance of considering and contextualizing the extensive web of external and internal factors that contribute to that socialization. I have hoped to highlight the influence certain national and transnational discourses can have on L2 students during study abroad experiences. For PhD students who are 68 involved and immersed in highly demanding environments with high stakes outcomes, these issues are of particular importance given their unstable and largely unpredictable futures in today’s competitive academic job market. Additional research can consider similar issues related to the transnational ideologies of students (and those circulating in the media and larger society) and how these ideologies can influence academic socialization, particularly given the large and ever-growing number of international postsecondary students worldwide. 69 Chapter 4: The Doctoral Gaze: Foreign PhD Students’ Internal and External Academic Discourse Socialization 4.1 Introduction A growing body of research continues to investigate the role of language socialization (LS) in postsecondary second-language (L2) students’ opportunities, abilities, and desires to integrate into their preferred academic discourses and communities (e.g., Bronson, 2004; Ho, 2011; Kobayashi, 2003, 2006; Morita, 2000, 2004; Nam, 2008; Reinhardt & Chen, 2013; Reinhardt, & Zander, 2011; Seloni, 2012; Séror, 2008; Vickers, 2007; Zappa-Hollman, 2007; Zappa-Hollman & Duff, 2015). Language socialization is a theoretical and methodological framework that provides insights into the various, contested, and shifting processes involving less and more established members of cultures and communities and their socialization into and through language. In this chapter, I focus on the various external and internal sources of this academic discourse socialization involving seven Chinese foreign PhD students at a Canadian university. Through the use of interviews and participant-generated narratives and an examination of feedback students had received on their writing (to be discussed in Chapter 5), this longitudinal multiple case study uncovered various factors facilitating students’ success (or lack thereof) in adapting to local practices and discourses during their doctoral study. In addition to the more-frequently discussed external sources of socialization that affect students, I also examine the less-researched notion of self-socialization in the broader second language socialization process, informed by Foucault’s metaphor of the Panopticon and the disciplinary control that being surveilled has on individuals’ self-regulation of their own thoughts and behaviours. In so doing, I highlight the complementary theoretical role of panopticism in second language socialization research in the context of these seven students’ stories. Although recent work has discussed the role of self-socialization on the lives of second language students from both conceptual (Duff & Doherty, 2015; Lee & Bucholtz, 2015) and empirical perspectives (Newman & Newman, 2009), none thus far has studied the impact of both self and other socialization on the academic lives of foreign L2 graduate students and their abilities, desires, and opportunities to navigate their sought after discourses and communities. This chapter will address this under-researched and yet critical area. 70 4.2 Chinese Postsecondary Students in Canada Chinese foreign students25 comprise the largest population of non-Canadian students at Canadian universities (as discussed in detail in Chapter 2). Between 2000-2001 and 2010-2011, the number of full-time foreign Chinese university students increased from 12,330 to 34,041; the latter representing a number comparable to the combined 35,004 total of the following top four sending countries in the same year, France, the US, India, and South Korea (Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b; see also Chapter 2). More specifically, despite notable declines since the mid 2000s, Chinese graduate students remain the largest foreign graduate student population in Canada by a wide margin with 6,762 students attending Canadian universities, compared to Iran’s (the second largest sending country) 4,410 (Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b). As the largest population of foreign postsecondary students in the country, much research has been conducted on the reasons Chinese students come to Canada and their academic and social experiences and outcomes. At the graduate level, Chen’s (2007) survey of 140 East Asian students regarding their motivations to study in Canadian universities, 89 of whom were from China, outlined differing responses based on participants’ degree types. Graduate professional students (e.g., Master of Engineering, Master of Business Administration) in Chen’s study reported being influenced more strongly by Canadian universities’ marketing strategies and (relatively) low tuition fees and cost of living compared to the US, while graduate research students placed more importance on other factors, such as favourable views of Canadian culture, safety, tuition, and ease of obtaining visas, as well as program/institutional quality and overall reputation. Other factors also include the emergence of China and the Chinese economy, both metaphorically and literally, after the death of Mao Zedong and the post-cultural-revolution reforms (Kristof, 1993; Vogel, 2011) and the influence this economic growth and loosening of foreign migration restrictions has had on educational migration. The reported outcomes of these students’ educational experiences have been mixed, as expected with a large and diverse population. Broad surveys of international student satisfaction levels conducted in Canada indicate that local communities and universities are generally 25 Foreign students refer to “international students” (students on a student visa who entered Canada with the sole purpose of studying at a Canadian university, those on diplomatic, trade, and other missions, and refugees) and “permanent resident” students. Canadian students refer to Canadian citizens. The program types included in this analysis are: undergraduate (first cycle), post-baccalaureate non-graduate program, graduate qualifying program (second cycle), health-related residency program, graduate program (second cycle), and graduate program (third cycle). 71 providing ample support, guidance, and opportunities for international students during their time in the country (CBIE, 2009; Grayson, 2008). Other studies reporting on the individual experiences of Chinese students in Canadian contexts have been less positive. Huang (2009, 2011) and Huang and Brown (2009) investigated Chinese graduate students at North American universities, half in Canada, and noted the challenges and frustrations students encountered during the cultural, linguistic, social, academic, and economic shifts they experienced—problems likely encountered by other L2 students as well. A variety of educational and cultural differences between the students’ home and host countries, such as the expected roles of teachers and students and the organization of classes, created anxiety and confusion for some students, particularly those newly arrived. Some of these differences in educational culture resulted in discomfort from the behaviours of other classmates, an overemphasis on group work and student-directed inquiry (in their view), instructors not following the textbook or syllabi (which students’ preferred), and a lack of shared interests and commonalities with fellow students. Liu’s (2011) autoethnography reported her own difficulties adjusting to Canadian graduate school and the pressure and stress that resulted from language and cultural struggles. Her initial challenges and perceived lack of institutional or social support led to her feelings of self-doubt and low self-esteem. In turn, the author reports, “this made me feel confused about my new life in Canada, and I asked myself why I had come” (p. 79). Lu and Han’s (2010) “self-examination” (also an autoethnographic study) as former Chinese graduate students in Canada asked “Why Don’t They Participate?” in reference to the perceived lack of engagement from (some) Chinese graduate students during class discussions, citing cultural, social, educational, and linguistic challenges that they feel impede participation. More recently, Fang, Clarke, and Wei (2015) followed 14 Chinese graduate students enrolled in a collaborative Master of Education program involving a Canadian and Chinese university with courses divided between the two. The authors similarly found the students became “reluctant speakers” when participating in Canadian classrooms, citing language proficiency issues and lack of content knowledge (for example) as barriers for self-inclusion, as well as difficulties adapting to (Canadian) educational settings and disagreements with the lack of practice over theory in their M.Ed. classes. 72 4.3 Theoretical Frameworks The following subsections outline the complementary theoretical frameworks used in this study. 4.3.1 (Second) Language Socialization Language socialization is a conceptual framework that theorizes language learning and use as a multidimensional process of social and cultural experiences where novice learners negotiate communicative competence, membership, and legitimacy in the target language community through interactions and mentoring with other members or sources with more expertise (Duff, 2007a, 2010a; Ochs, 1986; Ochs & Schieffelin, 1984, 2008, 2012; Schieffelin & Ochs, 1986). The language socialization process involves both micro-level interactions between members of discourse communities and the broader macro-level narratives and grand metanarratives of (and across) different cultural groups (Duff & Anderson, 2015; Lee & Bucholtz, 2015). More specifically, language socialization explores learners’ enculturation into social and cultural practices of various discourse groups in both first and additional languages and takes place in a variety of contexts through a multiplicity of forms, often associated with learners’ development of cultural and communicative competence (Duff, 2010b). Second language socialization can be differentiated from first language (L1) socialization due to the significant and sometimes multiple linguistic, discursive, and cultural repertoires that people already possess when learning or using an additional language and negotiating membership into new discourse communities (Duff & Talmy, 2011). L2 socialization therefore seeks to account for these interactions and intersections in ways beyond those in traditional linguistic or second language acquisition approaches to language learning and use. 4.3.2 Self-socialization Early language socialization research typically concentrated on the dyadic relationship between “newcomers” and “oldtimers” and the primary role the latter (more knowledgeable member) had in socializing the former into socially and culturally situated language practices, such as children learning interactional routines from caregivers or young students learning IRE (initiation-response-evaluation) sequences from their teachers (Duff, 2007a). The role of self-socialization—the self-directed and self-mediated role of an individual’s enculturation into 73 behaviours, identities, discourses, and communities—has been a much less discussed phenomenon, and that which exists has come primarily from the field of psychology (Duff & Doherty, 2015). Arnett (2007), for example, researched the role of socialization during emerging adulthood from ages 18 to 25 where people typically experience profound shifts in personal freedoms, life trajectories, sexuality, cohabitation, and career development (for example), all of which “lay the foundation for their adult lives” (p. 208). These formative years of emerging adulthood involve periods of freedom, self-reflection, and introspection, framed as instances of self-socialization, and come to take a more prevalent role over the external sources of socialization that children and adolescents mostly experience up to that point. In a second-language context specifically, only one empirical study to date, from social psychologists Newman and Newman (2009), has explicitly studied the self-socialization of a single second-language learner (in both home and academic contexts) based on interviews reconstructing the period of time since the student’s initial arrival in the US. Their participant, a Taiwanese “parachute child” (Lilly)—a US-based undergraduate student at the time of the study—recalled her childhood and early adulthood spent away from her parents since the age of 10 in order to study in the US. Lilly’s enactment of a strong sense of personal agency, the authors argue, resulted in her initial decision to stay in the US in the first place and the ensuing self-socialization into English language communities which allowed her eventually become a relatively successful language learner and student, although not without experiencing some considerable struggles along the way and many unsuccessful instances attempting to integrate into local peer groups. However, as Lee and Bucholtz (2015) note, “The original conceptualization of self-socialization has theoretical limitations” (p. 323) due to its lack of explicit focus on social and cultural factors that mediate language learning and use. Considering the role of self-socialization from a contemporary LS perspective, which highlights the role of agency (Duff & Doherty, 2015) and the occurrence of bidirectional enculturation in the language socialization process, better allows for consideration of the omnipresent sociocultural factors impacting and mediating newcomers’ integration and negotiation into their language practices and communities (see Duff & Doherty, 2015 for an extended discussion of the role of agency in language socialization research). According to Ahearn (2001), agency refers broadly to the “socioculturally mediated capacity to act” (p. 112). As it pertains to language, in particular, Duff and Doherty add that “Agentive stances and actions can potentially facilitate or impede the 74 development of greater normative communicative and cultural competence in new communities” (p. 61; italics in original). Agency therefore becomes an important component to better understand and explain the self-socialization process in L2 students’ transitions and progressions. The following section now examines the useful theoretical addition of Foucault’s (1995) notion of panopticism and the surveilling function various mechanisms and discourses can have on internal and external socialization. 4.3.3 Panopticism and Language Socialization Developed primarily in Discipline and Punish: The Birth of a Prison, Foucault (1995) explored issues of power and control through the historical development of prisons as means to punish and surveil lawbreakers and enemies of the state. Central was the notion of panopticism, a theory of disciplinary control based on the Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon, a conceptual prison where guards could perpetually (and invisibly) monitor exposed inmates in cells configured equidistance from the central observatory tower. Writing about the benefits of this eventually failed prison design, Benthem (1995) notes: “You will please to observe, that though perhaps it is the most important point, that the persons to be inspected should always feel themselves as if under inspection” (Essential Points of the Plan section, para. 2). This notion of prisoners not only being actually observed, but also continuously thinking they are being observed (even if they are not), became a central tenet to both Benthem’s original prison design and Foucault’s eventual adoption of the concept to address issues of bodily discipline and discourses of power in broader social contexts outside the (both literal and metaphorical) confines of the prison. The concept of the “doctoral gaze” used in this study is therefore drawn from Foucault (1995) to represent both the real and imagined disciplinary powers that influence doctoral students’ internal and external socialization into their desired academic discourse communities. This concept will be used to contribute to current discussions on the role of self- and other-socialization in situated language practices. As newcomers seek entrance and attempt to navigate their ways within their desired discourse communities, there are powerful explicit and implicit socializing forces that can support or constrain their acceptance, participation, and resulting language use. These acts of socialization occur both externally (i.e., from other members of that discourse community) as well as internally, enacted by the newcomers themselves, based on their perceptions and interpretations of the explicit and implicit rules and practices of the community and the 75 community members, and the choices they make given the larger range of practices in their wider multilingual repertoires. Newcomers are therefore enculturated into discourse practices not only by how they are actually viewed26 (and socialized) by others but how they think others are viewing them and the decisions they make to attempt access to that community—a process that highlights the constant interaction of internal and external socialization on learning and action. Doctoral students, in particular, encounter perpetual and ubiquitous types of surveillance during their programs: externally from professors who assess coursework and assign grades, supervisors and committee members who vet and give feedback on dissertation proposals and comprehensive exams (and a multitude of other academic and professional tasks), university ethics boards, conference and journal reviewers, fellow students, award committees, supervisors and committee members, and university and external examiners of dissertations (when applicable); internally students try to predict what others may want or what the implied expectations are in specific venues and subsequently model their behaviours (and writing, in particular) in hopes of achieving those goals. The influence this doctoral gaze has on how students act, interact, speak, and self-mediate within their discourse communities and how they are subsequently socialized (or not) from the periphery to the core—and into the preferred and sanctioned discourse practices of that community—therefore provides a useful and additive role to broaden our understanding of socially-situated language and literacy practices, particularly within an LS framework. Therefore, the effects of what newcomers or other group members think occurred or what might possibly occur (to affect their social dynamics within the group) might be as powerful as what actually occurs. The panoptic gaze, as a metaphor, is a powerful way to conceptualize and theorize the way oldtimers socialize newcomers into certain behaviours and practices (or vice versa) as well as how newcomers or oldtimers self-socialize, self-monitor, or self-position in relation to others and idealized notions of the “successful” student and scholar in hopes to achieve their goals. 26 The term “viewed” is used here in the Foucaultian sense: a metaphor which refers to bodily discipline and acts of power of those enacting stronger sources of power over those with other (or less) successful discourses to maintain dominance and control (i.e., the panoptic gaze). 76 4.4 Methodology This research used a multiple case study research design (Duff, 2008) and involved seven foreign Chinese PhD students at various stages of their programs in the Faculties of Arts and Education at a major Canadian university, referred to as Alia Coast University27 (ACU) in this study. Data collection took place over a 16-month period in 2013 and 2014 and consisted of the following sources: (1) semi-structured interviews with each participant at the start and end of the research process; (2) participant-generated narrative vignettes (self-guided and broadly addressing their academic (writing) progress) or responses to researcher-provided prompts throughout the 16-month process; (3) voluntarily submitted samples of written feedback on their academic writing. The use of indirect interactional data related to their academic discourse practices (in the form of the interviews and written feedback) and autobiographical narratives are established methods when seeking information about the language and literacy socialization that occurs in academic contexts (Duff & Anderson, 2015). The interview and narrative data were transcribed and then analyzed with the qualitative analysis software HyperRESEARCH using a thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) to identify key themes related to the students’ negotiation of academic literacy and discourse practices (a process outlined in Chapter 1). The feedback submitted by the participants was coded and categorized, which will be discussed in Chapter 5. 4.4.1 Context and Participants This study took place at a large research-intensive university in Western Canada. The community, both within the university and surrounding areas, was highly diverse and multicultural and multilingual. The university itself had a large number of international students and was, at the time of this study, aggressively attempting to increase the international student population on campus. It was against this backdrop, and the broader national and global internationalization of higher education trends, that this study was conceptualized and eventually conducted. Seven foreign Chinese PhD students participated in this research: A-Ming, JoJo, Lily, Polar Bear, Qiu, Shasha, and Sissy (self-chosen pseudonyms). All the participants were originally from China and spoke Mandarin as their primary language. Qiu, Shasha, and Lily all 27 Pseudonym 77 received master’s degrees in English-medium North American universities, Qiu at ACU, Shasha in eastern Canada, and Lily in the US. Shasha’s Canadian graduate degree was her second master’s degree, the first having been obtained earlier in China. The remaining students completed both undergraduate and master’s programs in China, although Polar Bear attended a joint-venture Chinese-American university that had mostly English-language courses and many (international, English speaking) instructors. His MA thesis was also written entirely in English. All seven students’ academic programs represented a cross-section of disciplines in the faculties of Arts and Education at the University. Having an opportunity to research students at a variety of stages, spanning from only two weeks into the first year of their degrees (Lily and A-Ming) to the final editing stages of a dissertation (Qiu), provided a diverse range of experiences, pressures, and expectations, and the production of a variety of written academic texts. The recruitment of students at different stages of their programs was done purposefully to highlight the notion of stage or place in the academic trajectories of doctoral students and how different points in their programs can result in different of types of writing and socialization. Although the precise timelines of social sciences PhD students at ACU will vary depending on individual students’ different trajectories, the basic stages or steps are as follow: Table 4.1: Core Stages of a Social Sciences PhD at Alia Coast University Stage 1 Year 1 Coursework (including theory-intensive doctoral seminars) Stage 2 Years 2-3 Comprehensive exams; dissertation proposal Stage 3 Years 3+ Data collection; dissertation writing; oral examination Each stage is contingent upon the successful completion of the prior step and contains unique tasks necessary to complete before moving on to the next. Following Stage 2, for example, and the successful completion of the comprehensive exams and dissertation proposal, social sciences students at ACU then achieve a different designation by advancing to “doctoral candidacy.” This not only indicates an acceptable degree of success (up to that point) and “all but dissertation” (ABD) status (i.e., having completed all required tasks of the degree except for the dissertation and oral defense), but may also open new opportunities and possibilities in terms of job or 78 funding opportunities. Further to these basic steps and the various required academic tasks (and socialization) that occur are the other non-required (yet highly vaunted and sought after) additional indicators of success that many doctoral students seek. These include competing for grants and awards, presenting their work at conferences, working as teaching and research assistants, and attempting to publish their work. These additional stages—and further examples of the many and constant instances of the panoptic gaze encountered by PhD students—although not required at ACU to graduate, are nonetheless critical aspects of contemporary doctoral education in Canada (and elsewhere, to ensure competitiveness for tenure-track academic positions). These issues, and how they specifically relate to the seven students in this study, are explored below. 4.5 Analysis The following section is organized around the various external and internal sources of socialization that influenced the students’ abilities, desires, and opportunities to gain access to the preferred literacy and discourse practices of their respective academic communities. Within these broader groupings, I also detail the specific effects these sources of socialization had on the students’ academic (and social, in some cases) trajectories and their uptake, acceptance, rejection, and representation of these experiences. Both external and internal forms of socialization comprise the ubiquitous doctoral gaze that explicitly and implicitly guides students’ language practices and behaviours and subsequent enculturation into their disciplinary communities and discourses. 4.5.1 External Sources of Socialization Much of the previous language socialization research has concentrated on external sources of socialization and the role of mentors (“experts” or “oldtimers”) as socializing agents within students’ (“novices” or “newcomers’”) academic environments. As Duff and Doherty (2015) point out, “theoretical discussions of LS typically use the passive voice (in English) when focusing on language learners themselves: X is socialized by Y into particular linguistic and nonlinguistic domains of knowledge and social practice, where Y, the agent, is typically a teacher, parent, peer or sibling” (p. 56). This trend in research, Duff and Doherty further note, has been influenced by early LS studies that investigated the oral socialization of young children 79 learning (and being socialized) by older caregivers into and through language use. It has also been borne out in classroom-based LS research where teachers teach and students learn and are thus socialized through that teacher-directed classroom interaction. In this present study, the external sources of socialization for the participants involved a wide cross-section of both resources and people, including textbooks, online search engines and other digital sources, supervisors, ACU professors, professors from their prior universities, current and former classmates, friends, romantic-partners, and university-supplied academic writing support. At ACU, these university resources mainly included the writing center and the English academic support program that offered both free and paid academic courses and support for (second language) students. In what follows, I highlight the role of these external sources of socialization and certain specific instances—or critical incidents—where the socialization affected the participants in both positive and negative ways. This includes, for example, what was perceived to be an insensitive or insulting comment from a professor on a written course assignment or receiving an encouraging email from an unknown scholar regarding a published paper. In some cases, the socialization was comprised of extended themes or discourses that positively or negatively positioned students into identity categories that variably impacted their academic development. Both types of scenarios are presented below. 4.5.2 Scholarly Positioning: External Socialization into Categories of Legitimacy Although what constitutes “success” during a PhD program is highly individual and may change during the course of a person’s degree, there are some general benchmarks that were common for all the participants in this study: perform well in courses, complete and pass comprehensive exams, produce an articulate dissertation proposal, complete their data collection and dissertations, pass their final oral exam, and graduate. Their abilities and opportunities to achieve this success during their academic programs was in part mediated by a wide variety external sources of socialization, including written and oral feedback on academic work (see Chapter 5), interactions with classmates, colleagues, and professors, opportunities to co-author papers, attending conferences, and submitting articles for review. These external sources of socialization serve a variety of explicit and implicit purposes to assist (or impede–such as receiving poor academic advice from a mentor or highly demotivating feedback on a course paper) students’ literacy development and to position them as legitimate or illegitimate members 80 in their communities. This type of external socialization (as a manifestation of the surveilling panoptic gaze doctoral students encounter, co-construct, and enact) is therefore a fundamental component of students’ knowledge and identity construction during their programs (e.g., Paltridge, 2002, 2003; Paré, 2011; Seloni, 2012; Starfield et al., 2015). In this study, instances of external socialization were often interpreted by the participants as being beneficial to their skill development and as positive influences in their overall formation of (emerging) academic-selves and various affective stances (i.e., feeling respected, valued, accomplished, legitimate), motivations, self-assuredness, and general satisfaction with their progress and how they were treated. For example, in Polar Bear’s first written narrative near the beginning of the study, he discussed the role of his supervisor’s guidance and encouragement over the first few years of his program, particularly as it related to suggestions and encouragement to start actively considering publication opportunities, an integral component of current doctoral programs in terms of achieving awards and eventual academic posts: I found my supervisor is very helpful. He strongly encourages us to publish and provide all kinds of help, and even talked about possibilities of joint publication in near future. (Narrative, August 3, 2013) Polar Bear also explained that with the help and encouragement of his supervisor, he turned a course assignment into an English publication (a book review) in an international (English) journal, an important step, he felt, in his overall development as an emerging academic. The seemingly growing imperative to publish early and publish often for doctoral students is a discourse enacted by Polar Bear and is indeed representative of current trends in academia more broadly (including in research reporting on doctoral education, as noted below). As a matter of overt policy, ACU had no official requirements for doctoral students to publish as part of their degree completion. However, the “publish or perish” mantra that is strongly prevalent across many realms of academia is similarly embedded within doctoral students’ construction of what it means and takes to be a competitive, legitimate, worthy emerging scholar. Boud and Lee (2009) note the rising pressures for doctoral students to publish can impact “cash-strapped” faculties’ and departments’ funding decisions in hopes of increasing academic output (in the form of published articles) from their members. Doctoral students may also be cognizant that, as Larivière (2011) shows, their abilities to publish are also linked to degree completion and future 81 potential careers in the academy. In some cases (i.e., Flowerdew & Li, 2009; Li, 2006b) publishing as a doctoral student is not only desired or preferred by the student and his or her mentors, but is actually a formal requirement to graduate. For example, Li’s (2006b) participants, science doctoral students at a Chinese university, were required by their university to publish as many as three first-author research articles in leading journals to complete their degrees. These explicit socializing (and disciplinary) forces can in turn become powerful elements in students’ overall academic trajectories. In the case of Polar Bear, the positive support from his supervisor and suggestion to publish, both independently and in a co-authored situation, co-constructed an identity of academic legitimacy that had a positive and affirming effect on his academic socialization. Similar to Polar Bear’s experience, A-Ming reiterated at multiple points in the study the role of his active and supportive supervisor in his own development. In this first excerpt, taken from our first interview only two weeks into the start of his first year in the program, he discussed the early role of his supervisor in providing consistent help and supervision as well as potential opportunities to publish in the future. Tim: How do you think… what kind of academic help will she [his supervisor] be able to provide you? A-Ming: She is very nice, so, I got a great supervisor. So when I wrote something, if I want to send it to her to go over it, she won’t say no. She will help me a lot. Tim: That’s wonderful. A-Ming: And she wants me to meet her every Friday to talk about research, and she said I want to co-author a paper with you. Tim: That’s good. A-Ming: That’s great. Ahh, I’m so glad to be here. (Interview 1, Sept 12, 2013) When discussing the role of supervision during our second (and final) interview near the end of his first year, particularly with reference to his impressive publication record in both English and Chinese (already having achieved three English and three Chinese academic publications), he noted the continuing influence of his supervisor on his overall academic development over the duration of his first year and, specifically, her role in his literacy development and publication output: Basically I write up something and I bring the papers, the writings to my supervisor, and see that and look over the whole thing and discuss like the problems of the writings on there. Like how to improve, not just the language but also the structure, the data display 82 and the ideas because we co-author in the paper, the ideas, and all of that stuff. […] I don’t think I can do, like, very early stage, use my second language to write down like high quality paper by myself. I don’t think I can do it especially right now. But I can do these kind of high quality with my supervisor, like just back and forth, and we meet very often and then improve the writing and the structure, like step by step. (Second Interview, May 6, 2014) Both cases above highlight positive enactments of the doctoral gaze, where A-Ming and Polar Bear were socialized externally into identities and practices of legitimate (emerging) scholars in the form of their supervisors’ encouragement or active participation in their production of academic publications. The relationships between A-Ming and Polar Bear and their supervisors are worth further attention, particularly how they pertain to Foucault’s panopticism and the role of disciplinary power in the academic socialization of doctoral students. The positive outcome of A-Ming’s situation—where he is guided and encouraged into higher level academic discourse practices that would facilitate publication opportunities (including co-publishing with his supervisor)—is a manifestation of unequal power relations between two subjects, the novice student (A-Ming) and the expert mentor (his supervisor). As Ochs and Schieffelin (2011) contend, “Common to all socializing interactions is an asymmetry of knowledge and power” (p. 6). As this power imbalance pertains to school settings, we can consider both the overt and covert roles of school curricula and how education systems can function as agencies of social control in order to maintain and reinforce various social inequities, often unwittingly (AIvarado & Ferguson, 1983). In the case of doctoral students specifically, an aspect of that curriculum is the pressure and/or expectation to publish at some point before graduating. These expectations are either explicit, as with Li’s (2006b) doctoral student participants who had publication requirements dictated by the university in order to graduate, or implicit via the hidden (or unofficial) curriculum—the mostly unspoken rules or non-official targets of what PhD students should do to achieve success (Acker, 2001). The enactment of those curriculum discourses by these students’ mentors (to publish early, often, and well), exemplifies the role of the (external) doctoral gaze on students’ academic socialization. In Polar Bear and A-Ming’s cases, the outcomes (from their mentors’ guidance and encouragement to publish) were positive and affirming examples of the “means of correct training” (Foucault, 1995) that is a consequence of the panoptic (doctoral) gaze. As Alvarado and Ferguson (1983) note, “Teachers do stand in a powerful position in relation to those who are 83 taught. What they teach, however, is not knowledge. It is preferred discourses” (p. 29; italics in original). In the cases presented above, the preferred discourse is the “publish or perish” mantra that is embodied and practiced in doctoral programs to ensure PhD students are competitive, well-situated, productive, and bring glory to their departments and institutions both during and following their programs. Relatedly, the pressures doctoral students encounter to publish as students also represents the preferred discourses of certain kinds of (academic) publications and publishing houses that influence not only the genres of academic texts but function themselves as facets of the surveilling gaze on students’ academic socialization. Similar to A-Ming and Polar Bear’s positive experiences, Shasha likewise detailed the benefits of presenting her work at an academic workshop and the valuable input she received from scholars in her field: It was not a graduate conference where you usually have graduate students like yourself. That workshop involved many professors, senior professors, and a bunch of other PhD students from Oxford, from Harvard, from [indistinguishable]. So it’s a, it was a completely different experience for me. It was very competitive. People raise a lot of questions. They wouldn’t take anything for granted. So it was a lot of discussion, a lot of argument. But it was a very valuable experience. (First Interview, Sept 25, 2013) Her explicit mention of high status universities like Oxford and Harvard indexes her status-boosting alignment with and legitimizing of the workshop; one that was not just a graduate conference, but which involved important people from important places and, most notably, one that she actively participated in. For all three, the socialization experiences into these professional communities and practices were both validating as novice researchers and integral towards their longer-term academic trajectories. As emerging public academics, external sources and types of socialization can also come from unexpected places, as was the case with JoJo. JoJo’s outward indications of academic success in the form of publications and academic presentations were amongst the strongest in the group, including six academic publications, one of which appeared in a leading journal in her discipline. In one of JoJo’s written narratives, she discussed an experience when she received an unsolicited email message from a scholar in her field regarding a journal article she had recently published: 84 Did I tell you that I have a paper accepted by a conference? Sorry… I cannot remember what I have reported since last time. As well, I got an email from a scholar in the U.S. She is interested in my published article and she is interested in my research, which makes me feel happy and a sense of being valued (Narrative, April 24, 2014; original punctuation) During our final interview, I asked her about this specific experience and how it made her feel: So someone sees the value in it and in part gave you, it helped me to build the confidence and encouragement to write more articles and I am motivated to write more articles (Second Interview, April 18, 2013) The above examples of encouraging or useful socialization opportunities that helped these students gain greater confidence and subsequent participation in their desired discourse communities are only a few examples of the multiple instances that occurred throughout the course of this study. They are crucial and formative events and experiences that doctoral students require, both practically in terms of the language and literacy knowledge imparted from expert to novice, and also as agency- and confidence-building tools that are essential to guide students into roles and behaviours needed to succeed in their programs and beyond. 4.5.3 Indexing Deficiency Language socialization theory recognizes that despite the assumed role of the students’ mentors as members and relative “experts” of the students’ desired academic discourses, the advice, feedback, and mentorship they provide is not always adequate, useful, individualized, timely, or ultimately successful (Duff, 2010b; Duff & Talmy, 2011). In these situations, the mentorship provided (or not provided, in some cases) may negatively position students into categories indexing students’ deficiencies (or differences) as L2 users and emerging scholars and, subsequently, as novices or outsiders unprepared to access their desired discourse communities (Atkinson, 2003; Duff, 2002; Séror, 2008). An important academic role for many graduate students is the opportunity (or requirement in some cases) to work as teaching assistants (TAs) during their programs, done in part to attain teaching experience and additional qualifications in hopes of gaining future teaching and/or academic positions, as well as the benefit of providing additional income during their doctoral studies28. With the exception of Sissy and Shasha (perhaps related to departmental practices, 28 The TA and RA appointments for the students in this study were not connected to university or governmental funding packages and were therefore sources of additional income and valued experience. 85 internal competition, inexperience, or insufficient language-proficiency required of the task), every participant reported being employed as a TA at some point during their programs. This highlights the important role being a TA can play in socializing doctoral students into the teaching roles and behaviours typically expected of academic jobs at postsecondary institutions. These roles can vary considerably for TAs (including in JoJo’s Faculty of Education), with responsibilities ranging from being discussion group leaders or markers of assignments to designing and lecturing the course as the head instructor. JoJo’s description of her experiences being a TA (below) indicates some potential challenges that may arise between (head) instructors when working with students from different academic cultures who might lack familiarity with the expected types of TA academic practices. Okay, so during the past three years I took TA position in my department and I don’t like it. So for that class my instructor I don’t think she is quite as supportive and I also didn’t know how to jump into the… Actually at the very beginning I don’t even know I need to jump into the conversation [during class discussion between the head instructor and students]. I don’t know what the role of the TA is and she didn’t teach me and then I heard from other students, yeah, that instructor is this way and I felt very bad about it. So I didn’t apply for any other TA work after that. (Second Interview, April 18, 2013) Due to the lack of specificity and explicitness of the professor in charge of the course, and JoJo’s own inability or unwillingness to get concrete direction—despite her reports of emailing this instructor several times at the beginning of the term asking “would you please tell me what I can do for your class” (Second Interview, April 18, 2013)—the experience resulted in a missed opportunity for JoJo to gain knowledge about the practices and protocols of being a TA, causing her to feel “that TA experience is kind of a waste of time. I do not even want to mention it in my resume.” (Second Interview, April 18, 2013). A considerable body of research has investigated the experiences of (L2) international teaching assistants (ITAs) in Western university settings, including language (often pronunciation) related problems that can impact comprehension as well as the possible social, educational, and cultural dissonance or differences between ITAs’ prior experiences and their head instructors’ or students’ expectations (e.g., Gorsuch, 2003; Hoekje & Williams, 1992; Jenkins, 2000; Pickering, 2001; Stevens, 1989; Williams, 1992). The experiences of Jenkins’ (2000) participants in particular, who were Chinese PhD ITAs at an American university, appear to mirror what happened with JoJo (such as not knowing she should 86 join-in unprompted during class discussions) and the conflict between her actions (as a non-assertive TA waiting explicit guidance) and the head instructor’s expectations. As Jenkins notes: The ITAs’ polite deference and concern for maintaining appropriate face for unequal status interactions manifested itself as silence and avoidance in formal contacts with faculty, both in and out of the classroom. Most faculty interpreted this behavior as lack of motivation, isolationism and unwillingness to cooperate in ITA instructional assignments, or in improving their English. (p. 477) JoJo’s negative TA experience subsequently socialized her into affective stances (feeling “very bad” and “very disappointed”; second interview, April 18, 2013) that were non-beneficial to her formation of a legitimate and contributory TA identity, a position that can be a formative component of PhD students’ broader academic socialization and attainment of practical experience (see also Cotterall, 2013). These experiences of being socialized into roles or categories that were at odds with the preferred and expected outcomes were also shared by Sissy. Some of Sissy’s negative experiences during the first year of her program were interpreted by her (as shown below) as being much more purposeful or directed than the others experienced and even, she opined, possibly rooted in her instructors’ and classmates’ discrimination towards her (Asian) racial background. During our first interview involving a discussion about her self-perceived first-year successes and failures up to that point (as our first interview took place near the end of her first year), she discussed some experiences in her courses and her feelings about what had happened: And the second class I just got, I got an A, but it's lower than the average score. At the very beginning I am very very frustrated, not only because […] the lower than average class, but also because the whole experience in this class, in every classes, honestly I have to say I feel. I think I failed in this second class. That is because in every class I cannot make others understand me. I cause many misunderstood. Not I cause, this is two sides, you know. I finally think the instructor have many misunderstoods to me, so that they give me such kind of score, of grade. So this experience is really really not very comfortable. I really sometimes think, I usually think is that because my face? My race? A race thing? I don’t know, I cannot define things in this way but I feel I... I feel I failed in this class actually. […] And even […] other class my speaking is not very effective to express so sometimes I am very… sometimes I speak very slow, sometimes I speak very quickly and he cannot understand me. But at least he give me the same right to the equal right to speak. They will, for example, I mean the same right is when I speak for some instructor, they will hold a paper and cover the face. I cannot see her face. When I am talking, when I was talking, 87 [s]he was reading the paper. That shows a really really unrespect. It's so so that I think, sometimes I think, is that because of race, because I'm Asian? (First Interview, April 22, 2013) Sissy suggests the alleged or perceived offences towards her, a reported unsatisfactory grade (despite receiving an “A”) and an instructor covering her face with a newspaper while Sissy was speaking, were possibly related to her racial background and her instructors’ prejudice towards her (and her race). Multiple times during this first interview, Sissy emphasized the marginalized role she felt she embodied within her department, reporting that she was one of only two Asian international PhD students in her department. This resulted in the interpretation that her experiences were indications of widespread neglect and prejudice towards her and the other (Asian) international students, often culminating in events like the ones outlined above. It is important to note, however, that the enrolment numbers of Sissy’s department during the 2013 school year, the year she began her studies, were comprised of 11 international and 28 domestic (Canadian) PhD students, although the specific country enrolment data were not available to the researcher29. It seems likely, therefore, that Sissy’s stance in her interviews and narratives of being marginalized and mistreated may be, in part, representative of her construction of a marginalized self to cope with her academic and language challenges and not completely due to her department’s lack of experience with international graduate students. However, it may also represent her interpretation and projection of the both actual and perceived critical gaze(s) from faculty members that impacted her sense of legitimacy and well-being. Lily, like JoJo and Sissy, also reported an experience that she represented as being, at least initially, negative to her construction of herself as a legitimate English speaker and academic. She was one of two students (along with Sissy) who actively attempted to utilize the university’s writing centre, which she generally found to be useful and complementary to her needs and skillsets. Although Lily generally appreciated her experiences at the writing centre, she discussed one bad experience when her tutor expressed annoyance at the lack of logical clarity in her writing. When Lily requested additional help with certain linguistic aspects of the paper, an area flagged by one of her instructors as needing increased attention, the tutor disagreed with her (Lily’s) assessment and then stated it was not her job as a tutor to edit grammar—perceptions that were both understandable and in line with the ethos of writing centres to address (and 29 The above data on Sissy’s departmental enrolment numbers was taken from ACU’s Faculty of Graduate Studies website. To retain the anonymity of Sissy (and other members of this study), the citation has been redacted. 88 socialize students into) “higher order” content and rhetorical concerns and overall writer development as opposed to copy-editing surface level (syntactic) errors (Haviland & Stephenson, 2002; Taylor, 2007). Tim: So how did that make you feel after that day? Did you feel insulted? Lily: I felt very, I don’t know, kind of helpless. I felt I don’t know how long it will take me to go through this and if I want to find a job, like in an American university, can I really achieve my goal in the future? Because it seems I feel a little bit like in this society I’m kind of like a disability, like people with disability. […] I’m afraid it's something if I try my best I cannot conquer the difficulties. So I was kind of disappointed on that day but later I think it was okay. Well she point out some mistakes so like that then I made and also another time she actually she showed very good attitude to help me. (Second Interview, May 5, 2014) Lily’s response to this experience indicates the potentially important role of university-provided academic support programs for students seeking support. Although not a member of Lily’s department or discipline, the tutor was a sanctioned (and employed “expert”) member of the broader written academic discourse community of ACU. Her actions and lack of targeted (and desired) assistance caused Lily to question whether she herself had, in her words, a “disability” (i.e., deficient language/literacy abilities) and could ever achieve her future goal to find a job at an American university. Lily also demonstrated, however, considerable resiliency in her response to this event, even stating that later on in the day “it was ok” and “I think she had a bad day” (Second Interview, May 5, 2014). Although this one incident reported by Lily may not be representative of the totality of her experiences with the writing centre—and thus may be misrepresentative of her overall trajectory of socialization—it does highlight the role certain critical incidents can have in the ongoing identity work of second language students seeking help and utilizing formal university services. The various reported incidents and experiences discussed above demonstrate the potentially demoralizing role of students’ mentors and other sources (like writing centre tutors) to inadvertently socialize students into categories of difference or deficiency. These external sources of socialization, indeed surveilling gazes cast by members of these students’ direct or ancillary academic communities, caused JoJo to reflect on a failed, in her eyes, opportunity in learning how to be a successful TA and Sissy to consider whether her (perceived) treatment and alienation within her department was a result of racial prejudice. With Lily, a negative experience at the writing center instilled sentiments that her writing challenges and insufficient 89 academic abilities were perhaps unconquerable, causing her to feel helpless and opine, “I’m kind of like a disability, like people with disability.” 4.5.4 “Don't Take Things Personal”: Critical Incidents as Agency Building The above examples highlight several recurring themes that demonstrate the multiple external sources of socialization in L2 doctoral students’ lives and the either positive or negative influence they can have on their identity formation and access to academic discourses and communities. However, representing their socialization as distinct binaries, where one aspect or manifestation facilitates success and the other not, misrepresents the complex and recursive trajectory of socialization (Wortham, 2005) and the agentive role of students to negotiate challenges and mediate the effect of external input on their own lives. Similar to Lily’s resiliency dealing with the writing tutor (as noted above), others in this study demonstrated expressions of agency when negotiating the potentially demoralizing socialization when coping with what they perceive to be negative experiences. In the following extracts, Qiu discusses two separate incidents where she received potentially demoralizing feedback (in the form of negative appraisals of her writing or a large amount of corrective feedback on linguistic errors). The first is an excerpt from her narrative about a job application she had submitted, and the second (from our first interview) discusses a response she received from her doctoral supervisor regarding a written course assignment. During the job application, one place replied and said they are impressed by my technical skill, but is concerned about my writing. That was frustrating. Even though I suspect they [didn’t] read my paper that carefully, because at that stage they got at least 200 applications. After that reply, I hired a professional editor and also got help from native speaker to proofread my paper. The end result was nice. (Narrative, February 19, 2014) Qiu: [M]y advisor after I sent him something. His comment is, “You need serious editing.” He is very nice. Tim: How did that make you feel? Qiu: Embarrassed. Then I went back and read through it and […] changed a bunch of things and the second time he says yeah it looks great. And I think there is another case, it is also after the first draft […] we have a conversation and he said, no matter which job you took after I graduate I probably will take most of my life writing, so it is a good idea to practice your writing. He is being nice. He must know what he means. I think those can be very encouraging. I think I became more careful just before sending in anything out I make sure I read it at least twice. […] I think that’s 90 probably the most I learned from the PhD is don’t take things personal. (First Interview, April 22, 2013) In both cases Qiu’s reaction and response is markedly different from Sissy’s, which may in part be a reflection of their personalities and/or being at different stages of their programs, with Qiu nearing graduation and Sissy recently beginning, as well as some differences in their respective (academic) language proficiency. Qiu notes both frustration and embarrassment she felt after receiving the negative evaluations of her writing from prospective employers and from her supervisor. In one case, her writing challenges may have even cost her a job she had applied for. However, in both instances she reflectively implemented the suggestions towards her future practice and, according to her reports, improved because of them. In the latter case, regarding her supervisors’ blunt appraisal of her writing (“you need serious editing”), she even interpreted it as demonstrating his “nice” character and encouragement despite being a firm denouncement of aspects of her writing. Perhaps most telling about the impacts of Qiu’s experiences is her reflection not to take critical or negative socialization events personally but to consider them constructively and objectively. Her reflexivity in dealing with these situations can demonstrate the benefit that these types of (possibly interpreted as negative) events can have on some students’ affective stances and socialization. These reported interactions also demonstrate the influence of external sources of socialization (like Qiu’s supervisor’s critical appraisal of her writing) on students’ internally mediated and constructed forms of the doctoral gaze, which are formative components in socializing students into ways of being and doing “PhD student” and “emerging scholar.” This notion of internal socialization will now be explored in greater depth. 4.5.5 Internal Sources of Socialization The socialization of students is not only bi- or multi-directional, occurring interactionally between various actors (such as teacher and student or student and student), but is also internally mediated and directed according to the unseen gaze that is omnipresent in doctoral students’ (academic) lives. The students’ cumulative prior experiences, including external manifestations of the doctoral gaze, took on a self-mediating role to govern thoughts, actions, decisions, behaviours, and affective stances that they believed would help them achieve their goals. This section highlights several examples of the role self-socialization had in the students’ 91 enculturation into the discourse practices that facilitated academic success and integration within their departments, the broader ACU community, and their desired discourse communities. At times the self-socialization or self-directed socialization was demonstrated in how students positioned themselves compared to other classmates, often framed as being inadequate compared to more advanced, knowledgeable, or proficient peers. This experience is commonly referred to as the “imposter syndrome” that some graduate students may experience during their programs when questioning their own relative knowledge and worth compared to their peers, or their legitimacy in the field itself (Gardner & Holley, 2011; Herrmann, 2012; Paltridge & Woodrow, 2012). More importantly, however, is the internally-mediated function of this “imposter syndrome” in how it explicitly or implicitly guides students’ formation of their academic identities and how they view themselves as fitting in (or not) to their academic communities. The following two extracts, from two separate narrative reflections, demonstrate Polar Bear’s interpretations of his place within his academic peer group, as a second-year doctoral student in the Faculty of Arts. I do learn much professional knowledge from two years coursework. But considering my own accomplishment, I would say there are still much to improve. I need to further expand my reading and expertise since sometimes I still feel a distance between me and my colleagues. (Narrative, August 3, 2013) I do feel some pressure from my colleagues, simply because I think they are doing some excellent research right now and I want to be like them. (Narrative, April 17, 2014) In both extracts, Polar Bear demonstrates the interaction between the (perceived) external and internal socializing forces regarding pressure to improve the quality of his academic output based on his apparent inadequacies compared to peers. In the second extract, he describes feeling pressure from colleagues based on his interpretation of their research quality, which Polar Bear describes as being “excellent” and which he wants to achieve as well. This type of pressure appears not to be primarily motivated or exerted externally, such as by his supervisor, whom Polar Bear noted “is really nice to me, never pushes me for something, but always encourages me.” (Narrative, April 17, 2014). His self-positioning into a category of non-expert or lesser-expert in comparison to his classmates demonstrates the effect that students’ interpretations of their relative expertise compared to others is an important factor guiding their formation of self- 92 worth as legitimate members of their departments, more narrowly, and their disciplines and guiding discourses, more broadly. Shasha similarly expressed her own dissatisfaction with her progress as a student spanning years 2 to 3 of her program (during her participation in the study), stating in one of her narratives “I’m not happy with the progress. My output is too limited. I should have practice writing more. And yet writing makes me anxious.” (Narrative, March 4, 2014). She believed that the disciplinary focus of her PhD (a literature field) necessitated that her English academic writing be error-free and “better and faster” than her current output and performance. This caused her to state she was “by no means satisfied” with her progress and that she was “so obsessed with writing” (First Interview, Sept 25, 2013) regarding her love-hate relationship with it, perceptions influenced by a culmination of both her personal habitus and ongoing internalization (and co-construction) of the messages and influences around her as a doctoral student. She repeatedly emphasized her desire to create “error-free” academic texts due, in large part, to the expressed (and her perceived) expectations of her discipline regarding its academic discourse practices (i.e., to be “quick” in producing it, suitably artistic and robust, and mechanically flawless). Since she was a literature student, where literary expression, and not just content or error-free writing, is a critical part of the discipline and craft, she felt her own production of academic texts needed to be as impeccable as the ones she read, as the interview excerpt below indicates: I’ve spent the whole night trying to write a response paper. It’s nothing serious, it’s just a response paper. And it’s not going to be marked with any marks. But I want to write it well and I spent the whole night working on that. I feel like it shows how much I lack in English writing. If I’m good at it I shouldn’t be so obsessed, I shouldn’t be so, I shouldn’t spend many sleepless hours on it. It’s just one, two pages. So I’m not happy with that. (First Interview, Sept 25, 2013) Her self-regulated expectations to excel resulted in her creation of an imagined future of required perfectionism that may never be attainable, or even necessary, despite her emphasis of its importance in her particular field of literature. Her perception similarly misconstrues the implied perfection that first language academics (of any language) presumably achieve with their own academic texts; assumptions that misrepresent the challenges all writers, L1 and L2 alike, encounter at some point with their writing. In Sissy’s case, her self-socialization served to reinforce certain (and perhaps justified, in terms of her English language proficiency) externally-constructed discourses—or at least her 93 perceptions of those discourses—of being a deficient error-maker who was misunderstood and mistreated by her supervisor, instructors, department, and university in its failure to provide adequate support (see Chapters 3 and 5 for additional information about her particular situation). One prominent example was her belief that all international PhD students at ACU should be required to take a mandatory academic writing exam to test English-language proficiency that would determine whether they could continue on in their program.30 She elaborates on this below: Sissy: Of course for the PhD students, maybe oral English is most undergraduate or master degree students, but for a PhD studies maybe the urgent thing is writing. So I think at least in the first term the department or the write-school [writing school] force us to do this thing, to pass this thing, this such kind of exam and, ya. Tim: So, you think that should be for all PhD students or…? Sissy: International. Tim: Just international students? Sissy: International students. (First Interview, April 22, 2013) Here Sissy is taking on the identity of inadequate writer and extends that categorization to include all international PhD students at ACU. In so doing she projects her own struggles towards a very large (and diverse) international graduate student population at the university. Unlike Polar Bear who, perhaps legitimately, questioned his own relative lack of knowledge compared to his peers, Sissy extends her self-formulated representation of being an unqualified writer to include a much wider (and mostly unknown) community: all first year international PhD students. By extending her own experiences to include the largely unseen other, she lessens her own personal culpability in her current situation in a face-saving alignment with this imagined collective international student group. Her self-positioning into this deficit category is therefore somewhat strategic in terms of being an act of self-preservation: by being part of a much larger and misunderstood group that has similar challenges and experiences similar struggles, it makes her difficult situation easier to handle and her marginalization easier to justify, since all international students are presumably marginalized in similar ways. In part, Sissy also expresses her misunderstanding of the role of the comprehensive exam process for PhD students at ACU, which in practice can be used in precisely the way Sissy suggests ACU 30 Despite Sissy’s position that all international (L2) writers should have to take an additional writing exam, ACU already had English proficiency requirements in the form of TOEFL or IELTS testing for students who had not already completed a degree at an English-medium university. 94 implement for international students: to vet (and possibly dismiss from their programs) unprepared or ill-equipped students, including those with considerable language challenges. Her suggestion was also somewhat surprising because of Sissy’s own language struggles, as evidenced in how she was reportedly perceived by others in her department, through the written feedback she submitted for analysis (as discussed in the following chapter), and indeed in the oral and written texts collected over the course of this study. Her self-constructed representation of deficiency, particularly as it relates to her academic writing, was similarly apparent in how she envisioned her supervisors’ reaction to her submitted written work—indeed, a response to and interpretation of the imagined external gaze. During our second interview near the end of the study, she lamented an imagined scenario regarding her supervisor’s disappointment over her imperfect writing: I can feel the pressure from my daily work, it’s in the term paper. Why I write the paper like this? Oh gosh. Why am I writing these things? I am so ashamed to read my own writing. So you want your own, to do everything good, perfect sometimes […] I imagine when my supervisor reads my term paper, oh, what will he think about that? Gosh, “why are you writing this way”? I am so worried. When I think about these things I feel, gosh, pressure lots of pressure. (Second Interview, April 30, 2014) She not only reflects on her own negative stance toward her writing, but further reinforces and strengthens these deficit perspectives by imagining her supervisor’s similar categorization of her writing. Such perceptions were reinforced by the many real literacy events—and her interpretations of those events—in the form of feedback she received on her writing. (Although, as covered in Chapter 5, she also received many instances of positive appraisals of her writing and abilities as well, although she focused exclusively on the negative feedback she received.) These feelings of inadequacy, and even shame, at being such an imperfect writer, also extended outwards towards comparisons (noted below) with her non-foreign-student departmental peers and how they “are better than us” international students. In the following extract, Sissy recounted a discussion with another international student friend and their encounter with an English L1 classmate and the tenacity of his (academic) reading practices, particularly as his reported achievements related to her own: So they read 100 books, you [Chinese students] just read 10 books, this is the question […] I feel it’s impossible why you can do these things. So this is the big difference. And we usually think Chinese is hardworking so we are confident about our hardworking, at least 95 we are hardworking. But once we know these things, we know it is nothing about hardworking. They are also hardworking, you [Chinese students] are also hardworking and you [English-L1 students] are better than us [Chinese students]. The basic knowledge of you, the institutional knowledge of you, are better than us. So when you [Chinese students] realize all of these things you cannot compare yourself with others. (Second Interview, April 30, 2014) Sissy again extends her challenging personal experiences to include the collective “we” (Chinese international students) and her interpretation that international students are collectively inferior to domestic students’ collective “they” and “you” and therefore the comparison of experiences, and achievements, between the two groups is unfair and impossible. As discussed in Chapter 3, Sissy’s discussion of the “Chinese style” (and her appreciation and valuing of that style) is framed oppositionally to the non-Chinese other. This self-Orientalist construction of the Chinese “we” versus the collective English (Canadian) L1 “you” again represents Sissy’s perceptions and internalized expectations of what it means to be “Chinese:” skills and qualities she values and feels are superior (see Chapter 3) but which disadvantage her compared to those English L1 classmates who “are better than us.” A-Ming, on the other hand, demonstrates the role of agency in students’ abilities to self-socialize into behaviours and stances that are more conducive to facilitating academic success, despite being at a potential disadvantage compared to his L1 peers in terms of language proficiency and local experience. When I asked him during our first interview, only two weeks into the beginning of his program, about the academic or social support he expected his department and the university to provide, he stated: You [international L2 students] should better be prepared and you should, if your English is not good, you should work very hard. You cannot depend on other people. Like, I’m a professor and I teach PhD classes and you are a international student. You should be excused for your poor writing? I don't think, no no. If you are an international student you should work harder than other people. Maybe you just try your best. And you can’t say, “I’m an international student, English is my second language. So my poor writing it will be okay.” No, I don’t think so. (First Interview, Sept 12, 2013) A-Ming’s strong agentive stance—to overcome any potential challenges that being an L2 student might entail—reflected his past accomplishments and experiences as a student and also served to foreshadow his upcoming year, which was highly successful according to both external and internal indicators, including reporting high degrees of satisfaction with his progress, support 96 from his supervisor, and several additional academic achievements. The role of agency can therefore have a strong influence in facilitating L2 students’ self-socialization into practices and identity categories that are conducive to achieving success, including confidence, resiliency, balance, perseverance, and personal ownership (cf. Deters, Gao, Miller, & Vitanova, 2015; Duff & Doherty, 2015; Miller, 2014). The instances of internal socialization presented above demonstrate the wide variability of students’ experiences at various points and stages of their doctoral programs as well as the uptake, understanding, negotiation, and representation of those experiences. In the case of Polar Bear, his sense of (imagined) pressure from his colleagues serves to reinforce his self-constructed feelings of inadequacy (compared to his colleagues). Perhaps most representative of the disciplinary control of the internally-mediated doctoral gaze is Shasha’s “obsession” with producing error-free English texts. The role this struggle has on both her affective stances (as a cause of anxiety and stress), and also agency (as a motivating force to achieve her goals despite any perceived or real deficiencies), highlights the influential function of self-socialization or self-directed socialization on students’ lives and trajectories. A-Ming similarly expresses a strong sense of agency in his framing of international (L2) students, and himself, as individual actors who are the ultimate arbiters of their own success (or failure). Sissy, on the other hand, takes on the identity for herself (and all other international PhD students) as uniformly inadequate and in need of remedial writing support. She embraces and enacts an occidental discourse of the collective Chinese “we” and the Western other where the former is intrinsically disadvantaged and can never be compared to the latter. 4.6 Discussion There is an understandable tendency for applied linguistics research—including aspects of this present study—to highlight Chinese L2 students’ perceived or actual deficits (in relation to an idealized native speaker/writer) and how these deficits can negatively influence their integration and academic success (i.e., Cheng, Myles, & Curtis, 2004; Huang, 2009, 2011; Huang & Brown, 2009; Huang & Klinger, 2006; Huang & Rinaldo, 2009; Lin & Scherz, 2014; Liu, 2011; Lu & Han, 2010; Qian & Krugly-Smolska, 2008; Windle, Hamilton, Zeng, & Yang, 2008; Zhang & Zhou, 2010). It is understandable in the sense that many L2 learners’ transitions into new social, cultural, and educational practices, languages, and communities can require 97 periods of flux and uncertainty and adjustment. Some are able to adapt quickly and successfully, and others not—realities that are evidenced by the high attrition rates (40-50%) of doctoral students at North American universities (Chiswick, Larsen, & Pieper, 2010; Elgar, 2003). It is also important to acknowledge that despite the relative successes and abilities of the majority of the participants in this present study to be socialized and socialize themselves, the wide variability of the broader population of L2 graduate students’ individual experiences and access to mentorship opportunities differs widely (Belcher, 1994; Rose, 2005). Students can experience poor mentorship in the form of disengaged or ineffective supervision, conflicts in communication styles between themselves and their mentors and peers, or lack of social integration into their departments, all of which may have detrimental, and in some cases long-lasting, impacts on their academic and personal life trajectories—issues that apply to both L1 and L2 students alike who enter their programs with different strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. There were several important examples of this phenomenon evident in this present study, including Sissy’s self-described experience of being marginalized within her department and her perception of being misunderstood and mistreated, even stating these issues might be rooted in the racial intolerance of her instructors. Similarly, JoJo’s reported experience of being a TA with an uncommunicative head instructor resulted in her eventual decision to stop being a TA; a decision which may possibly affect her future ability to gain the requisite discourse practices that such a position entails (i.e., learning how to “do” being a TA) and will limit her accrued work experience if she enters the academic job market. As also shown, Lily’s negative experience with one of her writing centre tutors caused her to question her innate ability to succeed and eventually find an academic job at an English-medium university. Although most of the participants in the above examples demonstrated great resiliency and resourcefulness in dealing with these problematic events, there are situations and contexts where foreign L2 students might not be able to overcome these challenges on their own. Indeed as JoJo, an Education student, noted: I think for international students […] We have a group of graduate students last year. I feel that sometimes they felt very depressed about their work but they don’t know how to negotiate with the instructor and they just like obey the rules here. They are like learning a kind of helplessness so rather than saying “I need to find support” they are just staying in silence. (Second Interview, April 18, 2013) 98 Despite the mostly isolated incidents where the participants reported being negatively impacted or positioned by others (or by themselves), they generally reported benefiting and appreciating the strong supervision, feedback-support (even critique), instruction, and other socialization that they received, with the exception of Sissy, as noted in detail above (and in other chapters in this dissertation). These results may be reflective of the participants themselves who reported generally positive experiences and support during their programs at ACU, as well as quite impressive resumes of success, despite uniformly reporting they had self-described academic writing problems at the start of the study. It could well be that they were overachievers, in terms of their past academic achievements, and had the personal drive to aspire to the potential level of success they believed they could achieve if (second) language and literacy problems were not a factor. Participating in this study may have been a reflection of those qualities. At times, the experiences of some students (both externally and internally constructed) positioned them as careless, less-abled, or incompetent error-makers. Such experiences, in turn, influenced their formation and perception of an academic identity as legitimate scholars and community members. However, in the majority of cases where students reported initially being adversely affected by these negative socializing experiences, their subsequent reactions were both self-reflective and generally positive, indicating that these critical and negatively perceived socialization moments (indeed, enactments of the doctoral gaze) were useful in the long term at both the technical (textual) level—to make students explicitly aware of the literacy expectations of their discourse communities—as well as functioning as crucial moments of agency-building which facilitated students’ academic socialization (i.e., learning how to do being PhD students and emerging scholars). These external and internal instances of the doctoral gaze therefore highlight the disciplinary function of socialization to support or constrain the construction of positionalities conducive to attaining academic success and discourse community access or membership. The roles these students enact as transnational sojourners are also of note here. The doctoral gaze and its disciplinary function likewise influence the national and transnational identities of the students that can influence, as shown in Chapter 3, their abilities or desires to integrate into local communities and practices. Chinese students who now go abroad and return, for example, may be viewed much differently than in the past when returning academic sojourners (haigui) were lauded as skilled risk-takers with increased social capital. The shifting concept of haigui now also indexes many more pejorative connotations, including failure (to 99 succeed overseas), becoming Westernized, being spoiled, and so forth. The gaze, in short, extends its reach across various discourses that are influential to foreign students’ trajectories and identity construction. 4.7 Conclusion This chapter has outlined the various sources of internal and external socialization impacting seven Chinese doctoral students’ enculturation into their desired academic communities, discourses, and literacy practices as well as the motivations, co-constructed identities, and affective stances that influenced that socialization. In drawing on Foucault’s panopticism, I have highlighted the disciplinary function of the doctoral gaze on students’ socialization into academic discourses and communities. The instances of self-socialization provided above also represent a vastly underexplored area of research in TESOL and applied linguistics. Future research addressing the language and literacy socialization of second language postsecondary students would therefore benefit from considerations about how students can and do mediate events and possibilities internally, and how that internal socialization also impacts their external actions. More broadly, attention should also continue to address (foreign) doctoral students’ writing practices and socialization, particularly since the costs and stakes are so high for students, their families, supervisors, departments, universities, and funding agencies. Future research that addresses these issues will contribute to a more thorough understanding of doctoral students’ needs, preferences, and experiences and the role of mentors and universities to support them. These findings reported in this chapter therefore encourage future research to take a more balanced and nuanced perspective of foreign doctoral students’ experiences while undertaking study abroad and both the internal and external sources of socialization that shape these formative and often high-stakes experiences. 100 Chapter 5: The Discursive Positioning and Socialization of Foreign Doctoral Students Through Written Feedback Practices 5.1 Introduction The study of written feedback in second language (L2) academic contexts has gained considerable traction in recent years. A quick glance at a Symposium for Second Language Writing programme or a Google Scholar search hints at the sheer abundance of articles on the topic over the last several years alone. The newly created Journal of Response to Writing similarly suggests that the amount of research on written feedback has become large enough for a new journal to handle the high demand. The wealth of studies addressing the topic indicates its importance and widespread popularity to both researchers and teachers alike who are consistently seeking best practices to address L2 students’ writing and enact positive and sustained change. Multiple researchers have suggested that written feedback research would benefit from additional (qualitative) perspectives that address the individual, social, and cultural issues involved in the overall feedback process (e.g., Bitchener & Ferris, 2012; Ellis, 2009; Ferris, 2011; Hyland, 2010; Hyland & Hyland, 2006). Based on this sentiment, this study utilized a second language socialization theoretical framework (Duff, 2007a, 2010, 2012a; Zuengler & Cole, 2005) to investigate the non-linguistic roles and effects of written feedback on L2 doctoral students’ socialization into their desired academic discourses and communities. If we accept Hyland’s (2013) position that “universities are ABOUT writing and […] specialist forms of academic literacy are at the heart of everything we do” (p. 53) then it makes clear sense that how teachers respond to that writing—and how those responses socialize and position students into academic discourses, literacies, and identities—requires continued, robust, and methodologically-varied attention. This chapter begins with a presentation of written feedback literature followed by a discussion of the study’s research methodology, participants, and research setting. The analysis section focuses on the students’ interpretations of, responses to, and stated preferences and dispreference towards the feedback they received. The final section highlights key issues and notes deviations and similarities with previous studies that have addressed written feedback from similar sociocultural perspectives involving similar populations. A thematic analysis of narrative and interview data with comparisons and reference to the actual feedback itself reveals a 101 complex and socially-mediated process where feedback is deeply implicated in the broader academic literacy and discourse socialization of the students. 5.2 Background 5.2.1 Written Feedback Research in Applied Linguistics There has been a growing sense that more attention needs to be paid to the social and cultural aspects of the written feedback research process (Bitchener & Ferris, 2012; Ellis, 2009; Ferris, 2011; Hyland, 2010; Hyland & Hyland, 2006). Just as literacy is now broadly understood to be a socially-situated activity (Gee, 1991; Street, 1995, 2003), the feedback students receive on writing—which is typically a form of writing itself—should also be considered within a sociocultural domain where meaning is negotiated and contested and where considerable identity work occurs that influences the academic socialization of students. As noted, a rather substantial body of research has investigated the variable effects of written feedback in second language academic contexts. A considerable portion of these studies have been (quasi)experimental in nature where one or more type of written feedback is measured to determine its effectiveness in reducing targeted linguistic errors on either revisions or new texts. The following presents a sampling of some of the major areas being addressed in current written feedback research, many of which align with these quantitative approaches. • Focused and unfocused feedback research investigates the effects of receiving different amounts of feedback on the reduction of written (usually grammatical) errors. Focused feedback may involve students receiving feedback on only a few targeted errors, whereas unfocused feedback could involve receiving feedback on most or all errors in a text (e.g., Anderson, 2010; Chandler, 2003; Bitchener & Knoch, 2009; Ellis, Sheen, Murakami, & Takashima, 2008; Frear, 2010; Frear & Chiu, 2015; Sheen, 2007; Sheen, Wright, & Moldawa, 2009) • Direct and indirect feedback considers the explicitness of teacher-directed feedback and the potential effect this has on error reduction. Direct feedback refers to the direct correction of error, while indirect feedback occurs when the reader/teacher indicates that an error has occurred without any explicit correction (e.g., Bitchener & Knoch, 2008; Bitchener, Young, & Cameron, 2005; Chandler, 2003; Ferris, 2006; Ferris & Roberts, 102 2001; Lalande, 1982; Storch & Wigglesworth, 2010; Van Beuningen, De Jong, & Kuiken, 2008) • Metalinguistic feedback occurs when an error is indicated and a metalinguistic clue is provided about that error (e.g., Bitchener, 2008; Bitchener & Knoch, 2010; Chandler, 2003; Ferris, 2006; Ferris & Roberts, 2001; Lalande, 1982; Robb, Ross, & Shortreed, 1986; Sheen, 2007; Shintani & Ellis, 2013; Shintani, Ellis, & Suzuki, 2014) • Peer feedback is the area of study into the variable effects of students receiving written feedback from peers (e.g., Berg, 1999; Guardado & Shi, 2007; Jacobs, Curtis, Braine, & Huang, 1998; Miao, Badger, & Zhen, 2006; Min, 2006; Paulus, 1999; Poverjuc, Brooks, & Wray, 2012; Sato & Lyster, 2012; Yu & Lee, 2014; Zhang, 1995) • Interpersonal factors and individual differences are areas of feedback research that account for individual variance in the uptake and reception of feedback (Ferris, Liu, Sinha, & Senna, 2013; Hyland, 1998; Hyland, 2013; Hyland & Hyland, 2006; Rahimi, 2015; Rummel & Bitchener, 2015; Stefanou & Revesz, 2015; Storch & Wigglesworth, 2010) • Computer mediated (electronic) feedback involves the use of digitally-mediated forms of feedback on students’ writing and their role to enact targeted changes (e.g., Ene & Upton, 2014; Guardado & Shi, 2007; Hewings & Coffin, 2006; Hyland, 2001; Mahboob & Devrim, 2011, 2012; Milton, 2006; Shintani, 2015; Ware & Warschauer, 2006) Despite some notable exceptions (i.e., Truscott, 1996, 2007; Zamel, 1985), the efficacy of feedback on reducing errors has become a well-established assumption in the field with the majority of studies, like many of the ones mentioned above, concluding that the provision of feedback versus no-feedback results in a statistically significant reduction of linguistic error on both revisions and the production of new academic texts. However, the precise role of this feedback on learners’ affective stances and identities, and how that feedback is subsequently accepted, understood, rejected, ignored, and/or incorporated by L2 learners, remains a vastly underdeveloped (yet intriguing) area of study. From the extant literature, socioculturally-framed approaches to feedback and students’ responses to it reveal a situational and complex socially-mediated process that varies considerably in how it is conceptualized, understood, and utilized by both feedback providers and receivers (McMartin-Miller, 2013). It is within this sociocultural 103 frame where claims have emerged that certain types (or absences) of feedback may be detrimental to learning and/or the emotional state of students who receive that feedback. For example, despite students’ stated preferences to receive feedback on all types of errors that occur in their written texts in some studies (Amrhein & Nassaji, 2010; Anderson, 2010; Leki, 1991), this unfocussed approach to feedback can be potentially demotivating, confusing, or result in “cognitive overload” for certain L2 populations if they actually receive it (Bitchener, 2008; Bitchener & Knoch, 2009; Hamp-Lyons, 2006; Kasper & Petrello, 1996; Lee, 2003, 2008). Feedback that disproportionately offers negative appraisals of students’ writing or their abilities and focuses primarily on errors (and error correction) without an appropriate balance of positive and affirming comments can similarly demotivate students and influence their engagement with and uptake of that feedback (Hyland & Hyland, 2001). The resulting discordances, due to the interactional nature of feedback as a form of negotiated classroom discourse, can subsequently produce interpersonal disharmony between instructors and students (Hyland & Hyland, 2006) and position teachers and students into zones of hierarchical conflict. Although these lines of research are promising to help further our understanding of the social aspects of written feedback, much more work is needed to uncover and highlight students’ affective responses to the actual feedback they receive in real-life non-experimental situations and the potential impacts these findings can have on pedagogical practice. 5.2.2 Feedback as Socialization Research that has approached written feedback issues from a second language socialization perspective has been relatively sparse. Second language socialization is a theoretical perspective that highlights the socially and culturally mediated processes second (or additional) language-learners experience as they pursue target language competency and, typically, access to discourses and communities in that language (Duff, 2010b, 2012a). As it pertains to feedback specifically, language socialization considers written academic feedback as a dynamic and socially-mediated discursive practice that involves both feedback receiver and provider in a co-constructed process where meaning is made, negotiated, and mediated through that feedback and the implicit and explicit messages contained within it. The result of this interaction leads to a literacy event that can position students into a range of identity categories, such as novice or expert, and which can facilitate or impede access to the students’ targeted academic communities 104 and discourses depending on their reception and uptake of that feedback and its affective impact. Two dissertations have explicitly addressed the issue of feedback through a language socialization framework (Bronson, 2004; Séror, 2008). Séror’s (2008) longitudinal study involved a group of five Japanese international undergraduate students during their first year at a Canadian university. Due to the limited English language proficiency of many of the students, and as newcomers in an English-mediated Western academic tradition, they received a large amount of negative appraisals and confusing, illegible, or otherwise unhelpful feedback on the quality of their writing. This, in turn, negatively impacted the students’ affective stances towards their writing and themselves, positioning them on the periphery of their (temporary) academic communities. Bronson’s (2004) ethnographic study, based at an American university, investigated the academic literacy socialization of four English L2 graduate students. Bronson reported there was a lack of form-focused feedback provided on the students’ writing that was both wanted and needed due to several students’ problems with linguistic accuracy. The students who wanted this type of additional help were resistant to pursue university-provided support because they did not want to be viewed as being more different (or deficient) than they already were (or thought they were) by their peers. The lack of perceived support available to the students caused them to ask questions like “Does anyone actually read my papers?” (p. 67) and “The instructors don’t care about academic writing. Why should I?” (p. 108). Both Séror and Bronson similarly reported the marginalizing function of receiving (or not receiving) different types of feedback and noted the unintended consequences of feedback as a tool of positioning students into certain, sometime unhelpful and unwanted, identity categories. 5.3 The Study This 16-month longitudinal multiple case study took place between April 2013 and August 2014 at a large Canadian research-intensive university and involved six foreign Chinese PhD students enrolled in the Faculties of Arts and Education (see Table 5.1 for participant information). This chapter forms part of a larger study investigating various internal and external factors impacting the written academic discourse socialization of seven Chinese PhD students. One student (Qiu) was excluded from this sub-study of analysis due to the discrepancy between her submitted feedback samples and the others in this study. The writing samples she submitted for analysis consisted primarily of a late draft of her dissertation and contained mostly minor 105 (and sparse) edits from her supervisor. For the others, however, the specific function of written feedback in their broader socialization process was deemed to be worthy of detailed consideration due to its prominent role as a mediator of student growth, integration, identity co-construction, and success during graduate school. Table 5.1: Participant Information31 Name Gender Faculty Year in Program TOEFL (IBT) / IELTS Score32 A-Ming M Arts 1st IBT: 97 JoJo33 F Education 2nd to 3rd IBT: 96 Lily F Arts 1st NA (US Master’s degree) Polar Bear M Arts 2nd to 3rd IBT: 109 Shasha F Arts 2nd to 3rd IBT: 10634 Sissy F Arts 1st to 2nd IELTS 735 This study triangulated data collection methods through the use of pre- and post-study semi-structured interviews, participant generated narratives where they reflected on their academic (writing) journeys over the duration of the study, and copies of the students’ academic texts with feedback they had received from anyone who might have provided it, including instructors, supervisors, colleagues, classmates, friends, (romantic) partners, and journal reviewers and editors. All students submitted an array of text-types including essays, term papers, response papers, and other course-based academic writing, with the exception of JoJo, who only submitted three detailed anonymous reviews from a journal article she had recently received at the time of data collection (see Table 5.2 for a description of the kinds of documents submitted for analysis)36. Much of Lily’s submitted feedback consisted of the global-comments (on a separate document or on the final page of the assignment) from various course-based assignments and papers and not the entire copy of the assignment itself. The remainder of students provided a range of documents that contained a variety of types and amounts of feedback. A detailed thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was performed on interview and 31 Participants are listed alphabetically. 32 Scores were self-reported by the participants; writing specific results were not provided by every student. ACU graduate studies listed an 80 IBT and 6.5 IELTS as minimum requirements for admission, although individual programs may have had different requirements. 33 Synonyms were chosen by all participants. 34 This score was used for admission to her previous Canadian MA program; NA for PhD. 35 This is the IBT equivalent of 94–101 (https://www.ets.org/toefl/institutions/scores/compare/). 36 This study underwent institutional ethical approval and the participants, who volunteered to participate in this study, were freely able to submit or withhold materials under their own volition. 106 narrative data to highlight recurring, unique, and otherwise salient themes that were prevalent in the participants’ reflections and responses to the feedback they received (see Section 1.8.3 for a more detailed discussion of the coding procedures performed in this study). Feedback from the participants’ writing samples were coded and counted (Table 5.2) to contextualize how the variable amounts and types of feedback the students received may have contributed to their interpretations and uptake of that feedback and the socializing role it played in their academic and social outcomes. Table 5.2: Submitted Writing Samples with Feedback Name Document type (pages) Total pages Pages with feedback Total feedback units37 Total feedback artifacts38 A-Ming Global comments from course papers (4) Global comments from final proposal (2) Research proposals for course assignments (8) 14 14 139 166 JoJo Anonymous reviews from a journal article (5) 5 5 3 53 Lily Response papers (5) Global comments from course papers (4) 9 9 19 48 Polar Bear Global comments from course papers (9) Course papers (28) 37 37 169 239 Shasha Course papers (100) Draft of a conference abstract and biostatement (1) 101 90 393 447 Sissy Global comments from course papers (8) Response papers (12) Course papers (30) Term paper proposal (1) Feedback from friend on draft of a paper (3) 54 52 359 418 A limitation of this study includes the varied nature and amount of the feedback samples that were submitted for analysis. The counting and coding of the feedback data were undertaken by the researcher and informed by Leki’s (2006), Hyatt’s (2005), Soden’s (2013), and Ellis’ (2009) discussions and typologies of various written feedback kinds and functions. The feedback 37 A feedback unit is defined as a cohesive unit of feedback that may contain one single feedback artifact (e.g., correcting a misspelled word) or multiple feedback artifacts (i.e., a multi-paragraph global comment at the end of a research paper). 38 A feedback artifact is defined as a cohesive piece of written feedback with a singular intended purpose (e.g., underlining a verb-tense error). A feedback unit can possibly contain multiple feedback artifacts, as is often the case with global (end) comments on lengthy research papers which might suggest the author make content or grammatical revisions and offers both positive and critical appraisal of either the writer, rhetoric, or other elements of the text. For example, the following feedback unit contains two individual feedback artifacts: “This is a subject verb error. You really need to improve your writing.” 107 counts and categories are used as a general guide in this chapter to contextualize and allow discussion of the types of feedback submitted for analysis and their significance and is not meant to be representative of the broader feedback trends of the participants themselves or to foreign doctoral students more broadly. During informal discussions with several participants, they presented various reasons for either sharing or not sharing their written texts with me. Some were reticent to share their intellectual property with another PhD student (myself, at the time of this study) before that work had been published. Others reported being busy during the periods I requested documents and gave what they could within the time constraints of the study and due to their heavy work loads, especially since a considerable portion of the feedback they received from instructors was still paper based with handwritten comments and corrections scribbled in the margins and at the end of their essays. There is also the possibility that students may have submitted feedback based on how that feedback would represent both them and their feedback providers. The types of writing available for analysis were also guided by the stages the students were at in their programs. This resulted in no submitted comprehensive exams, dissertation proposals, or grant applications (for example) which would have been useful documents to analyze and consider as important stages in the overall academic trajectories of PhD students. However, the array of text and feedback types I was still able to analyze from participants at different stages of their programs (and in different disciplines) provides an interesting representation of variation across individual feedback providers, and more importantly reveals how that feedback was received and dealt with by the six students in this study. 5.4 Findings In this section, I discuss how the written feedback was perceived, understood, and represented by the students through two sets of interviews and their narrative accounts. I draw primarily on the interview and narrative data for this section although feedback samples are provided and general feedback trends experienced by the participants are also discussed to contextualize their representations of that feedback. The subsections are organized according to each individual participant. The included extracts contain samples from both sets of interviews and their personal narratives as well as the feedback they received on their written texts and submitted for analysis in this study. 108 5.4.1 A-Ming A-Ming was a first year social sciences doctoral student who received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from top tier universities in China. After completing his MA, he spent the following two years working as a Research Assistant at a leading American Research-1 university prior to beginning his Canadian PhD in 2013 with a reported TOEFL IBT score of 97. Despite being an early-stage doctoral student, his academic achievements were amongst the strongest of the group, including multiple single- and co-authored journal articles and book chapters in both English and Chinese—perhaps indicative of his strong motivation to remain in North America after graduation, as discussed in detail in Chapter 3. As one of the most successful and satisfied of the group in terms of both self-reported and outward indicators of academic achievements and accomplishments, the disproportionate amount of corrective feedback he received on language errors (77% of feedback units on pages he submitted) did not seem to either demotivate or discourage him. Rather, it appears the high percentage of corrective feedback served both a linguistic role as well as a vital socializing function for his writing and himself, as an emerging academic, and he valued and appropriated that feedback accordingly. Similar to other research (noted previously) and other participants in this present study, A-Ming expressed his appreciation of the type of linguistically-focused and extensive feedback he received from his professors. Despite the abundance of feedback in the form of error correction on his texts (which could indicate a propensity to make frequent errors), the negative appraisals39 he received were relatively low as a percentage of total feedback and concentrated primarily on his decisions to include or exclude certain content or his stances and interpretations. For example: By concentrating so much on summarizing the [redacted] literature, your argument sometimes avoids exploring the issues and questions you raise in more depth and detail. (Professor feedback on a course assignment) In other words, the negative appraisals he received were not explicit critiques or interpretations of his supposed deficiencies or inabilities as a scholar or (L2) academic writer. One possible 39 Negative appraisals are defined in this study as unfavourable evaluations of a text or the writer’s abilities (i.e., “This was a poor effort”; “Your English needs work”; “You have inadequately grounded your discussion in theory”) 109 exception, however, came from a written response to a draft of his PhD proposal, which was an assignment in one of his doctoral courses that was taught by his doctoral supervisor: I also recommend that you take the proposal, and everything else you write over the next year or two, to the ACU writing centre to go over it with them. (Professor feedback on a course assignment) I asked A-Ming about his response to the suggestion that every piece of writing he completes over the next several years should be first taken to the writing centre, feedback that could be potentially demoralizing in that it indexes a writer’s inability to produce acceptable writing (in the eyes of his supervisor). Tim: How does that make you feel when you get that type of feedback from a professor that you should go get help from the writing center? A-Ming: Yeah I think they are right, totally right, I should go there. […] Tim: So does it make you feel like demoralized or down, insulted? A-Ming: No. Tim: Okay. A-Ming: It’s good suggestion there. (Second Interview, May 2, 2014) A-Ming not only accepts and takes ownership of the appraisal of his writing abilities but believes it was a “good suggestion” with merit (despite my question, which intimates otherwise). When I asked A-Ming to provide additional information about his relationship with his supervisor—and just how important these relationships can be for doctoral students—he discussed the role of working with and getting feedback from his supervisor and the impact that relationship had on his professional enculturation into academic English literacy and discourse practices and communities: Yeah, I just want to add one point that is specially for international students. So if you have a good relationship with supervisor, you feel much more confident in academic writing. And when you wrote something like she will help you improve it. And if you got good relationship and you publish a lot of paper in five years PhD studies, you will get a good job after your graduation, and you can learn a lot by doing this, by coauthor paper with a supervisor. You will learn through class, like you reading, the theory class, or the quan qual [sic]. You can only learn by doing this, like doing paper, like analyzing data. With a supervisor with experience, they can lead you, so you know doing this kind of things. I’m lucky. I’m so glad to be here. (First Interview, Sept 12, 2013) 110 Three important issues related to written feedback appear to have benefitted A-Ming. First, he preferred and appreciated receiving unfocused and comprehensive feedback. Second, the potential for this type of comment to be construed as a negative appraisal of his writing—a suggestion that all his writing over the course of the term should first be vetted by the writing centre—he represented as not being demoralizing or demotivating. Third, the opportunities to work with and get detailed and recursive feedback from his supervisor was beneficial across a variety of levels, including facilitating possibilities to publish. In some ways, the feedback practices A-Ming experienced, in particular the mentor-mentee relationship with his professors and supervisor, denote aspects of the socialization that occurs between less and more established members of communities where “newcomers” are socialized into customs, practices, and discourses by more established and knowledgeable “old-timers” through language and into language practices associated with that discourse community (Duff & Anderson, 2015). However, the types of mentor-mentee relationships between doctoral students and their professors and supervisors become increasingly intertwined if they work, present, and publish together, as was the case with many of the participants in this study, including A-Ming. His representation of the importance of that relationship, and also the publication opportunities, highlights the bidirectional socialization that occurs between PhD students and their supervisors (in particular) and others around them. 5.4.2 JoJo At the beginning of the study, JoJo was a second year student in the Faculty of Education at ACU and reported having been accepted with a TOEFL IBT score of 96. She had co-authored multiple publications in both Chinese and English, including one with her current doctoral supervisor, and had attained several high profile awards and scholarships. She was highly driven to publish during her PhD out of concerns to secure an academic position in China once she was finished. When I asked her about this process, and if she felt any pressure from within her department to publish, she responded: I think in ACU I don't have this kind of pressure, I think this is a really free and warm and good learning environment which focus on the learning process, but I need to find a job in China and now the situation is bad is very very competitive. […] I have to publish articles, so I have this kind of pressure from China. (First Interview, April 18, 2013) 111 JoJo’s motivation to publish was reflected in the type of feedback she submitted for analysis in this study: three anonymous reviews from a journal article she had recently, at the time, received back from the editor. This type of submitted material explains why she was the only participant to receive no feedback on language specific issues in the form of error correction (which was the leading source of feedback for most of the others), a common phenomenon in reviewers’ reports (Flowerdew, 1999; Gosden, 2003; Li, 2006b) due to the common practice of academic journals to use professional copyeditors once an article has been accepted for publication. Despite the lack of in-text feedback available for analysis, the detailed comments that were given on the review provide an intriguing perspective into the varied sources of feedback that doctoral students can potentially receive and are required to negotiate during their programs and the high-stakes gatekeeping and socializing function it has in their lives. Three samples from these reviews are provided below in addition to JoJo’s response to the overall process of attempting to publish a first-author (co-authored, one of whom was her supervisor) peer-reviewed English article during her doctorate and the multiple revisions that were required to achieve this goal. JoJo’s decision to adhere to the preferences, suggestions, and critiques of her reviewers ultimately played a crucial role in facilitating her opportunity to publish the article. The overall composition of the three reviews she received contained a notable percentage of negative appraisals (10% of total feedback artifacts; see below for samples), as well as various corrections and challenges to her interpretations and positions outlined in the paper (37%). Considering the genre of this kind of feedback sample—a review from a respected journal in her discipline—it is not surprising that there were frequent challenges and critiques of her text due to the potential outcome of the decision (to accept or reject the paper) and the requirement of reviewers and editors to carefully scrutinize submissions. The reviewers are accountable to the journal, its readership, and the field as presumed experts in this area and the editor is ultimately accountable for what is published. A few examples of the negative appraisals JoJo received from the reviewers are as follows: I found the analysis confusing and unpersuasive (Journal reviewer 1) 112 I applaud the ambition of the author(s) to have organized a [redacted]40 study across cultures. It’s a shame that all that effort was spent on a very weak design.” (Journal reviewer 2) This study is flawed at the most basic level (Journal reviewer 2) When I asked JoJo about the submission, review, and revision process, especially within the context of receiving a quite challenging initial review, she admitted that it was “super tough” due to the necessity to overcome various hurdles. (This included her discovery six months after the initial submission that, because of a technical error, her paper had not been received by the journal’s online submission process in the first place.) However, despite the challenging feedback and the overall arduous process to get the manuscript prepared, edited and revised (multiple times), submitted, reviewed, and eventually accepted (which it was), JoJo positively framed the overall experience by focusing on the useful guidance she received from her doctoral supervisor (who was a co-author on the paper) as being a reaffirming and supportive experience, and one that positively impacted her overall development as a writer and emerging scholar, in addition to the more tangible benefits of gaining an English publication. By successfully publishing her work she was also provided, to some degree, access to her desired academic discourses and communities. The following two extracts, the first from our initial interview in 2013 and the second from narrative account by JoJo about the experience, show her reaction to this publication process and the role her supervisor played in its eventual success. JoJo: So just like for the article I submitted to the journal, he helped me to revise about nine times. Tim: Wow. JoJo: Yeah, and I think is a way he teaches me he is very good because every time… So for example when I write the article, the first paragraphs of that article he told me that how to write the first paragraph, just like, you need to mention your keywords, the first sentence, to attract the readers’ eyes, so he give me this kind of guide inside, and he write a kind of comment beside I can follow his advice to rewrite it again… so in that kind of polite way which makes me feel that he is respecting me, and he is trying to help me, and this kind of way makes me feel I’m learning in a very comfortable and safe environment. (First Interview, April 18, 2013) 40 Information that could compromise the anonymity of this study’s participants has been redacted from this manuscript. 113 Then my supervisor helped me. He asked me to explain what I want to express. Then he rephrase and worked out what I want to express into the REAL english [sic]. I was deeply moved by my supervisor's guidance and help. (Narrative, November 2, 2013) In the above extracts, JoJo outlines the role her supervisor played in her academic literacy development by providing hands-on assistance in the refinement of her manuscript that allowed her the scaffolded opportunity to emulate and learn from his style and attention to detail. It also indicates the role this type of feedback had on making JoJo feel validated and respected, despite her relative novice status as an academic and amidst the pressures of a difficult review with several strongly worded critiques regarding the fundamental nature of their paper. This relationship with her supervisor and his detailed feedback and editing of her manuscript appear to have mitigated any demotivating impacts of the challenging feedback she received from the initial journal submission. The specific role of her supervisor in getting this paper published seemed representative of his general feedback practices that JoJo described as being quite supportive and detailed, and which she appreciated: “he give me a lot of feedback. He even did the proofreading for me.” and “I think is a way he teaches me he is very good” (First Interview, April 18, 2013). 5.4.3 Lily Lily was a first year Faculty of Arts student who entered the study just two weeks after the start of her first term at ACU (although she had recently graduated from a US-based master’s program). She submitted the second-least amount of feedback for analysis (nine pages), almost half of which was global comments from her professors on various course assignments that were handwritten at the end of the assignment or submitted as separate pages. The other five (out of nine) pages she submitted for analysis were taken from short ungraded reflection papers on course readings that contained very little within-text feedback of any kind, despite several instances of awkwardly phrased clauses, inaccurate word choices, and various other grammatical mistakes that were not addressed on these texts by her instructor(s). The feedback that did occur was somewhat random and inconsistent. For example, in one of the reflection papers, her professor placed parentheses around an unnecessary definite article Lily used and yet another article error further down the page was not addressed. Despite the existence of multiple (unaddressed) surface-level errors, the global comments on these five pages were generally 114 positive appraisals of Lily’s engagement with and interpretation of the readings that she was reflecting on. The remaining feedback samples (four pages of global comments from other professors on course assignments, without including the assignments themselves) contained a balance of several feedback types including negative appraisals, requests for clarification, and suggestions for revisions and improvements of future drafts and assignments. The following two extracts demonstrate the type and tone of the negative appraisals (which comprised 13% of feedback totals) she received on her assignments (as submitted to me). Improve English writing. I find many grammatical errors and sentences that do not make sense. (Feedback from professor on course assignment) And similarly, from a different professor during her first year: You should be aware that the paper has many English errors. I always understood your meaning, but you will need to improve your writing. A good way to do this is to ask your friend to correct your English in exchange for help on Korean or Chinese [which Lily speaks]. (Feedback from professor on course assignment) Lily, like many others in this study, demonstrated a willingness to respond proactively to the feedback, even the negative appraisals related to the need to technically improve her language and literacy skills. During our final interview near the end of the study, Lily reflected on receiving this type of feedback from two separate professors regarding the linguistic (in)accuracy of her writing which, at times, impacted the clarity of her written work, according to them: Two professors told me like I need to work on my writings. That’s actually why I went to [ACU’s English support program] more, like, in the second term because I think I really like to put more effort on my writings. (Second Interview, May 5, 2014) In addition to the negative appraisals she received on her writing, Lily also reported getting very little detailed (form-focused) support from her doctoral supervisor—who was her current instructor in a course at the time of our first interview—stating “he only gave us general advice, general comments” and “last week we did a report for the class and he didn’t write anything. He didn’t give us any comments, like write down any comments on the reports [book reviews]” (First Interview, Sept 13, 2013). Lily did note that for other, perhaps more important, academic writing tasks her supervisor “gave me good comments on my research” (First Interview, Sept 13, 2013). She also acknowledged the (presumed) time constraints of her supervisor in dealing with 115 the minutiae of her and other students’ writing from a technical sense and accepted responsibility to enact change herself. When I asked her about her supervisor’s feedback style and her own preferences she stated: Well, I prefer the professor gave me feedback also even on my grammar but I heard it depends on the professor’s style and also some professors are super busy. It’s kind of impossible for them to correct the grammar for every student. (First Interview, Sept 13, 2013) The lack of reported detailed feedback (from her supervisor, on certain texts) and blunt negative appraisals indicating Lily’s writing inadequacies (in the eyes of her professors) did not appear to have any detrimental effect on her confidence during her first year. When I asked Lily about the roles of her supervisor, professors, and university in providing adequate opportunities to help her (and other international students) improve, and who was ultimately responsible, her reply was optimistic and reflected a strong sense of personal responsibility regarding her future trajectory. I think myself because I realize this is some career I do… only myself can take it really seriously because others have their own jobs, their own work to do. So I feel if I really put effort I can improve. (Second Interview, May 5, 2014) In Lily’s case, despite the demoralizing potential of the negative appraisals to position Lily into a category of “deficient student,” she recognized and took ownership of suggestions to address certain imprecision in her writing through the help of the university’s English support program. As noted above, she also understood receiving little detailed feedback from her supervisor on certain work, stating that she was ultimately responsible for her own success or failure and recognized the limitations of others due to their own pursuits and responsibilities. 5.4.4 Polar Bear Polar Bear’s participation in the study spanned the second to third years in his social sciences program at ACU. According to available quantitative and qualitative measures used in this research, his general English proficiency was amongst the best in the group with a TOEFL IBT score of 109, including 27/30 on the writing portion. Although both his undergraduate and master’s degrees were obtained in China, the latter was at a high-profile joint-venture Chinese and American university program billed as being international in scope with courses in English 116 and involving many foreign (English-speaking) professors and classmates. Unlike some of the other participants in this study, he was not only involved in an immersive (English-medium) academic environment prior to coming to Canada, but his master’s thesis was written entirely in English. However, this extensive experience with academic English did not preclude Polar Bear from still receiving a sizeable portion of language-directed feedback (38%) and negative appraisals (7%) on the writing he shared for this study. For example, in response to a course paper—a critical literature review—one of Polar Bear’s professor’s commented: Note the poor grammar here. You’re going to have to work on this. Using slashes this way is abominable! (Feedback from professor on course assignment) And later, in the (mostly critical) global-comments by the same professor: Your writing is a big problem. This is something you’re going to have to address. (Feedback from professor on course assignment) As with A-Ming, in my discussions with Polar Bear he expressed accountability for his errors and emphasized the positive impact of the negative appraisals in motivating him to improve. Instead of becoming outwardly demotivated or discouraged due to the large amount of corrective and critical feedback (as with other L2 populations: cf. Bitchener, 2008; Bitchener & Knoch, 2009; Hamp-Lyons, 2006; Kasper & Petrello, 1996; Lee, 2003, 2008), he represents the temporary impact of receiving this type of feedback (feeling frustrated; see the following excerpt) with its positive aspects to help him gain membership in his English academic communities. I asked him how he felt after receiving several candid comments on his writing, as presented above. He responded as follows: Of course first of all you feel frustrated, right? There’s a grammatical issue, you feel you’re like a pupil, pupil right? You’re like a primary student. You’re like a primary school student why still correcting your spelling, that kind of things. But then I realized, it’s a fact, right? When I look at my paper again, I do, I did find a lot grammatical errors. Which is not a big problem to the general idea, but it can be annoying, right? […] It’s not good thing. So um, and of course if in the future if I want to publish something and I send the draft to the editor, with so many grammatical errors, definitely insulting. It’s significantly reduce the chance of publication. So I think it’s […] it’s really a good suggestion. (First Interview, May 31, 2013) Despite the earlier comments from his professor, Polar Bear also received explicit comments (see the following excerpt) from his supervisor that encouraged him to seek 117 publication opportunities for a revised version of a course-based paper. This type of professional acculturation is a form of discursive positioning that socializes feedback receivers into increased academic legitimacy. Great work, Polar Bear. This is a superb essay and original research! It would be good to push it a bit in Conclusion and Theoretical Insights & submit for publication. (Feedback from professor on course assignment) During our first interview (near the beginning of the study), Polar Bear referred to this specific feedback that he received from his supervisor that suggested he consider revising the course paper and submitting it for publication (which he eventually did and was successful at): I’m having a class, my supervisor is in charge of that class. I am taking that class. It is [name of course redacted], so like a small work, you know. When you have a class, you have papers to write, you have 2-3 weeks. We have book reviews and then she said that, “That is a good quality. Why don’t you publish that?” And it expanded, and polished it a bit more. I said no problem. I didn’t make too much of a change. […] He said “ok this is good” and “I will help you publish that.” I think it was great. (First Interview, May 31, 2013) Not only was Polar Bear instilled with more confidence and legitimacy as a member of his academic community (at ACU specifically and, more broadly, as a knowledge-contributing member of the field), but he was also provided with practical and concrete assistance along the way in the form of differing feedback types (as evidenced by the many documents he submitted for analysis [37 pages in total, with 239 feedback artifacts], as presented in Table 5.2) that offered assistance on a range of local and global features important to be successful in academic publishing. Having guidance and encouragement from an established academic (who was also his supervisor) facilitated his access to more advanced discourse forms and conventions that mediate publication opportunities and access to academic discourse communities. 5.4.5 Shasha Shasha’s participation in the study spanned the second to third years of her program. She received a master’s degree from an Eastern Canadian (English) university in a related field just prior to beginning her social sciences PhD at ACU in 2012. Out of all the participants, Shasha submitted the most pages from previous ACU course assignments for analysis (101 in total) and correspondingly had the largest total amount of feedback in the group. Almost 60% of the 447 118 feedback artifacts she received were instances of corrective feedback (direct or indirect error correction) on language-related issues. Similar to others, Shasha discussed her appreciation for and preference to receive comprehensive feedback dealing with a range of issues, findings corroborated by other studies involving L2 graduate writers (Dong, 1998; Leki, 2006). Despite submitting the most feedback data for analysis, and receiving a considerable portion of total feedback on language errors (which might indicate that surface-level precision remained a concern in her writing), Shasha received only one negative appraisal out of the 447 total feedback artifacts catalogued. The majority of feedback she received was directed towards minor linguistic features that did not impede comprehension or consisted of probing questions by her feedback providers regarding her interpretations, stance-taking, or omission of content from her texts—feedback that has the potential, especially in large numbers, to be (mis)construed as negative appraisals of the text or writer but which Shasha reported preferring and felt helped her “a lot” (First interview, Sept 25, 2013). Importantly, her uptake of this very comprehensive approach to feedback showed her ability to process and address feedback with a high degree of receptivity and metalinguistic awareness. It also appears to have socialized her into more precise literacy practices expected of her as well as representing, she felt, her instructors’ care and mentorship towards her due to the (perceived) time and effort spent on providing detailed and precise feedback on her writing. Tim: How important is that mentorship and feedback and support in encouraging you, giving you motivation to become a more successful writer? Shasha: Basically I would read his edits, his comments very carefully and I would take notes of some of the patterns that keep coming up during the process and I would tell myself not to repeat those types of mistakes problems and you take that consciousness all the way into your next level of writing and you will see the difference. Tim: So he has been very helpful for you? Shasha: Very helpful. (Second Interview, May 6, 2014) Another important function that feedback serves at the doctoral level is its role in implicitly or explicitly socializing recipients into various professional identities and communities. JoJo’s earlier accounts about the important role her supervisor played in giving her feedback and helping her edit early drafts of her eventual publication are indicative of this. The feedback Shasha received on a course paper similarly illustrates this phenomenon: 119 This paper is good enough that you might consider developing it into an article for [redacted journal name] or some similar high-profile journal with a broad [redacted] focus. (This is one reason why I offer so many surgical comments; another is to enable you to identify patterns in your own writing.) (Feedback from professor on course assignment) In addition to suggesting the paper could be developed into a future publication, the feedback provider also justifies the use of “surgical comments” (i.e., detailed corrective feedback on linguistic issues as well as various other edits, suggestions, and challenges) as a requirement to achieve that goal, thus softening the potential impact of such extensive and critical feedback to position Shasha as a “deficient error maker” as opposed to “publishable author.” This level of detailed feedback not only helps the writer become socialized into and develop appropriate academic literacies, but also highlights the role of some feedback providers at the doctoral level to give precise feedback and copy-editing as a form of professional enculturation towards publication opportunities and into the broader academic discourse communities in her field. 5.4.6 Sissy Sissy’s experiences differed greatly from the others in this study, perhaps an indication of her self-admitted academic language struggles, particularly with respect to her writing. Although her overall IELTS score of 7 (out of a possible 9; with a 6 on the writing section)—indicates a “good user” of English (IELTS, n.d.), in our many online and in-person discussions it was apparent she struggled to make herself understood, at times, and to produce linguistically accurate written expression. Within her large department at ACU, she reported being one of only two international PhD students enrolled at the time of our first interview in April 2013, although data from ACU’s Faculty of Graduate Studies contradicts Sissy on this point. Sissy was in fact one of 11 international PhD students in her department in the 2013 school year, and international students comprised almost 30% of total PhD enrolments. Despite this, she claimed her department’s inexperience in dealing with international students resulted in a systematic lack of appropriate and available support for her and the other (reported) international PhD student in her department. One of the only forms of departmental support that was reportedly available for Sissy included the feedback she received on her written assignments, which she reported was sparse and which, she claimed, negatively impacted both her academic writing development and subsequent integration within her program, both academically and socially. Sissy in particular cited two factors which led to the early struggles in her program: (1) an overall lack of feedback 120 on course assignments; and (2) negative appraisals of her writing that offered little concrete guidance about how to improve. The following excerpt is in reference to Sissy’s supervisor who, she claims, did not provide sufficient feedback and whose practices were in negative contrast to other instructors who were better able to understand the needs of L2 students. Tim: Do you wish they would give you more feedback on your writing […]? Sissy: Of course I wish, actually I wish. I know some supervisors they do give their students feedback in grammar and they even revise it for their students. I think maybe it’s because that professor have experience of second language is Japanese. He has a second language of Japanese so he knows how it’s difficult. But my supervisor, I don’t think he understands this feeling. (Second Interview, April 30, 2014) The following extract, taken from out first interview in 2013, discusses the written feedback she received during a course early on in her program and further outlines her frustrations and preferred practices. In the first class we read a book and then write a review, each to one page every week. I thought they would give me some review some comments, but no. The every week book review… there was two instructor, so it was easy because there were two instructor and just 15 students so they can do this work… but I didn't get any feedback. We should also hand in the final paper and the journal paper to them. But what I got? I didn’t get any review on the academic journal. I only got a paragraph about the final paper. Just a paragraph on the backside of my paper. […] I remember the comments: “you tell me a very interesting story about China but that's difficult to understand. You need a little more editing about the writing, and thanks for your honest about the class” (First Interview, April 22, 2013) Similar to others, Sissy expressed frustration over this perceived lack of detailed assistance with her writing, particularly when certain feedback she did receive emphasized her deficiencies and errors while offering, she felt, little detailed or useful guidance or correction. How Sissy responded to and represented this absence of useful feedback on her writing is worthy of attention. First, she claimed her feedback experiences differed from other students (including those in other departments) who had supervisors and professors that gave feedback from the position of being language learners themselves. Sissy believed the emic perspective of these feedback providers in recognizing the perceived wants and needs of (other) L2 students might lead to more targeted and (language) learner-specific comprehensive feedback practices. Being L2 learners themselves, Sissy asserted, imbues a deeper understanding, both linguistically and 121 empathetically, into feedback practices that best serve their L2 students. Second, since this lack of feedback occurred very early on in her program, she claimed she was not able to accurately gauge what specific areas of her writing needed the most attention moving forward, which had a detrimental effect on her longer term growth and socialization. The feedback she did receive on these early assignments, she reported, consisted primarily of global comments at the end of the paper that lacked specificity and clear directions for improvement. (An example of this type of feedback, and her response to it, are presented below.) She was therefore positioned into an L2 deficit category almost from the beginning of her program with little concrete help available, according to Sissy, about how to overcome those challenges. More problematic than the feedback she did not receive, however, was the feedback she did. During a discussion about the types of supports that might be valuable for first year PhD students, the conversation eventually led to an impassioned discussion about her desire to have someone to talk to about her current (at the time) academic struggles, since her professors and supervisor were reportedly not fulfilling that role and since she had exhausted various opportunities to get help from ACU’s writing centre and academic support program. As Sissy notes in the following interview extract, these early struggles and frustrations came largely from the tendency of the feedback on her (written) course assignments to contain negative appraisals of her writing with little concrete support about how to fix it. Sissy: I would love to tell you about what I have experienced in this term, but no one ask me. You are the first who ask me these things. Tim: Yeah, I am very interested. Sissy: They didn't ask me. Even for my supervisor, and he just said “your writing, you have a very very big question about your writing.” But they didn't tell me “read my paper.” He didn't tell me what's the question about my writing. (First Interview, April 22, 2013) And further: The teacher told me “Your writing is not too good. You need to practice the writing.” But he never told to me how to improve my writing. But he critic me: “your writing is not enough.” He even used a very heavy word: “Your dissertation will suffer.” That frustrated me that he didn't tell me how to improve. (First Interview, April 22, 2013) Near the end of the study in August 2014, Sissy shared with me the feedback that she was referring to in this first interview. The professor had written: 122 You tell a very complex and interesting story, but I cannot say I fully understand it. […] [Y]our ability to tell the story suffers from your limited ability to communicate in this (for you) still foreign language. I would urge you to do everything possible this summer to improve your English, both written and oral. Without this, writing your dissertation will suffer. (Feedback from professor on course assignment) These negative appraisals that Sissy emphasized as being particularly salient—in contrast to the many positive appraisals on her writing (such as the first clause in the previous extract) that she did not discuss during our interviews and in her narratives—and reported lack of specific academic support early on during her program had an alienating effect on Sissy within her department. In the following sample taken from our first interview, Sissy outlines how difficult her early time at ACU had been and her perceived place within her department as an international student. Sissy: They don’t have experience in how to help international PhD students, it’s not like deliberately to ignore me, is not that. It’s because there are very less number of international student in my department, specially in PhD, so they don’t know how to help me. […] Even for many Westerns classmate they are always complaining “you never come to our department to our parties you never hang on with us.” I don’t know how to explain that. I always say that you really don’t know how I experienced during this term […] Tim: Would you feel… would you ever talk to your supervisor? Sissy: No. Tim: Never? Why not? Sissy: […] we are marginalized one. […] If we complain, if we say too much about this questions, we may be more marginalized, so is better to not say this part. (First Interview, April 22, 2013) The lack of support and subsequent marginalization, or at least Sissy’s perception of it, in turn impacted her integration into her academic social communities. She therefore avoided “hanging out” in the office or participating in student-led social gatherings inside and outside of school. It impacted Sissy’s ability (or desire) to access her departmental and disciplinary communities that were critical to her early socialization and reinforced her position as a peripheral member of these communities and discourses required for academic success and interpersonal and emotional well-being. As she opined during our first interview: I don’t feel I have such kind of belonging to my department. […] I don't know if it is my fault or others’ fault. […] Even at the end of this term when I attend a meeting in our 123 conference, in our department, some of them didn’t know me, still didn't know me (First Interview, April 22, 2013) Interestingly, and in seeming contrast to her representation of being mistreated or even discriminated against by her professors, the largest amount of feedback Sissy received aside from error corrections on linguistic features were positive appraisals of her writing and abilities. Eighty-eight comments (21% of the total feedback artifacts she received) were supportive feedback of the specific work being evaluated or appraisals of her overall abilities and improvements as a student. The following examples, taken from four separate assignments from the same professor, illustrate just a few of the many positive appraisals that she received on her writing: Thank you so much for this valuable essay. It is important, analytically sophisticated, and deeply engaging. (Feedback from professor on course assignment) Wow. Your writing, and your thinking, really help me struggle with some very important issues. I’m grateful for what you’re teaching me. (Feedback from professor on course assignment) This is a brilliant idea, and a wonderful turn of phrase! (Feedback from professor on course assignment) Thanks so much for a brilliant and engaging essay. Your writing makes me think deeply. (Feedback from professor on course assignment) She also reported receiving grades in these early classes that were either above the class average or just slightly below (although still an “A”), which makes her description of events somewhat contradictory to what appears to have occurred in her courses, at least from a ranking and feedback perspective. Despite receiving many positive appraisals, she still constructed and represented the feedback she did receive as being highly demotivating, frustrating, and generally unhelpful. This situation highlights a few important issues regarding how feedback can socialize students into disadvantageous stances and positionalities, regardless of the instructor’s intent in some cases. First, Sissy’s major critique regarding the feedback she received, even what she considered to be the demoralizing negative appraisals, was the lack of concrete advice offered about how to overcome her specific writing challenges. Second, the feedback in these early courses was also, as Sissy implied, unclear and consisted largely of underlined or circled words and passages as well as stars or checkmarks in the margins (as evidenced in her submitted 124 samples), rarely accompanied by any explanation of what those notations meant. Although other subsequent course assignments Sissy submitted for analysis contained relatively large amounts of language-based feedback (which she reported as preferable) as well as a considerable number of supportive and encouraging comments, the negative appraisals that concentrated on issues related to her academic abilities and how those (interpreted) deficiencies could influence her capacity to write her dissertation (and be successful), played a strong role in positioning her into the category of outsider early on in her program according to her (and may have also been influential on her transnational identity formation and mobility decisions, as noted in Chapter 3). The effect of her academic discourse socialization, mediated in part through these written feedback practices, therefore extended beyond her academic communities and into other (interrelated) social domains. 5.5 Discussion The provision of feedback on academic writing is a highly variable process that changes across time and space and from person to person, issues established in previous literature (Montgomery & Baker, 2007) and reinforced by this study. The types and amounts of written feedback can differ considerably from professor to professor, as well as for the same professor with different students and in different contexts, or within the same assignment itself by flagging certain issues but not others. The feedback samples that were submitted for analysis were difficult to associate with any specific stage of the students’ doctoral programs, disciplines, or academic texts. Instead, the most obvious conclusion regarding the different amounts and types of feedback the students received appears to be primarily related to the individual differences, preferences, beliefs (about who is responsible for the linguistic quality of students’ writing), and likely time constraints of the feedback providers themselves41. It is much easier for an instructor to state, “your writing needs work” than it is to provide detailed guidance about how to improve specific areas of concern, and in some cases the instructors themselves may lack the ability to provide adequately nuanced and detailed feedback. Fortunately, this type of vague and generally unhelpful feedback was the exception rather than the rule in this study, and when negative appraisals were offered by feedback providers, most of the students accepted that type of 41 The feedback providers were excluded from participation in this study to ensure the strict confidentiality of the seven focal participants. 125 feedback in a balanced and generally constructive manner and went on to successfully complete and sometimes publish their work. Despite this wide variability in feedback practices across the professors and supervisors, several issues remained constant for most of the students in terms of their stated perspectives, findings that have also been established by a range of previous studies (i.e., Amrhein & Nassaji, 2010; Anderson, 2010; Hyland & Hyland, 2001; Leki, 2006): 1. Confusing or insufficient feedback can cause frustration (Sissy); 2. A broad spectrum of feedback on language, content, and rhetoric is preferred by some students (A-Ming; Shasha); 3. Positive feedback is affirming and confidence building (A-Ming; JoJo); 4. As Hyland and Hyland (2001) note, the use of hedging devices (including modal auxiliary verbs, like “could” and “might”) can soften the force of potential critique (JoJo); 5. A lack of comprehensive or detailed feedback can be viewed as harmful to growth (Lily; Sissy) 6. Negative appraisals can impact students in harmful ways (Sissy) This final point, and Sissy’s case in particular, highlights the socializing effect (e.g., away from academic pursuits and also impeding greater social integration) that written feedback can have on some (but not all) L2 students’ social and academic development, a topic taken up in the following section. 5.5.1 Feedback Across Communities For Sissy, the feedback she received on her written academic work subsequently influenced other domains of her life. Instances of negative appraisals about her writing and abilities and, more importantly, her interpretation and uptake of that feedback (which comprised a minority of comments on her overall feedback), marginalized her within her department as an outsider with remedial English language skills and caused her to feel misunderstood and unfairly critiqued. This subsequently affected her ability or willingness to form social attachments with her classmates and the department as a whole, such as attending social events and parties with fellow graduate students, spending time in the office (with other students and department 126 members), and other types of socializing opportunities with her department members which might have improved her social standing, her sense of connection and community with the host university, and the further development of her English proficiency. Being positioned as a deficient error-maker in her academic writing discouraged her participation in these departmental-level social groups due to the significant overlap between academic discourse practices and recreational ones. The influence of the feedback on her overall socialization at ACU was therefore doubly powerful due to the integration of academic and social communities and discourses at the doctoral level as students are more invested, both temporally and interpersonally, in their academic pursuits, and these interests naturally extend to domains and contexts outside strictly academic ones. Classmates often become friends and discussion of academic progress, achievements, and aspirations extend beyond the classroom walls. 5.5.2 Rethinking Critical and Corrective Feedback With the exception of Sissy, however, the students in this study demonstrated that receiving an abundance of corrective feedback and/or negative appraisals was not necessarily demotivating or damaging, especially in the long term, and was generally appreciated and incorporated in constructive and positive ways. Accounting for these differences across student populations and proficiencies would therefore benefit future feedback studies involving L2 students, particularly those that are mixed-method and/or socioculturally oriented. Unlike other L2 student populations who have stated they prefer to receive unfocussed feedback, and yet might not be linguistically or affectively prepared to deal with it, doctoral students appear better able to cope, adapt, and benefit from a broad range of feedback, positive and negative alike. Although others (Bitchener & Ferris, 2012) have suggested advanced-proficiency L2 students may be better able to handle unfocused feedback in a linguistic sense (compared to less advanced students), it also appears they may be better able to deal with a range of feedback types at an affective level as well. Future longitudinal research investigating such issues could yield potentially rich findings on how students’ academic writing (and positionalities’) develops over time. The expectation and reception of certain types or amounts of feedback by students may also vary depending on the types of writing they are doing and the purpose or consequence of that writing. Weekly reading reflections, for example, that are not individually graded but count 127 towards participation marks, will likely attract (or require) a different degree of feedback than a dissertation proposal because of the disparity in consequences of these academic texts, to both students and mentors alike. However, when that feedback is highly critical—even on low impact assignments—it may be understandable that enhanced clarity and comprehensiveness in the form of more detailed feedback should also be provided to fully explain precisely why the writing was perceived as problematic and what specifically occurred to make it that way. This may partially explain the case of Sissy who, despite receiving a wide swath of praise on her writing from various sources, concentrated passionately (and perhaps disproportionately) on those few examples that critiqued and questioned her writing abilities. This situation, however, also raises the challenging and somewhat contentious issue about, as Lee and Aitchison (2009) ask, “Who is responsible for writing in doctoral education?” and the possible consequences if the writing challenges of doctoral students are not properly addressed: Problems and struggles with writing can be seen as an impediment to efficient completion and to contribute to a failure to publish. Yet historically, there has been a lack of resources directed to building capacity in this area and consequently there is a paucity of pedagogical expertise available to supervisors and programs developers to address the challenges of changing practices and outcomes required of doctoral education. (p. 89). On the importance of writing mentorship, Lee and Aitchison add that, in order to be successful, students require a better understanding of specific genre conventions to be able to adequately produce them and to participate fully and successfully in their disciplinary communities (see also Paré, Starke-Meyerring, & McAlpine, 2009). And yet, according to Paré (2010), “supervisory feedback [for PhD students] is often ambiguous, enigmatic, and coded – that is, saturated with meaning, but difficult to understand” (p. 107). These problems, Paré notes, may be due to the inability of doctoral supervisors themselves to translate their implicit knowledge and expertise about how to successfully compose high-level academic texts due to their lack of required metalanguage and experience to explicitly convey that (implicit) genre knowledge to their students (Paré, 2010, 2011). Obtaining these skills—namely the explicit understanding of genre conventions—can become a crucial component for students who may eventually seek professorships of their own and become mentors to their own future students. However, for both students and professors alike who lack these skills, yet wish to become better writers or writing teachers and mentors for their students (or their future students), it may be a difficult hurdle to 128 overcome, in part due to the ineffectiveness of many self-help guidebooks that have been critiqued as being overly prescriptive and narrow (Kamler & Thomson, 2006; Lee & Aitchison, 2009). It is evident, therefore, that despite best intentions, doctoral writing mentorship does not always progress smoothly or successfully from “expert” to “novice” with the desired outcomes and group membership (Cotterall, 2011b; Duff, 2007b). At the university level, despite the ongoing increases of international graduate students in Canada (Anderson, 2015; Statistics Canada, 2013a, 2013b; see also Chapters 1 and 2), departments, faculties, and universities may still lack the required programs and infrastructure to attend to the specific and diverse needs of L2 graduate students who require academic language and literacy help (AUCC, 2007), especially when this help might be lacking from their supervisors. The preceding discussion, therefore, highlights several important and interconnected issues for L2 doctoral students: (1) writing occurs at every stage of a doctorate and is the central component to achieve degree completion and broader academic success; (2) departments and universities may lack appropriate supports to sufficiently attend to L2 doctoral students who require help; and (3) supervisors may not be able to successfully convey the genre knowledge of dissertation writing on to their students and thereby provide the necessary academic discourse socialization. The question posed above, therefore, asking who is ultimately responsible for doctoral writing remains somewhat unanswered. Not all supervisors have the time or perhaps the ability themselves to provide detailed feedback on writing. They may instead concentrate on surface level linguistic features or offer unhelpful and unconstructive comments (as with Sissy) in the form of broad negative and positive appraisals. These types of negative appraisals, while quite possibly containing elements of truth, are unhelpful in a practical (linguistic or rhetorical) sense, and may (inadvertently) position some students into affective categories and identities that are non-conducive to their academic socialization. 5.5.3 Rethinking Feedback for PhD Students Rethinking feedback practices for PhD students requires the assumption of two, somewhat contradictory, starting points. First, the response towards and uptake of feedback is highly varied across individuals and changes over time and space (Hyland, 1998; Hyland & Hyland, 2006). Sissy, for example, received a considerable portion of feedback that praised both her ideas and writing in general, and yet she focused entirely on the perceived ill effects of that feedback and 129 blamed her professors, department, and university for not providing enough support. Others, however, (especially Polar Bear and A-Ming) reported feeling appreciative at being told their writing needed outside help and did not appear to be negatively affected by the large amounts of corrective feedback that they received. How feedback is received and implemented by students is shaped as much by individual preferences, experiences, stances, and agency of the feedback receivers as by the content of the feedback itself. Some students are better able to handle critique, for example, and others might lack sufficient confidence and/or be more sensitive. Feedback that is overly corrective or critical in nature may also cause some students to question their legitimacy or standing within their department, amongst peers, and in the broader academic discourse community. Some students may have extensive experience writing and revising academic texts, and others may be relative novices when they begin their programs. Some are highly driven, while others may be fulfilling the wishes of their families without being as invested in the process themselves. Students can also experience vastly different feedback practices in both scale and quality depending on the capabilities (and/or investment) of their supervisors and professors, which can affect not only the technical development of student writers but their socialization as well. These individual differences, motivations, and opportunities can play a crucial role in the feedback process in terms of ability and desire to accept and learn from feedback and implement knowledge learned into future texts. Therefore, feedback research that claims unfocused and/or negative appraisals uniformly position L2 students into pejorative identity categories need also to consider these nuanced conditions. Second, despite the differences between individuals that can negatively or positively impact the reception and implementation of feedback, considering PhD students as a group whose academic programs share certain distinct traits and pressures compared to other L2 postsecondary student populations can help to highlight differences from previous feedback findings. Although each person is unique in his or her way, what all doctoral students share is their participation in a text-heavy enterprise that is highly demanding, competitive, and high-stakes with multiple stages of assessment to ensure they are suitably capable and prepared (i.e., comprehensive exams, dissertation proposals, doctoral exams). In addition, Leki’s (2003) claim that “L2 writers’ life agendas may or may not ever again include writing in English” (p. 328), while descriptive of many other L2 students, including those at the undergraduate postsecondary level, has much less applicability to doctoral students. Particularly for those seeking academic or 130 other professional positions after graduating, a significant and consistent component of their planned futures may rely upon their abilities to write well and to write often in English. Being challenged and critiqued are also frequent realities for PhD students (and post-doctoral scholars and professors) as they are attempting to navigate new communities and discourses while seeking to make original knowledge contributions in their disciplines. From this perspective, the prominent role of critique (or the perception of critique) in the form of corrective feedback or negative appraisals may actually be beneficial for some PhD students in that it better exemplifies real-life writing practices and expectations after graduate school, particularly for those who pursue academic careers. Instead of the feedback discursively positioning students into categories highlighting deficits, the attention to detail provided by the feedback providers, critical and negative feedback included, served to legitimize (for all but Sissy) instead of delegitimize their positions as emerging academics and showed they had feedback providers that cared enough to provide thorough comments and input. For PhD students, there may also be an additional socializing function of certain types of feedback (including unfocussed and even heavily critical feedback) that can mitigate negative impacts on students’ motivation or sense of legitimacy. In addition to feedback providers (typically instructors) attempting to remediate students’ language errors so they are less prevalent in future course work, these assignments may become early drafts of published book reviews, conference papers, articles, and book or dissertation chapters. Professors and supervisors, in particular, may be acting as both instructors as well as de-facto copy-editors to assist students’ quests to publish, in addition to the intended pedagogical function of written feedback. For supervisors, in particular, the quality of their students’ work is also a direct reflection on them as mentors and scholars, particularly since their names are inevitably (and literally) attached to their students’ doctoral work, including as possible co-authors or co-presenters; these potential co-authorship positions likely also have a considerable influence on supervisors’ degrees of investment in copy-editing and the level of feedback they provide on students’ texts as well. They may be more invested than instructors at other levels of higher education in making sure their students’ work is accurate, robust, and articulate, particularly since supervisors would be largely held responsible by external and university examiners if students failed their dissertations. They may also be more invested in providing adequate feedback to ensure their students are prepared to leave graduate school with the appropriate skills and knowledge needed 131 to succeed more independently as scholars and professionals. The socializing function of feedback is a key element of this process. 5.6 Conclusion This chapter has explored the role of written feedback in the second language academic discourse socialization of six foreign doctoral students. As reported, the existence of negative appraisals and a disproportionate (and large) amount of corrective feedback on the participants’ writing did not serve to discourage or negatively position them into categories indexing their failures or deficiencies. In contrast, the opposite proved true for all but Sissy (who felt aggrieved and mistreated by a minority of comments she felt unfairly assessed her abilities). In Sissy’s case, her socialization through these negative feedback events extended their effects into her departmental social communities that further relegated her participation in disciplinary practices and communities to the margin. This situation demonstrates the powerful potential socializing effect that written feedback can have in certain contexts and with certain people. This study has endeavoured to highlight both the importance of considering feedback as a social and cultural activity where meanings are constructed, negotiated, and contested, as well potential differences in reception and acceptance of feedback for different individuals. The practice of receiving and dealing with difficult feedback at the doctoral level is therefore an important element in the broader academic discourse socialization of students. Future studies that address these issues from sociocultural and interactional perspectives will yield promising results in further developing our theoretical and pedagogical understanding of this crucial socially-mediated activity. Studies that also involve the students’ feedback providers directly (particularly their professors and supervisors) might also provide richer detail and perspectives into the motives and intentions of those giving feedback and their perceptions of how that feedback is being received and incorporated by their students. Future studies that secure or even require the commitment from participants to submit all the written feedback they receive over the course of the study (or, preferably, the students’ entire academic programs) would provide a more comprehensive treatment of their writing demands, feedback experiences, and development. 132 Chapter 6: Conclusion 6.1 Introduction This dissertation represents a culmination of personal and professional experiences accrued over many years from the perspective of being both a doctoral student myself, who has encountered and traversed many of the same processes as the participants in this study, as well as a teacher with students of my own at the postsecondary level. I have also lived and studied abroad as a postsecondary student myself and had to navigate new academic discourse practices in another language (Chinese) and recognize the range of experiences, emotions, struggles, pressures, and rewards that emerge through these formative transnational experiences. The various processes and practices that influence students’ abilities to integrate into new academic discourses and communities in transnational settings are therefore deeply important to me personally and were a primary motivator in the decision to research this topic involving (Chinese) PhD students. I have endeavored to balance the theoretical and methodological findings with implementable pedagogical suggestions. The following will therefore highlight some of the original or particularly relevant theoretical and methodological findings from this study and the pedagogical implications that arose for L2 graduate student populations, their mentors, and relevant practices and policies addressing student internationalization. I begin with a concise review of Chapters 2 through 5, followed by several contributions that this research makes to the field. I then discuss the challenges and limitations of this study and recommendations to emerge from the findings. I conclude with some final thoughts and reflections about the study itself, the participants, and my role in representing their stories. 6.2 Research Questions and Contributions I now return to the three major questions that guided the research study, which provided a broad base to capture the varied forms and sources of socialization that influenced the participants’ academic trajectories and enculturation: 1. What constitutes effective and acceptable English academic discourse, according to participants’ self-representations of their academic trajectories or local standards as defined or implied by the authors and evaluators, in Chinese doctoral students’ written academic texts? 133 2. What are the social, cultural, and academic processes, practices, and communities that contribute to the discourse socialization of these students? 3. How do the different instances of socialization into academic discourse impact the lives and communities of foreign Chinese graduate students? Given the large and still increasing presence of foreign doctoral students in Canadian universities, research addressing the individual experiences of these students and the impact of socialization on their academic and personal life trajectories is critically important. The ultimate aim of this study was therefore to uncover and represent the seven Chinese participants’ experiences being or becoming socialized into the written academic discourse practices expected of them in their programs and disciplines. This section discusses the major theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical contributions of each of the previous chapters, 2 through 5, written as stand-alone articles but representing important components and themes of the larger cohesive multiple case study that this dissertation has presented on. 6.2.1 Chapter 2 Chapter 2 presented recent data on national (Canadian) and global postsecondary internationalization trends and impacts, government and university directives, and case-study perspectives featuring the experiences of postsecondary L2 students in English-medium university settings. Much, of late, has been written about the internationalization of higher education, a research trend representative of the sheer number of people and resources involved in current academic mobility flows. Much less research has tried to address these broader trends while representing student perspectives and the actual challenges (as well as benefits) that the internationalization of our campuses entails. This chapter balanced these perspectives through the presentation of national and global internationalization statistics, case-study perspectives from international postsecondary students, government commissioned reports, national student satisfaction surveys, and connections to the participants’ experiences in this current study. In particular, I highlighted recent Canadian trends that show foreign Chinese graduate student enrolments have been in decline at Canadian universities since the mid 2000s, despite record increases in this population globally. I also noted that the growth of international students at Canadian universities is outpacing domestic students by several times, therefore highlighting the importance of continued focus on internationalization issues and sustained diligence and 134 attention to the specific needs of our student body, both domestic and international alike. Further understanding the individual experiences of foreign doctoral students should be of grave importance to universities. Some of these students may become future leaders in academia themselves, and go on to mentor their own students, so better understanding the processes that contribute to their socialization will assist in improving the mentoring processes that students, professors, and universities are uniquely involved in. Such concerns are often highlighted within neoliberal-framed discussions of higher education which emphasize (and advertise) issues related to doctoral attrition rates, time-to-completion, publications, grant achievements, outcomes of graduates, and international ratings. It is therefore in the strategic and economic interests of universities to ensure foreign L2 doctoral students are better understood and supported. 6.2.2 Chapter 3 Chapter 3 investigated the influence of national and transnational discourses on facilitating or constraining access to the desired academic discourses and communities of two foreign Chinese PhD students. Early in the data analysis process for this study, these two interesting and somewhat contrastive cases stood out as representing a diverse set of perspectives highlighting the role transnational discourses can have on L2 students’ socialization into their programs, disciplines, and communities—processes that do not occur in an ideological vacuum but are discursively and interactionally co-constructed over time and may be internalized, challenged, resisted, and reframed (Atkinson, 2003; Duff, 2010b; Duff & Talmy, 2011; Siegal, 1994). Drawing on their discursive constructions and representations of the concept haigui (“overseas returnees”) and their respective conceptualizations of “home,” this chapter concentrated on two focal participants, Sissy and A-Ming. Sissy embraced the concept of haigui (as a neutral or positive term), which proved to be representative of her broader struggles to adapt locally. A-Ming, through his negative framing of haigui and of the academic hierarchy and structure in China, demonstrated his ability to adapt, acculturate, and ultimately succeed at ACU more quickly and to greater effect than Sissy. Ultimately, their relative uptake, embracement, and (co)construction of these transnational discourses either supported or constrained their abilities or desires to adapt to their respective academic discourses and communities at ACU. Future research involving international students seeking membership and participation in new academic communities would benefit by considering how students variably understand, enact, and 135 represent different transnational discourses, how these discourses can influence their socialization, and how their stated views compare with their actual transnational trajectories. 6.2.3 Chapter 4 Chapter 4 concentrated on the broader language socialization of all seven students with explicit attention paid to the ways students were socialized both externally and internally into their academic discourses, literacies, and communities. In particular, I expand the notion of the disciplinary role of internal and external socialization in mediating behaviours, affective stances, and (in)action, a process referred to as the doctoral gaze which is drawn from Foucault’s (1995) notion of panopticism. Students’ self- and other-mediated and directed forms of socialization comprise a recursive process where they learn to do being PhD students through both internal and external sources and resources. Their relative abilities to become active agents in the process, and effectively self- and other-socialize into practices, behaviours, and positionalities conducive to success, are therefore key aspects in the broader socialization process, yet this topic remains under-researched in the field. Future research that considers the internal and external influences of academic and social communities, including peer support and students’ individual networks of practice (Zappa-Hollman & Duff, 2015), would therefore benefit greatly. Finally, I emphasize the importance of seeking more balanced perspectives of L2 graduate students’ successes, in addition to their challenges, due to the pedagogical importance of examples of success in our understanding of the students’ individual experiences and the internationalization process more broadly. 6.2.4 Chapter 5 This chapter investigated the different types, quantities, and effects of written feedback that six participants received and shared on their academic writing. I considered written feedback to be a form of social and cultural practice where both writer and reader are dialogically involved and subsequently positioned into identities and affective and epistemic stances that can be (or can be perceived to be) indifferent, beneficial, or detrimental to overall growth in the academy. In Sissy’s case—in many ways as an outlier in this study— the feedback was perceived in unequivocally negative terms and affected her ability and desire to integrate into her departmental communities. For the others, however, the situation was markedly different. In 136 contrast to previous feedback studies that emphasize L2 students’ fragility in dealing with critique and negative feedback, this article found students to be generally receptive of all forms of feedback, even critical or unfocused feedback, and viewed it as helpful and indicative of their mentors’ care and support. PhD students’ abilities to better handle these feedback types is representative of their broader socialization into forms of public and private critique and vetting at various stages and in various forms; a process integral to the role of being a public academic. In this sense, written feedback that may position or influence other L2 student populations negatively may be useful and even desirable for some PhD students. 6.3 Challenges and Limitations This research study used a multiple-case study research design and involved as primary data collection methods: (1) semi-structured interviews with each participant at the onset and near the conclusion of the study; (2) student-written and voluntarily submitted narrative reflections discussing the students’ academic writing experiences; (3) samples and feedback the students received in their academic writing while doctoral students at ACU. Although case study as a qualitative research design offers many benefits (Duff, 2008, 2012c; Yin, 2009), there are also some limitations, both with case study research more generally and, more specifically, with the particular design utilized in this study. I present these limitations below. The sampling and selection of students in this study, while informative, could have been more diversified, and students certainly could have provided additional narratives and feedback samples (which I would have preferred but understood their own limitations in providing these). As it was, all but one of the participants were in the first three years of their programs which limited the types of writing they were doing, despite the study taking place over the course of 16 months. Researching PhD students—with self-assessed writing problems—also proved to have its challenges. The original plan in this study was to have students compose their own self-directed stories (narratives) based on the broad topic of their academic writing at ACU. Due to a very low response rate of narrative submissions from participants after the first two months of the study (and multiple nudges and reminders), I began sending prompts and guiding questions to elicit responses (after being requested to do so by two students). While this greatly improved the submission rate of responses, it also undeniably influenced the direction and content of the narrative data and could be interpreted as a limitation. 137 In order to maintain the confidentiality of my focal participants and encourage an open environment where they would feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and perspectives, I decided not to interview their supervisors who were often pivotal figures in the students’ socialization during their degrees. Being able to interview them would have provided answers to some central issues regarding their roles as mentors (and socializers) in the students’ lives, including: (1) why they gave the type of support (including feedback) they did; (2) what effect did they believe their support (or lack thereof) had on the students; (3) what, if any, were the pedagogical justifications of their decisions; and (4) what were the general trends in their doctoral programs regarding the acceptance, integration, and mentoring of Chinese (and other) doctoral students and assessment of doctoral student applications in terms of English proficiency scores and other competencies? Having these perspectives, for example, would have enabled me to cross-reference the students’ comments on the support they received with some of the people providing it. Also, regarding the written feedback in particular, I was also unable to include screenshots or direct images of the students’ texts with the written feedback presented in context. At times this would have provided an additional visual emphasis to strengthen a point about the unintended impacts of feedback on students, including messy handwriting or unclear scribbles in the margin which can leave students feeling annoyed, frustrated, or just confused about the intended message. Although providing these visual enhancers would have better demonstrated the situatedness and textuality of the feedback in response to the specific text being referenced, it would also have reduced or eliminated in some cases the anonymity of the participants in this study, particularly since revised versions of several of the students’ course-based assignments became (or might still become in the future) publications of some kind. Relatedly, I had originally planned to include a broader range of students’ texts to be included in the feedback analysis, including dissertation proposals, comprehensive exams, and award applications (for example) in order to investigate if the feedback and students’ response to it changed depending on their programmatic stage or the text type. This similarly proved impossible due to a range of reasons, including the different stages of the students at the time of data collection which ultimately dictated what types of writing they were (or were not) doing, as well as students’ apparent reticence to share some unpublished work with someone not directly related to their academic lives and a fellow doctoral student in a similar research field (in some cases). The process of categorizing (and quantifying) and representing the considerably different amounts 138 and types of feedback was also difficult in terms of deciding what constituted (and was subsequently categorized to be) feedback that was potentially “negative” or “positive,” for example, and how those types of feedback influenced students’ socialization. I would be remiss to discount my own positionality here in projecting my own interpretations of how I personally (as a fellow doctoral student in the social sciences) would feel receiving the type of feedback my participants did. Feedback from a professor or supervisor that suggested my dissertation could potentially “suffer” due to poor writing (as with Sissy) or that all assignments I compose should pass through the writing centre before submission (as with A-Ming) would have likely demotivated or demoralized me as well, especially early on in my program. Although I tried to mitigate my own projections and interpretations by counting and coding the feedback data twice (to obtain intra-rater reliability), my own stance and positionality proved to be a limitation in this section of the study. 6.4 Recommendations Several pedagogically focused recommendations emerge from this study. An overarching lesson from this dissertation is a reminder that the students’ academic experiences and preferences are very diverse and require equally diverse practices and attention from instructors, professors, and supervisors. Although Sissy’s case could be construed as an outlier in this study, her experiences (or rather, her representation and interpretations of those experiences during this study) aligns with much research addressing Chinese L2 postsecondary experiences in North America and should not be discounted (i.e., Cheng, Myles, & Curtis, 2004; Huang, 2009, 2011; Huang & Brown, 2009; Huang & Klinger, 2006; Huang & Rinaldo, 2009; Lin & Scherz, 2014; Liu, 2011; Lu & Han, 2010; Qian & Krugly-Smolska, 2008; Windle, Hamilton, Zeng, & Yang, 2008; Zhang & Zhou, 2010; see also Paltridge, 2016, for a timely discussion on addressing “outliers” in empirical research). In her specific case, she reported experiencing powerful and influential forms of internal and external socialization that marginalized her as an outsider within her own academic community and constructed her as both deficient and misunderstood. Additional supports, particularly at the onset of her program, could have had a powerful effect on making her feel more comfortable, helping her integrate into academic and social peer groups, and making explicit the specific academic norms and practices that were expected of her (especially early on). Reshaping writing centres and establishing peer support, peer tutors, peer- 139 run writing groups, and academic text repositories for new (and old) students to utilize, would not only be beneficial in terms of enhancing academic (literacy) knowledge, but they might also become important components in assisting students’ socialization, a point made in Chapter 2 but reiterated here (cf. Baik & Greig, 2009; Leask, 2010; Li & Vandermensbrugghe, 2011; Mohamad & Boyd, 2010; Topping, 1996; Westwood & Barker, 1990). These cost-efficient supports could similarly lessen the load of instructors and supervisors since student work could be first vetted within peer groups prior to submitting them for course assignments or dissertation drafts, for example. Other more systemic issues or dilemmas are also becoming more prominent in the discussion of doctoral mentorship, such as availability of resources, the division of duties (i.e., who is responsible for students’ academic writing?), and the neoliberal discourses that value production and quantifiable output as often manifested in pressures for doctoral students to publish as much and as early as possible. These pressures are often deeply absorbed by students’ supervisors who not only wish to provide quality mentorship to the students they have chosen to work with but who also have their own reputations and values to protect should their students’ work reflect poorly onto them. For the majority of participants in this study, however, it also appears that some current practices that have been reported as being demotivating or discouraging for other L2 postsecondary groups were accepted, understood, and ultimately appreciated by them. A large amount of feedback on linguistic errors or inaccuracies, for example, was preferred by most of the participants in this study. Students both reported their appreciation for this feedback style as a general preferred practice but also specifically, with reference to previous feedback they had received, discussed how it was valuable on a variety of linguistic, rhetorical, content, and affective levels. Feedback that critiqued some students’ abilities as writers was also, for the most part, accepted and understood as imparting useful advice and indicating the professor cared for the students’ development. These types of feedback activities are also important examples of doctoral students’ socialization into real-life scholarly practices as well. How feedback actually unfolds, however, will likely remain an inconsistent practice that varies widely depending on the writing task itself and feedback providers’ understandable time constraints or their own (in)abilities to explain higher order writing (genre) concerns to their students. It also seems unreasonable or even impossible to expect all doctoral supervisors or professors to provide extensive and detailed feedback on all student writing or function as de-facto copy-editors for 140 their students, especially on work that is not co-published. As mentioned in Chapter 5, there is also the broader issue to consider about who is primarily or ultimately responsible for doctoral students’ writing—universities, faculties, departments, professors, or the students themselves? Given the surprisingly high doctoral attrition rates reported in North America (40-50%; Chiswick, Larsen, & Pieper, 2010; Elgar, 2003), perhaps more attention by all parties is needed. 6.5 Final Thoughts This study turned out much differently than I had originally, perhaps naively, anticipated. Leading up to its onset in 2013, much of the existing literature reporting on foreign L2 postsecondary students’ (including graduate students’) experiences in academic settings consisted of a disproportionate focus addressing the struggles, limitations, and linguistic, cultural, educational, and social barriers that negatively affected students’ inclusion and success in their programs. In parts, this present study was no different, such as with representations of Sissy’s difficulty fitting in and adapting in the early stages of her program. However, what emerged throughout both the research and analysis process was students who were talented and highly driven and who handled critique admirably, recognized their own areas of weakness, and demonstrated notable resiliency in seeking to achieve their self-defined goals. These qualities, in part, manifested themselves in their impressive academic accomplishments, some very early in their programs. Mostly, however, the way they represented themselves and their mentorship experiences up to that point indicated an acute awareness of their own responsibility in guiding and controlling their current and future successes. These results may also be an artifact of the types of students who ultimately volunteered to participate in this research, whereas others (who may have been more like Sissy) felt less agentive, were possibly overworked, and who decided not to join the study. The above findings also demonstrate the inbetweenness that foreign L2 PhD students embody across multiple planes of trans/nationality, novice/expert, and student/teacher. They are emerging professionals, instructors, and academics in their own rights and yet are still labeled “students,” both technically and developmentally. They are skilled in their disciplines with the ability to process and synthesize knowledge and conduct original empirical research but are still emerging scholars who have much to learn and achieve and their socialization will continue to unfold over the entire course of their careers. They may be residents of the host country (Canada) 141 with plans to immigrate permanently after graduation, and yet may still be at a disadvantage adapting to the local language and academic practices, communities, and discourses compared to their domestic counterparts. They are PhD students in a world-class research university and published authors and yet may still make “typical” and frequent L2 grammatical errors, which may or may not be a serious issue in their chosen fields but more than likely would affect their ease of degree completion and ability to secure academic positions, if so chosen. The complexity of these categories therefore makes labeling L2 PhD students as “ESL” students somewhat problematic. Despite, also, framing this study as one involving a somewhat cohesive and similar “foreign Chinese doctoral student” selection of cases, there was an incredibly wide range of individual differences, experiences, skillsets, and motivations across the group. 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Language socialization and second language learning. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (pp. 301-316). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Zweig, D., & Han, D. (2008). “Sea turtles” or “seaweed”?: The employment of overseas returnees in China. In C. Kuptsch (Ed.), The Internationalization of labour markets (pp. 89-104). Paper Presented at the France/ILO Symposium 2008. ‘The Internationalization of Labour Markets’, 15 May. Paris, France. 168 Appendix A: Recruitment Poster Department of Language & Literacy Education 2125 Main Mall DVancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-‐5788 Fax: (604) 822-‐3154 Attention Doctoral Students from China in the Faculty of Education or the Faculty of Arts You are cordially invited to participate in a study investigating the various struggles, adjustments, and successes that PhD students from China encounter with academic writing and their attempts to achieve personal goals and program requirements. This study is being conducted by Dr. Patricia Duff (principal investigator) and Tim Anderson (co-‐investigator) as part of Tim Anderson’s PhD research. From the results of this research, we will be able to provide information to teachers and administrators regarding the different factors that can impact second language writers in postsecondary graduate-‐level contexts. Participants will be given the choice between a $50 dollar gift certificate for the ACU bookstore or five hours of academic writing consultation from the researcher, an experienced academic writing instructor at the postsecondary level. Please contact Tim at 778-‐232-‐6156 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about this study. 169 Appendix B: Letter of Initial Contact Department of Language & Literacy Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-‐5788 Fax: (604) 822-‐3154 Letter of Initial Contact Title of Study: Socialized to succeed? Chinese graduate students’ negotiation of academic discourse practices at a Canadian university Research Team Principal Investigator: Dr. Patricia Duff Co-Investigator: Tim Anderson January 8, 2013 To Whom It May Concern, I am writing this letter to ask your consideration to participate in a study investigating the written academic discourse socialization of Chinese PhD students at the University of [redacted]. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the various struggles, adjustments, and successes PhD students from China encounter with academic writing and their attempts to achieve personal goals and program requirements. This study will take place over a ten-month period and will involve the following components. (a) Semi-structured individual interviews with doctoral students and their Graduate Program Advisors will be conducted to inquire into the participants’ feelings, attitudes, prior experiences, and practices regarding their academic writing. The interviews will be audio-recorded and the interview data will be analyzed using thematic analysis. (b) Narrative inquiry will allow for the participants’ voices and stories to be solicited and 170 analyzed. Participants will be asked to keep bi-monthly written or oral journals charting their experiences as writers in the academy. The journals will be analyzed using thematic analysis focusing on critical incidents and students’ affective responses to them. (c) Reviewer feedback from submitted journal articles, fellowship applications, comprehensive examinations, term papers, and drafts of dissertations will be analyzed to detail important instances of discourse socialization in terms of critique, support, and guidance for improvement. Participants will be asked to submit reviewer feedback to the researcher for analysis. (d) Evaluation of student successes, failures, and sense of development or progress in fellowship applications, academic publications, term papers, comprehensive examinations, and dissertations will track progress in students’ academic discourse socialization. Successes, failures, and sense of development or progress will be determined by participant self-report, acceptance, funding, and other indicators of positive assessment, such as comments on drafts. Pease note that your participation in this study is completely voluntary, and should you wish to leave you are free to withdraw at any point. Information from this study will be used for my PhD dissertation research. From the results of this research, we will be able to provide information to teachers and administrators regarding the different factors that can impact second language writers in postsecondary graduate-level contexts. If you have any questions please contact Tim Anderson at: 778-232-6156 or email@example.com Sincerely, Tim Anderson PhD Candidate Language and Literacy Education University of British Columbia 171 Appendix C: Participant Informed Consent Form Department of Language & Literacy Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-‐5788 Fax: (604) 822-‐3154 Participant Informed Consent Form Title of Study: Socialized to succeed? Chinese graduate students’ negotiation of academic discourse practices at a Canadian university Investigators: The principal investigator is Dr. Patricia Duff, Department of Language and Literacy Education, 604-822-9693. The co-investigator is Tim Anderson, Department of Language and Literacy Education, 778-232-6156. This is a study for the PhD degree of Tim Anderson. Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Purpose: This study will investigate the various factors that impact the socialization of international Chinese students’ written academic discourse practices at the doctorate level in the faculty of education at the University of British Columbia. Study Procedures: There are five primary parts to this research project (four parts for the student participants and one part for their Graduate Program Advisors). This form only contains the description of Parts I-IV of the study which involves the doctoral students. The Study: PART I involves two sets of audio-recorded interviews at the beginning and near the end of the study. The purpose of the interviews is to gauge the participants’ feelings and opinions about the different factors that impact and shape their English academic writing during their PhD study. Interviews will then be analyzed thematically to help better understand the participants’ socialization into written academic discourse at the graduate level. 172 PART II will consist of a narrative inquiry. Participants will be asked to keep bi-monthly written or oral journals charting their experiences as writers in the academy. The journals will be analyzed thematically. PART III will consist of analysis of reviewer feedback from submitted journal articles, fellowship applications, comprehensive examinations, term papers, and drafts of dissertations. Feedback will be analyzed to detail important instances of discourse socialization in terms of critique, support, and guidance for improvement. PART IV involves ongoing evaluation of student successes, failures, and sense of development or progress in fellowship applications, academic publications, term papers, comprehensive examinations, and dissertations will track progress in students’ academic discourse socialization. Successes, failures, and sense of development or progress will be determined by participant self-report, acceptance, funding, and other indicators of positive assessment, such as comments on drafts. Potential Benefits: From the results of this research, we will be able to provide information to students, instructors, and administrators in Canadian university settings about how these students navigate success or failure as writers in their doctoral programs. Learning to become successful writers is of vital importance to international doctoral students’ continued enrolment in Canadian universities and the programs they take part in; their degrees of success also reflect on the quality of mentoring and socialization provided by the host universities. Examples of students’ successful development as scholars can in turn benefit teachers and universities in helping students become socialized more effectively into their respective discourse communities. Confidentiality: The data collected in all parts of the study will be kept confidential. The participants will be allowed to choose a pseudonym and the pseudonym will appear on all documents related to the study. All audio-recorded data will be transcribed before data analysis and only presented as a written transcription, never as raw data. The Participants will not be identified by their given names in reports of the completed study. All information which might directly or indirectly reveal the participants’ identities will be deleted or altered and will not be released or published without specific consent to the disclosure from the participant. All data, including all audio recordings, will be stored in a locked file cabinet at the principle investigator’s office and in the con-investigator’s house for at least five years. The data will be used for the researcher’s forthcoming dissertation study. Data from this study will be shared with my supervisor, Dr. Patricia Duff. Data analysis and research findings may also be presented at academic conferences and may be published as scholarly work. Contact for concerns: You may refuse participation in this project or withdraw during the project without any consequence to your position as a student. Your participation is entirely voluntary and you may refuse to participate or withdraw from the study at any time, even after signing this consent form. Refusing to participate or withdrawal will not jeopardize your position as a student in any way. If you have any concerns about your treatment or rights as a research participant, please contact Tim Anderson at 778-232-6156 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Research Subject Information Line in the UBC Office of Research Services at 604-822-8598. 173 I am writing to request your permission to participate in this study entitled: “Socialized to succeed? Chinese graduate students’ negotiation of academic discourse practices at a Canadian university.” On the next page, you will find the statement of informed consent to be signed by you and returned to me as soon as possible, whether or not you wish to participate in the project. The first copy is for you to keep. Thank you for your participation in this study. Tim Anderson, BA, B.Ed, MA Patricia Duff, PhD PhD Candidate Professor Department of Language and Literacy Department of Language and Literacy Education Education 174 Student Statement of Informed Consent (copy to keep) Title of the project: “Socialized to succeed? Chinese graduate students’ negotiation of academic discourse practices at a Canadian university” Researchers: The principal investigator is Dr. Patricia Duff, Department of Language and Literacy Education, 604-822-9693. This is a study for the PhD dissertation of Tim Anderson, Department of Language and Literacy Education, 778-232-6156. Please fill out the information below. Be sure to keep page 3 for your own records and to return a signed copy of page 4 (Statement of Informed Consent) to me as soon as possible. __________________________________________________________________________ I have read and understand the attached letter regarding the project entitled: “Socialized to succeed? Chinese graduate students’ negotiation of academic discourse practices at a Canadian university.” I understand that, even if I consent to participate in the study, I can opt out of the study at any time. I have kept a copy of the letter describing the project and a copy of the permission form (Statement of Informed Consent). ‘I consent / I do not consent (circle one) to participation in PART I of this study.’ ____________________________________________________________________________ Printed name of participant Participant’s Signature Date ‘I consent / I do not consent (circle one) to participation in PART II of this study.’ ____________________________________________________________________________ Printed name of participant Participant’s Signature Date ‘I consent / I do not consent (circle one) to participation in PART III of this study.’ ____________________________________________________________________________ Printed name of participant Participant’s Signature Date ‘I consent / I do not consent (circle one) to participation in PART IV of this study.’ _____________________________________________________________________________ Printed name of participant Participant’s Signature Date 175 Student Statement of Informed Consent (copy to return to researcher) Title of the project: “Socialized to succeed? Chinese graduate students’ negotiation of academic discourse practices at a Canadian university” Researchers: The principal investigator is Dr. Patricia Duff, Department of Language and Literacy Education, 604-822-9693. This is a study for the PhD dissertation of Tim Anderson, Department of Language and Literacy Education, 778-232-6156. Please fill out the information below. Be sure to keep page 3 for your own records and to return a signed copy of page 4 (Statement of Informed Consent) to me as soon as possible. __________________________________________________________________________ I have read and understand the attached letter regarding the project entitled: “Socialized to succeed? Chinese graduate students’ negotiation of academic discourse practices at a Canadian university.” I understand that, even if I consent to participate in the study, I can opt out of the study at any time. I have kept a copy of the letter describing the project and a copy of the permission form (Statement of Informed Consent). ‘I consent / I do not consent (circle one) to participation in PART I of this study.’ ______________________________________________________________________________ Printed name of participant Participant’s Signature Date ‘I consent / I do not consent (circle one) to participation in PART II of this study.’ ______________________________________________________________________________ Printed name of participant Participant’s Signature Date ‘I consent / I do not consent (circle one) to participation in PART III of this study.’ ______________________________________________________________________________ Printed name of participant Participant’s Signature Date ‘I consent / I do not consent (circle one) to participation in PART IV of this study.’ ______________________________________________________________________________ Printed name of participant Participant’s Signature Date 176 Appendix D: Sample Interview Questions Department of Language & Literacy Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-‐5788 Fax: (604) 822-‐3154 Sample Interview Questions Title of Study: Socialized to succeed? Chinese graduate students’ negotiation of academic discourse practices at a Canadian university Principal Investigator: Dr. Patricia A. Duff Department of Language & Literacy Education University of British Columbia 2125 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: 604-822-9693; Fax: 604-822-3154 Co-Investigator: Tim Anderson Department of Language & Literacy Education University of British Columbia 2125 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: 778-232-6156 Interviews will be conducted by the second of the above-named researchers, following a semi-structured format. Interviews will be in English. The most general questions follow: A. FIRST INTERVIEWS WITH STUDENTS 1. What is your post-secondary history? What are your degrees in and where did you take them? 2. When did you first start learning English? 3. When did you first start learning how to write in English academically? 177 4. How have you learned to write academically in English? Who taught you? How have you learned? What roles do professors and advisors have in this process? 5. Do you feel satisfied with your academic writing? What are the parts of your writing that you feel good about or bad about? 6. What were (are) some of the challenges you encounter when writing academic texts in English? 7. How have you overcome these challenges? 8. How do you define “success” regarding your academic writing? How do you define “failure”? 9. What would you like to achieve during your PhD regarding your academic writing (i.e., journal articles, highly graded term papers, a completed dissertation)? 10. What areas would you like to improve on or change in the future? How will you accomplish these goals? C. SECOND INTERVIEWS WITH STUDENTS 1. Since we first spoke 10 months ago, what sorts of changes, if any, have occurred regarding your academic writing? 2. Do you feel your academic writing has improved, regressed, or stayed the same? 3. What progress have you made in terms of course work, dissertation drafts, research proposals, comprehensive exams, publications, or grant applications since we first spoke? 4. Over the last 10 months, what kinds of support/help/advice/guidance have you received with your writing? Who has provided this help? How has this impacted your writing? 5. Do you feel you have received enough support with your writing? Why or why not? 6. In what areas would you like to receive more support with your academic writing? Who should help you? How should they help you? 7. What role should supervisors, professors, departments, and the university play in helping students with their academic writing? Do you feel your supervisor, professors, and university have provided this support? Why or why not? How can this support be improved? 8. Based on the support and guidance you have received thus far in your doctoral program, what do you feel will be your biggest academic and professional challenges in the future? Do you feel prepared to advance to your next academic stage? What role does writing have in this process? 178 Appendix E: Sample Narrative Prompts and Questions 1. Have you taken any additional classes? If so, how did you perform (specifically related to your academic writing)? 2. Have you submitted any abstracts to conferences? Did you get accepted? 3. Have you submitted any articles for publication? If so, how has that process been? 4. Are you working on your dissertation? Has that process been easy or difficult? What type of help/support, if any, are you receiving? 5. Do you receive any external assistance with your academic writing (from private tutours, writing centre, classmates, etc.)? If so, what kind of help do they provide? 6. Who helps you the most with your writing? Do you ever help other students with their academic writing (peers, friends, or other (new) international students)? 7. Do you have academic or social connections with native-English-speaking students (i.e., Canadian, US, British)? Does most of your academic and social support come from other international graduate students? 8. How much do you participate in (academic) oral discussions during class, seminars, meetings, conferences, etc.? If you don’t participate much, why is that? Does your participation (or lack of) in oral discussions ever impact your overall academic success? 9. Do you consider yourself a better academic writer in English or Chinese? Which do you feel more proficient in at this stage? 10. Since we last communicated, have you written and submitted any of the following: (1) term papers, (2) proposals for conferences, (3) PhD proposal, (4) comprehensive examinations, (5) journal articles, (6) dissertation drafts, (7) Other? Discuss how this process went or is going (i.e., challenges, successes, etc.) a. Were these submissions “successful”? (i.e., did they get accepted, receive high grades, get published, etc.?) b. If they were not successful, why do you think that was the case? How did you react? Did you learn any lessons from that process and what were they? 11. Do you have any examples of being assisted with your written (or oral) academic discourse in the recent past? If so, who has helped you and what have they helped you with? 12. The following information is just to see how you align with other international students in North America: a. What is the socioeconomic status of your family (i.e., low; middle class; upper-middle class; high)? b. What is the educational background of your family (i.e., some schooling; high school graduates; university graduates; graduate school; etc.)? c. What is the linguistic background of your family? Are you the only bilingual/trilingual in your family? d. How are you funding your PhD (grants/scholarships/personally/etc.)? 13. What are your plans after you are finished your degree? a. Will you try to remain in Canada? The US? Return to China? What are the reasons for your decision (personal/academic/professional/economic/etc.)? 14. Now that you have lived abroad for quite some time, do you still primarily consider yourself to be “Chinese” or do you now think of yourself as a “global, transnational citizen”? Has this self-perception or self-identification changed since you’ve been in Canada? If so, what changed it? 179 15. Vanessa Fong* (2011) writes, “Chinese citizens in my study saw going abroad not only as a physical journey but also a journey from one category of personhood to another. What they wanted most was the prestige, comfort, geographic mobility, and high standard of living enjoyed by cultural and social citizens of the developed world… “ a. Do you agree or disagree with this statement in terms of your own experiences being an international student? Why or why not? 16. Fong* (2011) also notes in her study that her Chinese international students often cited: “好好学习，报效祖.” a. Do you feel a broader obligation to return to China someday to “repay” your home country and help with its economic, social, cultural (etc.) growth? Why or why not? * Fong, V. (2011). Paradise redefined: Transnational Chinese students and the quest for flexible citizenship in the developed world. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 180 Appendix F: Transcription Conventions . A period indicates terminal falling intonation , A comma indicates nonfinal intonation, usually a slight rise ... Ellipsis indicates a slight pause in the speech […] Ellipsis inside square brackets indicates deleted speech ? A question mark indicates a rising intonation [clarification] Brackets include additional information to clarify meaning “reported speech” Words between double quotation marks indicate reported speech
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Negotiating academic discourse practices, ideologies, and identities : the socialization of Chinese PhD… Anderson, Tim 2016
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