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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Study abroad in the Philippines : discursive production of its legitimacy and Japanese EL learners' desires Ishige, Aika (Alice)


To reflect more diverse needs and wants from learners, study abroad (SA) markets have continued to grow, diversifying the SA options ranging from durations, countries to school programs. In the field of TESOL, the diversification of SA destinations is particularly prominent in recent decades. Although traditionally, English language learners generally pursue their SA in Western English-dominant countries (e.g., the U.S., Canada) to immerse themselves in English spoken by (who they believe as) authentic speakers of English, there is an increasing number of English language (EL) learners who choose their SA in other places. In this context, this thesis is aimed to shed light on the emerging phenomenon of SA in the Philippines sought by Japanese EL learners. This thesis reports findings from document analysis and a multiple case study, which examine the discursive production of SA in the Philippines and Japanese EL learners’ SA experience there through the lens of desire from TESOL and Deleuzian perspectives and poststructuralist discourse analysis. The following documents were collected for the document analysis: agency websites, blogs, eBooks, and school websites. Four participants were recruited for the multiple case study, and data were generated through a pre-interview questionnaire survey and two online interviews. The data were analyzed through the following procedures: transcription, two cycles of coding, and collaborative translation. Findings suggest that the Philippines is constructed as a cost-effective SA destination for Japanese EL learners due to the offering of numerous one-on-one lessons at affordable costs. The analysis of the participants’ desires illuminates that although they positively described their SA experience in the Philippines, the Philippines was only utilized as ‘a springboard’ to their following SA in Canada, which was conceptualized as the embodiment of their core SA desires. This study responds to a gap in the literature about the practice and production of emerging SA in non-Western, non-English-dominant countries for English learning purposes. It also sheds light on the potential of desire as a construct to analyze global geoeconomic and sociolinguistic hierarchies.

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