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Title: English for Korean postgraduate engineering students in the global academic community : perceptions of the importance of English, skills-based needs and sociocultural behaviours
Author: Shin, Inyoung
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 5049
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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This study aims to investigate the perceived needs for English of Korean postgraduate engineering students in an academic community. It questions the broader issues of needs in English for Academic Purposes (EAP), encompassing the importance of English, skills-based needs in English and sociocultural behaviours. In raising these issues, this research uses a comparative framework. I collected data in two contexts, the United Kingdom and Korea, to examine the perceptions of Korean postgraduate engineering students themselves and subject lecturers by using both questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The research showed that the current global world order has strongly influenced participants' perceptions in both the Korean and the UK academic contexts. The role of English was considered as being pivotal for communication, and a balanced command of English skills integrated with academic practices of the engineering discipline were seen to be required for students. However, there was a diversity of VIews among participants regarding the sociocultural behaviours which characterized the emerging global academic community. Participants in Korea tended to be self-critical of their own academic culture. In the United Kingdom, students struggled, resisted or attempted to reshape the dominant academic culture, while lecturers were frustrated by students' non-participatory and non-interactive attitudes in the community of practice. Considering the demands of participation in a global academic community leads to the conclusion that Korean engineering students need to be equipped with multiple skills and discipline-specific literacy, forged to meet the needs of globalization. Students should also be expected to have critical awareness, sociocultural sensitivity and flexibility, in order to be genuine members of the engineering academic community. Finally, this thesis discusses the implications for upgraded EAP programmes adapted to the needs of Korean engineering students in the global age.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available