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Title: An investigation of Vietnamese postgraduate students' negotiation of social and academic identities at a UK university
Author: Bui, Thi Hanh Lien
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 6688
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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The development of the research field of English as a lingua franca (henceforth ELF), or more recently as a "multilingua franca" (Jenkins, 2015b) has contributed to the conceptualization of identity as fluid, changing and closely connected to language and culture in multilingual and multicultural settings. Although recent literature has targeted international students in ELF contexts (e.g., Björkman, 2017; Virkkula & Nikula, 2010), Vietnamese students and their negotiation of social and academic identities remain unexplored. The present research, therefore, aims to fill this gap with 24 conversational interviews conducted in three rounds over one year period with eight Vietnamese postgraduate students at a UK university. Data analysed through the combination of thematic analysis and positioning analysis (Bamberg, 1997; Bamberg and Georgakopoulou, 2008) indicate that the participants negotiated and developed their multiple, emergent and conflicting social identities in various social settings. The process of identity negotiation involves both reflective positioning (i.e. positioning oneself) and interactive positioning (i.e. (re)positioning others) (Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004) in interactions with a range of social and cultural groups within and beyond the institutional environment. Regarding academic identity negotiation, most of the participants generally expressed their preference for Standard English and considered themselves deficient compared to local and other European students, occasionally in the first round and throughout the second round of interviews. This was clearly revealed when the participants negatively constructed their academic identities in academic writing contexts, whilst promoting and adhering to native English speakers' (henceforward NESs) English, which unsurprisingly reflected their deeply ingrained Standard English ideology. The findings from the third round of interviews, however, demonstrated certain critical transformation in the participants' positionings of their own and others' English. Although at some points the students' attitudes towards their English were still relatively pessimistic, a few participants appeared to developiiawareness of ELF, showing their acceptance of the legitimacy of international students' English, and at the same time challenging NESs' use of English in internationally academic settings. Implications and suggestions for both UK and Vietnamese HE contexts are offered towards the end.
Supervisor: Jenkins, Jennifer ; Patino, Adriana Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available