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Title: International students' participation in intercultural classrooms at a UK university
Author: Wang, Sihui
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2020
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Recent research has reported a common tendency for international students to be silent or verbally inactive in classroom activities, identifying language competence and cultural differences as the main barriers to their participation. However, insights into international students’ actual experiences and feelings within different classroom contexts remain rather limited. This study explores these issues through an ethnographically-informed case study of 10 postgraduate international students in conjunction with perspectives from 12 of their instructors and 12 peers in different classroom communities at a UK university. Grounded in Lave and Wenger’s concept of ‘community of practice’, this research perceives international students’ participation as a socially situated and interactive process and thus investigates the contextual influences to re-examine the concept of ‘classroom participation’ in university classrooms. The research findings suggest different categories of influencing factors and various classroom participation patterns and they reveal tensions in some classroom communities resulting from different perceptions and attitudes towards classroom participation. Acknowledging the complexity of culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms, this study suggests the importance of contextual impacts and ‘sense of community’ in the negotiating process of classroom participation. Comparative analyses of interactions in different classroom communities provided conceptual and practical implications for all the members involved to co-construct democratic and dialogic classroom communities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General) ; L Education (General) ; LB2300 Higher Education